(Topic ID: 267853)

Why is Mylar so hated? Help me understand...


By DakotaMike

71 days ago



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  • 37 posts
  • 27 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 67 days ago by ccbiggsoo7
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    #1 71 days ago

    Title says it all. Why are mylared playfields so reviled, and why are people so quick to try and pull mylar off of machines that they buy. Being happy to risk pulled insert decals or worse.

    I recently bought a non-cc'd Whirlwind and the playfield looks bright and pristine under the mylar. It would definitely not look like that if it hadn't been mylared back in the day. Ball play feels more or less the same as my un-mylared Mousin' Around right next to it. Maybe a hair slower. However, I decided to clean and wax the mylar and damn, it was like playing on ice. I had to actually try and clean the wax off the mylared areas because it played too fast. I was getting saucer rejects and damaged plastics.

    So yeah, I'd much prefer a mylared System 11 with a beautiful playfield than an un-mylared one that was all worn. A few inserts have slight cloudiness due to separation from the mylar. But you can't see it when the game/lights are on, and the mylar keeps the ball from getting hung up on the insert edges, so again worth the slight drawback to me.

    Or is the main problem faded/dirty/lifting mylar? Some insight would be appreciated!

    IMG_PF (resized).jpg
    #2 71 days ago

    Mylar has saved thousands of playfields which would otherwise be in the dumpster. People only hate it because it is harder to polish than a clearcoated playfield. It's not inherently evil and most people who take Mylar off their playfields don't really need to.

    #3 71 days ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    Or is the main problem faded/dirty/lifting mylar? Some insight would be appreciated!

    You figured it out. If it is pristine, its fine... but imagine it is lifting up and there is dirt under it and air pockets. I give you a photo of my WW.

    B4D75B98-38D6-48EA-A23D-EB301450D2F1 (resized).jpeg
    #4 71 days ago

    Mylar was needed back then, but it's not needed in the home environment now. What's underneath usually is a huge improvement.
    Just like you'll see people against buying a NIB and having it mylar, its complete overkill.

    #5 71 days ago
    Quoted from skink91:

    You figured it out. If it is pristine, its fine... but imagine it is lifting up and there is dirt under it and air pockets. I give you a photo of my WW.
    [quoted image]

    People don’t hate mylar, they hate how poorly mylar has aged after being abused and left on for days at a time, 24/7 and now it’s lifted and bubbled and basically garbage.

    #6 71 days ago

    When it creates pockets of abrasive material and wears away an area that was supposedly protected.

    #7 71 days ago

    People don't like how it gets scuffed up and cloudy. Personally, I generally leave it in place and clean and buff, unless there are issues with edges peeling up or bubbles. I really don't want to deal with the removal process and the potential paint loss if there's nothing really wrong with it. The enemy of good is better, as the saying goes.

    As for why people don't want to put down *new* mylar, I have no idea. I always put down new mylar in high wear areas, and it's nearly invisible. I guess some people say that the game plays differently with mylar on the playfield? I can't say that I've ever noticed a difference. But, I'm just a casual player and not really a tournament player.

    #8 71 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    As for why people don't want to put down *new* mylar, I have no idea.

    I reckon nowadays people would use a playfield protector which doesn’t need adhesive if the entire playfield is to covered.

    #9 71 days ago
    Quoted from arolden:

    Mylar has saved thousands of playfields which would otherwise be in the dumpster. People only hate it because it is harder to polish than a clearcoated playfield. It's not inherently evil and most people who take Mylar off their playfields don't really need to.

    ^^^ All of this. ^^^

    You can polish Mylar up to a high sheen with a drill polishing kit and some 3M products.

    Comes up great!!

    No need to risk removing it and ruining your perfectly good playfield.

    rd

    #10 71 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    I guess some people say that the game plays differently with mylar on the playfield? I can't say that I've ever noticed a difference. But, I'm just a casual player and not really a tournament player

    I’ve used mylar on a number of pins to protect touched-up areas, and I’m another casual player that doesn’t notice a difference.

    #11 71 days ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    ^^^ All of this. ^^^
    You can polish Mylar up to a high sheen with a drill polishing kit and some 3M products.
    Comes up great!!
    No need to risk removing it and ruining your perfectly good playfield.
    rd

    Hey Rotodave.... what’s the best products to use for polishing mylar? I have a drill attachment and want to shine mine up. You mention 3m products. Compound? Carnuba?

    #12 71 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Mylar was needed back then, but it's not needed in the home environment now. What's underneath usually is a huge improvement.
    Just like you'll see people against buying a NIB and having it mylar, its complete overkill.

    Aren't playfield protectors basically the same thing? Just more easily removed without danger to the art? Plenty of people put those on new machines, but maybe they don't really need to? I guess they also cut down on dimpling too, right?

    #13 71 days ago
    Quoted from Meri-cah:

    Hey Rotodave.... what’s the best products to use for polishing mylar? I have a drill attachment and want to shine mine up. You mention 3m products. Compound? Carnuba?

    I imagine its similar to the polishing kits Treasure Cove pinball used to sell. I have several of these kits and I can usually bring back even the worst mylar or playfield back to new with them. I believe as rotodave pointed out 3M sells a similar kit.

    TC (resized).jpg
    #15 71 days ago
    Quoted from DakotaMike:

    Aren't playfield protectors basically the same thing? Just more easily removed without danger to the art? Plenty of people put those on new machines, but maybe they don't really need to? I guess they also cut down on dimpling too, right?

    Yes they are the same thing, but your nib game, or your whirlwind, won't receive a fraction of plays it did back in the day, and under better care now.

    Dimpling is a another year fear that nothing can help.

    The problem with your scenario is your WW looks great, so you shouldn't change anything, but plenty of mylar Is garbage at this point

    #16 71 days ago

    so if you can polish it up to glass, then how do you take care of the areas that have lifted off of the inserts? is there a way to make it go back down?

    #17 70 days ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    I imagine its similar to the polishing kits Treasure Cove pinball used to sell. I have several of these kits and I can usually bring back even the worst mylar or playfield back to new with them. I believe as rotodave pointed out 3M sells a similar kit.
    [quoted image]

    I've used that kit and never had much luck with it.

    #18 70 days ago

    I agree, mylar has been helpful on many games. When it starts bubbling is when it negatively impacts gameplay. Even on modern games mylar is used in high wear areas.

    Then again some others see mylar like this lol.

    402ona (resized).jpg

    #19 70 days ago

    I think this is 3m’s version of that.

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    #20 70 days ago

    Give me Mylar all day long over the clear plastic playfield protectors. Two reasons:

    1) The protector is floating. It can and will move slightly during game play. When dirt is trapped between the protector and the playfield, the dirt particles scratch the PF. Granted, they’re very small scratches, but a few thousand very small scratches starts to look much worse over an insert than a bit of cloudy Mylar.

    2) The ball doesn’t react the same with the protector. It almost wanders or “ghosts”. I don’t know how to put it into words but it seems like the ball will begin to spin in a direction totally unprecedented and strange things occur. Maybe I’m the only person that feels this way?

    #21 70 days ago

    Mylar's fine in spot use for specific trouble areas of high wear or impact. I use it for shooter lanes all the time, and it works great. But for a whole playfield? Nope. Maybe in the olden days, but not now.

    #22 70 days ago

    No, you don’t put a whole sheet of Mylar on your playfield now - that’s silly - this is more for dealing with stuff that was put on 20 years ago.

    Quoted from Meri-cah:

    Hey Rotodave.... what’s the best products to use for polishing mylar?

    Right ...

    I use the 3m Perfect It stuff, as posted above.

    I used to use the Treasure Cove kits, as also posted above, but when Alan died they said it was basically all 3M stuff anyway, and I can get that locally, so that’s what I use.

    I use it on both normal playfields and Mylar playfields.

    You need to be patient and go through the steps. If really bad, use 3 first and then 2. Sometimes I might do two a couple of times to get it the way I like it. Patience is the key.

    Exactly the same process for Mylar as per a normal cleared PF. Except Mylar, I’ll clean around the edges so that any gunk is gone.

    The Mylar gets so shiny, I’ve converted a few “must remove Mylar or buy a new playfield” guys into polishing guys.

    Re the bubbles question - yeah sometimes you have a few of those under Mylar. I just polish it up and they sort of aren’t so noticeable. For me, living down here, it’s like “hey I’ll live with these tiny bubbles that hardly anyone who’s coming to play my pins will notice and not spend $2000 NZD on a new playfield that my mates won’t even notice and won’t add any value to the game if I sell it”.

    rd

    #23 70 days ago

    Mylar is only as good as the person applying it!
    (Thank you for the overlapping and bubbely pieces in my inlanes dude!)

    #24 70 days ago
    Quoted from rotordave:

    No, you don’t put a whole sheet of Mylar on your playfield now - that’s silly - this is more for dealing with stuff that was put on 20 years ago.

    Right ...
    I use the 3m Perfect It stuff, as posted above.
    I used to use the Treasure Cove kits, as also posted above, but when Alan died they said it was basically all 3M stuff anyway, and I can get that locally, so that’s what I use.
    I use it on both normal playfields and Mylar playfields.
    You need to be patient and go through the steps. If really bad, use 3 first and then 2. Sometimes I might do two a couple of times to get it the way I like it. Patience is the key.
    Exactly the same process for Mylar as per a normal cleared PF. Except Mylar, I’ll clean around the edges so that any gunk is gone.
    The Mylar gets so shiny, I’ve converted a few “must remove Mylar or buy a new playfield” guys into polishing guys.
    Re the bubbles question - yeah sometimes you have a few of those under Mylar. I just polish it up and they sort of aren’t so noticeable. For me, living down here, it’s like “hey I’ll live with these tiny bubbles that hardly anyone who’s coming to play my pins will notice and not spend $2000 NZD on a new playfield that my mates won’t even notice and won’t add any value to the game if I sell it”.
    rd

    Thanks brutha! Picked up a beautiful police force with perfect mylar all over the playfield. Except it’s dull and I want to brighten it up. I will try and see what I can accomplish.

    #25 70 days ago
    Quoted from Meri-cah:

    Thanks brutha! Picked up a beautiful police force with perfect mylar all over the playfield. Except it’s dull and I want to brighten it up. I will try and see what I can accomplish.

    Easy peasy.

    If you’re in the USA, Harbor freight sells drill polishing kits on the cheap. The ones with foam pads. Just take it easy and you’ll be fine.

    Pays to strip down the top side of the playfield first, as the 3M shit flies everywhere. It’ll make a big mess if you leave stuff on there (unless you mask it all off)

    rd

    #26 70 days ago

    Actually, I used exactly those techniques on this Cirqus Voltaire playfield I did a few weeks ago. It had a little bit of Mylar, but mainly just a plain PF. You can see how good they come up.

    I don’t have any pics of my mylar polishing antics on my phone. But I have posted them on Pinside before. There are some of Diner being done in this thread:

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-5-days-of-rd

    This CV playfield was pretty poked before I polished it up ...

    rd
    1A28420B-ABDE-4D68-8D4B-321C7A126EB1 (resized).jpeg

    #27 70 days ago

    I have removed mylar from 2 playfields... they were yellow brittle and coming off. Otherwise... I don't mind mylar. I say if it is in halfway decent shape keep it on. If it is nasty remove it, touch up the paint and put a good clear coat over it.

    #28 70 days ago

    Condition is king!

    #29 70 days ago

    mylar is great for collectors because it has extended the life of thousands of games.

    As a player though, I hate it. I’m currently renting a Gottlieb silver slugger with an absolutely immaculate playfield and I lose easily eighty percent of my balls to a bubbly insert over the lanes or between the flippers. If I lose a ball or even get frustrated by Mylar on location I will never put quarters in that game again. Bubbly, ripped or otherwise poorly applied Mylar in the wrong place can ruin a games playability. I don’t care how good your funhouse looks if I have to worry about the Mylar every plunge.

    So, that’s why people hate it, because They’ve lost balls to it, Had balls get repeatedly stuck on it, and have probably put hours into fixing it, and lost sales Etc.

    #30 70 days ago

    Xenon was the only mylared game I ever had, back in the 80s. I was going to remove it but the second I started I could see paint flecks coming up with it so I said oh hell that's enough of that, and left it there. I didn't see where it made the ball action weird or goofy but it was probably on there since it was new so maybe when it gets worn and dulled it plays more like wood, I don't know. But if I'd bought the game new I wouldn't mylar it for just playing in the house.

    #31 70 days ago
    Quoted from SHOOTTHEPYRAMID:

    Bubbly, ripped or otherwise poorly applied Mylar in the wrong place can ruin a games playability. I don’t care how good your funhouse looks if I have to worry about the Mylar every plunge.

    Replace the word "mylar" and the descriptors in your statement with almost any typical feature of a pinball machine. For example:

    "Poorly maintained flippers"
    "Broken or missing rubbers"
    "Popped or unlevel inserts"
    "Burnt-out or eye-searing bulbs"
    "Stuck or disabled mechanisms"
    "Dirty or damaged playfield"

    ...and I'd say all of those (aside from maybe the last) are vastly more common to experience in the wild than faulty mylar.

    Mylar is but just another physical component of a game, that requires its own maintenance and upkeep. Not terribly much mind you. But if possible problems are left unaddressed it can cause larger problems down the line and/or render the game into unplayable garbage, just like any other part. By itself, when installed and maintained properly, mylar is perfectly fine.

    I tend to leave it alone. If an older game has a problem spot, I address that spot - the game probably would have been much much worse overall without the rest of the good mylar.

    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    #32 70 days ago
    Quoted from goingincirclez:

    Replace the word "mylar" and the descriptors in your statement with almost any typical feature of a pinball machine. For example:
    "Poorly maintained flippers"
    "Broken or missing rubbers"
    "Popped or unlevel inserts"
    "Burnt-out or eye-searing bulbs"
    "Stuck or disabled mechanisms"
    "Dirty or damaged playfield"
    ...and I'd say all of those (aside from maybe the last) are vastly more common to experience in the wild than faulty mylar.
    Mylar is but just another physical component of a game, that requires its own maintenance and upkeep. Not terribly much mind you. But if possible problems are left unaddressed it can cause larger problems down the line and/or render the game into unplayable garbage, just like any other part. By itself, when installed and maintained properly, mylar is perfectly fine.
    I tend to leave it alone. If an older game has a problem spot, I address that spot - the game probably would have been much much worse overall without the rest of the good mylar.
    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    Well obviously there are other things that can ruin a games playability. Mylar is the only one of those things you mentioned that was done to the machine intentionally. If someone said “I put protection on the flippers that makes them look good But they frequently cause the ball to drain just by being there and they are nearly impossible to replace without risk to the rest of the playfield” I would absolutely throw that baby out with the bath water!!

    #33 70 days ago

    has anyone tried polishing mylar with novus?

    #34 68 days ago

    I never really noticed much difference in play at all with or without mylar. So I never really got why so many people in there restorations were always pulling it when there was no real need too (unless they were clear coating it).

    Like I just got a playfield mostly to use as wall art so this next part doesn't really matter. But before I got it I noticed a little wear in places that I knew were high wear areas because they came from the factory with mylar in place there. I thought; wow it must have been played alot. Upon closer inspection I realized there was no mylar in place at all, it had been pulled (the field was even still sticky). All the damage in the area wasn't caused by the ball. But by some previous person pulling the mylar.

    The playfield would have been almost pristine without said past owners actions. Now to be fair it could have been causing an issue. But seeing as the old glue is still on the playfield I'm gonna go with the puller didn't really know what they where doing. They could have been attempting to prep it for new clear coat. But it's a diamond plate and still in nice shape so I don't know. It'll at least look nice on the wall.

    #35 68 days ago
    Quoted from Link_Standard:

    I knew were high wear areas because they came from the factory with mylar in place there.

    Note that mylar wasn't always placed in the correct spots. Sometimes, games had high wear areas that were not protected by factory mylar.

    What I usually do is look at for-sale ads or restoration threads to try to find some of the worst condition playfields available to see where they are wearing, and then protect those areas.

    #36 67 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    Note that mylar wasn't always placed in the correct spots. Sometimes, games had high wear areas that were not protected by factory mylar.
    What I usually do is look at for-sale ads or restoration threads to try to find some of the worst condition playfields available to see where they are wearing, and then protect those areas.

    Yeah I'm pretty sure all the playfields for this particular game had mylar in these areas. It's a high ball drop area and the pop bumpers. And the damage is a classic example of pulling the mylar directly without any external help of chemicals or things like freeze spray. But it's honestly not that bad. It's more of just a head shaker in a; you didn't have to do that, why'd you do that kinda way.

    #37 67 days ago
    Quoted from Yelobird:

    I imagine its similar to the polishing kits Treasure Cove pinball used to sell. I have several of these kits and I can usually bring back even the worst mylar or playfield back to new with them. I believe as rotodave pointed out 3M sells a similar kit.
    [quoted image]

    still sell the liquids! just not the pads.

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