BATMAN 66 FEATURES

The Batman 66 flyer

Stern Pinball today finally announced details of their upcoming Batman game based on the original TV series rather than any of the numerous big screen variants, and they have brought in the original Batman, Adam West, to voice it.

The new Batman 66 game is named after the year when the TV series first aired on the US network ABC. That makes it 50 years old, and the game is being released to coincide with Stern’s own 30th anniversary year.

The Batman '66 flyer
The Batman 66 flyer

This is a landmark game for Stern in several ways.

To start with, it will be the first game to feature a full-colour LCD display instead of the traditional single-colour dot-matix display. The LCD display has been in development for several years and is expected to also herald the arrival of the Spike2 control board with more memory and processing power to drive the display.

Stern game have had LCD displays before of course. Whoa Nellie! – Big Juicy Melons has a less than big and juicy display built into the apron, while WWE Wrestlemania’s LE and Premium models had a more impressive panel showing wrestling clips. Ghostbusters LE and Premium also had a small LCD for the Ecto-Goggles feature, but this is expected to mark the end of the DMD panel for all but Vault Edition releases.

Not content with one LCD, Stern have also added a second smaller panel on the playfield for Batman 66.

This emphasises the point that this is not a simple re-branding of Stern’s 2008 Batman – The Dark Knight game in the same way the recent Spider-Man Vault Edition remake was re-branded by applying comic book artwork and characters to Steve Ritchie’s original design.

The Batman 66 will keep the crane toy from George Gomez’s Dark Knight design but other areas of the playfield will be changed.

Also new is how Batman 66 is squarely aimed at collectors rather than operators. In fact there will be no Pro level game at all, with only Premium, Limited Edition, and a new Super-LE to wring even more cash out of uber-collectors.

240 LEs will be available, each one requiring a $2,000 deposit now. An unlimited number of Premiums can be built, but a $500 deposit is needed to get Stern to actually send one of them down the production line.

30 Super-LEs can only be bought by invitation, although it’s not clear who will be invited or who will be inviting them.

The existence of the Batman 66 game has been known for some months and it was confirmed when Stern announced their Epic 30th Anniversary Extravaganza party during Pinball Expo in October. Entry to a special VIP meet-and-greet with Adam West and a Batmobile was said to only be open to buyers of the Batman 66 game, although no details were known about the game at that time.

The final point of interest is how Batman 66 is being produced with Ka-Pow Pinball which is a new company set up by Gary Stern’s former partner at Data East and Sega Pinball, Joe Kaminkow.

Gary Stern and Joe Kaminkow
Gary Stern and Joe Kaminkow

Head of Raw Thrills, Eugene Jarvis, is also apparently working on the game alongside George Gomez and Lyman Sheats from Stern.

Eugene Jarvis
Eugene Jarvis

Batman 66 is expected to be available in November and we’ll bring you all the latest details and pictures of the new game just as soon as we get them.

BATMAN 66 CONFIRMED

Having previously announced the existence of the Batman 66 game, Stern Pinball has now given more details of the features along with the prices for the three models.

The new Stern Pinball Batman 66 game
The new Stern Pinball Batman 66 game

Let’s start with the details.

We already knew how the original Batman – Adam West – would be voicing the game, but the original Robin – Burt Ward – is also part of this special game.

As we predicted, the new Spike-2 board is needed to drive the LCD score display and on-playfield monitor, and thus makes its debut on Batman 66.

It’s not clear what role Joe Kaminkow or his new company Ka-Pow Pinball plays in this game. Stern only says that the Batman 66 model was ‘inspired’ by him, even though it is designed by George Gomez and programmed by Lyman Sheats.

We previously reported how there would only be Premium, Limited Edition and Super-LE models of Batman 66 available, with the focus clearly on the home collector market. That has been confirmed with news that the 240 Limited Edition models will be split in two, with the first 120 named after episodes of the TV series and the second 120 named after the many ‘Bat Gadgets’ featured in the show.

The 30 Super LEs are available by invitation only, with potential applicants required to jump through a series of hoops, such as submitting a video showing why they should be considered and being contractually obliged not to sell the game for at least six months.

Stern were clearly milking this title for every last drop they can wring out of collectors, and that appears to be fully confirmed by the prices for the three models.

The unlimited-run Premium costs the same as the most expensive previous Limited Edition models at $8,599.

The 240 Limited Editions just scrape in under the $10K barrier at $9,999.

The Super-LE meanwhile shamelessly tries to cash-in with a price tag of $14,999 for the 30 machines available and the opportunity to meet Adam West at a special ‘VIP’ party during Pinball Expo in October.

Here’s how Stern announced their Batman 66 game:

Stern Pinball in Collaboration with Ka-Pow Pinball Celebrates 30 Years in Business with Release of Batman ‘66 Pinball Game!

Holy Golden Anniversary, Iconic Batman TV Show Turns 50!

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – September 15, 2016 – Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, proudly announced today the availability of its highly anticipated Batman ‘66 Anniversary Edition pinball machine.

Stern Pinball is celebrating its 30th year in business and the 50th anniversary of the iconic American TV series with an Anniversary Edition pinball machine featuring the world famous “Dynamic Duo” of Batman and Robin. The game will immerse players in campy fun and heart-pounding action as the crime fighting Dynamic Duo comes to the aid of the Gotham City Police. Throughout the game, Batman and Robin work to deduce clues and discover super villain plots in an effort to thwart evil plans and capture bad guys. Players are guided through the game by the voices of none other than the original Batman and Robin, Adam West and Burt Ward.

A Hall of Fame pinball development team created the all new Anniversary Edition machine. The project was inspired by Joe Kaminkow of Ka-Pow Pinball and spearheaded by Stern Pinball product development chief, George Gomez, who, along with renowned programmer, Lyman Sheats, brought the game to life.

In addition to the fun title and game experience, the machine features a full color high definition display replacing the dot matrix display. In conjunction with Stern’s new SPIKE-2 electronic pinball platform, the display enables high definition graphics and innovative animations. This enables the game to feature actual TV footage from the iconic series. The game includes a second high definition display on the playfield as part of an interactive game feature.

“We are very proud to celebrate our 30th year in business by making a 50th anniversary Batman ‘66 game in collaboration with our good friend, Joe Kaminkow. Joe, who was instrumental in starting Stern Pinball 30 years ago and served as our company’s very first game designer, is now one of the gaming industry’s leaders,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc.

Pricing and Availability:

The Batman ‘66 Anniversary Edition pinball machine will be available in Premium, Limited Edition, and Super Limited Edition models. The company has no current plans to produce a Pro model.

In celebration of Stern Pinball’s 30th anniversary and Batman’s 50th anniversary, Stern Pinball will build a Super Limited Edition model. The Super Limited Edition model also includes a one-of-kind art package plus multiple translites, a unique included topper and accessories package, and a high-fidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations. The Super Limited Edition model will be allocated by invitation and through an application process open to pinball collectors. Collectors can apply for a Super Limited Edition model by completing and submitting an application located at www.Batman66Application.com. Applications are due by 11:59 pm CST on September 30, 2016.

The Limited Edition model will be offered in two series of 120 games each. Each game in the first series will be named for one of the 120 episodes of the television show. Each game in the second series will be named for one of the iconic “bat gadgets” used in the series. In total, only 240 Limited Edition machines will be produced.

All purchasers who make a deposit on their game will also receive a VIP invitation to an exclusive “meet and greet” with Batman (Adam West) at the Westin Chicago North Shore Hotel in Wheeling, Illinois during the weekend of Chicago’s Pinball Expo.

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price:

Premium Model: $US 8,599
Limited Edition Model: $US 9,999
Super Limited Edition Model: $US 14,999

The Premium and Limited Edition models of the Batman ‘66 Anniversary Edition pinball game will be available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world. Please contact your distributor or dealer for more information. The Super Limited Edition model will be available direct from Stern Pinball.

About Stern Pinball, Inc.

Stern Pinball, Inc., headquartered just outside Chicago, Illinois, is the oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball games in the world. Stern’s highly talented creative and technical teams design, engineer and manufacture a full line of popular pinball games, merchandise and accessories. Recent Stern titles include Ghostbusters, Spider-Man Vault Edition, Game of Thrones, KISS, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, The Avengers, X-Men, AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, Iron Man and many more! All of Stern’s pinball games are crafted by hand and assembled by Stern’s expert team. A broad range of players enjoy Stern’s games from professional pinball players that compete in high-stakes international competitions around the globe to novice players who are discovering the allure of the silver ball for the first time. To join the fun and learn more, please visit http://www.sternpinball.com.

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