Documentation of all differences in a sample Twilight Zone

(Topic ID: 166924)

Documentation of all differences in a sample Twilight Zone


By lyonsden

2 years ago



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  • 111 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 70 days ago by Coyote
  • Topic is favorited by 15 Pinsiders

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There are 111 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 2 years ago

I recently picked up a TZ and after getting it home started to notice some differences between it and other's I've seen. After a bit of digging, I found this article which documents several of the differences between protos, samples, and full production TZs: http://gameroomblog.com/guides/twilight-zone-pinball-prototype-vs-production

I *think* this game only had one owner and was completely stock and want to post some photos of it. If there are things that I should look for, please let me know.

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#2 2 years ago

Head decals are different -- missing the stars at the top, I think.

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#3 2 years ago

Manufacturing date: 3/24/93

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#4 2 years ago

Various documents and manuals found with the game. Manual is from Feb 1993 and has a white cover. (I like the catalogs from PBR and Marcos )

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#5 2 years ago

Power mini playfield lacks "Flip here"

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#6 2 years ago

Sticker "Shoot here to load gumball" added over a plastic that says "Collect next spiral value"

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#7 2 years ago

Interestingly, the clock face is colored as opposed to white.

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#8 2 years ago

Is the third magnet there?

#9 2 years ago

Third magnet

The link above says that only the core and magnet were installed on samples, but this has the magnet and is plugged in.

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#10 2 years ago

Look at picture. The third magnet is there. Looks like a early sample like mine.
Magicchiz

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Power mini playfield lacks "Flip here"

You have the grapefruit colored pop bumper cap.

LTG : )

#12 2 years ago

Green lock insert (I missed getting a photo with the light on)

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#13 2 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Interestingly, the clock face is colored as opposed to white.

Could have been changed. And may have came that way.

Same with translites with the stars cut out or not. They just grabbed them at the factory and stuck them in, no pattern to which game got what.

LTG : )

#14 2 years ago

Instruction cards and lockbar receiver. Someone hand wrote 5 steel balls. . .

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#15 2 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

You have the grapefruit colored pop bumper cap.
LTG : )

Say more. . .

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

missing the stars at the top, I think.

Missing sunburst behind Rod's head.

LTG : )

#17 2 years ago

This is awesome - I love finding stuff like this, and TZ seems to have the most extra stuff between the samples and the production run.

As the gameroomblog notes, look for the extra cutout in the upper right of the playfield, where the "spiral" area is. There are three spirals across the back of the playfield - the one right behind the head of the guy in the suit - upper right side. if this has the metal disk right near his head, then it's absolutely unquestionably a sample. The head decals all but guarantee it though. Pretty cool, huh ?

My TZ is also a sample - I'll have to check the manufacture date.

Your clock face has the colors though, which (I think) means someone replaced that. If memory serves, the sample and about 1000 of the original production run had the white face. If yours has the color, it is a replacement. Maybe your clock has had some work done on it? My clock is white but also still has the incandescent lamps, but apparently they burn out quickly.

Nice pictures - looks like a hell of a pin!

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Could have been changed. And may have came that way.
Same with translites with the stars cut out or not. They just grabbed them at the factory and stuck them in, no pattern to which game got what.
LTG : )

Cut outs on the back of the translite masking (white stuff)?

#19 2 years ago

Door panel -- not sure which text is different, if any.

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#20 2 years ago

In front of mini playfield on right side in his picture.

You just don't see too many of them. They were changed to a different color early in the production.

LTG : )

#21 2 years ago

Light board for door panel seems different. Holes for flashers for gumball and lock inserts?

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#22 2 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

In front of mini playfield on right side in his picture.
You just don't see too many of them. They were changed to a different color early in the production.
LTG : )

Thanks LTG!

#23 2 years ago

I think these are the two 7-switch boards that were replaced with a single 10-switch board in later runs.

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#24 2 years ago

Piece of a creature and whitewater cabinet used for the playfield support.

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#25 2 years ago

Do you have holes in the pf in the pop bumper area? These were for star posts. I didn't like them so left them out.

#26 2 years ago

Hard to see in the above picture, but the leg brackets have three holes and the cabinet was drilled for all three.

#27 2 years ago
Quoted from spidey:

Do you have holes in the pf in the pop bumper area? These were for star posts. I didn't like them so left the out.

Yes, I think. I'll get a photo.

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Light board for door panel seems different. Holes for flashers for gumball and lock inserts?

yes

#29 2 years ago

Pop area:

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#30 2 years ago

Really cool find! Looks to be in awesome shape as well - enjoy!

#31 2 years ago

And finally, the way to tell if you have a truly authentic TZ is if it resets when you hit both flipper buttons.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Could have been changed. And may have came that way.
Same with translites with the stars cut out or not. They just grabbed them at the factory and stuck them in, no pattern to which game got what.
LTG : )

Backside of translite

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#33 2 years ago

Some other photos -- not sure if there is anything else to specifically document. Interesting to see that the exact placement of the backbox caution print varies greatly from WPC to WPC (in that row -- NGG and ToM).

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#34 2 years ago

Happy to post any more photos that people want to see. Other notes, it has L-3 ROMs, has been cleaned, LEDs (which I like), and rubbers replaced. Plays great and I'm enjoying getting to learn the game.

#35 2 years ago

Are the pop skirts color matched to pop tops something that wasn't on production games?

#36 2 years ago

Very nice sample and only thing that may have been changed at some point is tranlight and clock face . It has the white door on head, green lock, two ooto boards,different door panel light board,third magnet, mini playfield and so on and so on. It sld have a extra opto between the piano scoop and slot scoop also i believe?

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Very nice sample and only thing that may have been changed at some point is tranlight and clock face . It has the white door on head, green lock, two ooto boards,different door panel light board,third magnet, mini playfield and so on and so on. It sld have a extra opto between the piano scoop and slot scoop also i believe?

Thanks for the info. I checked the subway and it doesn't look to have the extra opto. Just the switches at the piano and slot machine, with a proximity sensor at the junction.

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#38 2 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Thanks for the info. I checked the subway and it doesn't look to have the extra opto. Just the switches at the piano and slot machine, with a proximity sensor at the junction.

Actually i meant topside . Sld maybe be a opto between piano scoop and slot scoop.?

#39 2 years ago

Dude how do you find these things?

Il be over soon .

#40 2 years ago

Some info -
Check for T-Nutted posts, all of them. (If they ARE T-Nutted, change out the ones you can.)
Colors in front of right ramp are different.
Your have a very early sample game, like mine. My UR Magnet was installed as well.
Extra Optos are "Clock Passage" (in front of clock between Piano and Slot), "2nd BigKick", and the UR Magnet.
Check the spiral insert. On mine the original "GUM-BALL" text was scraped off.
Your Door light board, yes, has holes for all 4 door flashers (see my linked video in TZ Owners Thread to see how they fire..)
Check the bottom/top of playfield over by plastic flasher in bumper area for a drilled/filled hole.
Shooter ramp/ball guide is two parts, not one.
No pop bumper came with colored skirts - that was done after-the-fact, I did it in my game as well.
TZs were originally to come with 7 balls - 6 steel, 1 ceramic. It was changed. Our early samples have a decal that still state that.
Looks like yours wss made about 2 weeks before mine.

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Actually i meant topside . Sld maybe be a opto between piano scoop and slot scoop.?

Thanks! Yes, there is an opto there.

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#42 2 years ago

To expand on a few of those items -

The backbox art is no longer a sure-fire way to tell a sample, as someone reproduced decals with that artwork, so anyone could re-decal their cabinet with the white doors up there at top.

The artwork differences on the playfield are one of the changes that is still unique - mainly because Mirco, when he reproduced his 'early' playfield (with the three magnets) wasn't aware that some of the art was changed as well. Specifically, in front of the main ramp - you'll notice the inserts are surrounded by a green rocket design - instead of white. Also, next to the autofire ramp (detail below), there's a post that was removed in productions games - sample games had the artwork rounded off for the post (regardless of whether the post was there or not.)

The autofire ramp & behind the UR flipper guide - originally this was two pieces - the ramp was mounted where it is now. But the metal guide on the left side of the ramp ended in a short postwith a rubber on it. Then another short ball guide mounted behind the flipper (same part # as the ball guide mounted to the right of the slot machine). They realized that having the autofire kicker ramp bordered by two rubber-wearing posts made it more difficult for the kicker to get balls up and around - so the ramp was changed to one piece - the left wall of the ramp comes down and ends down right above the rocket kicker. Funny enough, production manuals STILL show this as two parts. Check it out!

T-Nutted posts, at least in TZ, are difficult to keep tight. All the single short posts were routed on the underside of the playfield to accept T-Nuts. At some point, the posts were changed (longer threaded area) to accept nylon locknuts. This is another sure way to tell an early sample from a repro, as I'm pretty sure (not 100%) that Mirco's playfields don't have these either.

The "roof" plastic by the pop bumpers - you will note that there is one star post holding up this dual-layer plastic, and two metal posts. If you look in the manual - yes, even production ones - you will see that the star post, which is directly left of the bottom pop bumper, in the manual is moved out some - it is NOT up against the wood rail. You'll notice that the TOP plastic is also larger than the one under it, showing how the two used to be. On my playfield on the bottom side, there was a hole where this post should have been - it was filled in with a dowel and glued into place, then sanded down. As far as I can tell, this happened BEFORE the field went to printing - as I couldn't find any trace of seam on the top side. (And, unfortunately, I forgot to have HEP look for anything out of the ordinary when Chris restored my playfield.. so now, I'll never know.) I wouldn't be surprised if yours has a hole down there as well.

Oh - your Mini-Playfield likely won't have the spring / leveling feature. If it does, it was added later by an owner.

Your instruction card (it's a strange color.. Mine was white.) likely ends in "-1" instead of "-2". The only differences? A period was added, and font-size was enlarged.

You SHOULD have a wiring harness for the top two door flashers - look for an unused 4-pin .156" header, with three wires going to it. That will plug into flasher board.

Your game was probably also sent with the left spiral sign. Mine was installed - the same tech that scraped off my 'GUM-Ball' insert and put the decal on the right spiral sign removed the left one, and left it in the cabinet. (Idiot me, long ago I figured I didn't need them. I threw away the mounting bracket, and then later, somehow lost my plastic. Argh.) You may find screw holes on the mini-playfield up where that mounted.

You will also have a plastic shield over the main ramp switch. (I do too..) This was changed and removed - to be replaced by a grey rubber booty.

The optos - the 'Clock Passage' opto just scores you some points. (During 9.4H testing, I had asked Ted if he could play a sound like when Camera was lit, or Town Square Madness was going - like when the ball comes out of Lock or is caught by the magnet. He declined, stating that it would go off far too much. After thinking about it, I agreed with that..) The 2nd Big Kick opto doesn't really do anything - though if it's blocked, the game will try to fire the autofire a few times, before giving up. Apparently - and I haven't found any confirmation of this, I don't think - there was an idea of using the autofire kicker as a second 'ball lock' area.

Oh, and in the backbox - you'll find your 8-driver PCB (the small one that's connected to the MPU via the 'Display' cable) is mounted on the left side of the backbox - instead of where they moved it in production games - the upper right.

Yes, I know far, far too much about sample/prototype/production differences. I had a webpage up that went over MUCH of this before Gameroom ran their article. Since I was working at the arcade when we took delivery of the Sample TZ, and then made it into my collection.. it'll never leave.

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from golfingdad1:

Dude how do you find these things?
Il be over soon .

Come check it out. This was pure luck -- popped up on craigslist, looked nice, and bought it. My wife likes Addams Family (ahem!), and I figured she'd enjoy TZ since it was made by PLD right afterwards and had a lot of similar features/layout/programming. I didn't know about the sample game things until I had it home and started to go through it and did some research. Neat that it has some differences, but overall, it plays just like any other TZ (and my wife thinks it is fun).

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Some info -
Check for T-Nutted posts, all of them. (If they ARE T-Nutted, change out the ones you can.)
Colors in front of right ramp are different.
Your have a very early sample game, like mine. My UR Magnet was installed as well.
Extra Optos are "Clock Passage" (in front of clock between Piano and Slot), "2nd BigKick", and the UR Magnet.
Check the spiral insert. On mine the original "GUM-BALL" text was scraped off.
Your Door light board, yes, has holes for all 4 door flashers (see my linked video in TZ Owners Thread to see how they fire..)
Check the bottom/top of playfield over by plastic flasher in bumper area fire a drilled/filled hole.
Shooter ramp/ball guide is two parts, not one.
No pop bumper came with colored skirts - that was done after-the-fact, I did it in my game as well.
TZs were originally to come with 7 balls - 6 stern, 1 ceramic. It was changed. Our early samples have a decal that still state that.
Looks like yours wss made about 2 weeks before mine.

Quoted from Coyote:

To expand on a few of those items -
The backbox art is no longer a sure-fire way to tell a sample, as someone reproduced decals with that artwork, so anyone could re-decal their cabinet with the white doors up there at top.
The artwork differences on the playfield are one of the changes that is still unique - mainly because Mirco, when he reproduced his 'early' playfield (with the three magnets) wasn't aware that some of the art was changed as well. Specifically, in front of the main ramp - you'll notice the inserts are surrounded by a green rocket design - instead of white. Also, next to the autofire ramp (detail below), there's a post that was removed in productions games - sample games had the artwork rounded off for the post (regardless of whether the post was there or not.)
The autofire ramp & behind the UR flipper guide - originally this was two pieces - the ramp was mounted where it is now. But the metal guide on the left side of the ramp ended in a short postwith a rubber on it. Then another short ball guide mounted behind the flipper (same part # as the ball guide mounted to the right of the slot machine). They realized that having the autofire kicker ramp bordered by two rubber-wearing posts made it more difficult for the kicker to get balls up and around - so the ramp was changed to one piece - the left wall of the ramp comes down and ends down right above the rocket kicker. Funny enough, production manuals STILL show this as two parts. Check it out!
T-Nutted posts, at least in TZ, are difficult to keep tight. All the single short posts were routed on the underside of the playfield to accept T-Nuts. At some point, the posts were changed (longer threaded area) to accept nylon locknuts. This is another sure way to tell an early sample from a repro, as I'm pretty sure (not 100%) that Mirco's playfields don't have these either.
The "roof" plastic by the pop bumpers - you will note that there is one star post holding up this dual-layer plastic, and two metal posts. If you look in the manual - yes, even production ones - you will see that the star post, which is directly left of the bottom pop bumper, in the manual is moved out some - it is NOT up against the wood rail. You'll notice that the TOP plastic is also larger than the one under it, showing how the two used to be. On my playfield on the bottom side, there was a hole where this post should have been - it was filled in with a dowel and glued into place, then sanded down. As far as I can tell, this happened BEFORE the field went to printing - as I couldn't find any trace of seam on the top side. (And, unfortunately, I forgot to have HEP look for anything out of the ordinary when Chris restored my playfield.. so now, I'll never know.) I wouldn't be surprised if yours has a hole down there as well.
Oh - your Mini-Playfield likely won't have the spring / leveling feature. If it does, it was added later by an owner.
Your instruction card (it's a strange color.. Mine was white.) likely ends in "-1" instead of "-2". The only differences? A period was added, and font-size was enlarged.
You SHOULD have a wiring harness for the top two door flashers - look for an unused 4-pin .156" header, with three wires going to it. That will plug into flasher board.
Your game was probably also sent with the left spiral sign. Mine was installed - the same tech that scraped off my 'GUM-Ball' insert and put the decal on the right spiral sign removed the left one, and left it in the cabinet. (Idiot me, long ago I figured I didn't need them. I threw away the mounting bracket, and then later, somehow lost my plastic. Argh.) You may find screw holes on the mini-playfield up where that mounted.
You will also have a plastic shield over the main ramp switch. (I do too..) This was changed and removed - to be replaced by a grey rubber booty.
The optos - the 'Clock Passage' opto just scores you some points. (During 9.4H testing, I had asked Ted if he could play a sound like when Camera was lit, or Town Square Madness was going - like when the ball comes out of Lock or is caught by the magnet. He declined, stating that it would go off far too much. After thinking about it, I agreed with that..) The 2nd Big Kick opto doesn't really do anything - though if it's blocked, the game will try to fire the autofire a few times, before giving up. Apparently - and I haven't found any confirmation of this, I don't think - there was an idea of using the autofire kicker as a second 'ball lock' area.
Oh, and in the backbox - you'll find your 8-driver PCB (the small one that's connected to the MPU via the 'Display' cable) is mounted on the left side of the backbox - instead of where they moved it in production games - the upper right.
Yes, I know far, far too much about sample/prototype/production differences. I had a webpage up that went over MUCH of this before Gameroom ran their article. Since I was working at the arcade when we took delivery of the Sample TZ, and then made it into my collection.. it'll never leave.

Wow! Thanks Coyote! This is quite a list to go through. Right now, I checked the right spiral insert and it is covered by a decal with a rectangle size of clear/decal removed from the insert below it.

IMG_6064 (resized).JPG

#47 2 years ago
Quoted from lyonsden:

Wow! Thanks Coyote! This is quite a list to go through. Right now, I checked the right spiral insert and it is covered by a decal with a rectangle size of clear/decal removed from the insert below it.

Yup, so likely yours is like mine - a tech came out right after delivery from Greater Southern and scraped off the original artwork and put on that decal. On my game, the Midway guy that came out forgot the decal - so he told me to 'put it on this light when he mailed it to us'. We never got it in the mail, so, mine's been blank since then. Cool, as I've never seen another with that change.

User LITZ has an early sample too, but I'm not sure if he had the art change. I know he still has his left 'Spira' sign though, darnit.

#48 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Also, next to the autofire ramp (detail below), there's a post that was removed in productions games - sample games had the artwork rounded off for the post (regardless of whether the post was there or not.)

The autofire ramp & behind the UR flipper guide - originally this was two pieces - the ramp was mounted where it is now. But the metal guide on the left side of the ramp ended in a short postwith a rubber on it. Then another short ball guide mounted behind the flipper (same part # as the ball guide mounted to the right of the slot machine). They realized that having the autofire kicker ramp bordered by two rubber-wearing posts made it more difficult for the kicker to get balls up and around - so the ramp was changed to one piece - the left wall of the ramp comes down and ends down right above the rocket kicker. Funny enough, production manuals STILL show this as two parts. Check it out!

I'm not quite sure that I am following everything, but there is what looks like rounded off artwork for a post near the UR flipper and autofile ramp. It looks to be two pieces, but again, I'm not quite sure. Photos attached.

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IMG_6065 (resized).JPG

IMG_6068 (resized).JPG

#49 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Specifically, in front of the main ramp - you'll notice the inserts are surrounded by a green rocket design - instead of white.

I think I found this. Inserts in front of left ramp are surrounded by green.

IMG_6069 (resized).JPG

#50 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

The "roof" plastic by the pop bumpers - you will note that there is one star post holding up this dual-layer plastic, and two metal posts. If you look in the manual - yes, even production ones - you will see that the star post, which is directly left of the bottom pop bumper, in the manual is moved out some - it is NOT up against the wood rail. You'll notice that the TOP plastic is also larger than the one under it, showing how the two used to be.

I noticed this in the rubber guide in the manual when I was replacing them. Mine is pushed up against the wall.

IMG_6070 (resized).JPG

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