I started saving for a pinball machine in 1997. For twenty years it was going to be Addams Family, until I saw Scott’s whitewood online. I followed closely as the game took shape, and production became reality. Spooky’s promise of quality, a trustworthy product worth investing in, confirmed a decision two decades in the making.
TNA 408 arrived on Nov 29, unplayable due to violent airballs and a misaligned autolauncher. The playfield immediately revealed severe damage, more than plastic washers would cover. Had I known what I was receiving, I would have refused delivery.
By Jan 3, with a combination of hardware and software modifications (sincere thanks to Scott), I managed to play my first full game. Things were looking up, but I was pulling the glass every 10-15 games to reattach blown solder joints (no shaker motor). I seem to have secured the problematic ones (3 on upper flipper and 2 on left scoop), but rarely turn it on as it continues to fail. I asked about obtaining a replacement flipper coil, and as with previous requests was told to place an order at Pinball Life. Snapped rubbers and deformed balls are considered “a part of regular maintenance” within the first two months. All this from a warranty that claims “We’ll cover parts in your game in home use for 1 year".
On Mar 5, the replacement playfield is ready to ship, however:
“It's pretty much just unscrew / transfer as you go. My guys can do it in about 90 minutes but ... not going to go that fast for a home user I'm sure. Personally, what I would (and most people do) is put the washers in the current game to cover the wear, and leave the flawless new playfield sit in the box until the old one is beat to death.”
Sending me something to keep in a box doesn’t fix anything. I directly asked for the price of a populated playfield in four different emails and this is the response I received: “If you were down here, I'd meet you at a show, have you come to the shop... whatever worked.” So if you choose to buy direct, make sure you live within driving distance.
“I give up” aren’t the words you want to hear from a business owner with whom you’ve invested your life’s savings, but here we are. I paid for a new machine and received a major project. It’s a heart breaking mistake I could only afford to make once, so at the very least it can’t happen again.