(Topic ID: 172622)

Stern Star Gazer: How many left ??

By HPR

4 years ago


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  • 100 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by greatwichjohn
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There are 100 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
#51 4 years ago

Well I have sold 50 replacement playfields so far.

#52 4 years ago

My guess is 300-400 are still out there. And a lot of them are in Europe.
I have one that is looking for a new owner. Just have to figure out where to put up an ad...

#53 4 years ago

There were 3 in the freeplay room at Expo two years ago.

#54 4 years ago

I bought 18 machines the were not NIB. Of those 3 were listed on the internet. While the sample size is too small to be of great statistical value I would say take the number of machines listed and multiply by 5, which gives you a rough estimate of what's still out there.

#55 4 years ago

I also noticed that more popular, older titles don't come up for sale as often. This probably has 2 main reasons:
1. Popular games tend to have longer hold times by their owners while boring games are sold more frequently.
2. Popular games where played to death when they were new back in the 70s and 80s. Then parted out and junked.
For example Joker Poker (1978) had 10K games made but it is difficult to find these days. Given the electrical problems many early SS Gottliebs had they probably didn't stay around very long and were dead after a few years.
Seawitch (1980) had 2503 games made and is extremely hard to find.
The popular TOTAN, AFM, MB, ... had 3+K games made and comes up for sale very frequently. By the mid 90s games were better quality and weren't played as much anymore. That's why, based on production numbers, relatively many 90s titles are still around.

#56 4 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Well I have sold 50 replacement playfields so far.

John, of the 50 you have sold, how many do you think are for "new" builds instead of restores? I'm going up from scratch like Redketchup.
There is another person on Pinside who is converting a Meteor over and I assume he is using one of your play fields. That would be 50 minus 2. I assume Redketchup used one of your units. That would be 50 minus 3. So, 47 for restores?

#57 4 years ago

People generally undercut numbers of games still available.

If you good at doing basic statistical probability, and use the same rough model per say that Mr. Pinball does in averaging losses of machines via age per year you can come up with a reasonable number of machines left.

However, I will do a much simpler model for estimation, that does not require formulas.

Star Gazer had a Stern production run estimated at 869 in 1980.
That was 36 years ago.
Since the game was solid state and not an EM, which is important because it was past the time of the "Great Pinball Scourge" of destruction up through the 1970s. This increases the number of potential games left, and not have to be separately calculated. This would have been especially true if it had been an EM during the transition phase.

Now applying reductions due to use, being played out, parted out, and being accidentally destroyed over the course of time, on a yearly basis loss of say 1% per year or roughly 9 machines, after 36 years, that equates to at least 324 machines already destroyed.
(I am not going to consider 2017 yet)

This leaves 545 games remaining.
However, this does not consider games that were placed in storage, are incomplete, missing parts, or backglasses.
That makes it tough to actually restore a game properly.
Considering the age of the machine, you can lop of at least another 30%, which is fairly common based on operators.
That reduces the number of games by another 163.

Leaving the total number of games existing 382/869 at the present time or 44% of the game's original production remaining at the present time.

Granted, this does not mean the games are working or even in quality condition, just "out in the wild".
Hell, they could be in barn loft, or a person's secret torture dungeon for all I know.
Somebody might like the game so much they are hoarding multiple examples in stacks.
This does not also not consider games that were created from parts, playfields, and back glass, which has already occurred.

#58 4 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

John, of the 50 you have sold, how many do you think are for "new" builds instead of restores? I'm going up from scratch like Redketchup.
There is another person on Pinside who is converting a Meteor over and I assume he is using one of your play fields. That would be 50 minus 2. I assume Redketchup used one of your units. That would be 50 minus 3. So, 47 for restores?

I think you're referring to me. I'm converting a Meteor to a Star Gazer. My only hold up right now are time and playfield plastics.

#59 4 years ago

If you use the 1/2 rule every 7 years it comes to about 50. There is no way there is >100 Stargazers on this planet. I have been in this hobby for 20 years and it is very rare to see. Number of playfields means nothing. I have 2 but only have 1 other wiring harness without a game. I have enough to piece one together. I know many folks with playfields and no way to get a game.

#60 4 years ago

I think 2 to 4 new Star Gazer's have been done, 2 finished & another in the 2 in the works, so 4. Might be more, but there are only 23 more available playfields.

#61 4 years ago
Quoted from Classic_Stern:

If you use the 1/2 rule every 7 years it comes to about 50.

There is no such rule.

EVERY PERSON IN THE USA, EUROPE AND SA HAS INTERNET ACCESS. They can easily look up the value of a pin.

There is no way that 1/2 off all the pinball machines since 2010 have been thrown away or lost.

That is stupid.

#62 4 years ago
Quoted from Classic_Stern:

I know many folks with playfields and no way to get a game.

Please clarify the above sentence.

Are you saying you know of many folks who have a copy of John's repro Stargazer play field but they do not currently have a Stargazer to install it in? Am I understanding your statement correctly?

If that is so, then these folks bought on speculation that they eventually (hopefully) find an elusive Stargazer to go with the repro play field they bought. How many speculators (or possibly hoarders) own one of the 50 play fields John has sold?

#63 4 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

I'm doing 74 new playfields. 50 are gone, & the last 20 will be the first 6 months of 2017. Backglass I continue to do on demand. There are some more guys interested in building ones from other Stern games. Plastic sets are still in demand, & Marco Specialties said they would step up & order a bunch.

So John, how is it possible that you are going to be doing more Stargazer playfields in 2017???? Are they all going to have overlays?
You told me and the few others who had sent in a Sorcerer playfield for restoration, that you printer wasn't going to do anymore printing on playfields because they have an old obsolete printer and didn't want to risk it breaking down. So I waited almost 2 years with my playfield in you possession and then you tell me after all that waiting, it's going to get a crummy overlay and that it would have specs of dust under it but that it would "play fine"

#64 4 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Please clarify the above sentence.
Are you saying you know of many folks who have a copy of John's repro Stargazer play field but they do not currently have a Stargazer to install it in? Am I understanding your statement correctly?

I know of at least one. But here's the thing though. If the game is on your short list why not go ahead and get a playfield? John said himself he's not making any more SG playfields. If you wait until you found a game, finding the playfield would be equally as difficult. Having the playfield in hand, while it's available, is just one less thing you'll have to hunt down when the time comes. If things change, and a SG is never found, I doubt you'd have trouble selling the playfield.

Here's one more thing to think about. The guy that bought the playfield without having the game is also single-handidly responsible for having PBR make the correct blue jeweled star posts in both sizes for the game. It wouldn't surprise me that he'll also have the ambition to try to get plastic sets sourced and correct pop caps made too. All without having the game...

#65 4 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

I know of at least one. But here's the thing though. If the game is on your short list why not go ahead and get a playfield. John said himself he's not making any more SG playfields. If you wait until you found a game, finding the playfield would be equally as difficult. Having the playfield in hand, while it's available, is just one less thing you'll have to hunt down when the time comes. If things change, and a SG is never found, I doubt you'd have trouble selling the playfield.
Here's one more thing to think about. The guy that bought the playfield without having the game is also single-handidly responsible for having PBR make the correct blue jeweled star posts in both sizes for the game. It wouldn't surprise me that he'll also have the ambition to try to get plastic sets sourced and correct pop caps made too. All without having the game...

This is exactly what I did. I bought the playfield before I had the game, fully expecting that I might be making one from scratch.

What's this about PBR making the posts?

#66 4 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

What's this about PBR making the posts?

http://www.pbresource.com/posts.html

In the first two windows on the PBR page. 1" and 1-3/16" faceted star posts in transparent dark blue. These weren't available until my buddy talked Steve into making them. Until then I bought the blue finned ones and tucked them somewhere where they couldn't be seen.

EDIT: When my buddy was encouraging Steve to make these, I was asked how many of these posts are on a SG. here was my count:

(23) 1" http://www.pbresource.com/plastic/gtb-c11561cb.jpg
(24) 1-3/6" http://www.pbresource.com/plastic/gtb-c11562cb.jpg

#67 4 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

http://www.pbresource.com/posts.html
In the first two windows on the PBR page. 1" and 1-3/16" faceted star posts in transparent dark blue. These weren't available until my buddy talked Steve into making them. Until then I bought the blue finned ones and tucked them somewhere where they couldn't be seen.

So you have some of the new posts? If so, how do they look compared to the originals? The big problem with replacement posts has been that they aren't as dark blue as the originals.

#68 4 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

So you have some of the new posts? If so, how do they look compared to the originals? The big problem with replacement posts has been that they aren't as dark blue as the originals.

I don't have them yet but was told they are bang on. Prior to this there was someone in Europe that had made some. My buddy bought some of those European ones and they were too light colored. These are supposedly correct. Now, if you put some new ones next to some older ones, that have faded, there might be a slight difference; but for the cost I'm going to replace them all. Then I'll have a bunch of old spares for whatever.

#69 4 years ago

who exactly is this "buddy" of yours that you speak of?

#70 4 years ago
Quoted from j_m_:

who exactly is this "buddy" of yours that you speak of?

I'm not saying.

#71 4 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

I don't have them yet but was told they are bang on.

Cool. I'll have to order some and see. I need them for Gazer and the Witch.

#72 4 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

I'm not saying.

he's probably just another idiot that bought a playfield and is still searching for a machine to put it in

#73 4 years ago
Quoted from j_m_:

he's probably just another idiot that bought a playfield and is still searching for a machine to put it in

Probably. Why would anyone do that??? Dolt.

#74 4 years ago
Quoted from dothedoo:

Cool. I'll have to order some and see. I need them for Gazer and the Witch.

Like he said, "They are bang on." They are a prefect match with those on my Witch. Load up. You will not be disappointed.

#75 4 years ago
Quoted from schudel5:

I know of at least one. But here's the thing though. If the game is on your short list why not go ahead and get a playfield? John said himself he's not making any more SG playfields. If you wait until you found a game, finding the playfield would be equally as difficult. Having the playfield in hand, while it's available, is just one less thing you'll have to hunt down when the time comes. If things change, and a SG is never found, I doubt you'd have trouble selling the playfield.
Here's one more thing to think about. The guy that bought the playfield without having the game is also single-handidly responsible for having PBR make the correct blue jeweled star posts in both sizes for the game. It wouldn't surprise me that he'll also have the ambition to try to get plastic sets sourced and correct pop caps made too. All without having the game...

Oh, I agree completely with what you are saying. What I am getting at is that 50 play fields have been sold and it is easy to assume that all 50 buyers already have a Gazer. However, we already know of 4 being built, leaving 46 play fields to assign to either current Gazer owners or those betting on the come. You know one least one betting person, so that leaves 45 play fields. 51 Pinsiders own a Gazer. How many of the 51 have bought a replacement play field? Dothedo owns a game and a play field, so that leaves 44 play fields. I don't want to beat the numbers to death but I think it would be interesting to how many of the 44 are speculation buys as opposed to restoration buys.

And I agree with that you will never have to worry about selling the play field. With a repro play field and backglass, it not too hard to build one up. You can build/buy a cabinet and backbox and all the switches and other parts. The absolute most difficult thing to chase for a build is the wiring harness with the color coded wires.

I am going to be restoring my Seawitch with a new Greatwich play field. But my current play field is restorable. Add in a repro backglass and I could own two Witch's.

In a 'perfect storm" situation, there could be 74 new Stargazers added to whatever originals are still living.

It's fun to guess and speculate. Let's all have another round

#76 4 years ago

I have a game and one of John's playfields. I bought the playfield from someone who didn't have a game.

#77 4 years ago
Quoted from stangbat:

I have a game and one of John's playfields. I bought the playfield from someone who didn't have a game.

How trashed is your current (original?) play field? Could it be restored?

50 play fields

- 2 for a game/PF restore project. (game + play field)

- 5 for builders/speculators ( play field only )

43 play fields to go.

#78 4 years ago

Mine's an imposter. It was a helluva lot of work building the wiring harness and would have been exponentially harder without borrowing a real playfield from a good friend.
Probably not too many new ones will surface. Doesn't play like an imposter though!

IMAG2062[1] (resized).jpg

#79 4 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

How trashed is your current (original?) play field? Could it be restored?

Pretty nice and an excellent restore candidate. I already have someone lined up who can use it.

#80 4 years ago

I'm thinking that most of the repro playfield sold are based on speculation to find the game, making money in selling them at a higher price later or to make a new machine.
I'm also in vidz hobby and lot of repro parts for rare games are going for a complete repro game. (Major Havoc, Quantum etc ...)
I watched pictures from all Star Gazer possible and most already have nice playfield, no need replacement.
It's easy to find pictures from trashed Fathom, EBD or Flash Gordon playfield but much harder to find trashed Star Gazer playfield.
It's also better to try to keep the original playfield the most possible for a rare and nice game this kind in my opinion.

I stick to my speculation 125 to 150 still available. Project, complete or still undiscovered !
I think it's a big number for a 37 years old game that wasn't very popular back in the early 80's.
Not sure all operators kept them for all that time, lot of them were trashed or destroyed by poor storage.

#81 4 years ago

Direct Ink Restorations came to a halt earlier this year. The old Color Span 9840 was at the end of the printers life cycle. Very few parts available, & it has gone to the grave. So overlays are the only way to finish what's still here. Price was reduced & people get a installed one.

Cut playfields for Star Gazer is all that will ever be produced by me. Slowly as demand warrants in 2017. These are printed on a OCE Arizona flatbed uv inkjet printer that prints white & CMYK. 2 hits of white, & color for playfields. Glass gets single blocking hit.

Seawitch news coming next week, & likely the production run will be around 40 - 50 playfields.

Star Gazer: My guess 75% going into upgrading owners game now or in the near future. 10% making a new one from a donor Stern. 15% speculation, either in the hunt for a wornout one, or for trade/gain in future sale.

#82 4 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

Oh, I agree completely with what you are saying. What I am getting at is that 50 play fields have been sold and it is easy to assume that all 50 buyers already have a Gazer. However, we already know of 4 being built, leaving 46 play fields to assign to either current Gazer owners or those betting on the come. You know one least one betting person, so that leaves 45 play fields. 51 Pinsiders own a Gazer. How many of the 51 have bought a replacement play field? Dothedo owns a game and a play field, so that leaves 44 play fields. I don't want to beat the numbers to death but I think it would be interesting to how many of the 44 are speculation buys as opposed to restoration buys.
And I agree with that you will never have to worry about selling the play field. With a repro play field and backglass, it not too hard to build one up. You can build/buy a cabinet and backbox and all the switches and other parts. The absolute most difficult thing to chase for a build is the wiring harness with the color coded wires.
I am going to be restoring my Seawitch with a new Greatwich play field. But my current play field is restorable. Add in a repro backglass and I could own two Witch's.
In a 'perfect storm" situation, there could be 74 new Stargazers added to whatever originals are still living.
It's fun to guess and speculate. Let's all have another round

I have 2 fields from John and 1 harness to make another.

#83 4 years ago
Quoted from Classic_Stern:

I have 2 fields from John and 1 harness to make another.

dgoett's imposter takes it to 44 play fields and your 2 take it to 42 play fields. So, at this point, only 42 play fields have been sold for restoration of an original (this is all assumption). But at the rate we are going, others may come in as build/spec buyers, as well. So, as it stands, John's play fields sold for restoration represent 5% of Stargazer production.

#84 4 years ago

2 playfields left that are finished, but were the worst for crap dust caught in top finish clear coat. Discounting these to $400 US to USA shipped. So if you have a poor playfield & want a cheap upgrade here is your chance. Hopefully the clear coat contractor gets back to a high standard in 2017. I can provide better pictures, & explain what I see. #51 is the last discounted $500 US one sold.

After these 2 are gone, only the 20 playfields left. A few are sold & waiting delivery early 2017. All the pre orders were done & shipped. So when these are gone, no more future Star Gazer playfields from me.

IMG_0722 (resized).JPG

IMG_0723 (resized).JPG

IMG_0724 (resized).JPG

IMG_0725 (resized).JPG

#85 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

There is no such rule.
EVERY PERSON IN THE USA, EUROPE AND SA HAS INTERNET ACCESS. They can easily look up the value of a pin.
There is no way that 1/2 off all the pinball machines since 2010 have been thrown away or lost.
That is stupid.

Since the early 2000s you have serious collectors. In the 70s and 80s very few people collected machines. I think most of those were lost due to poor maintenance, improper storage or as parts donor. I played a lot of pinball in the late 70s and early 80s and I didn't know a single person that had a machine in their home. Today I personally know about a dozen people each having 5 - 30 machines at their home.
Back in the old days (1975 -85) there was an arcade at every corner packed full of pinball. Once those machines left the location they vanished. The vast majority certainly didn't end up in peoples homes. I have the feeling nothing good happened to them after they left the arcade. Storage is expensive and if nobody pays any real money for it, it gets parted out and the rest gets junked.
1979 was the year with the world wide highest production of machines, yet they come up for sale relatively seldom.

#86 4 years ago
Quoted from Yoski:

1979 was the year with the world wide highest production of machines, yet they come up for sale relatively seldom.

Check Craigslist.

There are 3 Flash and a Meteor for sale in my city.

#87 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

There are 3 Flash and a Meteor for sale in my city.

Just imagine how many throughout yemen.

#88 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

Check Craigslist.
There are 3 Flash and a Meteor for sale in my city.

About 247000 machines were produced in 1979 alone versus an estimated 50000 in the 6 years from 2010 to 2015. Unfortunately the production number for the recent Stern machines are only available for some models so I had to take a very generous guess. Still you see 2010 -15 models up for sale more frequently than 1979 models, that's my point.

#89 4 years ago
Quoted from Yoski:

1979 was the year with the world wide highest production of machines

Try 1932. With 50,000 Ballyhoos alone.

#90 4 years ago

Ain't nobody gonna throw away a game with a pretty lady like that on the glass...

#91 4 years ago
Quoted from cottonm4:

dgoett's imposter takes it to 44 play fields and your 2 take it to 42 play fields. So, at this point, only 42 play fields have been sold for restoration of an original (this is all assumption). But at the rate we are going, others may come in as build/spec buyers, as well. So, as it stands, John's play fields sold for restoration represent 5% of Stargazer production.

I believe that. I bet there is not much more then 50-75 left max!! These games were tossed so fast you couldn't blink an eye. I asked the guy who operated the largest gamerooms in my hometown what happened to the games. He just threw them all away. It was probably 200 pinballs and 1000 plus video games. Like he said , they made there money. He said there is no way back in the 80's they thought any of this stuff would of been worth anything. He said most operators looked at them as once done earning they are costing money to keep. The 1/2 rule I think back in the day for older games holds well.

#92 4 years ago

I just counted, there are 29 games left on the planet, and next year, 14.5 of them need to be lost or destroyed.

Sorry.

#93 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I just counted, there are 29 games left on the planet, and next year, 14.5 of them need to be lost or destroyed.
Sorry.

Well Vid, maybe the law of "reverse" diminishing returns comes into play at some point.

#94 4 years ago

I wonder how many of those 50,000 original Ballyhoos now reside in Yemen.

#95 4 years ago
Quoted from vid1900:

I just counted, there are 29 games left on the planet, and next year, 14.5 of them need to be lost or destroyed.
Sorry.

Every 7 so next year 2 must be destroyed.

4 years later
#96 9 months ago

So years later I am still making new Star Gazer playfields. Just over 100+ so far, & the next 24 working on. There is no wait, these will be available this month along with backglass.

IMG_0021 (resized).JPG
2 weeks later
#97 8 months ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

So years later I am still making new Star Gazer playfields. Just over 100+ so far, & the next 24 working on. There is no wait, these will be available this month along with backglass.
[quoted image]

I’m definitely interested in a Playfield and back glass. Please let me know if I can purchase both. They look amazing!! Thanks!!

#98 8 months ago

There will be lots of Seawitch & Star Gazer playfield & glass available this winter.

#99 8 months ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

There will be lots of Seawitch & Star Gazer playfield & glass available this winter spring.

I've corrected that for you john. that is unless the seasons run differently in canada. spring starts officially in 2 months time

#100 8 months ago

Yes there will be plenty of playfields. So far likely 6 of 24 Star Gazer are wanted at this time. I am on my way to the sign shop (now) to get the 3 holes that were drilled out left of the shooter base back to dimple holes. They are ready to cut the next 32 Seawitch production playfields Pro#21-Pro#32
Any guys that are prepaid can get a finished Pro# one that is here in a box or the last group being cleared next week. Same with guys that are on the wait list for a Grade A or a discounted one. To clarify about wood burn. So discounted ones if the sanding through the veneer is in a not printed area, (wood area normally seen & not covered up). So I check the lanes, pop bumpers, & target areas. If I clearly seen it then it gets a Not Grade A Rating & is discounted.

My main focus now that I have retired is playfield production that no one else should be working on (Low Demand). So very soon I expect to start my first PPS em title (likely many more for years & into electronic titles if things go ok). Also in the works with PPS is Firepower 2, & Big Game locally. All my contractors know that playfield production is ramping up.

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