(Topic ID: 148882)

Original v. Restored Pins

By OHMI_Arcade

3 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by DefaultGen
  • No one calls this topic a favorite


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    #1 3 years ago

    So I've watched enough American Pickers and Antiques Roadshow to know that when it comes to cars and furniture it is better to keep everything original as opposed to making it look better using replica parts. Seems that this isn't the case with pinball. At least I'm more interested in a nice looking machine and will readily buy an replica part to replace a worn/beaten part. Are there those in the pin community that are sticklers for 'all original'? Just curious.

    #2 3 years ago

    One thing I'm picky about is having original circuit boards in the game. I'm not a stickler for matching serial numbers on the boards, though. If I get a game with an aftermarket board, I'll generally replace it and use the aftermarket board for diagnostics or just temporary replacements when I'm in the process of repairing a game.

    I usually pick up project pins, so they will all need some degree of work. If I had the workshop space to be able to do a high-end restore on pins, I would--re-stenciling cabs and clear coating playfields.

    But, I mainly settle for just cleaning, refurbishing, and making things look as nice as possible while also being as true to looking as close to original as possible. Though, granted, there are some good mods than can be done on the guts of the machine to make it more reliable, add certain capabilities (such as non-flickering LEDs) or to tastefully improve the look of the game in some way (uncle fester in the chair on TAF or the replacement palintir on LOTR). If I do add a mod, it has to be easily reversible.

    So, I keep things mostly original (or looking faithful to the original), but color outside of the lines a little bit when it makes sense to me. Most of my games don't have a lot of serious hardcore collector value (like Krull, Kingpin, Loch Ness Monster, etc), so I'm not too worried.

    In any case, there a lot of opinions on how far to go with a restore, or what things should/shouldn't be done on them. But, as long as you're not parting out when it can be repaired or making irreversible changes to a game (like re-theming it), most folks are ok with changes/additions that are reversible.

    #3 3 years ago

    I really like a very nice all original pin but a correctly done restored one wld be ok if I cant find a nice original.

    #4 3 years ago

    Admire a well restored machine but as they say it's only original once

    #5 3 years ago

    It's not the case with me. I prefer original as possible. I view it as preserving a fine machine from a certain era the way it was made at the time.

    #6 3 years ago

    make it look great and play even better.nothing worse than an old slow machine. may be all original but no fun to play......

    #7 3 years ago
    Quoted from hottubr:

    make it look great and play even better.nothing worse than an old slow machine. may be all original but no fun to play......

    Yup. Pinball is different in that older machines are typically worth less than newer machines. It's all about performance and how fun it is to play. I prefer the original look but over restored with everything shiney and new looks pretty sweet. I don't mind a few flaws but a blown out playfield and broken plastics kills the experience.

    #8 3 years ago

    When I look at machines, playfeild condition is #1. I don't mind some wear (character). I'm not into touch ups on machines. I enjoy all original, backglass, playfeild, cabinet. To me these machines are like time capsules, the wear tells a story. I do agree, everything needs to function properly, give them a full fine tune, clean them well inside and out, new rubber, and for gods sake new balls! They need to play as the did back in the day, bumpers and slings need to be tight and fast. Flippers should be as they where when new.

    I'm on the fence about soup-ups, i.e. Flipper upgrades, stronger solenoids, etc.. I think you should be able to experience the original "voice" of each machine. I also feel aftermarket playfeilds are a last resort. Don't get me wrong, I'm glade we have the option to bring back trashed machines. Thank you to all the artist that have the passion and skill to reproduce lost art. I just rather "see" history when possible.

    Just my 2 cents!


    #9 3 years ago

    For me it depends, as my first priority is to be sure that our games are playable, then that they look nice, and to use original parts if available.

    #10 3 years ago

    If you want a museum piece like what antiques roadshow would be interested in:
    They would value it like antique furniture and you wouldn't want you to clean or even replace broken, brown, cracked rubbers.

    If you want something that is fun to play and look at touchup, clearcoat and otherwise replace and restore everything. Pinball people will like it.

    Pinball is not that big of deal do what you want as long as your not ruining something it will work out. If you want to cash in on the roadshow buy oil paintings and Tiffany on the cheap. Pickers is a joke.

    #11 3 years ago

    I'm not sure why anyone would prefer an original MPU to an Alltek. I haven't noticed any differences in gameplay, but maybe I'm missing something. Most of the aftermarket boards have nice design improvements too.

    I prefer a really nice original playfield to a repro, but nice originals are hard to find and usually have a price premium. My tolerance for playfield defects goes up with the age of the game. I have a Skateball with several areas worn to the wood, and I found after a few months that I just don't care. It's playing really well, and it looks natural.

    Replacement part quality varies a lot, but I've been very happy with CPR playfields and plastics, Pinball Inc ramps and Planetary's cab decals with "next gen" printing. On the other side of the quality spectrum are insert decals and drop targets. Backglasses vary from excellent to terrible, but I think that's getting better too.

    #12 3 years ago

    Take nicely restored machine any day. When restored properly they are many times better than the new orig. Back in the day off of Williams/bally assembly line

    #13 3 years ago

    I'm with ForceFlow on this one. I used to think all original was the way to go, but I'm such an anal freak about my machines that looking at fade or scratches or any type of flaw for that matter began to bug the shit out of me. When I restore a pin now, I want it looking as brand new as possible, and to do that you have to replace parts, decals, etc.

    But I'm NOT a fan or repro circuit boards, and will always sell the repro to get an original. The serial numbers can be matched with new labels during the restoration, so that's not a biggie for me.

    Keep in mind (and pardon the car comparison) that most antique cars have repro parts somewhere inside them to keep them going and looking new. Pinball is no different. (I'm also not a fan of that smoky disgusting smell most old pins have...)

    #14 3 years ago

    I'm for an original playfield first, original cabinet graphics second. I used to want to buy all new playfields and cab art for my pins, but there's something special about restored originals. At least for me.

    #15 3 years ago

    I could care less if it were original or replica as long as the replica is faithful to the original. Sure, I would love a near mint original but really, it is all about condition.

    #16 3 years ago

    Like others here, I use NOS cosmetic parts wherever possible and original boards with upgrades. Any other modifications must be easily removable. Items that don't match original appearances or NOS aren't used in my games. I don't mind doing a little playfield touch up but I prefer to replace with NOS if possible.


    #17 3 years ago

    I liberally use LEDs, have a few alternate translites, I'm going to clearcoat my Grand Prix, and my Tx-Sector currently has Bally/Williams legs. Just call me Tyler, Destroyer of History.

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