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

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

 

First Impressions Of Stern’s Batman 66 Pinball Machine

SOCK! POW! ZOK! WHAP! BIFF! OOOOF! NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA BATMAN!

We enjoy visiting our friends at Zax Amusements. Not only is it fun to catch up with the Zax crew, but it’s also fun to gawk in wonder at the machines on their showroom floor. One machine that caught our eye was the new Batman 66 Premium Edition pinball table from Stern.

Batman 66 is the first machine that Stern has released with a full colour high definition (HD) LED screen integrated in the backboard instead of the traditional dot matrix display. We were quite impressed with the HD LED screen’s vividness and its animation – it captures the cheesiness brilliantly from the 1966 Batman TV show. We initially thought that the HD LED display was on the small side, but seeing it in action it actually suits the machine to a T.

The visual package of the machine is complete with the awesome artwork by Christopher Franchi. The purple and blue hues of the artwork on the cabinet are eye catching (they stand out from a mile away!) and the equally beautiful backglass (above the LED display) and playfield art just scream sixties kitsch!

Being pressed for time, we only had five games on the machine, so we thought we’d comment on our first impressions on how the machine plays rather than an indepth review on its many play modes and features. First things first, the (software) code is nowhere near complete, which shows. We noticed that there were no callouts at the start or during the game, which obviously took away from the Batman experience – the game seemed too quiet. The playfield lighting about three quarters of the way up was on the dark side, making the ball hard to see, but it wasn’t anything major that detracted from the enjoyment of playing the machine – again, this may be an easy fix with a code update. We absolutely loved the illuminated batphone target and the villain vision TV set magnet feature.

Batman 66 features many cool toys, but the one that truly stands out for us is the interactive KG Bird Crane Co crane toy on the right hand side of the playfield. Once initiated, it takes a hard flip to smash the “wrecking ball” on the crane (a bit like Slimer in Ghostbusters), which sends your ball careening all over the playfield – truly heart stopping play! As mentioned earlier, the animation on the LED screen is great, giving the player lots of feedback on modes and features at play. Each go we had we got a higher score as we got to know the features, modes and the general flow of the playfield.

Batman 66 (Premium Edition) will definitely appeal to Generation X’ers that grew up with the TV show, but it also has the general pulling power due to its brilliant presentation. Once Stern irons out the software code, it will exponentially enhance the cheesy Batman KAPOW experience!

Batman 66 (PE) is eye catching from any angle!

Oo’er, Premium Edition!

Batman In Colo(u)r!

Autographed by none other than Adam West

Taking it all in – it looks so cheesily good!

Flipper button seems in the right place… Love the side art!

The Bat Gadget selector is begging to be pressed!

It all STARTS here!

Let’s give Batman and Robin a hand in defeating their evil foes!

Here comes the villain vision TV set! Watch that magnet lock!

Let’s see what this KG Bird Crane Co can do…

Bash that (wrecking) ball on the crane!

No!!! The game should never be over!

Damn, we didn’t match on the Bat Score-Match-Analyzer. Ah well, another credit…

Thank you to Zax Amusements for allowing us to play the new Stern Batman 66 Premium Edition pinball machine.

Stern’s Aerosmith Pinball Debuts At CES 2017

We knew there was a reason to attend the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas! Forget about the hottest tech in smart home appliances and virtual reality, we were excited about Stern Pinball’s first showing of their latest pinball machine, Aerosmith.

Testing Aerosmith Pinball at CES 2017

The new Aerosmith pinball machine was jointly announced by Stern and Aerosmith’s global licensing agent, Epic Rights. This new machine honours the classic and iconic rock band by creating high-energy and excitement that accompanies the experience of a live Aerosmith concert. Pinball wizards 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 – we like the sound of that!

The Aerosmith machines all feature original hand-drawn art provided by “Dirty” Donny Gillies, who has produced work for huge bands like Metallica. In addition, the machines feature custom speech from Brendon Small, creator of Metalocalypse, the American animated television series centring around a death metal band.

In addition to the heart pounding music and game experience, the machine features a full-colour 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 high-fidelity 3-channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations. Aerosmith pinball will have what it takes and be suitable for all skill levels.

Prices start from US$6199 for the Pro model and go all the way up to US$8999 for the Limited Edition.

A 4 minute sneak peek at Aerosmith Pinball
image and video source: Stern Pinball Inc.

 

Keeping the Ball Alive: 30 Years of Stern Pinball

keepingtheballalive_header

STOP THE PRESS! If you have been looking for a coffee table art book with an inside look at the world’s largest pinball manufacturer, then this Stern Pinball Inc. and PaperFlock collaborative Kickstarter is for you!

Presenting Keeping the Ball Alive: 30 Years of Stern Pinball, a commemorative coffee table art book that will give fans an inside look at the history, design, production, and manufacturing of pinball machines, as well as the people behind them! The 200-page coffee table book will feature over 160 photo pages, colour foldouts, and artwork from thirty years of games. Alongside the photos and artwork will be interviews with important game designers like John Trudeau, Steve Ritchie, George Gomez, John Borg, and many more!

The Book!
keepingtheballalive_book

To make it even sweeter, fans/backers will get a chance to become part of the books production through PaperFlock’s unique crowd collaboration process. Content will be crafted with input from the projects forum on PaperFlock.com. This gives fans a real sense of ownership in the project. With unprecedented access provided by Stern, there surely will become a highly sort after pinball tome.

The Kickstarter campaign is live and will run for a few weeks yet. So check it out, there are plenty of pledges and rewards to tickle your pinball fancy!

Behind the scenes: Stern prototypes
keepingtheballalive_slimer_kiss

The Rewards!
keepingtheballalive_the_rewards

We had to back it!
keepingtheballalive_woohoo

source: Stern Pinball Inc. and Keeping The Ball Alive – Kickstarter

 

Ghostbusting At Zax Amusements

Zax_HDRIt is not every day we get an invitation to check out and play a newly released pinball game. We were lucky enough last year to experience Game Of Thrones before its official release, and it seems that we got lucky once again! This time, Zax Amusements were kind enough to open their doors and allow us to have a bump and tilt on Stern’s new pinball machine, Ghostbusters.

Before we could get to grips on the new Ghostbusters Pro pinball table, Zax’s Business Manager, Phil Boniwell gave us a grand tour of Zax Amusements – let’s just say that we were like kids in a candy store! There were 1980s and 1990s JAMMA boards carefully stacked on shelves, a myriad of gun peripherals, control panels, Neo Geo MVS carts and an amazing array of arcade machines from all eras! We honestly didn’t know where to look – it was a 360 degree visual onslaught of the amusement kind! You can take a peek at the photos further down below to see why we went all gaga.

Once we wiped our drool and returned to Zax’s business showroom, it was time to put Ghostbusters Pro through its paces. So what did we think? Having played the pinball machine a few times, our first impressions were very positive indeed. Like with any new product, it was the visual and aural beauty of the machine that captured our immediate attention. Based on the original Ghostbusters movie, the colours, set scenery and characters on the playfield were an instant trip down memory lane. Not to be outdone in the sensory game, the sound effects, Ernie Hudson’s speech guiding you through the game and Ray Parker Jr’s Ghostbusters soundtrack were literally music to our ears. Stern have really captured the feel of the original Ghostbusters movie to a T! We reckon Stern has created another winner!

Thank you to the team at Zax Amusements for their hospitality (Scott Kellett rocks!). You can read more about Zax Amusements over here.

Z marks the spot!
Zax_Z

Zak (Zax final boss) and yours truly!
Zax_Zak and Alex

Oh wow, OutRun 2 SP and Sega Racing Classic (aka: Daytona USA Mk II)!
Zax_Driving

THIS is still our all-time fave arcade driving game!
Zax_OutRun2SP

Kick it to Homer!
Zax_Homer

Now this is a reasonable price for a twin seat Daytona USA!
Zax_DaytonaUSA

The great wall of PCBs!
Zax_JAMMA

You need guns? Zax has you covered!
Zax_Guns

Guitar riffin’
Zax_Guitars

Dayyyyyytona!
Zax_DaytonaUSA_store

You don’t control me!
Zax_control_panels

A view to a thrill!
Zax_wall

Silverball classics waiting for some TLC
Zax_Pinnies

15K out! That is perfect vision!
Zax_monitors

Time to flip some balls!
Zax_newpinballs

Oh wow, what to play next?
Zax_more_pinballs

Our spidey sensors are tingling!
Zax_SpidermanVE

Who you gonna call?
Zax_Ghostbusters_frontal

I ain’t afraid of no ghost
Zax_Ghostbusters_playfield

Ecto-1 in glorious colour!
Zax_Ghostbusters14

Let’s play Slimer!
Zax_Ghostbusters6

Busting ghosts has never been this much fun!
Zax_Ghostbusters8_AB

Aim well and true!
Zax_Ghostbusters5

This machine is flippin’ magic!
Zax_Ghostbusters3

Ball Saved! Lucky break!
Zax_Ghostbusters4

Keep your eye on the target(s)!
Zax_Ghostbusters9

What has spooked Slimer?Zax_Ghostbusters12

Mmm, marshmallows!
Zax_Ghostbusters11

The outlanes can be brutal – be ready to bump!
Zax_Ghostbusters13

A row of beauties! It’s very hard to leave Zax Amusements!
Zax_Ghostbusters15

Flippin Out: Ghostbusters Pinball

Ghostbusters_HDRWhen it comes to big-licenses in the pinball world, Stern definitely know how to grab you by the steel balls! Joining their stable of recent big hits like The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones is Ghostbusters Pinball.

The timing of Ghostbusters Pinball coincides with the release of the trailer for the upcoming reboot, but don’t read too much into that, as Stern’s Ghostbusters is based on the classic pair of films from the 80s, with Bill Murray, the Ecto-1, Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and of course, Slimer all making their ghoulish way onto the playfield.

There are plenty of ramps, toys, lighting, speech and motorized effects to scare the pants off you while you rid New York City of ghostly apparitions. To get you right into the mood, Ray Parker Jr belts out the Ghostbusters theme. “If there’s something strange, in your neighborhood, who ya gonna call? GHOSTBUSTERS!

For more deets on Stern’s Ghostbusters Pinball, go here.

Are you a Pro Ghostbuster?
Ghostbusters_Pro

Or are you a Premium Ghostbuster?
Ghostbusters_Premium

Aha, you wanna be a limited edition Ghostbuster!
Ghostbusters_LE

Oh la la!
Ghostbusters_Playfield_isometric

Flip those ghosts!
Ghostbusters_Flippers

Watch out for Stay Puft Marshmallow Man!
Ghostbusters_StayPuftMarshmallowMan

Don’t get slimed!
Ghostbusters_Slimer

Return your library books before they are due!
Ghostbusters_Library

I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!
Ghostbusters_LE_playfieldimage source: Stern Pinball Inc.