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Interest Check: Reproduction Controller Overlays

overlays

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#1 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2012 4:18 PM

I have found a way to make reproduction/replacement overlays for the ColecoVision that I feel will translate to the Intellivision as well. In the picture below I have three repro overlays:

Sharp Shot
Armor Battle
Lock'N'Chase

INTVoverlays.jpg

The Horse Racing is an original Intellivision overlay that I used for reference. Over in the ColecoVision section of AA I posted that my method was tested to 120 cycles (a cycles is, putting the overlay in controller, push all the buttons and then taking it back out) and the overlay still looked great. Here's that topic for reference:

Does anyone make reproduction overlays?

I'm considering offering for sale Intellivison overlays as well if there is enough interest.

For those interested in how these are made. First I clean up each image (in some cases, I redraw them). Next, each one of the overlays are printed on photo quality paper. The overlay is then laminated front to back with one piece of continuous lamination. This means the leading edge of the overlay is not cut, protecting the lamination from catching on the controller when being inserted. This will keep the overlay from de-laminating.

Let me know what you guys think.

Edited by pboland, Wed May 16, 2012 4:18 PM.


#2 revolutionika OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2012 5:49 PM

Hi, they look great. How do they feel when inserted and playing a game? They dont feel too thick do they? When you press a button the response is good?

Also, is there a way to put a price per overlay? I have been thinking of a way to get overlays printed up REALLY cheap in bulk....Im talking multiple thousands of them.

#3 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2012 8:14 PM

I have been researching overlays. There are ways to print on some plastics....but they tend to be too thick and affect the feel of the controller buttons.

I took an overlay to a place today and they asked me what 'weight' it was....I have no idea. It would be good information to have. When I find out, I will let people know.

I know of someone who makes authentic overlays, but the price is something like $2.50 a piece.....I'm thinking more like .25 a piece.

I am going to try and post an overlay for D1K and people can print their own.

#4 revolutionika OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 16, 2012 8:37 PM

What type of plastic are the Imagic overlays printed on. I like the feel of them.

What kind of plastic sheet paper could an overlay be printed on using your normal inkjet/laserjet home printer? Or even going to a local copy/printer store and getting 9 overlays printed on an 8x11 and then cutting them out yourself?

I have found a online place that will make me a custom cutting dye/machine that is the exact size of on overlay. The cutter will cost me about 250.00 but this is a one time expense.

So, all I need is to fine the right kind of plastic 'paper' in an 8x11 size that a normal printer can print on. I can cut them out myself in my spare time.

so, for arguements sake. lets say that an 8x11 sheet cost 1.50 per. and 50 cents per at the printer/copier. thats 2.00 per 8x11 that has 9 overlays on it. lets go ahead and call it 3.00 for 9 overlays in case there are hidden costs. That is 33 cents per overlay. Im not counting the cutting machine though.

My plan was to make a new set of overlays for the "orphaned" games....not direct copies but all new designs.

I think psycho stormtroopers original price for the orphan ovelays was 75.00? I dont remember. there is no way he paid that much per overlay, we can figure out a cost effective way too...

#5 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 7:25 AM

Well, I'm still trying to locate an Intellivision for testing. I sold the four I had about eight years ago (long story). I will have to say, everyone seems to look at pricing a little differently. More goes it to these than just the material costs (At least for me it does). Yes, in a perfect world we would be able to dictate cheap prices just because we think it should be, but it doesn't always work that way. If you guys sell overlays $0.25 a piece and still make a little for yourself to cover your time, then go for it. Put me on the list, because I look forward to purchasing some. :) As for my method, it is still DIY and I was looking at about $1.75 each. However, I'm not putting these up for sale until I get an Intellivision and do some testing and if there is enough interest.

Now, if you are able to find a printer (as in a company) to make these and you order thousands, you might be able to get your price. That would be a large up front investment. Last time I looked into something like that, the printer wanted a 5,000 piece minimum order. At $0.25 each, that's $1,250.00. Part of the problem is the custom die cutting of the overlays. The size of the overlay is not a standard size. 90mm x 55mm (plus two different rounded corners) and as you guys are finding out, no printer today has a process to make overlays the way they were made back in the day.

#6 maibock OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 8:03 AM

I have a micrometer here at work which specifically measures the gauge of plastics - I'll try to remember to bring in an overlay to get you guys the precise thickness. We also print on plastic, but the method used would not be too beneficial to making overlays. Unless of course you're looking for 100,000 of just one type :)

#7 OutlawTorn71 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 10:31 AM

Anyone here know where Roger had them printed ? He was in Merriville which is close to Chicago
At least they (assuming a printer did them) would have tooled up and have some experience with the process and materials

In this economy I wouldn't expect an overlay to be made available for less than a couple bucks, there is the ones on Feebay from England ranging from 5 to 16, and while the high end is just that, high this is quite the niche we are working with here


#8 Games For Your Intellivision OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 4:02 PM

I heard that Roger worked at Ford, or some big company, and used that company's printer to source a bunch of overlays.

I am not trying to say that one should not be paid for their time,........I am just saying that I can't afford to pay $2.50 an overlay to include with the games I am selling. I am going to be getting my overlays made up somewhere in my area, and I have no intention of accepting anything less than equal in quality to the original overlays.

It is unfortunate that the people who have successfully recreated the overlays haven't spilled the beans regarding what material, printing method, thickness and cost is involved.....at least after they stopped selling them.

The current source of authentic overlays being done in England may or may not be 'fair', I have no idea...but they are too expensive for me not to get them done myself.

#9 OutlawTorn71 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 5:53 PM

I am not trying to say that one should not be paid for their time,........I am just saying that I can't afford to pay $2.50 an overlay to include with the games I am selling. I am going to be getting my overlays made up somewhere in my area, and I have no intention of accepting anything less than equal in quality to the original overlays.

It is unfortunate that the people who have successfully recreated the overlays haven't spilled the beans regarding what material, printing method, thickness and cost is involved.....at least after they stopped selling them.


I hope you feel you should be paid for your time, as you definitely should !

and for the "secret recipe" for the overlay itself.... you would think that that info would have been available from old Mattel/Intv Inc/insert any 3rd party who made them here docs or suppliers... :?

#10 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 17, 2012 8:56 PM

I am not trying to say that one should not be paid for their time,........I am just saying that I can't afford to pay $2.50 an overlay to include with the games I am selling. I am going to be getting my overlays made up somewhere in my area,

I can understand that, but how many games are you planning on making?


and I have no intention of accepting anything less than equal in quality to the original overlays.

Ouch! So, if they are not made like the originals, they are inferior in your mind?

Equal in quality doesn't mean made just like the originals to me. Something can be of quality yet be made differently. Imagic's overlays were not made like the intellivision ones yet I'd say they are equal in quality (at least the ones I've used). Just my two cents.

#11 cOLeCoHiTMan OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed May 23, 2012 10:49 AM

I have some on order for World Series Baseball from England... will post how they feel compared to other real ones!

#12 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:23 PM

From the topic "Overlay Thickness"

.006 in for Mattel and .0065/.007 in for Imagic but when I spoke the printer in here in Indy, he used mils as the description of the plastic for the overlays


My overlay comes in at .010 inch. I'm sure that would would work just fine. Would anyone like to be a tester?

Edited by pboland, Sat Jun 16, 2012 9:33 PM.


#13 OutlawTorn71 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:22 AM

From the topic "Overlay Thickness"


.006 in for Mattel and .0065/.007 in for Imagic but when I spoke the printer in here in Indy, he used mils as the description of the plastic for the overlays


My overlay comes in at .010 inch. I'm sure that would would work just fine. Would anyone like to be a tester?

Sure ! I would love too :grin:

#14 ghsqb OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:42 AM

@pboland I am interested to see if your method works out for intellivision.

I had a site bookmarked about how to make overlays, and going by memory, they used acetate sheets, like you would use on an overhead projector.

Also, up here in Canada, they've started printing 100$ and 50$ bills on plastic, and 20's will be released soon.
Whatever plastic they use in that process would be perfect too, I'll see if I can find the exact plastic they use, its some kind of polymer.

Cmart can probably weigh in on this too, I'm sure he's had a few pass through his hands by now ;)


Would you be open to possibly doing a whole new set with new artwork, or were you mainly looking a reproducing existing overlays?

#15 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:47 AM

@pboland I am interested to see if your method works out for intellivision.

I had a site bookmarked about how to make overlays, and going by memory, they used acetate sheets, like you would use on an overhead projector.


I'm going to be totally open and honest here, so please don't be offended. I think part of the issue with making overlays for any system (INTV, Coleco, 5200), users are stuck on the idea that it must be printed on plastic sheet. After all that is how the originals are made. It is this reason that it is so hard to make overlays. It is not a common practice to print on that type of plastic any longer, so most places are not equipped to do it.

The method that I use to make overlays was developed by me about 10 years ago, because of looking into plastic printing for my Intellivision collection that I owned at that time. Though I'm not printing on plastic, my method does allow a much better printer quality then you would ever get on a plastic acetate sheet. I do print on a very high quality paper and than laminate the paper. By laminating the paper it gives it a similar (not exact, but similar) feel to the original and a durability that is needed to be inserted and used over and over again. Also, there are two more benefits over the original method. The first is the image doesn't scrap off from behind like the originals tended to do and most important of all (for me anyway) is I can make them on demand. I don't need to order 1000-5000 at a time.

Also, up here in Canada, they've started printing 100$ and 50$ bills on plastic, and 20's will be released soon.
Whatever plastic they use in that process would be perfect too, I'll see if I can find the exact plastic they use, its some kind of polymer.


That is interesting information, but I don't think it would be a good idea to try and find out what plastic they are using and how they are printing on it. I don't want people (or governments) thinking I'm try to counterfeit money. After all Canada is doing this (from my understanding) to cut down on counterfeiting.

Cmart can probably weigh in on this too, I'm sure he's had a few pass through his hands by now ;)


I look forward to him weighing in. I believe he bought a set of my Colecovision trading cards from me. My method for the overlays is very similar to the way I make my trading cards. Meaning the lamination process is very similar.

Would you be open to possibly doing a whole new set with new artwork, or were you mainly looking a reproducing existing overlays?


I tend to use the existing art as a starting point, but I find most need to be "cleaned up" first. I basically redo the image like I did in the overlays posted in the first message. I don't like just scanning in an overlay and hitting print. If you want an example of my "clean up" work, you can check out this topic (no, it is not Intellivision, but I think you get the idea):

Colecovision Labels Thread

As you can see from the link above, I do rework the art. This is done not only to clean up the images, but to also make them more friendly to my printing methods. I hope that helps.

On a side note, Would you be interested to do some testing for my overlays?

#16 cmart604 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 10:13 AM

@ghsqb you're right that the new polymer bills would make a great material for overlays in that they're almost impossible to destroy but as Phil mentioned, me thinks the Bank of Canada might be wondering about us looking to set up our own printing presses. Lol!

I can speak to the CV trading cards and how well they're done. I'd definitely be interested in testing the OL's, too bad I didn't notice this earlier and you could have sent them with the CV2 trading card set. By the way, for any INTV guys who are also CV fans, you should really check out what Pboland has done with these two card sets, they're really cool. Phil, I believe you have my mailing address. :)

#17 ghsqb OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:38 PM


@pboland I am interested to see if your method works out for intellivision.

I had a site bookmarked about how to make overlays, and going by memory, they used acetate sheets, like you would use on an overhead projector.


I'm going to be totally open and honest here, so please don't be offended. I think part of the issue with making overlays for any system (INTV, Coleco, 5200), users are stuck on the idea that it must be printed on plastic sheet. After all that is how the originals are made. It is this reason that it is so hard to make overlays. It is not a common practice to print on that type of plastic any longer, so most places are not equipped to do it.

The method that I use to make overlays was developed by me about 10 years ago, because of looking into plastic printing for my Intellivision collection that I owned at that time. Though I'm not printing on plastic, my method does allow a much better printer quality then you would ever get on a plastic acetate sheet. I do print on a very high quality paper and than laminate the paper. By laminating the paper it gives it a similar (not exact, but similar) feel to the original and a durability that is needed to be inserted and used over and over again. Also, there are two more benefits over the original method. The first is the image doesn't scrap off from behind like the originals tended to do and most important of all (for me anyway) is I can make them on demand. I don't need to order 1000-5000 at a time.


No offence taken!
I have no doubt your knowledge of this process is far superior to mine, and frankly everything you said is completely logical.
It stands to reason that processes used 30+ years ago might be outdated today.
I am very intrigued by the process you describe, my only question initially, is how pliable they might be, as my limited experience with laminate is that they tend to be stiff afterwards, but again my knowledge of that technology is so limited that there may well be perfectly ideal laminates for this application.



Also, up here in Canada, they've started printing 100$ and 50$ bills on plastic, and 20's will be released soon.
Whatever plastic they use in that process would be perfect too, I'll see if I can find the exact plastic they use, its some kind of polymer.


That is interesting information, but I don't think it would be a good idea to try and find out what plastic they are using and how they are printing on it. I don't want people (or governments) thinking I'm try to counterfeit money. After all Canada is doing this (from my understanding) to cut down on counterfeiting.

Cmart can probably weigh in on this too, I'm sure he's had a few pass through his hands by now ;)


I look forward to him weighing in. I believe he bought a set of my Colecovision trading cards from me. My method for the overlays is very similar to the way I make my trading cards. Meaning the lamination process is very similar.

Would you be open to possibly doing a whole new set with new artwork, or were you mainly looking a reproducing existing overlays?


I tend to use the existing art as a starting point, but I find most need to be "cleaned up" first. I basically redo the image like I did in the overlays posted in the first message. I don't like just scanning in an overlay and hitting print. If you want an example of my "clean up" work, you can check out this topic (no, it is not Intellivision, but I think you get the idea):

Colecovision Labels Thread

As you can see from the link above, I do rework the art. This is done not only to clean up the images, but to also make them more friendly to my printing methods. I hope that helps.

On a side note, Would you be interested to do some testing for my overlays?


I would LOVE to test out the overlays. I am a huge fan of the overlays that Inty produced, it just adds to the whole experience.
If I can play some small part in helping bring new overlays to market, I'm all in.



@ghsqb you're right that the new polymer bills would make a great material for overlays in that they're almost impossible to destroy but as Phil mentioned, me thinks the Bank of Canada might be wondering about us looking to set up our own printing presses. Lol!

I can speak to the CV trading cards and how well they're done. I'd definitely be interested in testing the OL's, too bad I didn't notice this earlier and you could have sent them with the CV2 trading card set. By the way, for any INTV guys who are also CV fans, you should really check out what Pboland has done with these two card sets, they're really cool. Phil, I believe you have my mailing address. :)


I agree about the security aspect of what the gov't is doing with these new bills, but I suspect that the security will be centered around the technology they use to print and safeguard the currency, rather than the polymer they print it on, but I may be wrong!
For sure, securing the polymer would be the logical first step in anyone trying to counterfeit, so that particular polymer might be closely guarded.

I guess my point is that there is clearly technology out there today that would allow one to print on plastic, and have an indestructible and permanent product.
Granted it may be out of reach financially for the average Joe. I really couldn't say.


On the subject of the CV trading cards, I am definitely going to look into these, as the CV is my second love after the Inty so these have certainly piqued my interest.

#18 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:43 PM

PM's have been sent and I think I have the INTV overlay testers.

Thanks guys.

Let's get this project off the ground.

#19 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:12 PM

Just a quick update for the testers. I'm hoping to get the testing packets done this weekend and hopefully get them out sometime next week.

#20 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:06 PM

Just a quick update for the testers. I'm hoping to get the testing packets done this weekend and hopefully get them out sometime next week.


Don't you just love how life throws you curve balls. I was unable to get the packets together this past week. I will try again this weekend to make it happen. I sincerely apologize for delay on these packets. Stay tuned.

#21 cmart604 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:28 PM


Just a quick update for the testers. I'm hoping to get the testing packets done this weekend and hopefully get them out sometime next week.



Don't you just love how life throws you curve balls. I was unable to get the packets together this past week. I will try again this weekend to make it happen. I sincerely apologize for delay on these packets. Stay tuned.


No worries, can't wait! :)

Edited by cmart604, Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:28 PM.


#22 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:11 AM

Just a heads up that testing packets went in the mail yesterday. So, they are on there way.

#23 Clnilsen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 7:53 AM

I'd be interested in a complete overlays repro set. I think somethign like this would go great with a CuttleCart

#24 GodzillaIsMyCopilot OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 9, 2012 10:42 AM

This is one of the best ideas I have ever seen - low cost, high value. Is there a way you can print "repro" somewhere on the front or back? If you have, I apologize for not looking closer.

I'm restarting my CV collection, and I have all the overlays for what I currently have, but, this would do wonders in the future.

#25 pboland OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 18, 2012 6:33 PM

Great news! I did it. Not only that, but on 100% plastic and only .007 inches thick. Very similar to the originals.

After extensive research and testing (and money), I've finally came up with a good way to manufacture controller overlays. These new overlays have a very similar look and feel to the originals. Here's a couple of pics to show the final results.

INTVoverlay1.jpg

INTVoverlay2.jpg


These are not just simple scans and just printed back out. Like my cart labels (see Interest Check for Reproduction Cart Labels), I've taken the time to clean-up/redraw the artwork of each overlay.The overlays are reverse color laser printed on to high quality transparency film. Then a thin layer of white laminate is applied to the back side of the transparency. This laminate does two things. First, it's used as the "white" coloring for the overlays and Two, the laminate adds protection to the image of the overlay. These overlays are 100% plastic, no paper or paint is used to manufacture them. The overlays are then cut by straight edge cutters and the four main corners of the overlay are then round die cut to match the original styles of Intellivision overlays. I have a total of 30 different game overlays cleaned-up/redrawn right now. There are a lot of Intellivision overlays and I'm not really sure what most Intellivision users are going to want. Here's the list so far:

-Armor Battle
-Astrosmash
-AutoRacing
-B-17 Bomber
-Backgammon
-Baseball
-Basketball
-BombSquad
-Bowling
-Boxing
-BumpJump
-BurgerTime
-BuzzBombers
-Checkers
-D&D
-Football
-Frog Bog
-Golf
-Hockey
-Horse Racing
-Lock N Chase
-MouseTrap
-Reversi
-SharpShot
-Soccer
-Space Spartans
-Tron Deadly Discs
-Tron Maze-A-tron
-Tron Solar Sailer
-Utopia

I'm not quite ready to take orders yet as I'm currently in ColecoVision mode (have a look: ColecoVision Overlays Available (Reproduction)). I'm looking at charging $1.75 per overlay when I'm finally ready. The reason the Intellivision overlays are slightly cheaper then the ColecoVision, is because the CV overlays have a hand cut tab on them that the Intellivision overlays don't have.

My big question to all you INTV guys is, what overlays do you need most. I know a lot of the original sport overlays tend to wear from use. Maybe I should start with those? Let me know what you guys would like to see as far as overlays go.





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