(Topic ID: 252879)

Value of machines with HARDTOP installed?


By too-many-pins

62 days ago



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  • 159 posts
  • 58 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 51 days ago by Startek2
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    Topic poll

    “Value of machines with HARDTOP installed?”

    • Machine with a hardtop is worth about the same as a machine with a nice used playfield 47 votes
      20%
    • Machine with a hardtop is worth less than a nice used playfield. 52 votes
      22%
    • Machine with a hardtop is worth $200 more than a machine with a nice used playfield (basically just the cost of the hardtop) 34 votes
      15%
    • Machine with a hardtop is worth $500 more than a machine with a nice used playfield (cost + labor to install)) 30 votes
      13%
    • I wouldn't want a machine with a hardtop 47 votes
      20%
    • I love hardtops and wish all my machines had them 10 votes
      4%
    • You ask too many stupid questions 13 votes
      6%

    (233 votes)

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    There are 159 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
    11
    #101 59 days ago

    After reading some of this thread I knocked out a few games on my Comet with a Hardtop with my son before he went to bed just to enjoy it.

    I finished my Comet a few months ago, there are No options on a new playfield that any normal person can find right now. Comets were painted with Crayons and mylar seemed to be the only protection most had. Most have severe planking to the wood anywhere there was no mylar including mine. But it was a game I don't see very often and wanted to restore. I had the cabinet sanded, repaired as the back was falling apart, stenciled. I drove from Georgia to Chicago for a repro backglass because mine had no color. I purchased a overlay before I found out about the Hardtop and quickly sold it on ebay when I received my Hardtop, It was the best option for the restore. It got repro plastics and ramps also. Looks amazing to me and plays just as great.

    When I finished my Comet that same day it got packed up and taken to the Atlanta SFGE Southern Fried Gaming Expo. I hung around the game asking people what they thought, I didn't get a single complaint. Everyone thought it played great and looked amazing. I don't know how many times I had to explain it wasn't a New playfield that it was a sheet of plastic basically. I opened it up several times for people to check it out up close also and everyone was positive at least to my face if they thought differently I wouldn't know.

    It Won Best Restoration at the Show also.

    It's a great option in my opinion. I currently have 10 pins set up at my house, a few with playfield protectors, the Comet Hardtop, several with just orginal PF's and wax, and a freshly restored Totan with a CPR Gold and just wax so all flavors right now at my house and they play almost all the same to me. WAX is the key if you wax your games they will play fast, the weird stuff usually happens from slow bounces when you see the weird spin not from your shots. I don't know how other people play pinball but I usually want to hit my shots by shooting at them not hoping for bounce in's.

    I've been on the wait list for a Meteor playfield from CPR for a couple years now and maybe it will be out in the next year, I can wait but who wants to wait years for a playfield to be ready if it's even an option because a lot of titles are not. Not everyone knows who to send a playfield to for restoration and the wait time for that can be a long time also and costly.

    I enjoy my Comet with the Hardtop, I think it looks and plays Great.

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    #102 59 days ago

    Nice looking Comet!

    Where did you get that repro backglass? You said Chicago, but who makes it?

    #103 59 days ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Nice looking Comet!
    Where did you get that repro backglass? You said Chicago, but who makes it?

    bertoDRINK1

    Yes where??

    #104 59 days ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Nice looking Comet!
    Where did you get that repro backglass? You said Chicago, but who makes it?

    it was a old timer that didn't want to ship these repos. i saw him and another guy arguing about it on FB. i sent him a PM and said if that guy doesn't want it i'll drive up and pick it up tomorrow. he responded the next day and said come get it and i did. he had a few others like Sorcerer and some others. you can tell its a repro if you look closely its digitally printed not screened but its way better than what i had and is mirrored. not sure if i even have his name it was way over a year ago.

    #105 59 days ago
    Quoted from cjchand:

    For the purposes of determining what a "nice" playfield is, how would you rate mine pre-Hardtop (scale of 1-10)?
    https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipNVnePAk_W7FHlo44TbOGpDCI_wPIfd8x4aRgfONlWm84Le4MFvYyi3kHXT3UTQ?key=YzFNcGtfMHdzcVc3NXc3cHpZdjR0bWk0UVNPTm5R

    I would have restored that playfield and cleared it honestly.

    #106 58 days ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    n many cases mylar gets dull not because of the surface, but because of the adhesive underneath. No amount of polishing can take that out.
    In the case of a painted hardtop that would be noticeable probably only in the insert areas or where there is no artwork.

    Hardtops don’t have adhesive over the inserts, so that is not an issue

    Quoted from Tsskinne:

    Flash Gordon has been at my location for 6 months now with hardtop. I've legitimately had top ranked players not know it was a hardtop until I told them. I don't think it plays much different in general, it looks great, and it is holding up amazingly on location. Anyway if anyone wants to come play on feel free to check it out at North End Pub in Lafayette, IN it isn't going anywhere.

    Similar experience. I took my hardtop Flash Gordon to Bat City Open 2019, a circuit event. Nothing but praise from the tournament players. Several said it was the best playing FG they’ve ever encountered. Most assumed it was just a restored/CPR playfield. Keep in mind, tournament players are notoriously picky about these things (god help you if you put super bands in a tournament). So yeah, my informal single blind experiment shows that no one notices any negative differences in playability, including some of the best players in the world.

    #107 58 days ago
    Quoted from Spraynard:

    some of the best players in the world.

    IMG_4915 (resized).JPGThese guys loved it.

    #108 58 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I think one thing that people have not mentioned is that some of us have a feeling “if you are going to do it, then do it right”
    In other words, if you are going to put in part of the effort to strip a game in order to remove more art and install hardtop, then go the full mile and touch up and clearcoat the game.
    I understand the place hardtop has but I think many jump to quickly to its use as a short cut to a full job.
    As others have said, your game and do what you want with it.
    On the topic of the thread, it seems that if you do a hardtop then you are likely removing some of your possible buyers when you do sell.

    "Doing it right" is such a moving target though. You know, not that many years ago, Clay's guide to sloppy hand painted touch ups and rolled-on Varathane that yellowed in a few years was considered "restored."

    Unless we rescreen a lacquer topcoat on these games, nothing will truly be factory restored. Even NOS has naturally aged. Check out that Playboy thread floating around here.

    I like the thought of a hardtop. But like some, i'm on the fence. I have a very poorly "restored" Taxi that would be an ideal candidate but it's just the unrealistic idea in my head that I'm that much further away from the wood that's got me on the fence.

    #109 58 days ago
    Quoted from Tomass:

    I would have restored that playfield and cleared it honestly.

    Fair point. Since I’ve never gone playfield restoration, can’t guarantee it would have ended up better, though (to @slicknick13 ’s point).

    My question is about the poll for this thread and what a “nice” playfield looks like. Is that playfield in the realm of “nice”? (Rhetorical question)

    That’s pretty typical of all the HS I have seen. Any truly “nice” playfields would be pretty rare, so they *should* be worth more given that rarity.

    #110 58 days ago
    Quoted from yellowghost:

    I reckon a majority of the peoples have never tried a machine with a hard-top. If it plays the same as original

    This. I've played a handful of machines that have been hardtopped, and I own one-- they are IMO better than an original playfield. Plays faster, with no ball marks, and ridiculously easy to clean.

    Quoted from too-many-pins:

    I think like everything else in life some people will love them and others hate them. I have zero experience

    Truthfully, I think most of the hate comes from people who have never tried one. I was at a tournament last year where everyone was raving about how this one particular machine played. The owner mentioned that he had recently installed a hard top. a couple of people immediately changed their tune to "oh, I don't like those". BS... when you didn't know the game had one, you thought it was the best example you had ever played.

    #111 58 days ago

    "I don't like FISH" have you ever tried fish - NO then how do you know you don't like fish!

    People tend to resist change and I do get that. I am "on the fence" about keeping this machine long term and would likely sell it if I found a Space Shuttle with a nice original playfield. I don't want the expense of time or money to do a playfield swap and you just don't see SS come up for sale often with a nice original playfield so the hardtop made sense to me at least for now.

    #112 58 days ago

    It’s made for interesting discussion. Thanks for starting the thread!

    #113 58 days ago

    Looks like based on the poll, about 60% are not wanting the hardtop, think it decreases value, or is equal to a nice used pf.

    #114 58 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Looks like based on the poll, about 60% are not wanting the hardtop, think it decreases value, or is equal to a nice used pf.

    Thats just based on 196 people that even participated in the poll, not the entire hobby. I'd be willing to bet more than 196 hardtops are on back order.

    #115 58 days ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    Thats just based on 196 people that even participated in the poll, not the entire hobby. I'd be willing to bet more than 196 hardtops are on back order.

    Very true but IME polls on here with almost 200 responders tend to give a pretty solid look into the hobbyist market.

    #116 58 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Looks like based on the poll, about 60% are not wanting the hardtop, think it decreases value, or is equal to a nice used pf.

    I don't know what numbers you are looking at but I see 50% think value is the same or more with hardtop and 45% think it is less or don't like hardtops. With the other 5% thinking it was a stupid question.

    From day one with this post it looks like the pinball community is about 50/50 on them. I'll know better what I think of them once I own one.

    10
    #117 58 days ago

    Before and after. Gee I dunno guys, did I increase the value?

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    #118 58 days ago
    Quoted from Spraynard:

    Before and after. Gee I dunno guys, did I increase the value?

    Better than beat to hell for sure, but see if you can get $3k for it.

    What one I know of just sold for with a slightly worn original playfield

    #119 58 days ago

    I’m pretty sure that a hardtop would help the value of my EK even if it’s just a little bit. I guarantee I can get more for it if I were to sell it with with a hardtop on it than beat to crap.

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    #120 57 days ago

    Well that won't require much sanding.

    #121 57 days ago
    Quoted from cjchand:

    Not really. These things stick to the wood *very* well. You'd pull up the top layer of the wood if you tried to remove the Hardtop. I suppose you could Bondo the playfield, sand, etc. But, at that point you might just wanna find a donor playfield, instead.

    Didn't realize these glued to the pf. I thought they just dropped right over. I imagine if you manufactured pins with hardtops from the start you could screw them down in places to make them easier to remove.

    #122 57 days ago
    Quoted from jawjaw:

    Didn't realize these glued to the pf. I thought they just dropped right over. I imagine if you manufactured pins with hardtops from the start you could screw them down in places to make them easier to remove.

    Their self adhesive, I think if they were screwed down, there would be nothing to keep the dirt out,
    and screws would probably make it bow, and never lay totally flat.

    #123 56 days ago
    Quoted from wdennie:

    Their self adhesive, I think if they were screwed down, there would be nothing to keep the dirt out,
    and screws would probably make it bow, and never lay totally flat.

    Certainly that issue among several other problems. Reliably providing a true/flat surface, sealing out contaminants and best replicating the traditional clear coat surface in regard to ball play is deceivingly difficult.

    Yes, we are still reading

    #124 56 days ago
    Quoted from Its_me_aj:

    I’m pretty sure that a hardtop would help the value of my EK even if it’s just a little bit. I guarantee I can get more for it if I were to sell it with with a hardtop on it than beat to crap.[quoted image]

    EXACTLY an example of what we hope we will never have to shed a tear over again while someone says they are “parting out” due to playfield being trashed. Awesome example of why we do what we do!

    #125 56 days ago
    Quoted from SimpleSam:

    hard to get your money out of a Comet or Space Shuttle.

    Yeah. I got f--ked on my Shuttle after I put the CPR playfield in it. I'm not even sure I broke even, and I bought that game as my first pin for all of 500 bucks! If I could go back, I never would've sold it. Still pisses me off that it won a "Best XYZ" award at a show after being repainted and the trim being cleaned up. Just a bit. I completely resoldered every wire on that play field. Every. ONE.

    #126 56 days ago

    I feel bad ruining an original playfield (gramma margie repainted the pool balls on with oil paints) but I think this sucker is getting a hard top! Will it hurt the value?

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    #127 56 days ago

    ,
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    60% don't like hardtops?

    #128 56 days ago

    What is up with people on both sides of this debate counting “worth about the same” as either for or against hard tops depending on their agenda.

    Sounds like a vote for not caring either way.

    #129 56 days ago

    for me it depends on the quality of the hardtop installation......

    #130 55 days ago
    Quoted from Skypilot:

    ,[quoted image]

    Umm. That first category is a negative.

    That is saying that after all the work of stripping, leveling, sanding, and installing a hardtop, that you wasted your time and money as those people would have just taken it with the nice original pf.

    #131 55 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Umm. That first category is a negative.
    That is saying that after all the work of stripping, leveling, sanding, and installing a hardtop, that you wasted your time and money as those people would have just taken it with the nice original pf.

    I read it like this: Two games for sale, one with Hardtop, one with decent original playfield. Price is the same.

    For the Hardtopped machine, I'll assume that the playfield was blown out and replaced while you can assume that the playfield was already nice and then replaced.

    #132 55 days ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Looks like based on the poll, about 60% are not wanting the hardtop, think it decreases value, or is equal to a nice used pf.

    Quoted from Skypilot:

    ,[quoted image]

    I was going to make the point that you will spin things to your advantage. But it was late and I did not realize I left that on a post. I liked the"60% are not wanting the hardtop"

    #133 55 days ago
    Quoted from Skypilot:

    I was going to make the point that you will spin things to your advantage. But it was late and I did not realize I left that on a post. I liked the"60% are not wanting the hardtop"

    I am sorry you don’t seem to understand that I get no advantage from this. I am just a customer and collector sharing my opinion. Appears the poll is not clear it people read that first one differently, but your defensiveness and personal attacks are abundantly clear.

    Oh well.

    Your product is cool for what it is, but the poll shows that installing one does impact the demand of resale down the road as many people have no desire for it.

    If anything, I think this thread provides a good example of where those selling a product should probably not constantly interject and defend the product when customers are providing a valid opinion.

    #134 55 days ago

    I think a hardtop increases the value of a machine it's installed in.

    The original manufacturers spent a lot of time and money to make their playfields smooth and shiny with great artwork to provide the player with a visual treat while ensuring fast, and zippy game play.

    Unless the original playfield is in perfect as-new condition a new hardtop will make a tired playfield new again. Thus increasing it's value.

    Original playfields are awesome... when they're in as-new condition, and 99.9% of what's out there isn't anymore.

    -Paul

    #135 55 days ago

    Whysnow,
    You have made it well known that you are a HUGE fanboy of CPR in past threads. You express the pinball world in black and white. So please don't paint yourself as the voice of reason. I am not trying to attack you but I grow tired of the spin.

    As far as my defending Outside Edge and their product, well guilty. I will always express my opinion on this product because I use it. I have several Hardtop game in my shop that I'm preparing for route. They are sitting next to a couple of full restoration games that I would never consider putting out. I believe it to be the greatest product to hit the pinball market in years.
    Sorry if you feel its personal, its not. We have two very different opinions.

    #136 55 days ago

    A hardtop placed over a worn playfield will increase the value of a machine for me.
    I respect that not everyone will want one, but if you look at the market archives already, the machines with hardtops ( comet/space shuttle for example ) have definitely sold for more than even nice/touched up originals. I take this to mean there is a demand for them by at least some people at this point.
    I also think the vote choice of a “nice” playfield is hard bc it will mean different things to different folks. It can be a broad term.

    #137 55 days ago
    Quoted from Skypilot:

    tired of the spin.

    CPR playfields are the gold standard of playfield restoration, period, short of having a NOS playfield that's 100% pristine and having it cleared by a professional. Are we really arguing a plastic sheet is the same? C'mon.

    Hardtops are acceptable in MANY situations, but the big three are: Laziness, Cheapskatedness, Unavailability of better option. If there's a choice between CPR or Hardtop for the same game, I really can't fathom picking the Hardtop. Does that mean I wouldn't buy a game with one on it? Hell no, that's stupid. In fact, I plan to put one on a Future Spa playfield because CPR apparently WILL NOT EVER RUN IT even though they're already doing Paragon and Space Invaders!

    You also have to consider the CPR playfield is more likely to hold up over time, and be more easily repairable, while a hardtop, if damaged, is simply done and has to be fully replaced. You can't touch up art and reclear a hardtop. In that regard, a hardtop is definitely worth less than a CPR playfield, but I still think it's vastly better than a beat up original playfield with flaking worn art.

    #138 55 days ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    CPR playfields are the gold standard of playfield restoration, period, short of having a NOS playfield that's 100% pristine and having it cleared by a professional. Are we really arguing a plastic sheet is the same? C'mon.
    Hardtops are acceptable in MANY situations, but the big three are: Laziness, Cheapskatedness, Unavailability of better option. If there's a choice between CPR or Hardtop for the same game, I really can't fathom picking the Hardtop. Does that mean I wouldn't buy a game with one on it? Hell no, that's stupid. In fact, I plan to put one on a Future Spa playfield because CPR apparently WILL NOT EVER RUN IT even though they're already doing Paragon and Space Invaders!
    You also have to consider the CPR playfield is more likely to hold up over time, and be more easily repairable, while a hardtop, if damaged, is simply done and has to be fully replaced. You can't touch up art and reclear a hardtop. In that regard, a hardtop is definitely worth less than a CPR playfield, but I still think it's vastly better than a beat up original playfield with flaking worn art.

    Honestly I was going to buy a whirlwind playfield from cpr but after reading about clear chipping off during assembly, the art defect that was never addressed, dimples not present or in the wrong spot. I decided to do touch ups and get a playfield protector and don’t regret it one bit. I have a feeling all my pins will end up with a layer of plastic on them, either hardtop or protectors.

    #139 55 days ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    You also have to consider the CPR playfield is more likely to hold up over time, and be more easily repairable, while a hardtop, if damaged, is simply done and has to be fully replaced. You can't touch up art and reclear a hardtop.

    Not so sure about that. Those 30+ year old plastic Spanish playfields all seem to have held up great. I guess if you carve your initials into a plastic playfield it would be much harder to fix up. But metal balls rolling around on them seem to cause minimal damage.

    #140 55 days ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    Hardtops are acceptable in MANY situations, but the big three are: Laziness, Cheapskatedness, Unavailability of better option.

    There is another: Return on investment. Paying $800+ for a playfield on a pin that you’d be lucky to get $1900 for would have to be done on a “bolt it to the floor” situation. For those who want to earn a bit of sweat equity by improving it, play the pin, then rotate it out, those numbers just don’t make sense.

    I respect that many see a Hardtop as degrading the pin, not improving it. As the poll shows, there’s enough people out there that see it differently to at least break even on the deal.

    Quoted from Frax:

    You also have to consider the CPR playfield is more likely to hold up over time, and be more easily repairable, while a hardtop, if damaged, is simply done and has to be fully replaced. You can't touch up art and reclear a hardtop. In that regard, a hardtop is definitely worth less than a CPR playfield, but I still think it's vastly better than a beat up original playfield with flaking worn art.

    If you manage to let it wear through the 30mils of PETG before it touches the art, then you’d have a poorly playing pin, anyway Best to just get a new playfield at that point.

    #141 55 days ago

    I personally would take the time to find any game I'm looking for with a decent original playfield or an OEM NOS.

    If that is not your standard, you have the option of a repro, a hardtop, or any of the other ways to make a game presentable enough for whatever your budget or standard is.

    Or you can just play a beat to shit worn out playfield if that is your fancy.

    All this debating what is worth more or less and who is right and who is wrong, seems kind of silly.

    #142 55 days ago

    There is an answer.

    vid1900-1.jpg
    #143 55 days ago
    Quoted from jellikit:

    There is an answer.[quoted image]

    Even Vid himself threw in the towel because of the economics for some pins

    Quoted from vid1900:

    ..
    The next question you will ask is "Vid, why do you restore the Comet in a conventional way?", "Why not repaint and water slide decal the playfield?"
    Good question.
    The answer is that up until the last few years of Williams existence, they made the most crappy playfields ever seen. The paint is like chalk, the topcoat is almost nothing - these things were meant to be disposable.
    Look how 99% of all Comets appear wherever there was no Mylar; tons of planking, faded, chalky garbage.
    [quoted image]
    Python drew so much little detail in the artwork, that it would be a $1600 restoration job to repaint and waterslide decal a Comet.
    [quoted image]
    So that's too much work for a game that only sells for $2500 restored.

    #144 55 days ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    All this debating what is worth more or less and who is right and who is wrong, seems kind of silly.

    First: Totally agree

    Second: For me it’s about learning everyone’s opinions, the basis for them, etc - not saying one side is “right”

    Third: This *is* Pinside. What else do we do here?

    #145 54 days ago

    This is the space shuttle that made me believe in hardtops increasing value. This is @fattdirks game at Madcap brew co in Kent. Hardtop was installed almost 3 years ago. Has easily 10,000 games on it. This poor game gets the shit played out of it and still looks brand new.

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    #146 54 days ago
    Quoted from orangegsx:

    Honestly I was going to buy a whirlwind playfield from cpr but after reading about clear chipping off during assembly, the art defect that was never addressed, dimples not present or in the wrong spot. I decided to do touch ups and get a playfield protector and don’t regret it one bit. I have a feeling all my pins will end up with a layer of plastic on them, either hardtop or protectors.

    I know a guy that does restorations and he actually charges extra for CPR playfield swaps. This is just a great honet guy all day long and if he says CPR stuff is a PITA I believe him.

    So with that being said, if there's a huge price difference between a hardtop and a CPR I'd definently go hardtop. In a home environment I sincerely doubt you'll ever wear one out anyway.

    #147 54 days ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    This is the space shuttle that made me believe in hardtops increasing value. This is @fattdirks game at Madcap brew co in Kent. Hardtop was installed almost 3 years ago. Has easily 10,000 games on it. This poor game gets the shit played out of it and still looks brand new.[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

    The highest game number we have heard yet on route is for a Space Shuttle... is 20,000+ games and counting. Still looks great according to the owner.

    Perception is playing a large roll with folk's opinions vs hard (no pun intended!) facts. That is ok! I was once told by a smart guy that perception forms 99% of reality. We are the new kids here (well sort of... the post referring to the now quite old Spanish games is spot on).

    Tradition is tradition, and we understand that. Just like they quit mounting seats backwards in station wagons...then they quit making station wagons!... was I mad? Hell yes I was! ... but anyway...

    We will continue to do what we do with many more titles coming. Along with that, for all of you to review... we will disclose actual material testing results sometime down the road as they become available.

    The traditional way of playing on a cured polymer surface is by spraying it onto wood. We are simply choosing a more durable/thicker polymer and bonding it via industrial PS adhesive... and our refinement and development will continue. In the end, if you want the art to hold up.... you are ALL playing on plastic via sprayed on, or an adhered hardened surface).

    Perception.... and we know we wont convince everyone, but we are confident more will understand as we go. We want many many more games to look and play like a million bucks before we are done.

    We will be roaming, hydrating, playing at Expo if anyone wants to chat! We are not exhibiting this year, but will be around. We are delivering more than a few Hardtops to customers who have already purchased also. Just PM me if you want...

    Cheers!

    #148 54 days ago

    Played a Wizard! at the York pin show that had a hardtop installed. Wouldn’t have known if the guy working on the Space Shuttle next to it didn’t tell me. I assumed it was a reproduction playfield. Thought it played great. Much rather have that than a blown out playfield.

    #149 54 days ago


    Quoted from Outsidedge:.then they quit making station wagons!... was I mad? Hell yes I was!

    Did you want a station wagon?

    #150 54 days ago

    I was surprised to find that many SUV's are classified by the state of PA as station wagons.

    This makes me happy because the registration fee for trucks is way higher than for passenger cars/station wagons. I assume full size vans count as trucks? I know cargo vans do.

    The thinking that a pickup truck requires 4x the registration fee than a passenger car I haven't figured out yet.

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