Restored – Sega (1999) South Park Pinball

My Story

It had probably been 8 years since I had walked into an arcade when we decided to go to Dave and Buster’s one evening for something different to do.  Inside the game room area, was the typical layout of shooters, driving sims and kiddy redemptions.  Of course, what we went for was for the high end virtual reality machines which were all the rage back then.  After 10 minutes and $20 later, we looked for something else to do.  On the back wall, I noticed that D&Bs had a small selection of pinball machines that I had missed in my first walk through.  I first gravitated to the pin2000 Mars Attacks as it was just so odd looking.  After a couple plays wore off, I slid down to the South Park machine that had previously been occupied.  I recall unloading my entire token card on that machine.  It also lit my interest back into pinball and was easily the only machine that I actually laughed while playing, which is a new experience as arcade games usually draw your serious attention and concentration.   To this day, I’ve always wanted to pick up a South Park for myself.    Well, I never got around to owning one myself, but recently I had a custom order to find and restore one.  The final product ended up being way better than my original experience, and I now understand why these machines are so hard to find.

History

First, there are less than 3000 machines world wide.  I found a couple of examples first, but easily had to let them go.  One was actually on a carnival route and was beyond restoration.  Still, the owner believed the machine to be excellent and would clean right up – another reason you need to have experience in this business when purchasing 20 year old games.

Finally, I found a nice machine worthy of my time and attention.  One serious design (or cost cutting) flaw on these Sega / Stern machines is their quality of cabinet artwork – as they used large pixel color halftone printing.  Also the artwork is not protected by a reasonable clear coat and thus these machines wear quick, right thought the graphics.  If you attempt to clean them, more graphic material comes off.  Lastly, there are no aftermarket cabinet artwork kits (must be legal issues).   This makes restoration very difficult and come to find out, all but home use only machines are going to have wear issues.

Restoration

Other than the cabinet graphic issues, this was going to be a standard DMD-era pinball restoration.  Full tear down, polish, inspection and replacement.   The owner also wanted this machine to have some “mods” installed and have the game converted to the previously released (but deemed horribly inappropriate) adult version of software and sounds.  I’m all for that!  🙂

So, I also wanted to make this machine even better than my original memory.   So, not only did this get the full treatement, including LED conversion, but we also created custom toppers and added custom under-cabinet LED lighting effects.  These additions turned what was a good / fun game into one that you end up playing and wanting to watch at the same time.

If you’re looking for one a machine just like this, we’re planning one more very soon.   Reserve today…

Here’s some of the details that went into this restoration:

  • Repaint sky and earth on cabinet and backbox.   Touch up damage around start button and clear coat the external surface.
  • Repaint legs (speckle) and new levelers
  • Cabinet flipper protectors (after cabinet was repainted)
  • New flipper linkages
  • New rubber
  • New balls
  • Full LED conversion including flashers
  • Full tear down, deep polish and rebuild
  • flame polish ramps
  • Fix Kenny (was killed too many times).
  • Fix flash circuit
  • Add 3 color under cabinet LED lighting – integrated to flash circuit
  • Add 4  character topper.  Each character integrated into their respective talking flash circuit.  Need to see the video!!!
  • Sound and CPU “downgrade” to adult version.  Adds video completed video sequences, adult humor voice call outs etc

 

Pictures and Video

 

 


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