First Impressions: Stern’s The Munsters Pro Pinball

When Stern Pinball Inc. unveiled their latest machine, The Munsters on January 8 at CES 2019 in Las Vegas, it generated such a buzz in the pinball world, that the Limited Edition (LE) models sold out worldwide almost instantly!

We may not be able to experience the glory of the LE machine, but when Zax Amusements invited us to the unboxing and the offer to play The Munsters Pro pinball machine, that was definitely an offer we could not refuse.

With The Munsters, Stern promises that we will be transported to 1313 Mockingbird Lane, joining the entire Munsters family, from Herman, Lily, Raven, to Spot and Grandpa in this cool haunted pinball adventure.  Stern Pinball’s Chairman and CEO, Gary Stern succinctly put it like this, “The Munsters are iconic and timeless, and it was time to create a pinball experience around this freaky-fun family.  With beautiful artwork inspired by the supernatural family, this theme is perfect for a pinball machine” – we could not have said it better, really!


source: Ausretrogamer – Facebook

As this machine is still evolving (with its code base), we can only offer out first impressions based on the current Dwight Sullivan code. As a lot of you know, we are huge fans of John Borg designed machines, with The Walking Dead being our favourite Stern machine in recent times. The excitement for The Munsters has been brewing for a little while, and with Borg designing it and Christopher Franchi on art, we knew we were in for a treat. Our only apprehension was with Dwight Sullivan being on code, but that may have been down to us being mediocre players that don’t necessarily like playing games with deep rulesets. To our pleasant surprise, the design and ruleset (so far!) of The Munsters is pure damn fun! We love the fan layout, with each shot feeling great when hitting targets, Grandpa’s ball scoop, the Herman bash toy and of course the two ramps, especially the 180 degree high speed gravity defying right ramp! Oh yeah, the visual look of the machine speaks for itself, so Christopher Franchi should be commended for his stunning and distinctive hand-drawn art.

This is where the magic happens!

After playing The Munsters, we can safely say that on first impressions, we really really like it. The theme integration is awesome – we never get sick of the artwork, the LCD visuals and the sounds from the TV show. The game made us feel like hitting the start button immediately after we drained our last ball from our previous game, so the game did have a high replayability for us – which is good news for operators routing this machine.

We also asked PAPA 20 Division B World Pinball Champion, Jordan Tredaway to give us his first impressions from an expert player’s perspective – he was quite open and upfront stating that the game shot well and hitting the ramps felt good. That’s a big plus coming from a champion pinball player.

There will never be a pinball machine that will make everyone happy, but just like everything else in life, variety is the spice of life, and in this instance, gives us the option to try all these new pinball machines to see if we like them or not. As it currently stands, we are big fans of The Munsters Pro and cannot wait for the Premium model to land in Australia – that lower playfield and of course, that beautiful black and white artwork has us intrigued!

If you are yearning for some fun pinball action, go and play The Munsters! You never know, you may just like it.

A big thank you to Scott and Phil from Zax Amusements for inviting us to check out and play Stern’s The Munsters Pro pinball machine.