Made from 2003 to 2006, I've only heard the later ones are the ones to try and get. Mostly minor playfield things. Couch weldment was updated later but those can be upgraded.
Things to look for: Wear around flipper buttons, Itchy and Scratchy wear, broken or weak garage door.
Busted middle/garage ramp, which can be pretty hard to see unless you take the top playfield off (not that difficult, but maybe more than you'd get into in a common transaction).
Forked switches (to upper playfield, I&S, etc.) getting flakey and in need of replacement.
Rom updated to 5.0.
Early playfields had a red car and a black blob on Homer's head near his hair, but nothing major to worry about imo. Condition of the machine probably more important than when it was produced.
Flipper button wear, shooter lane wear, itchy scratchy hole, stapled goodie bag inside cabinet
This is Home Use Only.
Shooter lane wear, cabinet wear under an around the flipper buttons, also both ball drops off the wire forms in to the inlanes on both sides, garage door should also give u a good indication.
Production year isn't an issue. The color of the car on pf varied between red and pink. Seems early production games had either red or pink. My game is a mar 2003 production with a pink car. I like pink better as its closer to the color on the show.
Besides what's been mentioned, I'd make sure the vuk from garage to couch works properly, that you can hit the couch with the upper flippers and that the couch is functioning properly, both registering locks and releasing them.
Other than that, the game is built well and is very reliable...one of sterns best.
There really isn't too much difference from year to year to worry about it. The only thing you really need to pay attention to now is the condition of the plastics. They are not super easy to come by anymore, and depending on which plastics may be broken, you could end up searching for them for a long time.
I've seen and worked on quite a few TSPPs. The main thing I look at is the playfield and cabinet artwork as the quality of the printing and screening varies widely. Mine is an early run and the cabinet art is light. It isn't faded, it is just not vibrant and looks washed out. Later runs have nice bright cabinet art.
My playfield art is nice and vibrant but I've seen later runs that have terrible washed out playfield artwork. One game I know of is HUO and I find it hard to believe that Stern let the game ship with the playfield that is in it. The cabinet looks great though.
And I've seen games that have both nice cabinet art and nice playfield art. Not saying either is a deal breaker, just beware that there are significant differences and keep it in mind when looking at games.
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