STAR WARS SEMINAR

Steve Ritchie spoke recently at the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show in Tacoma, Washington, where he gave more details about his upcoming Star Wars game.

You can read the full show report in our Shows section, but here’s the relevant part about Star wars.

Steve Ritchie
Steve Ritchie

Steve said he was recovering from some optical treatment and therefore had to avoid the kind of bright light shining through the multiple glass panels in the seminar area.

He then continued by thanking the many people at Stern Pinball who had contributed to his latest game Star Wars which is soon to be released. He said production of the Pro model would begin in about a week.

Although always diplomatic about the details, it was clear from Steve’s talk that his and Stern’s dealings with Lucasfilm on the Star Wars franchise had not been without some difficulties, especially in getting approval for their artwork ideas for the game.

Steve was then joined by Greg Freres who talked further about the artwork approval process.

Steve and Greg
Steve and Greg

Greg showed pictures of the team’s initial ideas, working through the first licensor submissions to the final approved product.

Initial cabinet art ideas
Initial cabinet art ideas Click to expand

Initial backglass art ideas
Initial backglass art ideas Click to expand

Initial playfield art ideas
Initial playfield art ideas Click to expand

After showing a promo video for Star Wars Steve described the gameplay, saying at the start of the game you can choose one of four characters – Luke, Leia, Han or R2-D2. He said they had a lot of fun despite all the grief from the licensor, although they didn’t interfere with the design of the playfield.

Steve said there are nine multiball modes in the game, and when asked how Stern Pinball were able to secure the Star Wars licence said it was simply that they offered more money than anyone else.

We’ll have much more about the new Star Wars Pinball game very soon here at Pinball News.

STAR WARS ANNOUNCED

The Premium/Limited Edition playfield

Stern Pinball today released detailed pictures of their upcoming Star Wars pinball, together with a press release giving more details.

Let’s start with the art packages on the three different models.

The Pro features the most complete set of characters and ships from the three movies.

The Pro cabinet
The Pro cabinet
The Pro cabinet
The Pro cabinet

The Premium edition’s artwork is all about the Empire’s characters, space ships and attack craft.

The Premium cabinet
The Premium cabinet
The Premium cabinet
The Premium cabinet

The Limited Edition’s backglass shows the moment the Millennium Falcon jumps into hyperspace, while the rebels’ characters and ships make up the cabinet and backbox art.

The Limited Edition cabinet
The Limited Edition cabinet
The Limited Edition cabinet
The Limited Edition cabinet

On the playfield, the artwork is very similar on the Pro and Premium/LE variants.

The Pro playfield
The Pro playfield
The Premium/Limited Edition playfield
The Premium/Limited Edition playfield

Here’s a side-by-side comparison. As with all the pictures here, you can click for a much larger version.

The Pro on the left, the Premium & Limited Edition on the right
The Pro on the left, the Premium & Limited Edition on the right

Here’s what Stern Pinball had to say about their new title:

Stern Pinball Announces New Star Wars Pinball Machines

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – June 6, 2017 – Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, proudly announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines celebrating the Star Wars 40th Anniversary.

Star Wars Pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium and Limited Edition models. The game will immerse players in the dynamic and challenging Star Wars pinball environment as they battle to restore justice to the Galaxy.
Stern’s Star Wars Pro, Premium and Limited Edition machines are packed with features that provide an irresistible game experience.

The game includes select speech and footage from the original Star Wars trilogy; color-changing LED-lighted inserts; a sculpted LED-lit Millennium Falcon; and a sculpted TIE Fighter.

The Limited Edition and Premium models also feature two LCD screens, an exploding Death Star interactive display, and a hyperspace ramp.

“We are excited to bring these pinball machines celebrating the Star Wars galaxy and adventures to our fans,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball. “Our Star Wars Pinball machines give fans a fun, new way to enjoy the nonstop action and new game sounds, features and effects.”

In addition to the immersive theme and exciting game experience, Stern Pinball’s SPIKE-2 electronic platform enables high-definition graphics and innovative animations. The state-of-art electronic system also powers a high-fidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations.

Star Wars Pinball entertains with an amazing array of modern and classic features, making it suitable for all skill levels.


Pricing and Availability:

Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: MSRP for sales to USA end-users, before any VAT, GST, Sales Tax, Duties, or other taxes

Pro Model: $US 6,199
Premium Model: $US 7,899
Limited Edition Model: $US 8,999

Star Wars Pinball is available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.


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 Pinball’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 Aerosmith, Batman, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, XMen,
AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, and many more!

All of Stern Pinball’s games are crafted by hand and assembled by Stern Pinball’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: www.sternpinball.com or
www.facebook.com/sternpinball

STAR WARS and related properties are trademarks and/or copyrights, in the United States and other countries, of Lucasfilm Ltd. and/or its affiliates. © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.

We’ll have much more about the new Star Wars Pinball game very soon here at Pinball News.

STAR WARS REVEALED

Star Wars by Stern Pinball

The fact that Steve Ritchie’s next game would be Star Wars had been pretty well-known
for several months, but an official announcement wasn’t expected until June 4th, 2017.

Today though (May 31st), The Star Wars Show let the cat out of the bag with details and pictures of the new game.

As expected, there are the usual three variants – Pro, Premium and Limited Edition, with different art packages for all three. The Pro shows all the characters, while the Premium focuses on the Empire’s forces, and the LE features the rebels.

The Pro edition
The Pro edition

The Premium edition
The Premium edition

The Limited Edition
The Limited Edition

Onto the playfield, and the Pro is lacking a number of features found on the higher models. Here’s the full-featured Premium/LE playfield.

The Premium/LE playfield
The Premium/LE playfield

Balls are locked in the Death Star which breaks open to release them for multiball. A wireform loops around in front of the flippers to provide some additional entertainment when balls are locked or released, while the ball is initially plunged across the playfield at the F-O-R-C-E targets.

There appear to be four sets of three modes, each set represented by a colour and a playfield shot – Hoth (blue, centre lane), Death Star (purple, left lane), Tatooine (red, right scoop) and Endor (green, left ramp).

The Pro playfield
The Pro playfield

The Death Star here appears to be a static toy, with plastic instead of metal ramps, no upper level to the right ramp, no loop-around wireform and no Millennium Falcon toy. The playfield art is very similar though, and all models feature a miniature LCD screen above the Tie-Fighter target bank and back panel artwork.

Stern Pinball will no doubt produce an official press release over the next day or so to bring us full details and prices, and Pinball News will bring you all that information just as soon as it’s available.

AEROSMITH PINBALL ANNOUNCED

Aerosmith playfield

Stern Pinball today revealed details and pictures of their next rock band-themed pinball, Aerosmith.

Aerosmith backglass artwork
Aerosmith backglass artwork

Like earlier Stern Pinball games based on The Rolling Stones, Metallica and Kiss their new Aerosmith model is designed by John Borg, and features a lavish art package by ‘Dirty’ Donny Gillies. It also incorporates the company’s new colour LCD panel driven by the Spike 2 board system.

As usual, there are three models – a top-end Limited Edition of 500 machines, an unlimited Premium and a base Pro version which lacks some of the nicer playfield features. Each model sports slightly different cabinet artwork and colour schemes – dark blue for the LE, purple for the Premium and light blue for the Pro. The LE also features a numbered plaque above the left backbox speaker.

The Aerosmith Limited Edition model
The Aerosmith Limited Edition model
The Aerosmith Limited Edition model
The Aerosmith Limited Edition model
The Aerosmith Premium model
The Aerosmith Premium model
The Aerosmith Pro model
The Aerosmith Pro model

So let’s take a look at the playfield, and it’s a mix of the familiar and a couple of new, unique mechanisms. The LE and Premium both have the full-feature playfield, so let’s look at that first.

The Aerosmith LE playfield
The Aerosmith LE playfield

Bearing a certain similarity to the Kiss playfield, Aerosmith‘s two main toys are the toy box and the upper mini-playfield.

The toy box on the Aerosmith LE playfield
The toy box on the Aerosmith LE playfield

The toy box works like the Ark of the Covenant on Stern’s Indiana Jones – keep shooting it to add toys (locks) and then shoot the lock lane. The lid of the box is lifted and ball is ejected up and into the box.

As with Mustang, players can choose whether to start a 2-ball multiball, or lock more balls to increase the mayhem and the jackpot values.

When they take the multiball, the locked balls are lifted up inside the toy box Ark-style, and dumped onto the playfield.

The toy box on the Aerosmith LE playfield
The toy box on the Aerosmith LE playfield

The other key feature is the upper mini-playfield.

The upper mini-playfield
The upper mini-playfield

The is a single full-size flipper on the mini-playfield, along with an orbit lane, five standup targets and the Love in an Elevator exit to the lower playfield.

The toy box on the Aerosmith LE playfield
The upper mini-playfield

The mini-playfield is only available on the LE and Premium models. In the Pro only the metal ramp and wireform remain, while the Love in an Elevator toy moves down onto the main playfield.

No mini-playfield on the Pro model
No mini-playfield on the Pro model

Here’s the whole of the Pro playfield.

The Aerosmith Pro playfield
The Aerosmith Pro playfield

The through-the-bumpers and scoop shots are there from Kiss (albeit with the scoop slightly repositioned), as are the centre and ramp shots. The de rigueur lock bar action button is also present, while we get two inlanes on the left side which mean a thin metal shooter lane ball guide.

Inner cabinet art also seems to be available
Inner cabinet art also seems to be available

Nine Aerosmith tracks are included in the game, with each mapping to a feature in the ruleset. The nine are:

  • Toys in the Attic
  • Love in an Elevator
  • Rats in the Cellar
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady
  • Back in the Saddle
  • Sweet Emotion
  • Walk This Way
  • Same Old Song & Dance
  • Last Child
The game's nine tracks
The game’s nine tracks

The feature matrix shows the differences between the three models of the game.

The game's feature matrix
The game’s feature matrix

Here’s how Stern Pinball announced their Aerosmith game:

Stern Pinball Gets Back in the Rock and Roll Saddle With Its Release Of Aerosmith Pinball

Leading Pinball Manufacturer and Global Brand Management Firm Epic Rights Announce Newest Addition to Rock Lineup

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – January 4, 2016 – Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines, and Epic Rights, Aerosmith’s global licensing agent, jointly announced today the availability of a new line of pinball machines that honor the classic and iconic rock band, Aerosmith.

Stern Pinball’s Aerosmith machines reflect the high-energy and excitement that accompanies the experience of a live Aerosmith concert. Players will rock to nine famous Aerosmith hits in the concert arena playfield and embark on an exhilarating pinball experience. Players score points and finish game objectives to raise the audience’s levels of energy, thrill and enjoyment. Higher scores amplify the experience–the higher the energy level, the bigger and louder the show–resulting in an Aerosmith pinball experience that cannot be matched.

The hard-hitting feisty American rock group best known for their powerful fusion of rock and blues has reached fans for more than four decades. This colorful band includes the much loved pop culture personalities of Steven Tyler and Joe Perry. With sales of more than 70 million albums in the United States and more than 150 million albums worldwide, Aerosmith is one of the world’s all time best-selling American rock bands. To date, they have been awarded 25 gold albums, 18 platinum albums and 12 multi-platinum albums.

“We’re thrilled to have Aerosmith join the ranks of Stern Pinball’s rock and roll line-up,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball. “Aerosmith is an iconic band with a devoted fan base. Fans of both the band and pinball will be able to appreciate the extraordinary experience that the Aerosmith pinball machines provide.”

The Aerosmith machines all feature original hand-drawn art provided by “Dirty” Donny Gillies, who has produced work for bands including The Hellacopters, The Melvins, Queens of the Stone Age, The Wildhearts, Electric Frankenstein and the 5.6.7.8’s, but is most noted for his work with metal band Metallica. In addition, the machines feature custom speech from Brendon Small, creator of Metalocalypse, the American animated television series centering around a death metal band. Players will be mesmerized by the interactive “Jacky on the Box” mechanical feature on the playfield. Jacky sits on a toy box allowing players to launch pinballs through the air and slam dunk the steel ball into the box. The more balls launched into the box, the higher the opportunity for a player to earn multiballs.

“The Aerosmith pinball machines are an ideal way to expand the band’s global brand because they provide a unique and fun experience for fans and consumers of all ages,” said Lisa Streff, Executive Vice President, Global Licensing, of Epic Rights.

In addition to the heart pounding music and game experience, the machine features a full-color high-definition display. In conjunction with Stern Pinball’s new SPIKE-2 electronic platform, the display enables high-definition graphics and innovative animations. The game includes a highfidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations. Aerosmith Pinball entertains with an amazing array of modern and classic features, making it suitable for all skill levels.

Pricing and Availability:

  • Pro Model: $6,199 MSRP
  • Premium Model: $7,899 MSRP
  • Limited Edition Model: $8,999 MSRP

Aerosmith Pinball is available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.

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 Pinball’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 Batman ‘66, Ghostbusters, Game of Thrones, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, The Avengers, X-Men, AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, Iron Man, Batman, Spiderman and many more! All of Stern Pinball’s’s games are crafted by hand and assembled by Stern Pinball’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 www.sternpinball.com.

About Epic Rights:
Epic Rights is a full-service merchandise, branding/licensing and social media marketing company focused on building music artist and entertainment brands via its broad global network of retailers, licensees and agents. Working with a roster of top clients and brands, Epic Rights services include licensing/branding, music merchandising, official website and social media management, VIP ticketing and official fan communities. Epic Rights also oversees sponsorships and endorsements, digital archiving of all creative/photo/media assets and manages worldwide e-commerce for its clients in addition to providing in-house legal resources for trademark registration and audit management. For more information visit Epic Rights.

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All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective companies.

So prices have risen slightly since Ghostbusters – up $200 for the Pro, $300 for the Premium and $200 for the Limited Edition model – but remain significantly below the Batman 66 prices.

We’ll be back with much more on the new Aerosmith game soon here at Pinball News, but in the meantime Stern Pinball have released a preview video showing parts of the gameplay on their Facebook page.

THE PABST CAN CRUSHER

The Pabst Can Crusher by Stern Pinball

Stern Pinball today announced a special re-themed version of the WhizBang Pinball’s Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons game.

The new The Pabst Can Crusher game is themed on the iconic Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) beer, and Pabst will be promoting the game at a number of their merchandising and sponsored events.

The Pabst Can Crusher backglass
The Pabst Can Crusher backglass

The game features all-new artwork by Dirty Donny Gillies featuring a typically highly-stylised design and many cameos, such as the band Red Fang who provide the music for the new game.

The Pabst Can Crusher also eschews the weathered wooden cabinet and legs in favour of a more modern design. However, it retains the score reels, backglass light indicators and the electromechanical essence of Big Juicy Melons.

The cabinet shape is also retained from the WhizBang game.

Left cabinet side
Left cabinet side
The front of the game
Right backbox side
Right backbox side
Right backbox side

The playfield design is unchanged from Big Juicy Melons but the artwork is as busy and colourful as the backglass image.

Can Crusher's playfield
Can Crusher’s playfield
The top of the playfield
The top of the playfield
The top of the playfield
The top of the playfield
The bottom left of the playfield
The bottom left of the playfield

Stern Pinball have not announced whether The Pabst Can Crusher will be available for retail sale, and if so whether it will be sold through Stern’s regular distribution channels. Nor have they revealed how many Can Crusher machines will be made or any potential price point.

The bottom right of the playfield
The bottom right of the playfield

Here’s what Stern Pinball had to say about the game, although the announcement appears to be credited to Pabst Brewing Company instead.

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – July 13, 2016 – The Pabst Brewing Company, makers of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (“PBR”), today proudly announced the debut of its new PBR-Themed “Can Crusher” pinball machine.

The new PBR machine will make its debut at Comic-Con International in San Diego on July 21st through July 24th at booth 501. The game was developed in partnership with Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball machines

The “Can Crusher” pinball machine captures the iconic nature of the PBR brand with a retro game design,dynamic eye-popping art by artist and pinball phenomenon Dirty Donny Gillies and music by hard-hitting heavy metal band RED FANG.

The debut of this machine will not stop with its arrival at Comic-Con. Following Comic-Con, PBR will showcase the exclusive machine at several other venues including concerts, barcades, high profile events, and other community activities.

“To partner with Stern Pinball on the ‘Can Crusher’ and have a superstar artist like Dirty Donny and music from Red Fang was exactly what we set out to do when we wanted to make a pinball machine the PBR way. The game does a great job of capturing the essence of our brand,” said Pabst CMO Dan McHugh.

About Pabst Brewing Company

With over 30 beers in our portfolio, Pabst Brewing Company is the largest American-owned brewery. Since 1844, we’ve taken pride in brewing beers that have become iconic, cherished American brands. Brands that promote regional pride, and brands that express common bonds amongst people all over the world.

Pabst is honored to be part of so many lives. We work tirelessly to provide worthy products and memorable experiences in local communities. Loyalty is hard to come by these days. Being your beer of choice is a great privilege, which is why we deliver nothing less than award-winning taste and quality.

Trust your good times to Pabst. http://pabstbrewingco.com

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, Game of Thrones, KISS, WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, The Avengers, X-Men, AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, Iron Man, Batman, 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/

 

The central playfield area
The central playfield area

We’ll have all the latest news about The Pabst Can Crusher right here at Pinball News.