Orbit Pinball Plastic Protectors
Review by Kevin Steele
Take a bunch of silk-screened plastics by a company that is no longer making parts. Put them in a box with a steel ball bouncing around. That's what pinball owners face every time they play a game: the chance to smash parts that are getting harder and harder to find and replace.
The problem may be obvious, but solutions weren't. Aside from buying NOS (New Old Stock) parts or modern reproductions, there wasn't much you could do to protect them. And replacement parts (new or old) aren't cheap.
I've already reviewed one solution to this problem: lexan fender washers. However, washers only cover corners, and style-wise, they leave a bit to be desired. Enter Orbit Pinball, with their plastic protectors, designed to shield an entire plastic from impacts and still look good doing it.
What You Get
Orbit Pinball's protectors are made from Lexan poly carbonate or PETG (Glycol-Modified Polyethylene Terephthalate), both strong and durable plastics. The plastics are laser or CNC router precision cut.
I purchased a set of plastics for my Attack From Mars pinball machine, which consists of six plastics: Slingshots (left and right), Left panel, Right Panel, and the panels on each side of the main saucer.
The plastics ship with protective plastic covering, and the quality was impressive right out of the box: the side edges were polished looking and smooth, with no signs of melting or cut marks.
The plastic protectors follow the contours of the original plastic, but are just slightly larger (which is how they afford protection).
To install the plastics, you simply remove the original plastic and place the protector under the original. For plastics that have posts attached (like the Attack from Mars side panels), you can simply re-attach the post through both plastics.
The fit and design of the plastics is excellent: the holes all aligned perfectly with my existing plastics, and I had no problem at all re-installing the plastics with the protectors attached.
Bonus for Style
I have to admit I was very surprised at the results from an aesthetics point of view: the extra lip of plastic really added a cool effect to all the plastics, and looks like something that should have been included from the factory.
I especially liked the "glow" from the plastic edges as they picked up light from the bulbs underneath. The effect is very cool, in my opinion.
A full set of Orbit Pinball plastic protectors for an Attack from Mars pinball machine costs $40 ($7 shipping), a bargain considering the quality of these plastics. They have sets available for many other pinball machines, as well as replacement clear plastics.
Considering a replacement set of plastics for just the slings and saucer walls costs $45 and a full set of plastics nearly $170, this is a very worthwhile investment, especially considering the high quality and design of these protectors. The cool styling is just the icing on the cake.
Orbit Pinball is a one-man operation by Frank Gant, and I received prompt service and fast delivery. Highly Recommended by RetroBlast.