(Topic ID: 123958)

Surfer vs Surf Champ


By pocketscience

4 years ago



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  • 62 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 8 months ago by Theo_Ioannis
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There are 62 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
#1 4 years ago

Apart from the obvious 2-player vs 4-player differences I heard from someone selling a Surfer that the back box is actually smaller on the Surfer? I had assumed they were identical.

Anyone know for sure?

Cheers,

#2 4 years ago

4 player machines have a bigger back box by 3 or 4 inches. I forget the amount. 2 players are more sought after because there is less to tinker with, more artwork in the backbox, they made less of them (more rare) and the back box is lighter to carry. 2 players go for slightly more money depending on the game.

#3 4 years ago

thanks for the R_T, never knew there was a difference.

#4 4 years ago

Thanks muchly R_T - excellent information!

#5 4 years ago

Glad I could help!

#6 4 years ago

BUT....all that doesn't negate the fact you'll get twice the game in a 4 player. If both are in similar condition, I'd take the 4 player. I've had just as many 3rd or 4th players wanting to play, as I've had a 2nd one.

Surf Champ is my favorite game!

#7 4 years ago

Sometimes you take what you can get. Yes, 2-players are nice for the reasons Rat described but sometimes I'll grab the 4-player so more than 2 people can play it. Then, if I find a nicer 2-player Surfer I might grab it.

#8 4 years ago

May sound a little silly but, I've seen more than 1 guy opt for the 2 player game simply because it's going into a basement of an older house, where a drop ceiling has been added at some point. I guess that 3 inches cuts it pretty close, (LOL).

#9 4 years ago

Boatcat adds another reason people grab 2 player machines. I just prefer the 2 players for some reason. True story. There was a 4 player Surf Champ at a party a few years back. It got to the point that player 3 and 4 got bored and they were playing another game while they waited. At some point we didn't know what player was up or who was who. I think 2 player games keep people's low attention spans in check Vs a 4 player.

#10 4 years ago
Quoted from Rat_Tomago:

At some point we didn't know what player was up or who was who.

WhosTurnIsIt.jpg

#11 4 years ago

This is probably a rhetorical question, but does anyone have inside information on how many Surf Champs were actually made? IBPD and and the Mr. Pinball Guide indicate 1,070 Surf Champs (4 player) where made, and 2,700 Surfers (2 player) were made.

I have a Surf Champ and love it. Given how many I have seen over the years I have to think that far more than 1,070 were made. Heck, the Pacific Pinball Museum has converted at least three to see through games.

Thanks

Nate

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from Rat_Tomago:

2 players are more sought after because there is less to tinker with, more artwork in the backbox, they made less of them (more rare) and the back box is lighter to carry. 2 players go for slightly more money depending on the game.

I would agree that the reasons above are valid for those who actually prefer 2-player games. However, I have to question whether 2-player games are actually more sought after in general as I've never heard this expressed on a wide basis.

As far as which sells for more, out of curiosity, I performed an unscientific sampling of Boston Pinball's eBay sales results and found that in 7 of 10 of the first 2P/4P pairs that I thought of, the 4-player game actually had a higher average sales price.

FWIW here is the data (avg sales price/sales count):

Snow Derby $348/9
Snow Queen $406/3

Surfer $564/31
Surf Champ $769/81

Quick Draw $720/43
Fast Draw $531/35

Card Whiz $527/31
Royal Flush $680/90

Top Score $492/43
"300" $440/74

Big Brave $535/52
Big Indian $557/31

Lawman $449/19
Sheriff $726/6

Jumping Jack $532/58
Jack In The Box $504/47

Duotron $401/35
Magnotron $467/8

Big Shot $503/43
Hot Shot $529/37

#13 4 years ago
Quoted from Nate:

This is probably a rhetorical question, but does anyone have inside information on how many Surf Champs were actually made? IBPD and and the Mr. Pinball Guide indicate 1,070 Surf Champs (4 player) where made, and 2,700 Surfers (2 player) were made.
I have a Surf Champ and love it. Given how many I have seen over the years I have to think that far more than 1,070 were made. Heck, the Pacific Pinball Museum has converted at least three to see through games.
Thanks
Nate

If you look at the Internet Serial Number Database for Surf Champ, there are 50 submissions, which is a pretty solid sampling size:
http://www.ipsnd.net/View.aspx?id=2459

Tossing out the sample game numbers, the lowest production ser# is 5076, and the highest is 14995.

I'd guess they started at 5000 or 5001, which would put the production more like 10,000. Now, if the 1,070 was a 'typo', then perhaps it really is 10,700.

By comparison, Surfer shows about 25 submissions:
http://www.ipsnd.net/View.aspx?id=2465

Ignoring the one sample game, and the one game with an anomalous ser# (guessing it was for a Surf Champ), the reported production serials seem to span 4385 to 6496, which would suggest a bit more than 2100 produced. So maybe they started at 4000 or 4001, went to 6500 and had a couple hundred sample games. But the serial# span is in the ballpark of the reported production.

Based on this, I'd think Surf Champ was more likely a ~10,000 game production (as was Spirit of '76, for example).

#14 4 years ago

Dirtflipper's numbers make sense.

It seems like Surf Champ and Spirit of 76 come up for sale all the time - Surfer and Pioneer not near as much.

I do know a lot of new people that have come to me wanting just to buy one game for their rec room (not hobbyists) prefer the 4-players with single players 2nd. They seem to think they're "getting more bang for the buck" with the 4-players (compared to the 2-players).

#15 4 years ago
Quoted from DirtFlipper:

If you look at the Internet Serial Number Database for Surf Champ, there are 50 submissions, which is a pretty solid sampling size:
http://www.ipsnd.net/View.aspx?id=2459
Tossing out the sample game numbers, the lowest production ser# is 5076, and the highest is 14995.
I'd guess they started at 5000 or 5001, which would put the production more like 10,000. Now, if the 1,070 was a 'typo', then perhaps it really is 10,700.
By comparison, Surfer shows about 25 submissions:
http://www.ipsnd.net/View.aspx?id=2465
Ignoring the one sample game, and the one game with an anomalous ser# (guessing it was for a Surf Champ), the reported production serials seem to span 4385 to 6496, which would suggest a bit more than 2100 produced. So maybe they started at 4000 or 4001, went to 6500 and had a couple hundred sample games. But the serial# span is in the ballpark of the reported production.
Based on this, I'd think Surf Champ was more likely a ~10,000 game production (as was Spirit of '76, for example).

Hi Dirtflipper,

That's a great approach to forensic accounting. My Surf Champ is s/n 12413.

Your estimates make sense to me as well.

-Nate

#16 4 years ago

Gottlieb made on the order of 10,000 copies +/- of the 4 player games of this era.

#17 4 years ago

I read somewhere - can't recall where now - that the "1070" was a transcribing issue from paper to electronic - and it was actually 7010...

#18 4 years ago

I always thought SC was most collectible due to the 4 player component?
Though I must admit I like the backglass better on Surfer.

#19 4 years ago

Just goes to show that "collectible" is in the eye of the "collector"... Personally I'm flip-flopping between getting a Surfer or a Surf Champ...

#20 4 years ago

I much prefer 2-player versions, when available. Set on 3-ball play, it's only one more ball per 2-player game than a 5-ball wedgehead, so the games are still quick and keep people's interest.

They are more challenging to find too, so from a collector's perspective, that's part of the fun.

And if you work on them, the backboxes can still be maneuvered on your own for the most part. A 4-player backbox is a two-person job.

Usually better artwork on 2-player games too, since they didn't have to sacrifice space for more score reels. And they didn't do funky scaling on the size of the artwork either (the 4-player versions often seem 'small'). And the stencils are the same between the 2-player and 4-player backboxes, which leave the 4-player versions' artwork a bit 'short' on the sides.

#21 4 years ago

Here's other consistencies I've found, taking a closer look at the 10 machines Tuna lists above:

- Most 2-player versions don't appear until AFTER the 4-player version in manuf. production.
This tells me when vending companies wanted to buy the new machine, they had no
other choice than the 4-player version, (resulting in large serial numbers).
- Production numbers for 2 player games is always less, usually somewhere around
half the amount of the 4-player game, telling me the vending companies weren't always
interested in buying duplicate versions.

It's almost as if the 2-player games were built just to satisfy unfulfilled orders of the 4-player version, not sure on that. Either way, noticing these trends in the production database, surviving 2-player games should be harder to find! (BTW, having been in the business, the savings in buying a 2-player vs. a 4-player at the time was negligible).

I prefer the 2-player machines over the 4 personally for the artwork. I don't like the added score reel intrusion as mentioned above.......

#22 4 years ago

I own the 4 player version and I'd go with the 2 player if I were you (for similar condition of course).
The thing with an EM is when you don't use it, they stop working. Reels 3 and 4 get used much more scarcely than 1 and 2 since you'll more often have one person to play with than 3, and you'll get issues affecting players 3 or 4 more often (that's my personal experience anyway).

And the more you can get of that beautiful backglass artwork the better...

3 months later
#23 3 years ago

does it matter

#24 3 years ago

I now own a Surfer and I wanted one over a Surf Champ for many of the reasons already stated by others.

* Weight of the Head as I can put it on by myself as the four players are just too heavy for me to wrangle these days.

* Less initial and on going maintenance issues to deal with in a 2 player head vs a 4.

* More artwork on the head of Surfer vs Surf Champ. An interesting note to this is that there are plenty of 2/4 player games with the same amount of artwork on the head (maybe scaled down a bit to fit a 4 player, but basically the same) but Surfer/Surf Champ clearly are way different with Surfer even having one more person in the art (guy surfer).

* We usually throw 1 sizable party a year so having a 2 player to compete with my wife or the next door neighbor just made more sense for me.

** As far as the extra size of the 4 player head a I could accommodate either a 2 or 4 player in my arcade so this was not an issue for me where it could be for others with space that can only fit a 2 player.

Bottom line: Both are great games as they play the same, so it just boils down to your preference which one works best for you in your arcade.

I currently do not have my machine as it is getting paint and bodywork by pinhead52, but hope to be enjoying it sometime late this year and possibly take it to TPF 2016.

Ken

#25 3 years ago

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#26 3 years ago

I personally prefer the 2 player versions over the 4.
Reason:- lighter & can move backbox by yourself
More of the picture on glass
You dont have to play 4 player game just to use it as EM,s in particular need to be used
I will buy a 4 player version though if a title I am interested in becomes available 1st, then if I am still interested in it will get the 2 player when one comes along

#27 3 years ago

what is the backglass / backbox size difference between the 2?

I have a surfer BG on the way and have a surf champ in storage so just curious. Was all the electrical gear in the cabinet the same in the 2 games.

#28 3 years ago

28" h
28 1/2" w
Surf Champ

#29 3 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

Was all the electrical gear in the cabinet the same in the 2 games.

Playfields would be interchangeable

#30 3 years ago

You would have 8 extra score reels in the Surf Champ head plus a Z1 & Z2 relay to reset players 1 & 2, 3 & 4, respectively. The player unit also has more switch stacks for P3 & P4.

Overall, you need a bigger head to fit all this extra hardware in..........

#31 3 years ago

Swinks you can have a look at mine when you come to pickup the BG... I eventually got a SC as that's all I could find at the time. It's currently in pieces for a fairly significant restore (PF restore and clear, new BGResto glass, new paint job, cleaned up everything else!)

#32 3 years ago

cool, just was curious on the backbox dimensions though away sure it is just scaled down from what ever the BG size is.

reasoned I ask was I have a surf champ in storage but also happened to find a few years back all the parts from a surfer backbox so might do a repro "Surfer" backbox

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from swinks:

reasoned I ask was I have a surf champ in storage but also happened to find a few years back all the parts from a surfer backbox so might do a repro "Surfer" backbox

If you're thinking of doing a "Surf Champ-to-Surfer" Conversion, you're going to need the cabinet motor board insert as well. Just behind the coin box in Surf Champ on the right is a player unit that doesn't exist in Surfer.

-1
#34 3 years ago
Quoted from Boatcat:

If you're thinking of doing a "Surf Champ-to-Surfer" Conversion, you're going to need the cabinet motor board insert as well. Just behind the coin box in Surf Champ on the right is a player unit that doesn't exist in Surfer.

do I need or not need as contemplating going from a surf champ to surfer, have any photos or more info... cheers

#35 3 years ago

I prefer the art on Surf Champ because the upside down surfer image on Surfer, to my eye, draws the eye away from the comely female. I’m a sucker for the girl, I suppose. Also, the upside down surfboard and the jet are both the wrong proportion (much too large for a background image). That wrongly-sized surfboard coupled with the large jet render the composition unbalanced, in my opinion. It must be that 1 year of art history in college that haunts me. In the final analysis, both backglasses are attractive, though.

I can certainly appreciate all of the good points made here in favor of Surfer, the most important of which would be a height concern for a gameroom with a low ceiling. I pondered the same Surfer vs. Surf Champ question when I undertook to add a multiplayer EM to my collection. For my collection, the idea was to add a multiplayer for parties in a sea of single player games, so the 4 player does double time over the Surfer. I have pledged to someday visit that transparent, lexan laden Surf Champ someday at the Pacific Pinball museum or wherever it resides.
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#36 3 years ago

Yup, there's a transparent one at the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, CA. It's very cool and I've played quite a few games on it myself..

#37 3 years ago

Get whichever you can in my opinion. It's an awesome game.

11 months later
#38 2 years ago
Quoted from EM-PINMAN:

Bottom line: Both are great games as they play the same, so it just boils down to your preference which one works best for you in your arcade.

Ha! Well looks like I now have a Surf Champ now as I missed my Surfer after selling it. It's all good though as this machine is in nicer shape and is a keeper.

#39 2 years ago

production for surf champ was 1075 surfer was 2700 . this is actually an oddity for 2 vs 4 player games or at least for the games I have owned or compared..

four player games far outnumber their 2 player counterparts with

superspin/jetspin
royal flush/card whiz
target alpha/solar city
hot shot/big shot
Vulcan/Fire Queen(same playfield .. different bg)

I have been pushing for 2 player games myself too. I had a surfchamp .. regretted I sold it .. been offered one but im going to hold out for a surfer.
target alpha I have , and .. I guess ill keep as I bought a new glass for it.

production numbers from mr pinballs price guide

#40 2 years ago

Love Surf Champ one of my keepers just a great playing great looking fun addictive game.

#41 2 years ago
Quoted from singlezero:

production for surf champ was 1075 surfer was 2700 . this is actually an oddity for 2 vs 4 player games or at least for the games I have owned or compared..
four player games far outnumber their 2 player counterparts with
superspin/jetspin
royal flush/card whiz
target alpha/solar city
hot shot/big shot
Vulcan/Fire Queen(same playfield .. different bg)
I have been pushing for 2 player games myself too. I had a surfchamp .. regretted I sold it .. been offered one but im going to hold out for a surfer.
target alpha I have , and .. I guess ill keep as I bought a new glass for it.
production numbers from mr pinballs price guide

Read above, the 1075 was most likely a typo, more like 10,000

#42 2 years ago

Anyone have an extra surfer backglass that is nice? A machine here in slc could use it.

#43 2 years ago

just to clear thing up... from IPDB.org

Users have commented that they have seen more examples of 'Surf Champ' back in the 1970s (and subsequently) than one would expect to have seen for a game with a production run quantity of 1,071 units. While this quantity has been confirmed with data provided by Gottlieb, it is a relatively low number when compared to quantities made of Gottlieb's other 4-player games of 1976. That alone does not prove anything, but serial numbers of 'Surf Champ' compiled by users indicate a quantity of over 4,000 units were actually made. From this, it would appear that a typographical or recording error occurred in the Gottlieb data.

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#44 2 years ago
Quoted from donjagra:

Anyone have an extra surfer backglass that is nice? A machine here in slc could use it.

contact Steve at Back Glass Restoration http://bgresto.com/?p=887

#45 2 years ago

How many of you might pick a particular multi-player model over another,
based mainly on the name of the game
(assuming artwork and theme are basically the same)?
I.E. : 300 vs Top Score
Mustang vs. Bronco
King Kool vs. King Rock

#46 2 years ago

Any of you guys figure what a decent Surfer should be priced? Bought? Sold? in todays market?

#47 2 years ago
Quoted from BenetBoy78:

Any of you guys figure what a decent Surfer should be priced? Bought? Sold? in todays market?

$700-1000...?

#48 2 years ago

700-1000 depending on condition. Slightly higher for the 2 player if it was immaculate.

#49 2 years ago
Quoted from pinwiztom:

How many of you might pick a particular multi-player model over another,
based mainly on the name of the game
(assuming artwork and theme are basically the same)?
I.E. : 300 vs Top Score
Mustang vs. Bronco
King Kool vs. King Rock

I really like the two player pins more than four.
More artwork, less to fix!

7 months later
10
#50 2 years ago

Normally, I don't update here for specific games, but the low 1,070 (or 1,071) production run quantity that we got from Gottlieb data years ago has been such a puzzle to me and many others that I am glad to report that recently I was able to confirm some documents received by me a while back as authentic Gottlieb and these documents proved that the other Gottlieb document(s) that had indicated 1,070 were indeed an error, a mistake we all figured had to be there but, again, I needed to document their data and not what we hoped it would be.

The correct quantity is 10,070 units of Surf Champ. I have updated the listing to reflect this and added a few Notes.

http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=2459

Our quantity of 2,700 units for Surfer is supported by this documentation.

Jay

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