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Where are the Best and Worst Jet/Pop Bumpers located in pinball?

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By mof

2 years ago


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  • Latest reply 2 years ago by TheLaw

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#1 2 years ago

Where are the Best and Worst Jet/Pop Bumpers located in pinball? (will use "pop bumper" for now)

Please tell us in your own words:
1. Which pins have the Best pop bumper action?
2. Which pins have the Worst pop bumper action?
3. What makes for Great pop bumper action?
4. What makes for Bad pop bumper action?

I'd like to start with a few responses based on observations from playing in my collection:

Great pop bumper action is the result of a few things I can see:

1. Randomized play that "makes you pay attention" -- I don't just mean a random ball redirect. I mean play where a pop can send a ball fired SDTM every now and then. Something awesome like that that keeps you on your toes.

2. Free points. I really like when the pops help score the 1-2-3 lanes for me, and I just have to be quick to change the lanes a few times with the flipper buttons, and I get a few sets of 1-2-3 which gets me closer to an extra ball or other reward.

3. Hits hard to reach targets. I really like when my Taxi pops hit the "carry passengers" stationary target for me. In Nine Ball, there's a hidden saucer that only a Pop hit can reach.

4. Activates a cool toy. In The X-MEN L.E. When in STORM mode, the POPs trigger the shaker motor so well the floor shakes.

5. Bad pop bumper action is the result of putting them too close to an edge (Whirlwind), and not allowing the ball redirects to hit any cool targets or force a drain every now and then.

Based on those ideas, here are my machines, and how they stack up in terms of "Do the pops give good action?" Listen man, if the action is BAD, explain why -- you dig?

GREAT
* Sorcerer: the pops help me score A-B-C-D lanes and the 3-drop targets.
* Space Shuttle: the pops help me score the U-S-A lanes and sometimes fire a shot SDTM. Forces me to pay attention.
* Taxi: the pops score "C-A-B" for me, and hit random targets as well such as "carry passenger".
* Black Knight: the single pop helps score a "locked ball" or any of 6 drop targets. Sometimes sends a ball to the evil ramp that SDTM's you down below.
* Diner: the pops help score "E-A-T" for me, and hit hard-to-reach targets like "grill bonus".

GOOD
* Cyclone: the pops score "1-2-3" for me, which is really important for 2x scoring.
* Space Station: the pops help score "U-S-A", and sometimes help with "T-I-O-N" but, they are non-lethal.

BAD
* Whirlwind: pops are too close to the EDGES of the playfield. This means a lot of balls hit nothing but more pops, or the edge of the playfield.

NONE
* Grand Lizard. no pops, doesn't need 'em !

I wrote this after seeing the Hobbit pop bumper placement and thought -- SHEESH looks like Whirlwind pops, and I don't like them in that game at all. They are placed too close to the top of the machine (an edge), and they seem to hold up the game action...

Tell us about what pins you think have best/worst pops and more important -- WHY you think so... !

At the end of the day -- hopefully Stern/JJP/others will listen up to what Pinsiders have to report...

-mof


#2 2 years ago

Breakshot has the snappiest pop bumpers in my collection.
DSCN1680.JPGDSCN1680.JPG (Click image to enlarge)


#3 2 years ago
o-din said:

Breakshot has the snappiest pop bumpers in my collection.

What makes them well-located in Breakshot?
-mof


#4 2 years ago
mof said:

What makes them well-located in Breakshot?

I believe that credit goes to Capcom and Greg Kmiec, the designer.


#5 2 years ago

First off Williams/Bally/Midway are called Jet Bumpers. Sega/Data East/ Stern are called POP bumpers. Worst Jet bumpers in my collection are on TOTAN. There is a left orbit shot to feed the Jet Bumpers. A switch makes a post shoot up to divert the pinball into the Jets but 99% of the time the pinball fly's right buy. Best POP Bumper action in my collection is the POPs on STERN's The X-MEN L.E. When in STORM mode the POPs trigger the shaker motor so well the floor shakes.


#6 2 years ago
o-din said:

Breakshot has the snappiest pop bumpers in my collection.

Yep. My Airborne gets some crazy pop bumper action as well.


#7 2 years ago

Transformers has some great ones.


#8 2 years ago

Best for me would have to be CV.

Great randomizer that really keeps you on your feet and also includes the outlane area, occasionally hits the Menagerie and other targets for you and best of all: Together with the Boom Balloon they change their layout and the total gameplay massively for a short while.


#9 2 years ago
RobKnapp said:

First off Williams/Bally/Midway are called Jet Bumpers. Sega/Data East/ Stern are called POP bumpers. Worst Jet bumpers in my collection are on TOTAN. There is a left orbit shot to feed the Jet Bumpers. A switch makes a post shoot up to divert the pinball into the Jets but 99% of the time the pinball fly's right buy. Best POP Bumper action in my collection is the POPs on STERN's The X-MEN L.E. When in STORM mode the POPs trigger the shaker motor so well the floor shakes.

1. Thanks for the vocabulary tweak -- appreciated.
2. There are pops in TOTAN ??? LOL ! -- I'm not a big DMD fan for endless reasons, but I consider TOTAN the best DMD ever, and now I'm crushed to know it has a design flaw.
3. Thanks for the extra reason Jets/Pops are cool - they can activate a toy.
-mof


#10 2 years ago

I'm probably spoiling the fun by saying that I've seen very good and very bad bumper action on the same games. Often that's a matter of cleaning and adjusting. In general the popbumpers that have the best feel to them, to me, are the ones on old Stern Electronics games. They have a sort of rubber feel to them (best way I can describe it). I really like to be have the ball to get a beating in those bumpers, but most often after a few pops that's about it.


#11 2 years ago

Some of the best jets would have to go to cftbl Ngg dw


#12 2 years ago
unigroove said:

I'm probably spoiling the fun by saying that I've seen very good and very bad bumper action on the same games. Often that's a matter of cleaning and adjusting. In general the popbumpers that have the best feel to them, to me, are the ones on old Stern Electronics games. They have a sort of rubber feel to them (best way I can describe it). I really like to be have the ball to get a beating in those bumpers, but most often after a few pops that's about it.

You make a good point... Keep those pops clean!!!

I started the thread from a design perspective, can you say a little bit about which machines you have seen that have the best pop bumper placement design -- and Why?
thanks man!
-mof


#13 2 years ago

Firepower is a great example of the pops for me, particularly in a good clean game. The ball can get crazy in there.
My BOP had a tendency to shoot the ball out of the pops so fast it would go SDTM at times even with the ball gate in place and I couldn't react quick enough to save it.


#14 2 years ago
RobKnapp said:

First off Williams/Bally/Midway are called Jet Bumpers. Sega/Data East/ Stern are called POP bumpers. Worst Jet bumpers in my collection are on TOTAN. There is a left orbit shot to feed the Jet Bumpers. A switch makes a post shoot up to divert the pinball into the Jets but 99% of the time the pinball fly's right buy. Best POP Bumper action in my collection is the POPs on STERN's The X-MEN L.E. When in STORM mode the POPs trigger the shaker motor so well the floor shakes.

When Bally was Bally and Williams was Williams; Bally had Thumper Bumpers, Williams had Jet Bumpers and Gogtlieb had Pop Bumpers. Not suer about Chicago Coin or Stern Electronics. May have just been "Bumpers".


#15 2 years ago

Just curious... When are they going to design a game without the standard "triangle jet bumpers" setup. I think they should at least try to go back to the EM roots and stick em all over the place.


#16 2 years ago

I think they should at least try to go back to the EM roots and stick em all over the place.

Sure, why not!

DSCN1683.JPGDSCN1683.JPG (Click image to enlarge) DSCN1682.JPGDSCN1682.JPG (Click image to enlarge) image-17.jpgimage-17.jpg (Click image to enlarge)


#17 2 years ago

TOTAN Jet bumpers are the best!

» YouTube video


#18 2 years ago

Getaway has great action off the pops t2 does too


#19 2 years ago

I like the sound of the bumpers on Monopoly and for fastest action it's on my T-2.


#20 2 years ago

I have been playing my Flintstones a lot lately, and the pops seem pretty good there. They help you score the dig rollovers, which is important for a number of reasons, and then it can feed your upper flipper or squeak out the other side and cause you all sorts of problems if you aren't paying attention.

My one complaint about them is that they are needed to complete bedrock derby, and that's the time the ball will always fall through the pops without hitting anything. It never fails. I'll get great action in the pops the whole rest of the game, and the that stupid derby mode tarts and it seems like I can never get them to fire.

Also the bronto crane is designed to dump the ball out past the pops, but more often tan not the ball bounces back in. Except during bedrock derby, lol.


#21 2 years ago

the huts on my Special Force trap the ball pretty good. the Pinball by Stern I had had a good trio.


#22 2 years ago

oh the doodle bug i had with 5 of them was also cool


#23 2 years ago

The "lone" ranger.

DSCN1685.JPGDSCN1685.JPG (Click image to enlarge)


#24 2 years ago

Different pop play on Hollywood Heat is cool with it being isolated from the rest of the playfield and only the captive ball able to hit it.

hh.jpghh.jpg


#25 2 years ago

Black Knight 2000 has the jet bumpers up on the upper playfield, where they can send the ball up into the WIN lanes or down into the WAR lanes unexpectedly, or over into the drawbridge targets.


#26 2 years ago
Nilroc said:

TOTAN Jet bumpers are the best!
ยป YouTube video

WTF is up with that? No way I could EVER make that happen on my old TOTAN unless I rigged it.

Also love how the solo pop on F-14 can score you a "Tomcat"


#27 2 years ago

I don't like the ones that pretty much force the ball to dribble out of the nest. Stern seems to like the nest with a controlled exit, i like a little chaos coming out of pops.


#28 2 years ago

Everyone needs to stop and think of the short lived WICO Af-Tor. BEST BUMPER ACTION EVER!!! Todd Tuckey did a video about it on youtube


#29 2 years ago

Sharpshooter has good pop bumpers, they keep you on your toes by the flippers


#30 2 years ago
zippydapinhead said:

WTF is up with that? No way I could EVER make that happen on my old TOTAN unless I rigged it."

Me neither - never seen that on mine.

RobKnapp said:

Worst Jet bumpers in my collection are on TOTAN. There is a left orbit shot to feed the Jet Bumpers. A switch makes a post shoot up to divert the pinball into the Jets but 99% of the time the pinball fly's right buy.

Mine started doing this for a bit. Replaced the microswitch in the left orbit and every ball has been stopped since.

As for good pop bumpers, I don't think they are great but I love using the pops in spiderman to complete the bonesaw mode. Just love it.


#31 2 years ago
Kneissl said:

I don't like the ones that pretty much force the ball to dribble out of the nest. Stern seems to like the nest with a controlled exit, i like a little chaos coming out of pops.

mof said:

2. Free points. I really like when the pops help score the 1-2-3 lanes for me, and I just have to be quick to change the lanes a few times with the flipper buttons, and I get a few sets of 1-2-3 which gets me closer to an extra ball or other reward.

Both of these points are key for me.

I love games that have rollover lanes near pops that are active enough to send the ball up into them. It's like a mini-game in itself!

I've only owned two games with pops so far: JP and DW (only got my Dr dude today and haven't got it up and running).

DW pretty much has the Stern-style 'pop-nest' where there is no benefit except for filling the transmat and there is a controlled exit via VUK. There is a side exit that the ball often flies out of leaving some element of unpredictability but it's mostly frustrating

JP had pretty good bumpers. DE bumpers get a bad rap compared to B/W but after I rebuilt and properly adjusted them they were as good as any B/W bumpers. Often the ball would fly out STDM so there was an element of risk to shooting them or not. They were hooked to the shaker motor which was cool and the 'Save Timmy' was good fun with them.

I do agree, though, that EMs and early SS games had much more creative use of pop bumpers. Close Encounters of the Third Kind comes to mind as one I've played recently that had good pops. It was fun to use them to bank balls into drop targets.


#32 2 years ago

My EATPM has crazy pop bumper action. My rocky and bullwinkle has almost none.

I never get to them on my Judge Dredd....


#33 2 years ago

My F-14 has great pop action. You can use the bumper to score tomcat letters on the standups, and it sends the ball flying across the playfield regularly. It makes controlling the upper playfield very difficult.


#34 2 years ago
tamoore said:

I never get to them on my Judge Dredd....

I noticed the same thing on No Fear. Man, that games fast!


#35 2 years ago

Firepower is a great example of the pops for me, particularly in a good clean game. The ball can get crazy in there

+1

I also love the 'Beast's Lair' on Paragon.

DSC01632.jpgDSC01632.jpg (Click image to enlarge)


#36 2 years ago
SunKing said:

+1
I also love the 'Beast's Lair' on Paragon.

Can you tell those of us who have never played Paragon why that pop placement is cool?

thanks!
-mof


#37 2 years ago
mof said:

Can you tell those of us who have never played Paragon why that pop placement is cool?

Have you heard folks raving about the 'mini-mode' in WOZ where you get to save the balls from the outlanes? While not as complex, it's similar to that. When it enters the Beast's Lair, be prepared to do some nudging. You can get it to pop back out the top, through the 'escape passage' gate to the flippers, or down and out. ...it's FUN and unpredictable.


#38 2 years ago
SunKing said:

Have you heard folks raving about the 'mini-mode' in WOZ where you get to save the balls from the outlanes? While not as complex, it's similar to that. When it enters the Beast's Lair, be prepared to do some nudging. You can get it to pop back out the top, through the 'Escape passage' gate to the flippers, or down and out. ...it's FUN and unpredictable.

Oh really? very cool. Played WOZ first time last night (once). It was good. It's always neat to know where games get their design ideas from. Sorcerer (1985) has the nice long curved row of stationary targets like Rainbow in WOZ -- but I have no idea if Sorcerer idea is original. I would bet it got the idea from an old EM.

-mof


#39 2 years ago

congo has some great pops. It can come out the top or the bottom super fast and is completely random. It can also assist for a volcanoe shot from the upper left flipper. Lastly they are perfectly placed for one of the best/most rewarding shots in pinball >> straight through the pops and up the volcanoe!!!


#40 2 years ago

Twilight Zone has to have some of the nastiest and badly placed pop bumpers ever! Right above the left outlane and inlanes, putting the ball into them will often result in a drain down the left outlane or the ball will arc out of the pops and go SDTM between the flippers without being able to do anything about it, grrrr!

Love the pops on Attack from Mars and Medieval Madness. You can often get the bonus multiplier way up with a good session in them, and with a long ball that's lots of extra points, and there is also the possibilty of the ball exiting left into the Merlin Saucer on MM for the extra ball without starting the Madness Multiball.


#41 2 years ago
zippydapinhead said:

Different pop play on Hollywood Heat is cool with it being isolated from the rest of the playfield and only the captive ball able to hit it.

GnR has a unique set-up where the captive ball works on one side of the left pop bumper, and regular balls in play the other.


#42 2 years ago
mof said:

* Whirlwind: pops are too close to the EDGES of the playfield. This means a lot of balls hit nothing but more pops, or the edge of the playfield.

That's the fun of them. Sometimes they come screaming out of there, sometimes they throw the ball around the orbits.

gweempose said:

Yep. My Airborne gets some crazy pop bumper action as well.

My Pinball Magic only has one and that thing is methed up for real. Weird design with rubbers all around it to keep it bouncing into it.


#43 2 years ago

I was about to say Pinball Magic. I haven't played it much, because it's at my mom's house, but there is just the one bumper surrounded by rubbers.

PM.jpgPM.jpg


#44 2 years ago
blondetall said:

I was about to say Pinball Magic. I haven't played it much, because it's at my mom's house, but there is just the one bumper surrounded by rubbers.

Very interesting. For those of us who have never even seen a PM -- how is that cool?
-mof


#45 2 years ago
mof said:

Very interesting. For those of us who have never even seen a PM -- how is that cool?
-mof

Well it's got a flasher on top of it and it can get going up there for awHile.


#46 2 years ago
Whysnow said:

congo has some great pops. It can come out the top or the bottom super fast and is completely random. It can also assist for a volcanoe shot from the upper left flipper. Lastly they are perfectly placed for one of the best/most rewarding shots in pinball >> straight through the pops and up the volcanoe!!!

+1

Gotta say, out of my small collection Congo definately takes it.


#47 2 years ago
accidental said:

DW pretty much has the Stern-style 'pop-nest' where there is no benefit except for filling the transmat and there is a controlled exit via VUK. There is a side exit that the ball often flies out of leaving some element of unpredictability but it's mostly frustrating

That's what I like about the pop bumper placement on Doctor Who. There are a lot of different startegies possible in that game - you could try to raise the transmat score or enter the Tardis to get to the video mode. If you try to raise the Transmat, the ball could pass the bumper area without any contact at all. And if you want to get to the video mode, those bumpers always push the ball out of the side exit.


#48 2 years ago

CFBL has very active pops


#49 2 years ago

Holy crap, ACDC people, c'mon! The most insane pops ever! Put some LED flashers under the PF and look out retinas!


#50 2 years ago
Tomcat said:

That's what I like about the pop bumper placement on Doctor Who. There are a lot of different startegies possible in that game - you could try to raise the transmat score or enter the Tardis to get to the video mode. If you try to raise the Transmat, the ball could pass the bumper area without any contact at all. And if you want to get to the video mode, those bumpers always push the ball out of the side exit.

That's very true, it keeps you on your toes. If there were no side exit then the gameplay would definitely be more boring.



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