(Topic ID: 267758)

To Restore or Not To Restore


By VGVGVG

60 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 7 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 60 days ago by Isochronic_Frost
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    #1 60 days ago

    I am curious as to how people feel about restored vs unrestored games? Do you prefer original and in good playing order, or if funds allow, would you restore cabinet, backglass, playfield etc to have it looking like new? I see some restored games fetching premium prices. I personally like my collection restored as they are playable works of art and the ones I restore will never leave my collection. I saw one comment recently describing a restored machine as being molested (ha ha). He had a very strong opinion about it. That made me wonder how others feel about this topic. My restored games are EK, Strikes & Spares, Dolly Parton, Mousin Around, Bad Cats, Centaur & Fish Tales (& soon to be Fathom & Diner). Opinions?

    #2 60 days ago

    I like that my games are not perfect
    A little wear here and there does not affect how they play
    A pinball machine is meant ro be played, not kept as a museum piece

    #3 60 days ago

    Most people suck at properly restoring a machine. When it's done right it's beautiful. A low play original is always better though. Most restorations I see just don't look original.

    I compare them to a pair of fake boobs. Look nice in clothes and from a distance but unless done perfectly they look a little off. Even if done well they don't feel natural.

    But no one's opinion but your own matters. Restore away!

    #4 60 days ago

    I prefer a nice original. Most of mine are.

    However, I will also go restored in special cases and games like my Skateball and Frontier as long as it has original or NOS playfields and backglasses. No point in spending the time or money otherwise.

    Repros of those are iffy at best and tend to reduce the pedigree and value of the finished product.

    #5 60 days ago
    Quoted from VGVGVG:

    My restored games are EK, Strikes & Spares, Dolly Parton, Mousin Around, Bad Cats, Centaur & Fish Tales (& soon to be Fathom & Diner).

    Your opinion seems to be pretty set, considering that you've got more restored games than many people have owned in total, lol.

    I think you'll find that there's very few post-EM owners that would choose unrestored over restored given a marginal price difference. Past that, it becomes personal price tolerance as to whether or not you feel it's a good value.

    EM's....you're going to find a lot of mostly old farts out there that only want it as original as possible. And for certain historically important games (and all prewar games), sure. I'm in on that. There's something to be said for preserving history.......IF the game is still in good to great condition. There's absolutely nothing to gain by insisting that some rotted out, flaky paint cabinet is better off "original" than repainted, IMO, or a beat to shit playfield.

    There's also some fun to be had in customization during restoration if you know you don't intend to sell the game for a very long time. Like I would've NEVER repainted Crescendo's playfield if I hadn't also been adding UV highlights and whatnot, and having it cleared. It's just not worth the effort and money to me.

    *Edit* Just to be perfectly clear, when I say "restored" that includes both NOS and repro items. There's definitely value skews between these two things and I'd choose one or the other depending on if I felt like the repro was of suitable quality, as O-din said. Sometimes it's really questionable.

    #6 60 days ago

    I'm going to add to what I said above.

    If you are using reproduction playfields or backglasses, unless they are a perfect match in color and quality, that in my book does not qualify as restored.

    Restore-

    return (someone or something) to a former condition, place, or position.

    repair or renovate (a building, work of art, vehicle, etc.) so as to return it to its original condition.

    #7 60 days ago

    To add to my post, some of the games i have had been on my wish list for a long time. In Australia, numbers are way more limited than perhaps USA. Most I had no choice but to buy as a restored machine and I bought from reputable pinball dealers. Dolly and Bad Cats I had restored by a professional after purchase. As for Fathom & Diner that I’m hoping to get by end of year, they are only being sold restored - he won’t sell otherwise. And good luck getting anyone in Australia to part with those 2 in their collection. Saying all that, they are beautiful when restored right and mine have been done exceptionally well. They are played daily and very much loved.

    #8 60 days ago

    I don't mind a little wear and tear on the cabinet and legs. On the playfield or BG, I always want new and clean, unless it's impossible to replace. That's about it. I can appreciate someone stripping everything down and treating the cabinet like a car, sanded smooth to a mirror paint job. Not my cup of tea.

    #9 60 days ago
    Quoted from VGVGVG:

    To add to my post, some of the games i have had been on my wish list for a long time. In Australia, numbers are way more limited than perhaps USA. Most I had no choice but to buy as a restored machine and I bought from reputable pinball dealers. Dolly and Bad Cats I had restored by a professional after purchase. As for Fathom & Diner that I’m hoping to get by end of year, they are only being sold restored - he won’t sell otherwise. And good luck getting anyone in Australia to part with those 2 in their collection. Saying all that, they are beautiful when restored right and mine have been done exceptionally well. They are played daily and very much loved.

    It really depends on what “restored” means. Did they repaint it and do all sorts of goofy shit to it? Add ugly LEDs and make the game look gaudy?

    Or did they take a beautiful condition game or NOS and clearcoat it (THE RIGHT WAY) completely shop the game with new Springs, sleeves and rings and such?

    These games are meant to be PLAYED. My opinion is that protecting them from degradation is the key. Touching up paints and such when done well is okay. I’d definitely pay more if someone has taken the time to clearcoat their game if it’s a low play original.
    If they repainted the cabinet and playfield and all that stuff, probably changed the value to me.

    But maybe they built an entirely new cab and made it better-than-new? Pinball companies ALWAYS went with the fast and cheap route, and a skilled woodworker can make a beautiful, superior cabinet to house the game in. In a situation like that I’d agree to pay more.

    Oh! Another one that sometimes comes up: electronics.

    My Seawitch is a gorgeous original cabinet, with an ugly playfield. I mean just fugly. Back in the day the operator didn’t even match the paint colors and then slapped a huge sheet of Mylar over it.
    However the cabinet is beautiful, original and vibrant with only a single touch up. AND it had the new weebly MPU and soundboard and rectifier!
    That adds A LOT of value.
    I have all original boards in my Orbitor and Meteor. UTTER GARBAGE. The rectifier in my orbitor basically smoked itself out. The MPU blew a cap and died. The reset resistors literally crumbled apart in the meteor MPU. Those boards were junk then and they’re still junk. Aftermarket boards are 1000% more reliable and efficient.
    The only reason I’d keep the originals is for the sake of having the matching numbers, but old Sterns don’t usually have SN’s on the boards.

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