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There are many interesting and wondrous things that constantly cross the PinGame Journal "World of Pinball Desk"
and this is World of Pinball ARCHIVE
(Check out STERN PINBALL UPDATE for news about Stern Pinball)
Also we are building an impressive YouTube channel with many videos from shows and interviews with key pinball people.
Check them out and subscribe to the channel by clicking PGJ YouTube


(As an archive there are lots of photos that may take a moment to load. Be patient.
You can search for a word by pressing Ctrl F and typing the word in the search window!

August 26, 2013
Special Report from PGJ Foreign Bureau Chief, Gary Flower

Sometimes your day doesnít go as planned. This is the story of one such day.

I had several appointments in London and, as usual I wanted to include something Ďculturalí if possible. On the menu today was a lightening visit to Castle Fine Art (24 Bruton Street London, W1J 6QQ) to see Raw Instinct, an exhibition from the artist Ronnie Wood (who supplements his income by playing guitar with the Rolling Stones).

As I stand on the threshold of this prestigious London Gallery in the heart of Londonís Mayfair area, the last thing I was thinking about was pinball. So, it was with some amazement that as I entered I was confronted with a Bally Rolling Stones machine.

Suddenly my visit took a different turn! I approached the desk and asked if I could take a photo for the PGJ. We got talking and Elliot offered to take me to Ronnieís studio where there was a Stern, The Rolling Stones.

Unfortunately, I was pushed for time but sometimes people make you an offer you cannot refuse and this was one of those occasions.

As I walked into the studio, there it was, a few feet from the door on the right. It turned out this was no ordinary game but an LE; the first I had seen in the UK.

The chrome glass surround gleamed as did everything else in studio. Everything was impeccable, not only in taste but also in arrangement and tidiness; I have never seen an artistís studio that was so immaculate!

Maybe I have seen photos of the studio or maybe it was just so in tune with my head; I immediately felt at home.

It was easy to imagine playing on the full size snooker table or sinking into the soft, oversized upholstery and then of course there was the pinball machine.

This was number 7 (007) of the limited edition, the one with mirrored backglass, double scoring white ball, magnets under the playfield in front of the moving Mick Jagger target, chromed lockdown bar and siderails, code for additional features, and more.

(Later on I was told that the first 10 in the LE series went to the band etc. as part of the licensing agreement).

Ronnieís machine looked like it was fresh out of the box; it was set up correctly and played to perfection.

So, having played the game and taken photos for PGJ readers it was back to the gallery to enjoy the paintings.

The biggest impact of the exhibition was the vibrancy and energy captured by the work exemplified by bold, dynamic brushstrokes.

Whilst predominantly referencing the Rolling stones there was diversity ranging from the blues guy evoking the spirit of Delta blues through nudes, abstracts and pensive drawings.

The various works were executed using a range of techniques and media which only serve to demonstrate how diverse and talented Ronnie is.

As I was about to leave I noticed, on the rooftop of the building behind the gallery, a naked woman hurling a large, shiny silverball towards the exhibition; an apt metaphor for the reflective quality of Ronnieís work.

With thanks to Elliott Reynolds, Castle Fine Art, for his hospitality.

Click Raw Instinct for more information about the exhibit.

From the "Mail Online" website today:
Not content to be playing a game every couple of days due to their Premier League commitments and Europa League campaign, Chelsea's stars are trying their hand at pinball.

Blues players Juan Mata, David Luiz, Fernando Torres and John Mikel Obi have taken part in a game of giant pinball, using their football skills to rack up points on the massive machine.

Spanish star Mata and Brazilian Luiz could be seen using flicks and tricks to set up their team-mates, while Torres showed some of the finishing ability that has been lacking in his on-pitch displays to score the decisive shot as more and more balls get added to the game.

The video is promoting club sponsor Samsung's Free Kicks For Kids campaign, which aims to get 16,000 youngsters playing football for free in the UK this year.

For the full Free Kicks For Kids schedule, and how to register a child for a free coaching session, please go to

Check out the video HERE

Read more by clicking FOOTBALLPINBALL

April 30, 2013 -- CAPTAIN NEMO NEW MUSIC!
EXCLUSIVE TO THE PGJ from Antonio-- "Some of my customers told me that they do not feel comfortable with the heavy metal soundtrack, and although the project is open source and they can modify the soundtrack, I searched an alternative soundtrack, and now they can change the soundtrack in the config menu. I am doing a survey, and perhaps it become the main soundtrack. The soundtrack are creative commons songs by Kevin MacLeod that you can find on his website In the video you can see the test mode, it was one of the first features I programmed to help me develop the rules and I showed in Chicago. But when the PC is connected to the QPC, it can be used as diagnosis mode: turn on-off coils and leds and check switches. I am also testing how to show the information to the player, the game has three groups of Missions: - Nautilus - Protect the sea - Underwater treasures

Each group has a different color, but it is work on progress and I will try to show more information, but it must be easy to read.


March 23-24, 2013 -- MIDWEST GAMING CLASSIC

See our collection of interviews from the Midwest Gaming Classic at our YouTube channel!

March 20-22, 2013 -- AMUSEMENT EXPO

See our collection of interviews from the Amusement Expo at our YouTube channel!

March 15-17, 2013 -- TEXAS PINBALL FESTIVAL
See our collection of interviews from the 2013 Texas Pinball Festival at our YouTube channel!

February 4, 2013--Heighway Pinball's Animated Logo-PGJ EXCLUSIVE!
Heighway Pinball has been moving at Full Throttle speed going from a gleam in Andy's eye to soon to be revealed fully playable prototype game in mere a handful of months. This animated logo is just the first in a group of PGJ EXCLUSIVE looks at the birth of this pinball company. Stay tuned for more ... soon!

January 28, 2013-- Heighway Pinball's Full Throttle Detail All that's really left to see is an actual game! Andy Heighway and company have moved forward with this project at nearly unheard of speed and with news that two prototypes are nearly complete and playable, we look forward to seeing the result soon.

Renderings of the playfield, details (note "accelerator" unit at the top) and the full game.

Cabinet art along with a playfield detail rendering.

Photos of the actual screened playfield with LCD screen window. Note the flipper cut outs in the playfield ... hmmmm?? (Noted pinball author and the man on the "inside" of the UK pinball scene, Gary Flower, adds that HP plans to have easy to repair pinball mechs and these cutouts will allow the entire flipper assembly to be removed from the bottom of the playfield with minimal work.)

January 25, 2013-- Heighway Pinball's FULL THROTTLE TRANSLIGHT ART!

SEEN HERE EXCLUSIVLY FIRST (regardless of what you might be asked to believe elsewhere). This is the final translight, cabinet side and apron art for Full Throttle. The artist, Ian Richardson, is a well-known comic book illustrator. The only part of the art that is unfinished at this point, is the plastics. Brian Dominey has written most of the code and the game rulles are done and being tested on the actual game at this time.

Andy Heighway and his game were scheduled to be at the EAG show in London this week but due to some last minute details that needed atention, it was decided that rather than rush the process, the first public showing of the game will be delayed at least a few weeks.

However it was close, as Andy reports that the full game, screened playfield, ramps, toys and programming is very nearly complete.

They are currently building up a second playfield so they have two working prototype games to take to a French show at the start of March. Lots of detail on this game will be released soon, as Andy and crew move forward with all deliberate speed.

January 23, 2013-- NPR's THE TAKE AWAY DOES PINBALL!

"Brick and mortar arcades may be quickly becoming a thing of the past, but one game is holding its own.

Pinball, once banned for nearly 40 years in cities across the country, is experiencing a small renaissance despite the demise of its video game brethren. While arcades shutter their doors, unable to afford rents and repairs to machines, pinball enthusiasts are congregating in bars and at tournaments and keeping the sport alive."

If the audio does not play from this link
click HERE to go to the show's site.

January 21, 2013--ST:TNG HAS A COLOR DMD! Knowing it's one of my favorite games featuring one of my favorite subjects, Randy Perlow just shot a message over to say he made it so!

It was the only part of this magnificent game that needed a little excitement and now it can. Take a look at this teaser and shuttle on over to the Color DMD site to check it out and get one for your game. As the saying goes, "Resistance is futile!"

January 3, 2013-- FIRST and EXCLUSIVE Full Throttle Detail!
Here is an exclusive image from Heighway Pinball of a detail of their upcoming first game, Full Throttle. It was announced that the game will have four spinning bumpers that raise from the playfield as if the wheels of the motorcycles on the playfield are messing with the ball.

This is the FIRST rendering released of those bumpers in the raised position. They look like they would really cause some interesting ball movement. There will be more on this game soon, both here and in the PGJ.

December 26, 2012--CRACKED "Where Aren't They Now?" Honors (?) Steve Kordek!
Yah, it's a little edgy and irreverant but hey, with a name like CRACKED what do you expect? Steve is in good company with the inventer of Marshall amps, The Count, the man who got Star Wars noticed, and the creator of Batman's villians just to name a few.

The article takes a little "artistic" license with the facts but the basics are there and as Jim Burrhill said when he let me know it was there, it is nice to see Steve get a nod in this media.

The other 12 segments are funny, weird, interesting and in their own ways, worth reading so check them all out by clicking STEVE

December 7, 2012--DENNIS NORDMAN JOINS MULTIMORPHIC TO CREATE A P3 GAME! Multimorphic, the maker of the P3 pinball prototype game has announced today that classic pinball designer, Dennis Nordman has agreed to work with the company as an advisor and produce a game design for the platform. The P3 platform is quite unique in that it combines an LCD ďpinball touch screenĒ lower playfield with a traditional, but modular, upper playfield, real mechanical flippers and slingshots, and most importantly a real pinball. The result is a multi-game platform that uses both virtual and physical interactions to enhance the pinball experience. Gerry has demonstrated that these virtual and physical worlds can coexist and apparently, with the addition of Dennis, he is ready to move to the next level.

The PGJ spoke to Dennis recently and we present this EXCLUSIVE PGJ interview about this exciting development in pinball.

PGJ: Hey Dennis, Iíd like you to tell me about your recent connection to Multimorphic and Gerry Stellenberg, but first talk a little about whatís been going on lately.

As of August, Whizbang was kind of put on hold because Greg went to work at Stern. That put me and Whizbang on hold and Iíve been looking for something to do. I have a private project Iím working on but I needed some kind of employment. I have talked to Stern off and on but nothing has come of that as of yet except the Whoa Nellie project.

PGJ: Whoa Nellie?

Yes. We have had such a large interest in these four custom games that we are looking at the feasibility of producing a run of them. We talked to Stern and they are now researching the cost of producing them for us. As soon as we get the bill of materials from them we can begin to discuss if it would make sense. We, of course, have talked to our four owners and they are happy to see more produced but these will be different in a number of ways. It will be a production game. For one thing, they wonít be custom built games by me and Greg. They may have different software or hardware Ö these things have not been decided yet. That project, if it happens, will not be for quite a while yet.


Gerry at the 2012 Pinball Expo explaining his game platform

I met Gerry at Pinball Expo in October, played his game there and we talked a little during the show. At one point he asked me if Iíd be interested in designing a game for his platform and I said yes. I love dealing with new concepts and new ideas and I like to experiment and go down roads that havenít been explored before. It is an opportunity to experiment with a whole new concept and gives me the opportunity to think WAY outside the box Ö I think it is brilliant what he accomplished.

I can see a lot of potential in it and ways to change even more things, and make it a good mechanical flowing game at the same time the player is interacting with the LCD screen.

Iíve been very impressed with Gerry and what heís accomplished but Iím even more impressed with his open-mindedness and understanding of developing new ideas. When Iím talking to Gerry I feel like Iím back in college again where they actually want new ideas. We both felt that it would make a positive impact if he was able to announce that an experienced pinball designer was on board.

So we came to a tentative agreement. One issue is that he wants to get financing for the venture. I like the fact that he doesnít want to use playerís money to start his company because he doesnít want to put them at risk.

The game Iím going to make will have a creative, unlicensed theme. Iíve heard people plead for that for a long time. We are kicking around theme ideas. It always takes a while for something to geI. I always start with many ideas, maybe a hundred or so and eventually one or two rise to the top. I also have some ideas for some new mechanisms for the game. However, I do know that my game will not have only two little tiny playfields at the top. Iím doing my best to make sure it doesnít look like that Ö there will be physical things over the screen in certain areas.

PGJ: Wait, youíd have to suspend the items over the screen somehow, wouldnít you?

Dennis: Weíre going to use MAGIC, Jim!

PGJ: Oh Ö well, thatís ok, then! Do you have any final comment?

Dennis: Itís much more FUNNER outside the box!

For more info on Multimorphic visit:

October 27, 2012--FORMER ELECTRICAL WINDINGS HEAD, DONAL MURPHY DIES. News just reached the PGJ that Donal Murphy, owner of Electrical Windings (supplier of coils to most of the pinball industry) has died in an accident at home. I had just talked to Don at Pinball Expo last week. I am saddened by this news and our thoughts are with his family at this time. There will be more about this here and in the pages of the PGJ.

October 5, 2012--The Pacific Pinball Show/Museum is Looking For a Perminent Home.

While this video has been posted for a few weeks I just came across it and thought that PGJ readers would find it interesting. The video tells the story ... give it a look. Then, while the formal fundraising time is gone, take a look at the effort and what you can still do to help by clicking PPM

Also you can read an article about the PPM and its potential future from Gordon Hasse by clicking GORDO

August 15, 2012--Check out this exclusive video update from Andy Heighway reporting on his pinball company and its first game, Circe's Animal House. Get the first look at the first whitewood gameplay. This whitewood along with the partially finished second one will be on view at the UK Pinball Party this weekend.

July 14, 2012--Maybelline Pinball. Posted a few days ago, this behind the scenes video at the Maybelline shoot features the models with a Maybelline Falsies Flared pinball machine. The finished commercial ran last year but this video shows more of the custom pinball they used to create the finished product.
July 7, 2012--Heighway Pinball Announces New Company and First Game! EXCLUSIVE VIDEO OF THE EVENT At a local UK pinball show today, Andy Heighway, organizer of the UK Pinball Party and this show as well, took the opportunity to announce the formation of his new company formed to produce commercial pinball machines. From his proposed facility in South Wales, his announced plans call for games that are primarily intended to be operated on location. His first game, Circe's Animal House has progressed nearly to the whitewood stage. The PGJ is happy to bring you this EXCLUSIVE VIDEO (below) recorded "on the spot" of the announcement so you can hear and see Andy discuss some details of this new venture. There will be more about this here and in the pages of the PinGame Journal.

For a larger image of the flyer click HERE.

April 15, 2012--Video "Looks" and Interviews From Michigan and UK Shows! Both the Michigan Pinball Expo and the South Cloast Slam have just ended and the PGJ was in two places at once collecting interviews and images from both shows. Check them out as well as other recent interviews at the PinGame Journal YouTube Channel by clicking PGJYouTube

March 23-25, 2012--PinGame Journal YouTube Channel Interviews! On my way to the Midwest Gaming Classic we stopped in to see good friend John Popadiuk in his design studio where his very limited (10) game Magic Girl is taking shape and plans are proceeding on Ben Heck's Zombie Adventurland. There are a number of projects in the works for this Popadiuk/Heck team. The night before the show, collector Tom Taylor opened his massive collection to show attendees and also took time to explain it all to you in the second video below. At the MGC I ventured into the lower level of the hotel to experience the Ben Heck Experience and experience it first hand from Ben. Then it was back upstairs to talk to Dennis Nordman about Whoa Nellie and other stuff. Take a look to get an up-to-the-minute idea of what these pinball people AND the Midwest Gaming Classic is all about. Also feel free to subscribe to the PGJ YouTube Channel by clicking pinjournal.

March 23, 2012--Pinball programmer, Neil Falconer dies. This note was sent by Rodriguez Darrell of IGT, Neil's current employer:

"It is with sorrow that I write this note. Neil Falconer, an original pioneer in the game industry and significant creative force at IGT, lost his life in a car accident on March 21st.

Neil is well known for his work (at Bally/Midway and Data East/Sega Pinball) on arcade and pinball titles from Star Wars to Starship Troopers, Golden Eye to Godzilla, and many more in between (including South Park, Hook, Tales From The Crypt, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and WWF Royal Rumble. The IPDB credits him with working on over 20 pinballs). He first came to IGT in the late 90s, elevating the quality standards of our games through his attention to detail. Returning last year after a tour with GameTech, Neil contributed to the great success of Wheel of Fortune Experience Super 7s. (Picured here (r) with good friend and co-worker both at Data East/Sega and IGT, Joe Kaminkow and C3PO at the 1992 industry show where Star Wars pinball was introduced.
Neil Falconerís contributions to IGT and the gaming industry (and to pinball!) will endure for generations to come and he will be missed by many."

Steve Kordek--December 26, 1911-February 19, 2012

The sad news reached us today that Steve has died at the age of 100. Never Mr. Kordek, he always corrected you by saying, "My name is Steve." In the 22 years I've known him he was always available at various pinball events to pose for my camera with a young lady or two, or three. His excitement for life came through in each photo I took. Here he is with Special When Lit line producer Emily Rickard just after filming his segment for the video at Pinball Expo 2006.

National Public Radio remembered Steve in an interview with David Silverman of the National Pinball Museum. Click STEVE to hear the report at the NPR site.

Williams/Bally sound guy, Jon Hey, has been collecting all kinds of items relating to Steve and has kindly given the PGJ premission to send the link out to all. Click KORDEK to down load the folder.

February 16, 2012 PGJ FIRST: Official Ben Heck's Zombie Adventureland trailer! The PinGame Journal is FIRST ON THE PLANET to present designers John Popadiuk and Ben Heck's trailer announcing their upcoming game. See it by clicking ZOMBIE! (to enjoy the teaser in its full HD splendor please allow time for the video to download and watch in full screen mode. If you are in a hurry, click this ZOMBIETTE for a smaller file)

BUT THAT's NOT ALL! This video offers just a hint at the innovative game plans and creative design these two have in store for pinball. This release is to be followed by the official unveiling of the game's website at Midnight tonight. HOWEVER-- PGJ supportors have the chance to experience the site FIRST, before anyone else, by clicking LIVING DEAD right NOW ... look around, there's lots of cool stuff there!

February 15, 2012 WOZ Cabinet! As a Valentines Day gift to its customers, Jersey Jack Pinball released photos of the just arrived updated Wizard Of Oz cabinet. For more info on this game and JJP click HERE.

February 1, 2012 The BBC visits the Pinball Hall of Fame! A reporter and crew from the famed BBC ventured across the pond to pay a visit to Tim Arnold and his PHOF. The report is available on the BBC website however it is blocked to us lowly colonials. But never fear, the PGJ is here to give you access to the full report. Check it out below. Thanks to David Ainslie for his embedding help. (may not play with Internet Explorer)

January 14, 2012--Pinball Design LIVE! Here's something you don't see every day, live pinball design, RIGHT NOW, as John Popadiuk, Ben Heck and staff work on the whitewood of their Ben Heckís Zombie Adventureland LIVE, streaming on the internet.(click the play arrow, there'll be a short commercial and you'll be LIVE) As most live things, the action can be slow at times, but if you hang in there you'll usually be rewarded eventually. If you don't catch the live feed, there are videos to watch by clicking HERE

July 1, 2011--National Pinball Museum is given a reprieve. As reported below (June 14, 2011) the NPM was set to leave its home on July 4th but it was recently announced that an extention to Labor Day has been negociated. Check out the museum's site by clicking NPM

June 26, 2011--Wizard of Oz playfield (left side) released! Little by little we're getting to see what all that pinball talent over at Jersey Jack Pinball is working on.

June 22, 2011--Stern has released the official Tron Legacy video

June 14, 2011--The National Pinball Museum is Forced To Close and the date (July 4) is only a little more than two weeks away. It's amazing what a new owner with no sense of fairness can do to a dream come true. David Silverman and his crew put an amazing amount of energy into this Georgetown location and it's a shame it has to end so soon. Check out more in the June 1 PGJ Newsletter by clicking PGJ Newsletter and look for more in a future issue of the PinGame Journal. Also check out the museum's site by clicking NPM and view some cool panoramic photos of the place from Bernie Kelm at Pano. After you click, just scroll down. Here's just one to give you an idea.

April 29, 2011--FIRST TRON PIX! Just days after a Stern letter to distributors was sent (summarized below) these TRON pinball photos showed up in the PGJ inbox. More info soon. Stern Pinball will begin production of its next model pinball machine, TRON: Legacy, at the beginning of May.

With TRON, we continue the design philosophy that has been successful with Iron Man, Avatar and The Rolling Stones. Our games are playing shorter and have more randomness. Our TRON pinball puts the players in the middle of TRON movie and video game action battles. This is a fast moving game. TRON has 3 flippers, including an upper flipper to shot one of the two fabulous fast action ramps. We have not utilized a 3rd flipper in a while and players will enjoy it. In the center of the playfield, near the top, there is a motorized 3 bank target assembly the player must hit and lower to gain access to the illuminated, motorized spinning disc representing TRON's Identity Disc. The disc shoots the ball randomly across and around the playfield. Ramp shots take the player to an exciting Light Cycle multiball. The player shoots at the miniature TRON video game to start exciting features and collect big points.

TRON: Legacy is a visually exquisite 3D movie and our pinball has captured the same exquisite visual, including its 3D backglass. Music is from movie and perfect for pinball. This game is brought to you by the design team that gave you Iron Man and Avatar.

We have been playing TRON, and we are really having fun. Because this is truly a collectors and enthusiasts dream title, we will make a TRON Limited Edition version in late June.

March 26, 2011--Lyman Sheats is back at Stern! Recent Stern returnee Steve Ritchie made the announcement before a packed audience during his seminar at the Texas Pinball Festival this morning. Lyman is not only considered one of the industry's top pinball programmers, he's also one of the world's best pinball players.

Lyman started his pinball career at Data East and his first game is listed as Tales From The Crypt in 1993. He continued at Data East through 1994 with Maverick and then went to Williams to program Attack From Mars, Medieval Madness, Monster Bash and was part of the software team for Revenge From Mars. Then returned to Stern, working on games from The Sopranos through Avatar. Now, after a short stint at WMS Gaming programming slot machines, he's back to pinball.

while plans are still uncertain, one thought has him concentrating on Steve Ritchie designed games for Stern. But no matter how his unique talents are used, he's sure to be a welcomed addition to the recently expanding Stern design team. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and brighter. There will be more on this announcement in the next PinGame Journal.

March 2, 2011--Steve Ritchie is back at Stern! Stern Pinball, Inc., the world's only maker of real pinball games, announced today game designer Steve Ritchie will be joining the Stern Pinball team. Ritchie is often referred to in the gaming world as the "The King of Pinball" and "The King of Flow" for his quick paced pinball games utilizing shot-based flow patterns mixed with target-based geometry.

Ritchie has been designing pinball games since the 1970s, producing such notable titles as Superman, Stellar Wars, Black Knight and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Ritchie was the first designer to incorporate multiball game play, ball lane change, transparent playing fields, as well as the first multi-level pinball machine. Ritchie had previously been contracted by Stern Pinball in 2001 to design eight machines including Elvis, Spider-Man and Terminator 3. "I am elated to bring my 30 years of design and game experience to Stern Pinball and work as part of the new Stern team," said game designer Steve Ritchie. "I am honored to work with Gary Stern and Dave Peterson, along with the talented Stern staff on an exciting new chapter in pinball history. Long Live Pinball!"

"We are all very excited about Steve's arrival at Stern," said Gary Stern, founder, CEO and chairman of Stern Pinball. "Steve's expertise in the art of pinball design and imaginative work will take our machines and game design to a whole new level. Our goal at Stern is to continually push the envelope of what is possible and has never been done. Steve's work is on par with that vision." (Stern press release)

For more on this announcement click HERE.

February 15, 2011--Stern makes it official, their next pin, Rolling Stones, is in production. Look for more detail in a future issue of the PGJ. To learn more about this latest game from Stern, visit their web site by clicking STERN.

January 25, 2011--The game, in slightly different form from the one shown in Germany last week, is currently a the UK's EAG Expo. Take a look at some recent EAG photos from Gary Flower below and scoll down to see photos from the German show.

January 18, 2011--The first unofficial photos of the Rolling Stones from the IMA industry show in Germany graciously sent to the PGJ by and the shot of Gary Stern with the Stones by Heri Eiden. NOTE: This is not the final, approved art. The purpose is to give show attendees a peek at the game in developement. Look for final, approved, official photos on this PGJ web site when they are released.

FIRST STONES PIX!--The game mock-up to the left shows the latest version of the art to be previewed at German and UK industry shows this month. This version is meant more as a preview, as most aspects are still in the completion stage back in Melrose Park at Stern. As you can see, the art resembles the style of other official Stones licensed products.

For more about Stern Pinball, Inc. click STERN and visit their Facebook page as well!

December 4, 2010--David Silverman's National Pinball Museum opens! David has collected well over 800 games including many rare and one of a kind machines. Many of these will be on display in the museum's 14,000+ square foot facility. Plans call for a lot more than just a place to play including exhibits, classes, lectures and special events. The muesum is located at the Shops at Georgetown Park, 3222 M Street N.W., Suite M325, Washington, D.C. Regular hours will be Thursday ? Saturday, 10am ? 8pm Sunday, 12 ? 6pm. There's lots more info at the museum web site. Check it out by clicking NPM

October 23, 2010--Pinball collector, author, player Gary Flower is inducted into the Pinball Expo Hall of Fame. Read more about Gary and his intricate involvement in the pinball hobby for over 30 years by clicking HERE

October 13, 2010--Stern releases its Iron Man Classic model. This is a "home use only" version of its coin-op game Iron Man Pro. Read a PGJ EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Stern Pinball's, Gary Stern about the game and other Stern plans at PinGame Update by clicking above.

October 13, 2010--Rick Bartlett of Bay Area Amusements along with mega collector Matt Christiano announces the purchase of the Willams Pinball assets from Australia's Wayne Gillard (The Pinball Store). The new company will be called Planetary Pinball Supply (PPS). Rick reports that he mysteriously ducked out of the Pacific Pinball Exposition a little early a week ago Sunday to catch a plane to Australia and supervise the filling of a container mostly with parts. It is currently on a boat traveling across the ocean and anxiously awaited at PPS headquarters in San Jose. Matt hopes to continue as well as expand Wayne's efforts to try, for one thing, to get parts made and into the eager hands of collectors around the planet. For more on this historic business transaction, check out their web site at Planetary Pinball

September 14, 2010--AVATAR official press release--click PinGame Update above for more. September 9, 2010--AVATAR in production! See exclusive offical photos at PinGame Update August 18, 2010--Stern's Avatar nears production start! Read more at PinGame Update. (Avatar translight shown is a prototype and not the final, approved version. Official photos will be available on this site when available)

August 2, 2010--Pinball Comes To PAPA. Read the details of last year's PAPA 12 by Mish Paull to get you ready as PAPA 13's start looms large in the future--August 12-15. Read more by clicking PAPA.
July 22, 2010--Stern announces production of Avatar pin. Read more at PinGame Update.
July 11, 2010--Rosa family makes it a clean sweep at the 2010 Michigan Pinball Expo

IT'S A FAMILY AFFAIR: Hot off a second place finish at the recent IFPA World Championship, Andy Rosa took first in the "A" division at the MPE. But the Rosa family wasn't finished as son Andrew grabbed the "B" division title and daughter Ahna flipped her way to the top of the "Wizards In Training" bracket. Read more about this first ever Michigan show by clicking HERE.

June 25, 2010--Michigan Pinball Expo's "Koz" interviewed by Mitch Albom

John "Koz" Kosmal, organizer of the Michigan Pinball Expo (MPE), was interviewed by international best selling author and Detroit radio personality, Mitch Albom about the MPE to be held in Rochester Michigan on July 8-12, 2010. Download a podcast of the interview by clicking HERE and get more info on the MPE at their web site by clicking HERE.

June 17, 2010--Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade of Portland wins $25,000 prize in Save The Arcades 2 contest

Ground Kontrol Arcade won the prize sponsored by Stride gum by posting the most points "donated" by supportors (including a good number of PGJ readers!) who played an on line game called Cowbots 2010. GK's Art Santana promises the money will be used for good: increasing the number of games at the arcade including adding to their already impressive lineup of pins. Take a look at the GK site by clicking HERE.

June 3, 2010--Stern Launches New Web Site Tomorrow!

The countdown clock has stopped and the brand new Stern website is LIVE! Visitors to will be greeted with many new features that make this, according to Jody Dankberg of Stern, more of a public, consumer site than the old commercial, industry type. Read more at the PinGame Update page.

May 27, 2010--Stern games at Costco

Stern Pinball, Inc. is conducting a limited market test exclusively in select Costco stores. The test includes a total of 48 reduced feature, lower cost, custom designed Batman? pinball machines with less complex playfields. Participating Costco stores have three games each. Stern is conducting this test to study products best suited for various segments of its market. These games are shipped from the factory set on free play and have only one fixed coin setting of five credits per one coin. Stern plans to sell no more of this test Batman? in this configuration in the U.S. If the test is successful, Stern will further simplify the game design for tested market segments, such redesign including a much more simplified cabinet, replacement of the current dot matrix score display, and so forth.

Stern will continue to build its full line of traditional coin op pinball games as well as collector models.

Costco Store test locations are the following: Carlsbad, CA; Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Simi Valley, CA; North Fresno, CA; Reno, NV; Tigard, OR; Issaquah, WA; St. George, UT; San Antonio, TX; Houston, TX; Overland Park, KN.

May 23, 2010--IFPA 7 Full Of Surprises! Just when it looked like the same people whould keep winning the top honors in the world of pinball competition, the IFPA 7 event happened and that all changed. Top honors went to Danelle Acciari from Italy, the first time in IFPA history the championship was won by a non-American. Second place was taken by Andy Rosa, a familiar name in IFPA circles, but never before in the finals. Check out the IFPA site for more! Congratulations Danelle!

May 13, 2010--The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) will present a special 35th anniversary screening and disscussion of TOMMY on May 21, 2010

The event, open to the public, will include a new digital cinema presentation with the original quintaphonic soundtrack and a onstage panel dission hosted by Murry Lerner (The Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who) with special guests director Ken Russell and editor Stuart Baird. For more information and tickets, visit the Academy website by clicking HERE.

April 12, 2010--Stern, in conjunction with the IFPA, announces four (count them ...four) simultaneous Iron Man launch parties around the US!

Hot on the heels of the official Iron Man press release distributed last week came an announcement from Josh Sharpe of the IFPA that they will be hosting four Iron Man launch parties.

March, 2010-- Cartoon Network's [Adult Swim] features pinball for an entire episode of Aqua Team Hunger Force. The whole episode involved pinball including Shake's eventual date with the game Death Mountain Hoedown.

The episode began with a message to Stern:
ATTENTION! Stern Pinball, Inc. the following episode of ATHF was inspired by our Family Guy pinball machine and features a design that we believe is the future of pinball. Please take notes and produce this machine accordingly. Thank you kindly, [adult swim]

January 14, 2010--Stern's Big Buck Hunter Pro pinball officially released.

Slated to be on the production line late this month, Stern has sent out the official press release for this game. Based on the popular arcade game of the same name, besides the Stern crew of Lonnie Ropp, John Borg and Lyman Sheats, it features contributions from Raw Thrills/Play Mechincs' Eugene Jarvis, Geroge Petro, Mark Ritchie, Scott Pikulski and Ken Hale as well as John Youssi who created the art package for both games. You can read a very preliminary overview of the game by clicking HERE, read the full Stern press release by clicking HERE and look for an indepth discussion of the game, including a "behind the scenes" glimpse at the design process, in a near-future PinGame Journal!

January 11, 2010-Stern Pinball featured on Factory Made episode! The Discovery Channel's "Factory Made" series featured a segment on how a pinball machine is made using Stern's NBA as its focus. The pinball segment is part of the seventh episode in the show's current, second season.
January 10, 2010-- National Public Radio features David Silverman and his National Pinball Museum.

This morning on the NPR broadcast Weekend Edition, Liane Hansen conducted an interview with David Silverman about his collection of over 800 games and his goal to create the National Pinball Museum. What a great showcase for pinball ... you da man, David! Take a look and a listen to the interview by clicking HERE and check out David's museum web site by clickingHERE and help out by giving a buck or more to the cause by clicking "sponsorship."

January 2, 2010-- The Pinball Hall of Fame moves to a new location.

It's been a long time coming, but Tim Arnold has moved his Pinball Hall of Fame into a stand-alone building that is owned, not rented. The Las Vegas Pinball Collectors Club has purchased a building that can hold about twice the games and is about half the distance to the Strip as the old place. There are photos at the PHoF web site which you can see by clicking HERE. Look for more on this promising upgrade in the January, 2010 (#138) issue of the Pingame Journal!

January 3, 2010-- The famous ever-changing opening sequence of this evening's episode of "The Simpsons" features pinball.

The episode "Thursdays with Abie" (which featured an appearence by Detroit area local celeb Mitch Albom, author of "Tuesdays With Morrie") contained a pinball opening that consisted mostly of a giant pinball machine named Couch Gag Chaos featuring the Simpsons family being bumped and shot around the playfield, all finally draining, as all pinballs do. You can see the opening along with the entire episode at the Fox site by clicking HERE and click on "Thrusdays With Abie" (Season 21, Episode 9). The Simpsons have been the subject of two pinball machines, check out the Stern Pinball site to see the most recent, Simpsons Pinball Party by clicking HERE.

December 23, 2009-- John Popadiuk's iPhone pingame app becomes available from the iTunes store.

This game is jam packed with features including the ability to customize the playfield giving the player the ability to play the resulting game. Get all the details by clicking HERE.

December 23, 2009-- Stern Pinball announces finance deal.

Stern Pinball, Inc. announced today that it has closed a financing and partnership agreement with a group of investors led by David J. Peterson, a founder and Managing Director of Hagerty Peterson & Company, LLC. Under the agreement, the new investors will provide capital and services to Stern Pinball, Inc. with the goal of expanding the Company?s business. Mr. Peterson and his colleague, Daniel P. Wallace, will join the Company?s Board of Directors. Gary Stern will continue in his role as Chairman and CEO of the Company.

?We?re very excited about this new partnership with Dave and his colleagues,? said Stern. ?They have an impressive history of building successful businesses and are bringing fresh insights to the Company that we believe will be very helpful.?

?We were impressed by the commitment of the Company?s customers, suppliers and employees to pinball, which we share,? said Peterson. ?It will take some time, but we think we can help the Company better serve that community and expand.?

August 19, 2009-- Popular Mechanics magazine features pinball history on their web site.

The story is about the era when pinball was illegal and the efforts to remove the stigma of gambling and prove the game requires skill and not chance only. Take a look by clicking HERE.

Bowen talks about pinball in general and what it's like to compete at the top level. Take a listen by clicking HERE.

July 8, 2009-- Pinball Pioneer Steve Kordek is featured in a Chicago Tribune article on pinball with an associated story on Stern Pinball Inc.

Freelance writer, Lisa Pevtzow interviewed pinball people around the globe to create this feature on pinball which hit its stride in Chicago and look in on 98 year old classic designer Steve Kordek. She also talked extensively with Gary Stern of Stern Pinball, Inc and presents an updated view of the company and its head. (Link currently broken--we're working on it!) Click Chicago Tribune-Kordek to read both stories.

March 15, 2009 ESPN "Sports Center" puts pinball front and center

The text message from Trent Augenstein read, "I'm going to be on Sports Center tonight, briefly." He was. However, the spot focused on ex NBA player Todd MacCulloch who switched to pinball for his professional sports excitement as he won his first ever individual trophy in any sport at the 2009 Texas Pinball Fest tournament. Todd finished second to Trent's first place effort but as Todd's first, it was a special moment.

March 6, 2009-- Nucore Licensing Announcement This announcement is exciting news for all Pinball 2000 owners as well as a good sign along the road to the future of pinball. The PGJ is excited to present a mini-interview with Nucore co-creator, Chuck Hess, revealing some details of their operation. Look for more detail in near-future issues of the magazine. First the announcement:

?The Big Guys Pinball team is pleased to announce that a licensing agreement for Nucore has been finalized. WMS Gaming Inc. approved a licensing agreement between Big Guys Pinball, Illinois Pinball Corporation and The Pinball Factory. This agreement will allow Big Guys Pinball to market and sell Nucore worldwide. Nucore will be exclusively distributed by Pinball Life of Huntley, Illinois. Big Guys Pinball will be releasing Nucore pricing and component details in early March so visit them by clicking HERE for more details.

PGJ's Mini Interview with Nucore's Chuck Hess

PGJ?Chuck, we have talked a lot in the past about how you were going to navigate the dangerous licensing waters as you brought out this product. Your announcement reveals that you are covering pretty much all the bases. Was this a requirement you had to meet before Nucore went officially public?

CH?No, we weren?t forced to get licensing from both Wayne and Gene but it is just the best way to make sure we would have zero legal problems. Legal problems would be costly for us and could have stopped Nucore sales because of possible drawn-out battles.

PGJ?Now that is out of the way, do you have some big factory somewhere to produce all the systems to have Pinball Life distribute?

DH--We are a two-man operation doing pretty much everything. We are making custom hardware. One board will come with the Nucore base package and it will provide a key function that we couldn?t emulate safely in software. It will also provide for future expansion boards allowing the addition of a real cabinet knocker or a mod to greatly enhance Bill Ung?s saucer mod, for just two examples. These custom boards will be mass-produced, but we have designed, built and tested the prototypes. Don is really the genius behind that.

PGJ?What was your reasoning in adding a distribution level to the venture? Are you both going to hand it over to them, rake in the profits and spend your time on the beach in the Cayman Islands?

DH--What we gain by using distribution is control over the marketing and sales of our product while losing the minutiae of handling orders. We picked Pinball Life due to their stellar reputation, worldwide distribution and neutrality between all parties. I really do believe in specialization of labor and Pinball Life will serve us well. Once we start selling Nucore, Don and I will be doing all of the support along with help from our testers and other Nucore users. It will hardly be like sitting on a beach sipping mojitos with purple umbrellas. We have a lot of work ahead.

FOX Business News. On April 29, 2008 FOX Business News visited the Stern Pinball factory to see the latest game Indiana Jones on the assembly line and talk to designer John Borg. The video will be included on a future PGJ Media Clips DVD. Also, the same day, myFOX Chicago aired a live report at Stern interviewing Gary Stern.

High End Pins and Chris Hutchins was featured on an April 25, 2008 segment on WCNC Charolette, North Carolina. Chris has quite a, as the name implies, high end pinball restoration operation and this video gives viewers just a taste of it. This too, will be included as part of the PGJ Media Clips Vol. 3!

Southwest Airlines' Spirit Magazine. The January 2008 issue of this in flight magazine features these words across the cover, "TAILOR YOUR TRAVEL -- SHARE TUNES -- SPEAK PINBALL." Inside you'll find an indepth detailed story about the author's personal reunion and ultimate rematch with "The Wizard" which, as he says he "owned" in 1978 but now has regressed to "geezer level." All of this takes place in one of our favorite places to play pinball, the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame.

There is pleanty of info on the Hall as well, in this really good example of a cool pinball article. As a bouns, Tim reports the story bumped the Hall's business by 30%! Thanks to Spirit, the author, Jay Heinrichs, reporter Mike Darling and photog Adam Voorhes!!

Cranky Geeks is an on line tech video magazine hosted by PC Magazine contributing editor John C. Dvorak. Apparently Mr. Dvorak, whose crankiness knows no bounds, found his way to the Pinball Hall of Fame while visiting the January 2008 Consumer Electronics Show. "The consistently irritated Dvorak" spends a lot of time at the hall, visits with Tim Arnold and takes a good look around. You'll want to watch episode #98 and look for the PHoF PINBALL sign about three minutes into the show.

Take a look for yourself by clicking HERE.


Pinball Tip #6--Wet, Cold and Damp

This great time of year means wet, cold and damp weather in many parts of the USA and elsewhere. And wet, cold and damp is NOT good news for pinball machines. If your pinball machine is in a garage or storage or other place that isnít constantly warm, take a few precautions to protect it:

3. Do play your machine at least once or twice a month, just to get the mechanical parts moving, so they don't build up dirt or goo or corrosion on the switches.

4. If you do have a stuck or dirty switch, it's easy to clean. If you have an old electro-mechanical machine, use a pinball file (or in a pinch an emery board) on the little nipples on the switches. If you have an electronic machine, do NOT use a file, you'll wear off the fine gold plating on the switch. Use a clean business card.

Presented by B.B. Kamoroff, author of "Pinball Machine Care and Maintenance: How to Purchase, Maintain, Adjust and Repair Your Own Pinball Machine," now in its 14th printing. This book is available from the PGJ, click HERE for info OR Click HERE to visit the author's site!

Visit the Repair Tip Archives by clicking HERE


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