Stern Announce Star Wars and Jersey Jack Release A Flashy Trailer For Dialed In!

Whoa, what a way to start June!

Stern Pinball finally announced their new machine, the Steve Ritchie designed Star Wars! Funnily enough, the announcement came via a brief spot on The Star Wars Show (see embedded video). Stern has promised that Star Wars Pinball will take players to a galaxy far, far away! More information, photos and pricing to come – we can’t wait!

Stern’s new STAR WARS pinball machine makes a cameo appearance on The Star Wars Show!

source: The Star Wars Show

Also going all out was Jersey Jack Pinball. With the announcement that their latest machine, Dialed In! was in production, the New Jersey-based factory went all Hollywood by producing a very flashy and cool promotional video to show off Pat Lawlor’s brilliant original concept game. Mark our words, Dialed In! is destined to be a top 10 pinball machine of all time!

Jersey Jack Pinball’s DIALED IN! official trailer!

source: Jersey Jack Pinball

Wow, wish every month starts  like this! Stay tuned for more pinball news!

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Pinball Press
Pinball Press brings you news from the world of pinball – events, product reviews/updates, interviews and the people in pinball!

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Pinball Innovation: Flipping At The Bleeding Edge

Imagine if we had a crystal ball to see into the future to see what pinball machines would look like – what would we see?

The future of pinball depends on innovation to ensure it remains relevant. Innovation can be obtained via the use of current and emerging technologies, and unlike the end of the 20th century, the technology is already available for pinball manufacturers to leverage and perhaps get an advantage over their competitors.

The current leaders in pinball innovation, Jersey Jack Pinball (JJP) have not only forced their competitors to innovate just to keep up with them, they are constantly pushing themselves to come up with new ideas for their pinball machines. JJP’s latest release, Dialed In! is the first pinball machine to feature Bluetooth® connectivity that provides new capabilities (like controlling the flippers) through a smartphone. Innovation never ceases, so pinball manufacturers need to keep up or risk perishing.

Jersey Jack Pinball’s Dialed In! is the first pinball machine with Bluetooth connectivity

With all this talk of innovation one wonders what current or emerging technologies can be used to catapult pinball machines to the bleeding edge. There are current technologies that pinball designers and manufacturers can leverage to provide a better and immersive experience for their target market – be it the player, operator or collector. The advent of cloud computing has allowed a myriad of services to be used, from big data to  streaming analytics and real-time telemetry monitoring via Internet of Things (IoT) to deliver innovative products and services.

First things first, what the hell is this Internet of Things (IoT)? In a nutshell, it is a system of ubiquitous sensors connecting the physical world to the Internet. Although things, Internet, and connectivity are the three core components of IoT, the value is in closing the gap between the physical and digital world in self-reinforcing and self-improving systems. IoT creates these systems by connecting things, animate or inanimate, to the Internet with unique identifiers that provide context, giving visibility into the network, the devices themselves, and their environment. Equipped with rich data sets and using advanced analytics, IoT can give us enormous insight into our world, and this is where pinball manufacturers can differentiate themselves by providing IoT-ready pinball machines and mobile applications that can provide telemetric real-time data analysis and information, event processing, pattern analysis and recognition from a player, operator or collector’s perspective.

Pinball manufacturers in the 21st century that want to stand out from the crowd could enrich the pinball experience with a number of innovations using IoT, like:

  • Geospatial awareness – a geo-location broadcast (to a smartphone app) to ensure players know where to find and play a particular pinball machine
  • Fault tolerance with predictive failure on components using telemetry sensors
  • Health monitoring on key components with real-time component status and diagnostics reporting (on screen / email report or via smartphone app)
  • Playfield Analytics that gives the user a rich set of dimensional (per ball / per game) information on:
    • Playfield hot spots to show the area where the ball spends most time
    • Statistics on shots, play and modes, providing shot accuracy (%)
    • Ball speed in kilometres or miles for the speed demons
    • Time per ball and points per ball
    • Shot reaction time to measure how fast a player reacts to hit/flip the ball
    • Track use of machine (in tournament mode) and provide the player their score via smartphone app

Innovation should improve and enrich the experience of pinball by providing deeper real-time insights about the machine, either from a player wanting to know how hard they hit the ball or the operator acting proactively on fixing a component before it fails.

For pinball to remain relevant, manufacturers must challenge the status quo by pushing the technology envelope to keep players, collectors and operators flipping for longer. Long live the silver-ball!

Which pinball innovation tickles your fancy? Tell us now on Twitter or Facebook.

 


Dirty Donny’s Blacklight Rebellion Art Show Conquers Australia

He came, he conquered, we talked, we drank, we played pinball and we bought some very cool art!

Dirty Donny’s Blacklight Rebellion Art Show / Book Signing at the Kustom Lane Gallery was a resounding success. Held last Friday and Saturday, the event saw Dirty Donny’s art and book on show – ready to be bought and signed by the great artist. Among the cool stuff were two of Donny’s famous pinball works, Stern’s Metallica and Aerosmith.

The crowd were kept entertained with free-play pinball (thanks to Geoff from Pinball Perfection) and a well stocked Tiki bar. With the event being intimate, attendees had access to Donny for a great chat and to also get their art, book and even pinball parts signed! It was great seeing Donny being accessible to his fans (us included!) – Dirty Donny Gillies is one awesomely cool and humble dude!

If you missed out on Dirty Donny’s art show at the Kustom Lane Gallery, then let our highlights make you feel like you were there!

The great Dirty Donny Gillies was always available for a chat!

The blacklight made Dirty Donny’s art pop!

The famous Screaming Hand!

There was a lot of interest in Donny’s work on Stern Pinball’s Aerosmith LE machine!

Lots of interest in Metallica too. Donny’s art on these machines is iconic!

The crowd mingles and admires Dirty Donny’s art

There were a number of original and print works available to buy

It was a good night to chat, admire art work, have a drink and play pinball

Supplier of the event’s pinball machines, Geoff Wills from Pinball Perfection with Dirty Donny
image source: Pinball Perfection

Dirty Donny was busy signing books, art and pinball parts!

Roast’em!

The event also allowed us to catch up with great friends! Big thumbs up for an awesome evening!

Hardest decision we’ll have to make – where to hang our cool Zodiac print?!

Dirty Donny Down Under

Get your calendar out and mark it busy on May 26 and 27 as the awesome artist, Dirty Donny Gillies will be at the Kustom Lane Gallery for his “Blacklight Rebellion” Art Show and Book Signing. If you are a fan of Dirty Donny’s work, then come on down to check out his stunning art and for a meet and greet with the great artist.

Oh yeah, for those of you that love Dirty Donny’s superb art on Stern’s Metallica and Aerosmith pinball machines, then you will be in for an extra special treat thanks to Skott Kellett and Pinball Perfection‘s Geoff Wills!

Event: Dirty Donny Gillies “Blacklight Rebellion” Art Show and Book Signing
Where: Kustom Lane Gallery – 535-537 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn VIC 3122
When: Friday May 26 from 7:00pm; and Saturday May 27 from 6:00pm
Cost: Free entry!

We will be snapping lots of pics at the event so make sure you follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook!


source: Dirty Donny

source: Kustom Lane Gallery

The Ultimate Pinball Wrist Piece

If money is no object, then we would love to have this pinball piece adorn our wrist!

Hautlence’s Playground Pinball wristpiece is the ultimate pinball watch that doesn’t tell the time but does play a mean game of pinball! With intricate Swiss mechanics controlling the spring loaded plunger and awesome spinning elements, the watch also has sink holes for points and two prominent pop bumpers with multipliers!

The Hautlence Playground Pinball may be missing flippers and may have more in common with bagatelle than pinball, but who cares, it’s still bloody cool! Oh yeah, in case you were wondering, you could buy 5 Stern Pro pinball machines for the price of this wristpiece!

image source: Hautlence


source: Spiral Magazine

 

May The 4th Be With You: A New Stern Star Wars Pinball?

With the internet rumour mill running amok regarding Stern’s next pinball machine, we wonder if they will announce a new Star Wars themed pinball machine on ‘May The 4th Be With You‘ Star Wars day? We can only hope!

If you weren’t aware, there have been quite a number of Star Wars themed pinball machines over the years, from Hankin’s wide body The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Sonic’s Star Wars (1987), Data East’s Star Wars (1992) to Sega’s awesome Star Wars Trilogy (1997) and Williams’ Star Wars Episode I (1999) built on the ill-fated Pinball2000 platform.

If Stern does announce a new Star Wars pinball machine, then we cross our fingers that it will be a mix of the Data East and Sega Star Wars machines. Oh yeah, we would love some Dark Side and Light Side LE machines too – hope you are listening Stern!

What are your predictions for Stern’s new pinball machine? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

May the force be with you!

One of our favourite Star Wars themed pinball machine, Sega’s Star Wars Trilogy

A close second, Data East’s Star Wars

You either loved it or hated Williams’ Star Wars Episode I

The first Star Wars themed pinball machine, Hankin’s The Empire Strikes Back

Straight out of Spain, Sonic’s Star Wars
source: Internet Pinball Database

 

The Time Mattel Made A Pinball Machine

What the hell – Mattel made pinball machines? Well, A pinball machine! Yeah, that’s right, Mattel dipped their toe in the pinball market with their one (and only), Las Vegas Pinball!

We only ever associated Mattel with the Intellivision and our fave childhood action figures, Masters Of The Universe, so when we stumbled upon this anomaly, we thought we’d let the rest of you know (Ed: unless you all already knew!).

Before you get excited, Mattel Electronics’ Las Vegas Pinball was never intended for commercial use, hence why you may not have seen it at your local pinball parlour. The playfield is standard fare for a pinball machine of this vintage (the late 70s) – couple of pop bumpers, slingshots and four stand-up targets to keep you flipping.

The interesting part about this Mattel pinball machine is the ability to select one of three game versions (similar to modes on modern machines), Beginner’s Luck, Cool Hand or High Roller. Coupled with selecting the game version, Mattel also included a handicap switching system, allowing players to select a choice of  3, 4, or 5 balls for their turn at play. This feature allowed competing players to give any player a handicap advantage of one or two extra balls, if desired.

Mattel had another cool feature called Double Or Nothing, which could only be used once during a game – prior to shooting a ball into play, the player presses a button on the front of the cabinet to activate this option for that ball only. Then, lighting all four targets doubles the player’s score. Failure to light all four targets penalises the player of all the points earned on that ball. Sounds pretty cool to us!

Which ever way you look at it, this Mattel Electronics Las Vegas Pinball machine was quite nifty for its time – we just hope we find one in our travels so we can have a go!

Have you played this pinball machine? If you have, tell us what you thought of it on Twitter or Facebook.

source: IPDB