(Topic ID: 187423)

Sample TZ price check!


By Rdoyle1978

2 years ago



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  • 63 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by LTG
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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There are 63 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 2 years ago

I'm considering putting up my sample TZ for sale, trying to get an idea of what it should go for. I've tried to roughly keep it as intended when the prototype was developed - yes there are toy mods but they are integrated fairly well, imo. Any more "permanent" changes (e.g. Door flashers, 3rd magnet) are modification to keep the spirit of the game as originally designed.

I've got the following going on:
- Sample playfield with different colored inserts, original 3rd magnet hole factory drilled, other various minor differences
- 3rd magnet installed, including optos
- 4 independently controlled door flashers (as originally intended by Pat)
- Factory translite with star shapes cut out
- Miniplayfield does not say "Flip Here"
- Original screenprinted cab with 3 holes drilled (legs have only 2 holes)
- original Powerball
- Prototype screenprinted backbox
- boards are clean, matching serials (sound board is included but not shown in pics)
- playfield has original B/W Mylar (which is why it appears some inserts are ghosting)

Couple issues:
- Cab has some fading in the reds; very dark overall
- 2 screws have slightly tapped the PF from below (screws too long)
- yes it could use some cleanup in spots

Mods:
- Robby the robot
- low profile mini PF switches
- rocket toy
- car toy
- slot machine mod which spins when ball passes
- twilight zone street sign (metal cut "twilight zone")
- resin sculpted Piano mod
- enhanced clock lighting (LED all around clock face)
- starlight back wall mod (EL lit background)

There are a couple spots where the cab could use some work, gouges and whatnot. Edges are in pretty good shape. What do you think?

#2 2 years ago

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Alligator clip is for the behind-Rod multicolor led mod on the backbox

#3 2 years ago

They are usually are only worth a few hundred more than production ones but with the fade , screws that popped threw playfield, and overall condition id guess 6250. or maybe a little more to a die hard collector of early tz"s.

#4 2 years ago

The way market is with third mag installed and working wich gives a nice lil show of awesomeness,plus mods 6500-7000 is more like it.prob sell quick too

#5 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

- Factory translite with star shapes cut out

The translites came both versions on the sample. I think they just grabbed what ever stack was handy.

I think the stars cut out looks better.

LTG : )

#7 2 years ago

Won't give my opinoin on price, but question -
Can you grab a close-up shot of your right 'SPIRAL' insert?

Also, for those interested -
This game has a proto Door Panel board. It has the cutouts for BOTH upper and lower flashers. The last one was installed three games before my game was assembled. (And yeah, that's a sour point for me. )

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Won't give my opinoin on price, but question -
Can you grab a close-up shot of your right 'SPIRAL' insert?
Also, for those interested -
This game has a proto Door Panel board. It has the cutouts for BOTH upper and lower flashers. The last one was installed three games before my game was assembled. (And yeah, that's a sour point for me. )

Yep, you bet. Thought I had one on my phone but looks like I'll have to take one.

Forgot to post one of the 3rd magnet

#9 2 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

The translites came both versions on the sample. I think they just grabbed what ever stack was handy.
I think the stars cut out looks better.
LTG : )

Me too! It's subtle but a nice touch

Backboard pic

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#10 2 years ago

Coyote here's the spiral pic - I think this is the decal. Man that was tough to take! I'll do another one with the glass off if you can't see what you wanted

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#11 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Coyote here's the spiral pic - I think this is the decal. Man that was tough to take! I'll do another one with the glass off if you can't see what you wanted

Yup! Okay - I wanted to see if yours had been scraped off and then had a decal applied.

(For those worried - ALL early samples had this - it's not a 'defect' in that it's bad ownership or mistreatment of the game. These early sample playfields were shipped with that insert reading 'GUMBALL', and the Gumball sign indicating the Spiral when lit.)

Edit to add: Jeez, i wish I could take your game apart. Just to compare mine and yours - help me figure out if certain dimples in mine are 'mistakes' or done over the whole sample run. Or strange screw-holes are because I moved something in the past or somethign was moved during assembly..

#12 2 years ago

yeah 7k should be an easy sell for nice condition sample in current market

#13 2 years ago

What does the third magnet do?

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from PinballNewb:

What does the third magnet do?

Catches the ball, like the other two magnets!

Seriously, in short, it:
(1) During 'The Spiral' mode, it will stop the third ball shot up the Spiral.
(2) Most importantly, when the game knows the powerball is in the gumball machine, and Multiball is started with two or more balls at the autofire kicker, starting multiball will cause the game to catch all three balls on the spiral magnets, and then release them all at once.

Original design had the above, plus the ball toss for balls still in the lock. However, Ted Estes found that the reliability of tossing the balls like that was too difficult and too prone to failure.
Had he been able to get it working, it would have looked like this:

#15 2 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

yeah 7k should be an easy sell for nice condition sample in current market

W ld most consider this nice condition with fade and the other issues?

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Yup! Okay - I wanted to see if yours had been scraped off and then had a decal applied.
(For those worried - ALL early samples had this - it's not a 'defect' in that it's bad ownership or mistreatment of the game. These early sample playfields were shipped with that insert reading 'GUMBALL', and the Gumball sign indicating the Spiral when lit.)
Edit to add: Jeez, i wish I could take your game apart. Just to compare mine and yours - help me figure out if certain dimples in mine are 'mistakes' or done over the whole sample run. Or strange screw-holes are because I moved something in the past or somethign was moved during assembly..

Yeah this is the only thing i wish was "original" (you know what I mean) , but it's got to be exceedingly rare to find one that still says Gumball

Happy to take pictures if you want to look at specific areas. That "spiral" insert was really hard to get a good angle on but I'm sure I can get some choice shots

#17 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Catches the ball, like the other two magnets!
Seriously, in short, it:
(1) During 'The Spiral' mode, it will stop the third ball shot up the Spiral.
(2) Most importantly, when the game knows the powerball is in the gumball machine, and Multiball is started with two or more balls at the autofire kicker, starting multiball will cause the game to catch all three balls on the spiral magnets, and then release them all at once.
Original design had the above, plus the ball toss for balls still in the lock. However, Ted Estes found that the reliability of tossing the balls like that was too difficult and too prone to failure.
Had he been able to get it working, it would have looked like this:
» YouTube video

It really is cool when you get all three and they release simultaneously. I suck at hitting the magnets while in that mode but when you get it, it's awesome!

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Yeah this is the only thing i wish was "original" (you know what I mean) , but it's got to be exceedingly rare to find one that still says Gumball
Happy to take pictures if you want to look at specific areas. That "spiral" insert was really hard to get a good angle on but I'm sure I can get some choice shots

I'll send a PM with the areas. If you can't no biggie - be nice to clarify some things.

#19 2 years ago

Sweet looking game... such an iconic game, and to have a sample!

I wish I could tell you what you've got on your hands, price-wise...but there aren't many samples out there. I'm sure you'll fetch $6000-plus. How high.. I'd love to know!

#20 2 years ago

Non sample games in nice condition are going for 6400-6700, was offered that for mine and did not take it. A friend's game recently sold in this range. A nice sample game should be several hundred more.

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

W ld most consider this nice condition with fade and the other issues?

for a sample TZ in original condition, I think yes.

Most would consider the fade minimal and the scrapes not too bad. I would want a better idea of a few things. If I were selling I would price it at 7200 and 7000. Bottom would be 6500 IMO but 7 should be easy if advertised correctly.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

I'll send a PM with the areas. If you can't no biggie - be nice to clarify some things.

Cool, I got it. Might take me a few days but I will look

#23 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

Catches the ball, like the other two magnets!
Seriously, in short, it:
(1) During 'The Spiral' mode, it will stop the third ball shot up the Spiral.
(2) Most importantly, when the game knows the powerball is in the gumball machine, and Multiball is started with two or more balls at the autofire kicker, starting multiball will cause the game to catch all three balls on the spiral magnets, and then release them all at once.
Original design had the above, plus the ball toss for balls still in the lock. However, Ted Estes found that the reliability of tossing the balls like that was too difficult and too prone to failure.
Had he been able to get it working, it would have looked like this:
» YouTube video

Wow that MB start is awesome! Is this the first time a magnet was used to fling a ball up the pf? Perhaps inspired Shadow's lock?

#25 2 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

For pinball enlightenment a pinball game is not a sample game of you made it yourself and install mods.

What?

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-4
#26 2 years ago

For clarification, not blame, instigation, or accusation.
This thread is another example how you cannot answer something in a PinSide "single sentence answer" without confusion.
I don't feel like trying to explain much anymore.

I really do not know what was installed and what was stock in this particular game. I did not understand the "spirit of the design" comment. If the owner installed the magnet it is not necessarily a sample, but it is leaning towards more likely.

There are non-sample TZ games that include most of the features listed. Actual status is difficult to verify based on listed photos without physical inspection. This was a huge production run.

There has to be an understanding of full defintions of prototypes, samples and early production for this title.

A few early production games had factory prepped third magnet platforms (bracket and mounting, but no magnet) , the different inserts, starred translites, the clock face, the mini playfield screening differences, and so on. Even some of the signage on plastics and flashers and a few mismatched backbox screenings were carried over to some production games.

The reason I say this is I have seen people in past say they had a sample TZ, when it really was a early production converted game passed from owner to owner over the past 24 years. I have seen owners drill their playfields. Even people swapping parts and adding magnets and so forth to make their games look like samples and even prototypes. This included swapping entire playfields.

Then they snookered new owners and even experienced dealers.

Mods are not a considering factor at all when a base value is determined.

I only state this for caution, and just closely review the game. If a person knows this title quite well it is easier to determine.

I would start looking in places people don't normally check on the game. Start inside the clock assembly, not just the face, as there are other differences with samples, but I am not here to scrutinize photos or the owner.

Ted Estes gave a really good starting rundown on the game differences, but he made it sound like these were all absolutes which they were not during the factory production run.

Good luck and fortune.

#27 2 years ago

Basically what he is saying, is taking a regular game and putting on/swapping in sample run parts and pieces doesn't make it a sample run game.

Not saying the OP did this, but first read of his post did leave the impression that some sample game features were added to this game after it left the factory.

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

but I am not here to scrutinize photos or the owner.

but yet... that is exactly what you have done with your same shtick.

even worse you infer that the game is not a real sample with the things you say, then dont even take the time to explain your inference. You wonder why so many just breeze over your posts and condescending way of doing things? This is honestly a prime example.

either put in the time to elinghten us with your wisdom or just dont post...

more simply, you could have just stated a price you thought it was worth based on the photos provided. Really... a SIMPLE single sentence answer would have been fine... this is a price check afterall.

Blockknight > "I dont think this is a true sample because X, X, X; I would value the game at YYYY based on the photos"
or
Blacknight > "I need more pictures for a better price estimate; please add photos of x, x, x; current range I put on it is yyyy to yyyy"

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from Slim64:

Basically what he is saying, is taking a regular game and putting on/swapping in sample run parts and pieces doesn't make it a sample run game.
Not saying the OP did this, but first read of his post did leave the impression that some sample game features were added to this game after it left the factory.

This is true - the game is well documented as having had changes made later-than-usual in the run, due to cost savings. ALL games which make use of the "sample" features required some modifications after leaving the factory -so while my comment may have been confusing, there is no unit at all which ever included all these features and actually left the factory as a working game. There are several well-documented articles and threads here on PS which are very thorough in terms of identifying changes to the game, and how to (help) spot a genuine vs one modded to appear as though it is.

In the case of my post, I suppose my comment about the spirit of Pat Lawlor's original design was targeted toward the audience who already understood this, and whose opinion might carry more weight, simply as a result of having been better informed.

TZ did have lots of parts left over after the true "sample" run, and therefore an official production run game might still possibly contain the leftover stock from the sample designs - at this point though, the term "sample" is behind used as a shorthand to denote the feature set, not necessarily a Truth about whether or not B/W said On That Day, "henceforth all games are no longer samples, they are all Production units!" I don't believe we know for certain what that day was.

So this post is asking "here is a game made from the very early part of the TZ lifecycle, with all original parts as intended by the game's designer, with changes made to suit that original design before cost-cutting was invoked. What value might you place on this example?"

Better?

15
#30 2 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

For pinball enlightenment a pinball game is not a sample game of you made it yourself and install mods.

Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

For clarification, not blame, instigation, or accusation.
This thread is another example how you cannot answer something in a PinSide "single sentence answer" without confusion.
I don't feel like trying to explain much anymore.
I really do not know what was installed and what was stock in this particular game. I did not understand the "spirit of the design" comment. If the owner installed the magnet it is not necessarily a sample, but it is leaning towards more likely.
There are non-sample TZ games that include most of the features listed. Actual status is difficult to verify based on listed photos without physical inspection. This was a huge production run.
There has to be an understanding of full defintions of prototypes, samples and early production for this title.
A few early production games had factory prepped third magnet platforms (bracket and mounting, but no magnet) , the different inserts, starred translites, the clock face, the mini playfield screening differences, and so on. Even some of the signage on plastics and flashers and a few mismatched backbox screenings were carried over to some production games.
The reason I say this is I have seen people in past say they had a sample TZ, when it really was a early production converted game passed from owner to owner over the past 24 years. I have seen owners drill their playfields. Even people swapping parts and adding magnets and so forth to make their games look like samples and even prototypes. This included swapping entire playfields.
Then they snookered new owners and even experienced dealers.
Mods are not a considering factor at all when a base value is determined.
I only state this for caution, and just closely review the game. If a person knows this title quite well it is easier to determine.
I would start looking in places people don't normally check on the game. Start inside the clock assembly, not just the face, as there are other differences with samples, but I am not here to scrutinize photos or the owner.
Ted Estes gave a really good starting rundown on the game differences, but he made it sound like these were all absolutes which they were not during the factory production run.
Good luck and fortune.

And this is why I do not like you.
Whike none of your facts there are incorrect, you apparently just came in here to post this without reading the entire thread. Apparently, just to chime in that you 'know something'.

You obviously haven't read the threaad, or heaven forbid, even looked at the effin' pictures.

So, here, I'll spell it out, for those that are curious -
Yes, it IS an early sample. The mods are mods, and have nothing to do with that. (Samples didn't have a 'piano', or a 'slot machine', 'rocket', or 'car' toy. Never did.)

So, first clue? A really EASY and SURE-FIRE clue? Look at the left ramp lights. In early sample games, they were bordered by a green rocket artwork. This was changed later to white. Mirco's reproduction 3 magnet playfield art did NOT HAVE THIS. So it is not a repro from Mirco.

Second clue? Look at all the T-nuts on the underside of the playfield. Almost every post had one. They changed this to a locknut around my game time, because the posts would loosen in the t-nuts. Mirco's repro sample plaufiel did not have the recesses for the t-nuts. The early samples did - even if like in mine, t-nuts weren't isntalled.

Third clue? Look at the piano light board. Noone - that I know of - has EVER reproduced a board like that. GLM made a 'flasher board', but it's LED, not incandescent. It's pretty identical to every other lamp board out there, yes? But look at the four large door panels. THIS board has a space for TWO add-on flasher boards - top AND bottom. Everyone else (including me) has one (top).

There are other clues, as well - the 8-high-power driver board. It has 6 populated slots. And while the 3rd magnet add-on /mod populates this spot, look at the wriing running TO the board. it's not added on after - it's factory. And the metal ball guide for the 3rd magnet. That's not a drill hole, since the opto is screwed TO the metal guide. That opto was not 'added on afterwards'.

Other non-pictured things would be the 2x 7-opto boards. Yeah, someone could completely rewire their game, but it wouldn't look factory, and because of all the above, I'm willing to put monet down that it looks factory as well.

So, I ramble. In point, next time you spot off about stuff, you may want to read the thread and look at and study pictures before claiming someone just 'modded' their game. Or, learn ABOUT the game (all my info above has been posted elsewhere, and by others in the past) and learn what to look for before spouting off.

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

And this is why I do not like you.
Whike none of your facts there are incorrect, you apparently just came in here to post this without reading the entire thread. Apparently, just to chime in that you 'know something'.
You obviously haven't read the threaad, or heaven forbid, even looked at the effin' pictures.
So, here, I'll spell it out, for those that are curious -
Yes, it IS an early sample. The mods are mods, and have nothing to do with that. (Samples didn't have a 'piano', or a 'slot machine', 'rocket', or 'car' toy. Never did.)
So, first clue? A really EASY and SURE-FIRE clue? Look at the left ramp lights. In early sample games, they were bordered by a green rocket artwork. This was changed later to white. Mirco's reproduction 3 magnet playfield art did NOT HAVE THIS. So it is not a repro from Mirco.
Second clue? Look at all the T-nuts on the underside of the playfield. Almost every post had one. They changed this to a locknut around my game time, because the posts would loosen in the t-nuts. Mirco's repro sample plaufiel did not have the recesses for the t-nuts. The early samples did - even if like in mine, t-nuts weren't isntalled.
Third clue? Look at the piano light board. Noone - that I know of - has EVER reproduced a board like that. GLM made a 'flasher board', but it's LED, not incandescent. It's pretty identical to every other lamp board out there, yes? But look at the four large door panels. THIS board has a space for TWO add-on flasher boards - top AND bottom. Everyone else (including me) has one (top).
There are other clues, as well - the 8-high-power driver board. It has 6 populated slots. And while the 3rd magnet add-on /mod populates this spot, look at the wriing running TO the board. it's not added on after - it's factory. And the metal ball guide for the 3rd magnet. That's not a drill hole, since the opto is screwed TO the metal guide. That opto was not 'added on afterwards'.
Other non-pictured things would be the 2x 7-opto boards. Yeah, someone could completely rewire their game, but it wouldn't look factory, and because of all the above, I'm willing to put monet down that it looks factory as well.
So, I ramble. In point, next time you spot off about stuff, you may want to read the thread and look at and study pictures before claiming someone just 'modded' their game. Or, learn ABOUT the game (all my info above has been posted elsewhere, and by others in the past) and learn what to look for before spouting off.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

This is true - the game is well documented as having had changes made later-than-usual in the run, due to cost savings. ALL games which make use of the "sample" features required some modifications after leaving the factory -so while my comment may have been confusing, there is no unit at all which ever included all these features and actually left the factory as a working game. There are several well-documented articles and threads here on PS which are very thorough in terms of identifying changes to the game, and how to (help) spot a genuine vs one modded to appear as though it is.
In the case of my post, I suppose my comment about the spirit of Pat Lawlor's original design was targeted toward the audience who already understood this, and whose opinion might carry more weight, simply as a result of having been better informed.
TZ did have lots of parts left over after the true "sample" run, and therefore an official production run game might still possibly contain the leftover stock from the sample designs - at this point though, the term "sample" is behind used as a shorthand to denote the feature set, not necessarily a Truth about whether or not B/W said On That Day, "henceforth all games are no longer samples, they are all Production units!" I don't believe we know for certain what that day was.
So this post is asking "here is a game made from the very early part of the TZ lifecycle, with all original parts as intended by the game's designer, with changes made to suit that original design before cost-cutting was invoked. What value might you place on this example?"
Better?

Your original post was just fine for me! It's a beautiful game. Some people just like to be picky for some reason.

#33 2 years ago
Quoted from Slim64:

Your original post was just fine for me! It's a beautiful game. Some people just like to be picky for some reason.

Thanks! I absolutely love this game and reeeeealllly am having a hard time with the decision. We have space for only a few games and right now I'm over the limit, so something has to go: the DW that my son loves? The MB I am in the middle of restoring? The CFTBL that is my favorite game at the moment? Arrgh..

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

And this is why I do not like you.

And here I thought I was the only one that felt that way. LOL.

Out of curiosity, I have seen you mention working with Ted and Cameron. I seem to remember you discussing the TZ home rom development. Were you an employee of B/W?

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

And this is why I do not like you.
Whike none of your facts there are incorrect, you apparently just came in here to post this without reading the entire thread. Apparently, just to chime in that you 'know something'.
You obviously haven't read the threaad, or heaven forbid, even looked at the effin' pictures.
So, here, I'll spell it out, for those that are curious -
Yes, it IS an early sample. The mods are mods, and have nothing to do with that. (Samples didn't have a 'piano', or a 'slot machine', 'rocket', or 'car' toy. Never did.)
So, first clue? A really EASY and SURE-FIRE clue? Look at the left ramp lights. In early sample games, they were bordered by a green rocket artwork. This was changed later to white. Mirco's reproduction 3 magnet playfield art did NOT HAVE THIS. So it is not a repro from Mirco.
Second clue? Look at all the T-nuts on the underside of the playfield. Almost every post had one. They changed this to a locknut around my game time, because the posts would loosen in the t-nuts. Mirco's repro sample plaufiel did not have the recesses for the t-nuts. The early samples did - even if like in mine, t-nuts weren't isntalled.
Third clue? Look at the piano light board. Noone - that I know of - has EVER reproduced a board like that. GLM made a 'flasher board', but it's LED, not incandescent. It's pretty identical to every other lamp board out there, yes? But look at the four large door panels. THIS board has a space for TWO add-on flasher boards - top AND bottom. Everyone else (including me) has one (top).
There are other clues, as well - the 8-high-power driver board. It has 6 populated slots. And while the 3rd magnet add-on /mod populates this spot, look at the wriing running TO the board. it's not added on after - it's factory. And the metal ball guide for the 3rd magnet. That's not a drill hole, since the opto is screwed TO the metal guide. That opto was not 'added on afterwards'.
Other non-pictured things would be the 2x 7-opto boards. Yeah, someone could completely rewire their game, but it wouldn't look factory, and because of all the above, I'm willing to put monet down that it looks factory as well.
So, I ramble. In point, next time you spot off about stuff, you may want to read the thread and look at and study pictures before claiming someone just 'modded' their game. Or, learn ABOUT the game (all my info above has been posted elsewhere, and by others in the past) and learn what to look for before spouting off.

And this is why I like you!

You research a game/topic thoroughly, write intelligent and thoughtful posts, and go out of your way to help others. For those that are curious about sample TZs, Coyote helped me immensely by identifying all the differences between sample and production TZs, which were documented with photos: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/sample-tz

Rdoyle1978 posted info on his TZ in that thread, including a shot of his serial number, which puts it around game 110.

Going back to the original question of the thread of how much does/should/can/may a sample TZ sell for:
Given that TZ was one of the most highly sought after games, with a very high production run, and is one of the games with the most changes between samples and productions (removing things), I'd say $500-1000 more than an equivalent condition production game. This assumes a non-restored game. I feel that restoring a sample with after market parts (e.g., cab decals, repo playfield, etc.), will put the price in line with a restored TZ. The magic is in the differences as they rolled off the production line. It will take the right kind of buyer that wants to own a bit of pinball history and enjoys the story of the changes that happened to TZ while it moved from sample production to full production.

Full disclosure: I own a sample TZ, so I am incredibly biased. But I really enjoy walking people through all a little bit of pinball history by talking about all the changes that happened between sample and production games.

#36 2 years ago

Thanks guys - I am enjoying revisiting why I bought this game in the first place - maybe the answer is buy a bigger house?

#37 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Thanks! I absolutely love this game and reeeeealllly am having a hard time with the decision. We have space for only a few games and right now I'm over the limit, so something has to go: the DW that my son loves? The MB I am in the middle of restoring? The CFTBL that is my favorite game at the moment? Arrgh..

Really tough decision man..... ive had mine for a while and its absolutely beautiful , but i dont play it as much as i sld since ive had it longer than any pin in my collection. However when i think about letting it go due to room issues i just play it and realize what a amazing pin it is to have in a collection and end up letting something else go. I know id never find a mint huo one again for what i paid and i doubt u wld find another like yours. So id really think it over before making a decision. Any way u can make more room? Thats what i end up doing lol..... gl with your decision as its not a easy one.

#38 2 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Really tough decision man..... ive had mine for a while and its absolutely beautiful , but i dont play it as much as i sld since ive had it longer than any pin in my collection. However when i think about letting it go due to room issues i just play it and realize what a amazing pin it is to have in a collection and end up letting something else go. I know id never find a mint huo one again for what i paid and i doubt u wld find another like yours. So id really think it over before making a decision. Any way u can make more room? Thats what i end up doing lol..... gl with your decision as its not a easy one.

I feel the same way. Also, getting a tz dialed in is no easy task, you can chase your tail a long time. I know I could get one back, but having a great playing and looking game, even if I don't play it as much, has a lot of value to me. I toyed with the idea of selling mine not long ago, but quickly changed my mind and sold IJ and JM instead.

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Really tough decision man..... ive had mine for a while and its absolutely beautiful , but i dont play it as much as i sld since ive had it longer than any pin in my collection. However when i think about letting it go due to room issues i just play it and realize what a amazing pin it is to have in a collection and end up letting something else go. I know id never find a mint huo one again for what i paid and i doubt u wld find another like yours. So id really think it over before making a decision. Any way u can make more room? Thats what i end up doing lol..... gl with your decision as its not a easy one.

That is exactly what's happening with me. I don't play it for long stretches, and then every time I go back to it, I go "Why am I not playing this ALL the time?!" I have considered moving it into my office to make more space, but I am also wanting to buy another TAF... and Alien... and Houdini... This is a problem.

#40 2 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

I feel the same way. Also, getting a tz dialed in is no easy task, you can chase your tail a long time. I know I could get one back, but having a great playing and looking game, even if I don't play it as much, has a lot of value to me. I toyed with the idea of selling mine not long ago, but quickly changed my mind and sold IJ and JM instead.

Exactly. Mine was dialed in pretty well from the out set - just lucky, I guess. Lately it's occasionally having some weird brick shots I didn't used to have trouble with (hey the problem can't be *me* can it?) but it's held up really well. Wow, you sold an IJ? I thought that was another all-time classic that doesn't leave collections often.

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from bigd1979:

Really tough decision man..... ive had mine for a while and its absolutely beautiful , but i dont play it as much as i sld since ive had it longer than any pin in my collection. However when i think about letting it go due to room issues i just play it and realize what a amazing pin it is to have in a collection and end up letting something else go. I know id never find a mint huo one again for what i paid and i doubt u wld find another like yours. So id really think it over before making a decision. Any way u can make more room? Thats what i end up doing lol..... gl with your decision as its not a easy one.

Weird thing about this hobby is having to move things to make room for more things

Sometimes, though, once you get the "sell" gears in motion, the game is as good as gone. The last few games I sold have been hard to sell, especially Star Trek. But, once the new game rolls in, you begin to forget.

The one thing about this TZ is that it's a legit collectable AND its a super fun game. Tough one!

#42 2 years ago
Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Exactly. Mine was dialed in pretty well from the out set - just lucky, I guess. Lately it's occasionally having some weird brick shots I didn't used to have trouble with (hey the problem can't be *me* can it?) but it's held up really well. Wow, you sold an IJ? I thought that was another all-time classic that doesn't leave collections often.

To me, IJ was a fairly slow and clunky game. It is a great game, though, dont get me wrong. In the end, I sold it and a JM and bought a WOZ rr with cash left over. That cash didn't last as I used it and the sale of a whirlwind to get a 2007 SM. Overall, I am very happy with the lineup change. I sold a taf a few years ago and regret it a lot, it wasn't the nicest game, but I do miss it. From that, I know I would miss TZ.

#43 2 years ago
Quoted from Lermods:

To me, IJ was a fairly slow and clunky game. It is a great game, though, dont get me wrong. In the end, I sold it and a JM and bought a WOZ rr with cash left over. That cash didn't last as I used it and the sale of a whirlwind to get a 2007 SM. Overall, I am very happy with the lineup change. I sold a taf a few years ago and regret it a lot, it wasn't the nicest game, but I do miss it. From that, I know I would miss TZ.

This all sounds sooooo familiar... I would like to get at least one game with longer ball times (TH or LoTR I suppose) eventually.

#44 2 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Out of curiosity, I have seen you mention working with Ted and Cameron. I seem to remember you discussing the TZ home rom development. Were you an employee of B/W?

To keep it really short, since it's somewhat off-topic -
No, unfortuantely. Cameron got in touch with me via a mutual friend (litz on here), looking for tech-savvy CV owners to test the home ROM. After that, Ted knew I had an early sample with the magnet installed, and got my name from Cameron, and then asked me to test his 9.4H.

interestingly, at the end of testing the 9.4H, Ted contacted me and one other beta person as he was selling one of his *prototype* games, and wanted me to make an offer. I made one - $2400. It was all I could afford, as I was JUST out of college. The other guy bid 'slightly higher' and got it.

To this day, I wonder who that was, and where that game is.

Back on topic. .. Er, I guess?

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

This all sounds sooooo familiar... I would like to get at least one game with longer ball times (TH or LoTR I suppose) eventually.

Longer ball times don't bother me as much - but I AM a fan of longer GAME times. So on my TZ, Replay, Special all give out extra balls. And yes, my game is still set on 3 ball.

#45 2 years ago
Quoted from Coyote:

To keep it really short, since it's somewhat off-topic -
No, unfortuantely. Cameron got in touch with me via a mutual friend (litz on here), looking for tech-savvy CV owners to test the home ROM. After that, Ted knew I had an early sample with the magnet installed, and got my name from Cameron, and then asked me to test his 9.4H.
interestingly, at the end of testing the 9.4H, Ted contacted me and one other beta person as he was selling one of his *prototype* games, and wanted me to make an offer. I made one - $2400. It was all I could afford, as I was JUST out of college. The other guy bid 'slightly higher' and got it.
To this day, I wonder who that was, and where that game is.
Back on topic. .. Er, I guess?

Longer ball times don't bother me as much - but I AM a fan of longer GAME times. So on my TZ, Replay, Special all give out extra balls. And yes, my game is still set on 3 ball.

Oops, that's what I meant - longer game times! Mine is set to give out extra balls relatively freely after you hit 400,000,000 (If I recall correctly), but sometimes even getting up to that score is tough!

#46 2 years ago

A person may contact me, if have questions regarding some of the features that actually did have standard mod kits made that exactly replicated the features of the sample and prototype games.
If people disagree with me, no problem.
All I see is the impression, people want to try and confront people for argumentations on this website, which continues to not be my intent.

If people were present visiting the WMS factory floor during game production in 1993, please let me know if you have more information regarding aspects of the game.
I did not list every single difference on this title (including ones that are not generally referenced) for obvious reasons.
If I did, people would say I remain long worded.

Here is some important information beyond what people may know regarding game modifications:

This game's modification process started in 1994 based on inquiries directly to the designers almost right after the production run closed.
The earliest versions started in 1996 when several enthusiasts owners began the process such as the flashers on the center door panel.
The earliest magnet installation occurred somewhere in the late 90s either 1997-1999, but I cannot remember the exact year.
These were attempts by long time owners to restore features, not basic mods.
This is not related to playfield mod toys like pianos or rocket ships or modern LED boards which many of the original kits were not based upon.

BTW for humor, the first piano toy was installed using the McDs "happy meal" back in 1999 cutting the bottom off with an exacto knife, drilling holes on the right side of the plastic toy, and fashioning a homemade bracket from home depot. Later on, one specific mod maker opted to form a mold of this toy after they were NLA, and that became the standard of today, which was replicated by several others.

Yes, the original "sample modification" kits were created, and yes, they have been installed in TZ production games.
Many of these features were installed in my personal game which is not a sample but late production.

Twilight Zone has one of the most diverse and convoluted production runs in pinball history based not only on the various game differences, but the suppliers of playfields themselves. There were FOUR, and as a result there was bleed over into production games on inserts and playfield ink screening on certain quantities as long as the playfield was found to be suitable for installation.

This is like people arguing about the left side playfield pop bumper post holes which existed on prototype, sample, early production, and production games.

There is not an absolute here regarding productions applied to samples and prototypes.

If people want to do something beneficial for the pinball community, write an article, conduct an interview, or produce a video.
Maybe provide a new baseline for technical knowledge as well?
This way areas get documented, cross leveled to others, or used for education during pinball events and history is maintained.
That is what I prefer to do.

Good day.

#47 2 years ago
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:

If people were present visiting the WMS factory floor during game production in 1993, please let me know if you have more information.
This game modification process started in 1994 based on inquiries directly to the designers.
The earliest versions started in 1996 when several enthusiasts owners began the process such as the flashers on the center door panel.
The earliest magnet installation occurred somewhere in the late 90s either 1997-1998.
These were attempts by long time owners to restore features.

And apparently you cannot read, as my reply mentioned none of these. It mentioned items that haven't, or can't be reproduced.

Again, while what you say is correct, there are certain generalizations you can make -
i.e. The green insert artwork (not green lock, I'm meaning the colors in front of the ramp) were extremely limited. The four-flasher door panel board, and so on. On top of that, while yes, there are 'mods' - they would require a lot of wiring. And I would be extremely surprised if anyone 'modding' to add a 3rd magnet would bother with re-wiring the whole game to add a 2nd 7-Opto board. Or go through the trouble of finding an autofire bracket with the second opto location. Or the proper metal guides for the Clock Passage opto.

And again, if you had looked at the images before posting, and knew a thing about TZ's production history, you would recognize these features, and not spouted off without more research.

Some things - like the coil stops used, and the HV cutout - there's no way of telling when they were implemented, without a rundown of everyone's build date and a yes/no poll on the features. For things that required a *production change* - i.e. wiring or assembly procedure changes (location of the 8-driver board in the backbox), there IS a hard date - we would just need to poll current owners. (Why? Because people are trained to do the job. When something like the two 7-opto boards get changed to a single 10-opto board, assemblers need to know.)

Parts can be mixed up - yes. However, even then, the 'mixed up' will be limited in time-frame. (Guessing at the time-frame range? Maybe 3 weeks.) This is because there were multiple assembly lines, and each line got it's own stash of parts. One line could still have the sample (white) clock faces, while at the same time, another line had the new correct clock faces. Because of this, though, we can say things like, "Since it does not have the 'Flip Here' on the mini-PF, it is *likely* a sample.", or ".. IS a Sample or Early Production."

So, in short, while you are correct, the main point of this is to read and view, before posting random stuff. Especially in a thread that didn't really NEED any of it to be said.

#48 2 years ago

Here is the article Ted wrote many years ago detailing the differences of the protos & samples vs production:

http://gameroomblog.com/guides/twilight-zone-pinball-prototype-vs-production

In terms of price I think people are underselling this a bit. TZ is arguably the greatest pinball machine ever and likely will never be outdone based on the economics of the day and inflation. There is nothing like it.

The protos and true samples have a lot of differences from the standard versions -- and not just cosmetic ones either.

If you sell, good luck finding another one.

If the new Lawlor game is $8500 who is to say that a Sample TZ is not worth at least as much or more.

I doubt I would sell mine for less than $10K considering today's market.

#49 2 years ago
Quoted from freakandgeek:

Here is the article Ted wrote many years ago detailing the differences of the protos & samples vs production:
http://gameroomblog.com/guides/twilight-zone-pinball-prototype-vs-production
In terms of price I think people are underselling this a bit. TZ is arguably the greatest pinball machine ever and likely will never be outdone based on the economics of the day and inflation. There is nothing like it.
The protos and true samples have a lot of differences from the standard versions -- and not just cosmetic ones either.
If you sell, good luck finding another one.
If the new Lawlor game is $8500 who is to say that a Sample TZ is not worth at least as much or more.
I doubt I would sell mine for less than $10K considering today's market.

Very true but overall condition plays a huge role in these older A title's.

#50 2 years ago
Quoted from freakandgeek:

The protos and true samples have a lot of differences from the standard versions -- and not just cosmetic ones either.

I think it would also have to depend on the buyer - some buyers (like myself) would willingly pay more for a sample or proto.

I'm positive there are collectors/players out there that wouldn't give a hootenanny wither the game they get is general production one or not..

However, I am impressed about how the price has increased on their own..

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