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(Topic ID: 249691)

Wonka LE Sling Post Chipping in one month!!

By rs812

1 year ago

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  • 2,218 posts
  • 273 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by playernumber4
  • Topic is favorited by 46 Pinsiders


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Post #1403 Response from JJP from the Pinball Magazine podcast Posted by RobertWinter (1 year ago)

Post #1407 Transcribed response from JJP from the Pinball Magazine podcast Posted by RobertWinter (1 year ago)

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#3 1 year ago

Heres what I don't get. JJP knows this issue affected a good number of Pirates games and released the washer kit. It should be a given that the rubber washers are applied from the factory on all Wonka games.

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from snaroff:

Very sad to see chipping issues persist. My DILE chipped at the SIM hole after 40 plays or so. Fortunately, a Cliffy covered it (and I haven’t had chipping since). Some areas are easier to cover than others.
NIB quality really has become a total crap shoot.

This is a different type of issue though, likely related to the clear / clear process itself with the tension put on the playfield by the sling posts along with movement around the sling post area when the slingshots fire. Dialed In uses star posts around the slings and has never had this issue. Something changed in the past year with the playfields Mirco is producing for JJP.

I think Stern get's some of its playfields, not all, from Mirco (need confirmation) so that's likely the reason why this problem isn't occurring as frequent on Stern pins.

#114 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

I wish I had your faith....I've purchased several of their machines NIB, and love their games, but this is the last straw for me on NIB purchases from JJP....

I'm done as well until there is a clear pattern of this issue being resolved and / or a response from JJP stating the issue is fixed. I got lucky buying a later build Pirates LE that thankfully doesn't have this issue but I'm not going to roll the $7500 - $12.5k dice again.

I've supported JJP since buying a WOZ in 2013 and then purchasing their following 3 games. I would like to buy a Wonka but the last thing any customer of a NIB pin should have to worry about are playfield issues.

#121 1 year ago
Quoted from JoeJet:

Stern GOTG Pro..not just JJP[quoted image][quoted image][quoted image][quoted image]

Wow, yeah that's just as bad.

#152 1 year ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

This is the real issue here. Not with the playfield manufacturer, rather JJP temporary workers line tightening the posts etc too tight on a new and not fully cured playfield. Every time the steel ball hits those posts, it rocks against the newly minted, not fully cured playfield and so begins the chipping, cracking and rippling. It wouldn’t matter which playfield manufacturer JJP were to use, they all would result in the same issues they have now, because of poor JJP manufacturing and over tightening of playfield items. Any playfield needs time to cure, before it is used in assembling and populating a pinball machine. It’s common sense 101.
Not seen this issue on any Stern owned by myself or friends. They have so many tables on the line, that proper curing time is given before playfield is populated and Stern experienced line workers don’t over tighten the posts etc.

Quoted from jimwe5t:

Would like to see an uploaded photo of proof of that. Talk is cheap.

Here ya go, from this thread (GOTG), same problem.

e14720a647d0cf0f42fd3ea8764ca4f559c8c1c9 (resized).jpg

#326 1 year ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

On the money comment, but watch out the JJP moles will run you down for speaking the truth and call you names. Lol (They probably won’t now that I’ve called them out on it. Lol)

No one is doing that here and you sir have been acting like a troll who thinks almighty Stern can do no wrong. Maybe that's true though, they are a global lifestyle brand after all lol.

Attention: Any downvotes mean you are a Stern fanboy (insert sarcasm)

#331 1 year ago
Quoted from Parzival:

The saddest part about this conversation is that few are talking about how great of a game WONKA is. Again, I love CGC, Stern, JJP, and anyone else that puts out a good machine - but they all have issues.
WONKA is a masterpiece of fun, and even those who would never buy one, I recommend dropping quarters anytime you see it in the wild

Yeah, that's the real bummer here. A team of talented people designed, programmed, and worked on the game and to see it dragged through the mud a bit due to playfield issues of all thing sucks!

#352 1 year ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Had the same experience with JJP as your friend. With Stern, they took care of me instantly, with no issues at all. They are there to service and stand behind their machines, even out of warranty has been my experience. Your friend would be wise to blow them out just like many of us have done. Too much money to be lost on current JJP machines in the resale market. Stern is the giant of the industry and still cannot understand why JJP and Stern are put even in the same discussion. Fanboys don’t like the truth. It seems JJP is now run totally by Pat and the investors. WW is a nice looking machine, but the big question is, for how long??? Future chipping with no chipping warranty backup, is not desirable. Paying $550 for a playfield resulting in the same issue, why?

"Oh mighty Stern you can do no wrong, take my money sight unseen for I know you can never disappoint me". The Stern fanboy pledge, you are quickly becoming #1 lol. Give it a rest.

Look at this, what's happening on a new Jurassic Park Pro?

abc7cf02e366ac775fa6bc7232d85e77f4b03276 (resized).jpeg


#358 1 year ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Let's just see how they handle it vs. JJP.
None of this came to serious light in serious #`s until POTC. They are ALL f**led up to differing degrees...
This one actually DOES boil down to the 2 manufacturers....
One has sent populated pf's...Not all the time, but true.
The other has sent washers....Yet to see a single populated pf sent....
I'm a pinball fanboy, not Stern, JJP, etc.
Ridiculous....Hunt down the line for an occasional Stern, or ask for a single picture of a POTC around the slings that looks OK.
Terrible for the hobby...period

I agree. JJP won't do anything as they can't afford the hit to send out populated playfields. I was hoping someone at JJP months ago would have told Micro to straighten this out, to see it still happening comes across that JJP doesn't care. Something changed with the way playfields were being made between Dialed In and Pirates.

I remember how a huge number of Ghostbusters LE's had playfield issues with ghosting. Stern sent out fully populated playfields to a number of customers affected. Will never forget how well they handled that issue.

#362 1 year ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Now you’re finally making some sense and we actually agree. It has been since DI the real big PF issues have popped up.

Yeah. Early Dialed In's had issues with chipping at the SIM card scoop but that was mainly due to the how that scoop is cut. JJP resolved it by offering official Cliffy's to customers and later installing them from the factory. The good news is that this post chipping issue never occured on Dialed In. I doubt JJP knew this issue would occur, how could they? The question is what have they been telling Mirco to do about it? If Mirco doesn't want to resolve the issue it's time to find a new playfield manufacturer.

I'm sure CPR would love to expand their business by taking over playfield builds for JJP. If JJP has to pay CPR a bit more who cares! JJP needs to be known as the manufacturer that is offering the best quality to set them apart from Stern. That's what won a lot of customers over in the first place. If they lose the quality control battle, as they have been lately, they are not going to be around long term.

#367 1 year ago

Took me a little while to find this but here's a great post from CPR made earlier in the year about their playfield production process and quality. I wish JJP would use them versus Mirco.


I have to jump in here as well, on four issues. The first was the Xenon PFs that we ran out of last year. The Xenon's I cut were in no way shape or form ever going to satisfy the entire interest but at the time I had the wood and inserts for a very limited number of PFs. I decided that rather than idle the CNC and layoff the guys it made more since to actually make the PFs I had materials for at the time. The rest of the material had been ordered but the lead times on our materials can be HUGE! It just made since to keep everyone employed and the machines working while new supplies were on route.

The second point I have to comment on is our wood. I absolutely believe that our wood is by FAR the best in the world. We have had many suppliers over the years and in bad times have been forced to use the same wood as the other PF manufacturer uses all the time and let me tell you that doing so is our last resort. Playfield wood over the decades has often been whatever was available to the manufacturers. Many PFs especially in the 70s and 80s PFs used three layers of thick cheap filler wood with two thin layers of maple on the faces, something you could buy at your local building supply only with thicker face veneers. For decades most of the better playfield wood came from North American Plywood near Chicago. It used sweet gum as its filler cores and .040" face veneers. But in 2008 in the downturn they liquidated their custom plywood mill and everyone was scrambling to find wood, even Stern. We then shifted to Marion Plywood from Wisconsin who made two very good orders for us before they shifted their glues to a more green product that warped like crazy. We even tried a Russian Baltic Birch that had custom maple veneers glued to it. It was expensive and unsuitable for several reasons. Finally, the current supplier for Stern contacted us and offered to make our wood. This was several years ago now and we couldn't have been happier as they work directly with us to produce the very best CUSTOM wood you can buy ANYWHERE! Their standard wood for Stern is a good one side panel with 3 layers of white ash and a 0.048" face veneers. After many consultations with their tech guys we came up with what I know is the best playfield wood in the world. We use the same basic setup as Stern, 3 layers of white ash cores then we use 4 layers of maritime hard maple BUT we increased the thickness of the two face veneers by 64% to get a nominal face thickness of 0.075". These huge and thick ONE piece veneers are crazy expensive and we always get this top grade veneer on BOTH sides of your PF. This alone added $12 to the cost of each panel vs just using a second grade veneer on the bottom like Stern does. There's nothing wrong with the way Stern does it, as they just refuse any board they want and since they are so close to the mill, the mill just picks it up with the next load and credits them. We however are a $4000 freight bill away so that won't work. We pay a lot extra to get the very best wood they can produce right off the start. You get a much nicer product and a much denser and tougher PF. This wood is 25% heavier for the same size panel as our old wood and nearly a third heavier as Baltic Birch which some other playfield manufacturers use. I would love to use cheaper wood like some others do, after all why would I pay $12.50/sqft landed when I can get birch at less than $2.00sqft? We use the best densest hardest custom wood we can get because we think its worth it and we always try to make the very best product we can.

There are other point is that we intentionally make three levels of quality. Wow, really? We always try to make perfect playfields, every single time but in the past we ALWAYS did full spot color silkscreens which meant that each and every color layer is individually vectored with trapping layers built and silk screened one color at a time, one on top of the other. 14 colors means 14 trips through the screen press. 14! Even the slightest misalignment in any single layer of the normal 12-14 color process means the final product isn't a gold anymore. Its wood, a living surface so if the ink doesn't lay down into every nook and cranny of every square mm of the grain then its not a gold. If a single piece of dust get in the screen and makes its way into the print which is very hard to prevent then its really not a gold anymore. To screen press a playfield we could never do more than about 1 color a day just due to the logistics of cleaning the ink you just used out of the screen trying to save what you can, then removing the screen and washing it with cleaner and paper towels, then once the ink is out, rinsing and then using a stripper to remove the image from the screen, then rinsing, then bleaching the screen to remove all traces of the previous image, rinsing, then drying the screen. Then you have to coat the screen with a photosensitive liquid and let that dry. Then you lay on your full size and expensive direct contact positive and expose the whole thing to a powerful UV light, then immediately wash the screen once more to expose the image which means a third drying of the screen! Then mount it and align it precisely to the previous image on the screen press, which always involves a few trial and error hits on test prints. Add in a cleaned and sharpened squeegee and print your single color...... now repeat this process for each and every color on the playfield. Any misalignment at all, even as small as 1/64"in ANY layer and you may not have a gold, any mark from handing and small dropout of ink, and deep grain that the ink didn't get to and you may not have a gold anymore. Screen printing is many many times harder to do than printing it digitally. Producing artwork for screen printing is horrendously more difficult than prepping something for a digital print. We are very lucky that we have years worth of vectored artwork that can fairly easily be converted for digital use to be used on our big flatbed but you can't go the other way. If you printed 100 PFs and have 10 that are not perfect you had no choice but to sell them, hence silvers and bronze. It could take you as long as 2 weeks to reprint those 10 PFs. Now if you are doing these on a digital printer you have eliminated ANY chance of a misalignment because its a single flat image not 12-14 images laid on top of one another, the printer is spraying, so surface imperfections are easily covered and there is no screen to get contaminated. So for screen printing, since the artwork is many times more complex in comparison and the printing method is many times more complex its no wonder that we didn't always get 100% gold. Of course if you have something go sideways on a digital print it takes but minutes to sand the ink off and clean it up and run it through the printer once again, $8 in inks costs versus basically spending two weeks trying to rescreen a few seconds. But now that we have the same tech as others we can also fairly easily reprint an error so there will be much fewer silver and bronzes in our future.

Making the right number of PFs for everyone is more art than anything else. Playfields are crazy expensive to make and the production costs are all up front. In some cases royalties and licensing alone can cost as high as 25% of the full retail value of the PF, do some quick math and figure out the size of the check you'd have to write to cover that on 100 pfs!! Inserts can cost $25-$100 per PF due to minimum requirements of the molders. You can figure out our wood costs from above. Add in the costs of 2 CNCs, 2 laser cutters, a silk screen operation, a huge UV flatbed etc.... now figure that 50% of the guys who signed up don't buy!! In the case of Corvette PFs we had 75% of people who signed up didn't purchase as they promised! Have two or three of these happen in a row and anyone would become gun shy real quick or we risk losing our homes! I tried deposits when I first started this and it was a nightmare, lately we have on rare occasions used them again with much more success so maybe that's a possibility but truthfully making smaller numbers is the safest thing to do. Using the digital system instead of silk screening makes much more sense and having the ability to digitally reprint our screen printed seconds may get rid of them almost entirely.

Making PFs is complex, silk screening playfields is stoopid complex and expensive in the very small numbers we make but we do it because we love it.


Also, just to add, here's a post from Vid about maple vs birch playfields. Interesting stuff.

pinball playfield wood (resized).JPG

#372 1 year ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Reading all this makes me grateful for the games I have, and won't be buying any NIB for awhile...

Yeah, hear ya there. I'm ready to go look at a nice early SS game with a CPR playfield in it instead of buying a NIB pin.

#726 1 year ago
Quoted from MK6PIN:

Pics of the sling posts around your POTC CE please......

There are a good number of Pirates that never had this issue, below is my LE after I put mylar squares down as a precaution. Maybe some playfields cured more then others. I wonder if indoor humidity levels can affect curing as well once a game is setup? My game is in a room that is always at 45% humidity due to a dehumidifier running. Just a guess which is all we can do right now. No one should have to the play the playfield quality lottery at today's prices.

Pirates (resized).jpg

#773 1 year ago

The biggest shame of all of this is that JJP knew about this issue being reported by Pirates customers months before Wonka shipped. How in the world did this issue not get resolved for Wonka knowing what was being reported 6 months ago? Someone at JJP should have told the playfield manufacturer we are not accepting playfields until this issue is addressed. Maybe they did and the playfield manufacturer said they can't do anything. Ok, find another manufacturer then.

Same goes for Stern as we are now seeing more reports of the same issue occuring on multiple titles of their games. I'm out of any new Stern and JJP's until this issue is resolved. I refuse to gamble another $6k - $10k for the NIB pinball quality lottery. Instead I bought a nice Mata Hari yesterday with a CPR playfield installed to enjoy.

No one should feel bad about hammering the manufacturer's on this issue either. Prices have gone up like crazy over the years and if Stern, JJP, or whoever wants to charge record NIB prices then they need to offer top quality.

#777 1 year ago

If regulations surrounding the types and amounts of chemicals that can be used are negatively impacting playfield quality isn't it time for Stern and JJP to consider dumping wood playfields altogether in favor of a composite alternative? There's a few examples of pins being made over the years using composite playfields that have held up extremely well.

If a high quality playfield alternative became the norm and issues such as severe dimpling, clear chipping, clear pooling, etc went away would anyone really care if the playfield wasn't made out of wood? I wouldn't.

#805 1 year ago
Quoted from romulusx:

Looks like your beloved Stern is having their share of issues.I love those metal washers a thing of beauty they are!

Just saw this in a Stern JP After just a few days of ownership.

c77bc7e009b3de3749c30ac0e65ce43d4cab8acb (resized).jpeg

#983 1 year ago
Quoted from tpir:

It sounds like you talked to a very low-ranking employee who told you what you wanted to hear, and you are calling it a success and now think you have influence in this matter all the way up to "upper management." That is kind of adorable, but you sound a little delusional, or maybe you are just a big fan of wishful thinking
JJP (or Stern) could put out a Tweet or FB post in under 30 seconds saying "we are looking into reports of issues and will have an announcement soon." The explanation you gave makes zero sense re: distributors and delays. JJP (and Stern) have known about this issue for a long time now and just need to say something, anything really.

Sounds better then Stern's response...

download (1) (resized).jpg

#1104 1 year ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

This kind of reminds me of Ghostbusters all over again. Everyone loved the game and then the playfields were shit and everyone lost interest in it because of it. Ghostbusters would have sold way better had it not been for the playfield problems.

Stern has said it's been one of their best selling pins.

#1572 1 year ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

You’re totally right: at $7,500.00 to $12,500.00 we should expect this and more. That’s the principles the original game WOZ was built upon and it sold for $6,500, just a couple of years ago.

That's false. WOZ sold for $6500 over 8 years ago when JJP was first formed and that was only if you preordered a game before March 1st, 2011. Also, JJP lost money on every single WOZ at that price.

#1574 1 year ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Who's fault is that? Why didn't buyers offer all-around good-guy Jack an extra grand or two per machine to help him out?

I never said it was anyone's fault. Theres a few people out there that still think new JJP games should cost $6500 as that was the price over 8 years ago. Ridiculous, and even more ridiculous considering JJP lost money on every game at that price. It's an old worn out argument.

#1673 1 year ago
Quoted from jimwe5t:

Not just calling JJP on this. If Stern won’t take care of us their customers, they’re in the same boat. Stop buying their games, we’re in agreement. No company should put out to us collectors a shoddy product at these high prices and not take care of their customers, if there is a legitimate issue. It is shameful if Stern has not taken care of everyone if that is the case. Only reason I’ve supported Stern, is so far to my knowledge they replace bad PFs. If that stops then so will my support of Stern. If documented, Stern should replace everyone and not make them feel like they have to fight them for it or that they’re being picky.

I don't see Stern replacing every playfield with chipping, pooling, etc. Hopefully some of the most severe cases of chipping result in a replacement playfield, but I seriously doubt it will be all. Stern is also continuing to ship playfields that suffer from this issue by the fact that they are including metal washers under sling posts on the latest JP games.

#1870 1 year ago
Quoted from Ballypinball:

I don't think you will see Stern doing that this time around

Agree. No way is Stern going to send out populated playfields for pooling. I can see them sending out populated playfields for severe cases of chipping but not pooling as pooling is likely present in some capacity on nearly ever Stern playfield made over the past 2 years.

#1888 1 year ago
Quoted from rs812:

Rumor I hear is
Pooling but no chip = discounted unpopulated PF
Chipping = free unpopulated PF
Only rumor at this point

That seems like what is happening. I read in another thread that Jack has been calling some Pirates owners with chipped playfields who bought a replacment playfield that they would be refunded. Good on JJP, but the issue also needs to be permanently fixed at Mirco.

#2055 1 year ago

What I'm curious to know is has the issue been resolved for all new built games? I've seen multiple ads on here and on Facebook from distributors saying Wonka SE's / LE's are stock and ready to ship. However, do those games still have this issue? I don't believe JJP has said whether or not the playfield issue has been permanently resolved. Even if it is it could be a while until new playfields are shipped from Mirco to JJP and ultimately installed in games. In the meantime JJP and distributors still has an inventory of games to move with playfields susceptible to this issue.

I finally got a chance to play a Wonka SE over the weekend and really enjoyed it. There was a Black Knight Sword of Rage LE next to it, played that a couple games but easily preferred Wonka. It's a shame a fun pin with a ton of work put into it by the team at JJP is being brought down by playfield issues of all things. The Wonka SE I played did have pooling and chipping at multiple posts, BKSOR had some post pooling.

#2085 1 year ago
Quoted from MrBally:

All filmed at the old Desilu Studios....

Get out of here with that crap. That's an insult to the 400k people that worked on the Apollo project including the astronauts themselves, nearly all of which had military experience and are highly respected. You are calling them liars and it's complete insanity to think that many people have held such a secret for 50+ years. Each Apollo landing site has been photographed within the last 10 years showing the lower stage of the lunar lander left behind on each mission.

Guess these scientists maintaining and researching the collection of moon rocks from each manned Apollo mission are all in on the secret too! Hope you continue to enjoy the many benefits, including technical and medical advances, that the Apollo program has provided.

#2087 1 year ago
Quoted from smalltownguy2:

Back on topic. Here's another beautiful area I discovered on my SE today. Left outlane guide.
[quoted image]

Ouch, yeah that's not acceptable. It looks like JJP installed a clear washer under the star post to the right? Not sure why they didn't do that on all star posts, especially the sling star posts.

#2092 1 year ago
Quoted from smalltownguy2:

No, that's not a washer, that's blistered clear coat around the star post. Every one of my star posts on my field is blistered. The two lower slingshot posts have the art peeling away too.
-wonka owner #08742206, play field #105, clear coat case #5107

I'm not 100% sure but it may be a washer or part of the star post as the outline appears too uniform. On the JJP Pirates post service update documentation they show a picture of a star post on top of a black plastic washer, it has what appears to be an edge or clear washer under it.

20190911_113947 (resized).jpg

#2094 1 year ago
Quoted from smalltownguy2:

Do I need to say it again? Okay, I will:
There are no washers under any posts on my game.
-wonka owner #08742206, play field #105, clear coat case #5107

No I believe ya. It just weird that there's what appears to be a clear washer under the star post in the JJP service update doc on top of a black plastic washer.

#2099 1 year ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Holy shit. It was a joke. Why not direct your diatribe at yelobird who started this?
I worked for Rockwell International for several years and get a nice pension from them. My time there was after Apollo, during the Space Shuttle era.

Ok, hard to tell through text on the internet! I'm a big NASA supporter and can get a bit defensive about the program lol. That's awesome you got to work there during the Shuttle era.

#2108 1 year ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

Its already starting to happen.....Munsters, IM, DP LE's all selling for $1-2K below NIB cost....I had a chance to buy a HUO (50 plays) Munsters LE or $6800, but passed on the deal...

Munsters values have tanked so much mainly due to code depth and code variety. If an update is released that improves the code depth / variety I bet priced will go up a bit.

Dead Pool LE's are holding value much better partially for the complete opposite reason, excellent code support and a deep ruleset. A $1k hit isn't too bad (Dead Pool), $2k though hurts a lot more (Munsters). BKSOR LE's also appear to be taking close to a $2k hit. Either way theres only so many buyers willing to pay the high end prices.

On the bright side a $2k hit over say 3 years of ownership is much better then a $10k+ hit on a new vehicle that you also have to pay gas, insurance, and registration for lol.

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