Posted tagged ‘Pinball’

AVATAR Pinball shipping this week

September 13, 2010

AVATAR made a crazy amount of money in theaters. As such, expectations for things like the AVATAR video game were pretty high and at the end of the day, disappointing for whomever held those expectations. It was panned critically and was even called a flop despite selling over 2 million copies(were the expectations in the 10 million range? 100 million? Higher?). Now some months after the movie was released, Stern Pinball has their newest pinball machine ready to go, based upon AVATAR.  Can AVATAR the Pinball machine take the success of the movie and turn that into sales above and beyond other pins of recent memory? We will know soon as Stern begins to ship the game out to collectors, distributors and operators around the world this week. Some people are already getting their hands on the game, as PinballNews.com has published part one of their AVATAR review. No verdict is given on how the game plays at the moment but some of the cost cutting measures are painfully obvious – from a change in the lock bar, to Jake’s static pod to the mech that lacks a figurine(but it does move). Those all may be minor issues at the end of the day and it could be a fun game to play which we will know about soon enough.

UPDATE: Stern has added the game to their site, where you can place an order for it now.

[Stern Pinball] [Stern's Facebook page]

Stern Pinball gets a glowing profile in PARADE

August 29, 2010

Newsfeed 910 via

New arcade games might have a difficult time catching a break in mainstream publications, gaming and otherwise, but even then they have it nicer than the pinball sector. Most of the time when I see talk of new pinball games it’s discussing some silly video pinball game for the iPhone or the Wii while they ignore the existence of actual pinball machines. Very few sources outside of channels which already focus on pinball talked about either of Stern’s most recent games such as Ironman or have discussed the upcoming Avatar pinball but at least with a new article at PARADE, that will change just a little.

The article interviews Gary Stern about the present state of the pinball industry, takes a look at an industry which has diminished greatly from it’s glory days back in the 40’s and what pinball has to compete against these days. It’s a nice article whose parade (har-har) I have to rain upon slightly in mentioning that the Spanish company Marsaplay recently produced some pinball machines of their own and Retro Pinball will be rolling out their King Of Diamonds machine very soon. Obviously neither company is eating away at Stern’s market share at this point like Firefox did to IE, and both are remaking old games but they still are producing some pinball machines. Anyways, getting back to the point, the Parade article is worth reading over and they even mention Avatar pinball, which is already in production and should be shipping sometime within the next week or so.

Parade article: Keeping a Pinball Wizard’s Dream Alive.

The PAPA 13 World Pinball Championships

August 21, 2010

(Thanks to PAPA for the info)

Last weekend the Profession & Amateur Pinball Association (i.e. PAPA) held their 13th annual World Pinball Championships and out of 406 players, seven stood victorious in their separate division. That includes the youngest Class B player in PAPA’s history, 12-year old Joshua Henderson from Plainfield, IL(pictured). Josh was ranked as the 51st top player in the world after an IFPA tournament in May and now he can add this win (along with a $3,500 cash prize) to his list of accomplishments. They have all of the scoring tables and winners listed on the PAPA website but so far media from the event is fairly sparse. The cash prizes they had available were quite good – the 1st place winner from the A division, Keith Elwin walked away with the title World Pinball Champion and $10,000 in cash. I know that there is a lot of focus on competitive video gaming around the world these days but pinball certainly can’t be ignored as it’s taken just as seriously.

UPDATE: Josh has put his winnings to good use already – by purchasing a NIB Spiderman pinball machine.

UK Pinball Party starts tomorrow

August 12, 2010

Pinball junkies in the UK have a big event to look forward to, the UK Pinball Party. It begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday although they already have held a warming up event with a competition between Martyn Raison (the top ranked junior UK player) and the two times Pinball World Champion Gary Flower. This competition was for the UK pinball Party’s Charity Challenge and it also saw new Stern-made pinball machines provided for the event. Details on that and tomorrow’s party  can be found in the press release below.

(more…)

Space Race – the pinball game that dwarfs Hercules

August 6, 2010

Space Race via Pinballnews.com

(Thanks to Gary S. for the tip)

While Atari’s Hercules pinball has long held the title of the largest pinball machine ever manufactured for the public, I think that this Space Race takes the cake. Only seven have been made but it’s a surefire way to turn heads at any theme park or fair. At first it may not appear to be a pinball machine as the game lacks flippers, instead there are pins placed throughout the board along with some holes for the ball to fall through, making it a game of chance rather than skill. This is how original pinball machines were designed, as flippers weren’t a part of the game until Gottlieb’s Humpty Dumpty (1947). Since there are so few Space Races out there finding one can be a little difficult but not impossible with a recent sighting at the MultiFest in Charleston, WV; Pinballnews.com also has a nice article with pictures and video of a Space Race as seen in June at Colorado Springs.

AVATAR Pinball's playfield mostly revealed

July 29, 2010

(Thanks for the tip IcePagoda)

Via Pinballnews.com – the first shot of the new AVATAR pinball playfield. The pic speaks for itself – it looks like there is plenty to do in the back of the playfield and it shouldn’t be too long before we see some close-up shots from the board. This isn’t the final version as you can see that there are a few things missing when you look closely, such as a sticker on the spinner device that’s northwest of the center in the image above. But other than that this should be pretty close to the production design.

AVATAR Pinball’s playfield mostly revealed

July 29, 2010

(Thanks for the tip IcePagoda)

Via Pinballnews.com – the first shot of the new AVATAR pinball playfield. The pic speaks for itself – it looks like there is plenty to do in the back of the playfield and it shouldn’t be too long before we see some close-up shots from the board. This isn’t the final version as you can see that there are a few things missing when you look closely, such as a sticker on the spinner device that’s northwest of the center in the image above. But other than that this should be pretty close to the production design.


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