Stern Pinball today revealed their latest ‘cornerstone’ pinball title, Godzilla. Cornerstone games are ones created in-house by the Stern design team, with three such games usually announced every year and each having three feature levels (Pro, Premium and Limited Edition).
The playfield design for Godzilla is by Keith Elwin who previously designed Iron Maiden, Jurassic Park and The Avengers: Infinity Quest for the company. Artwork is by Jeremy Packer (a.k.a. Zombie Yeti).
In recent releases the Pro model has been been missing relatively little compared to the Premium, but with Godzilla there are several important mechanisms left out of the Pro. However, all models feature three flippers and the Magna-Grab magnetic newton ball device, and even the Pro has plenty of shots and features.
Let’s take a look at the Pro first.
Next we’ll move on to the Premium model. As usual, this and the Limited Edition model share a playfield design and feature set, with the Limited Edition having more bling and extra-cost items such as a shaker motor, art blades and anti-reflective glass. All three version have their own translite, backbox and cabinet art packages.
Here’s the Premium.
While the Mechagodzilla feature is a flat plastic on the Pro, the Premium and LE get a real model. But, there’s a lot more besides.
The Limited Edition comes with silver powdercoated and clearcoated metalwork along with its own unique art package on the cabinet and backbox, including a different font for the game’s title.
The Limited Edition bottom arch features game designer Keith Elwin’s signature.
For the multimedia, the design team had access to the first ten Godzilla movies for visuals, sounds and the theme music. If the theme tune isn’t immediately recognisable, the game also includes Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla song.
Stern have followed Spooky Pinball by initially only making the Limited Edition model available to members of the paid Stern Insider All-Access membership scheme. It is ‘limited’ to 1,000 units.
Stern have said they intend to reduce the number of times they change production of the three models in order to increase output. Production of the Pro models comes first, starting in around a week’s time with the aim of targeting public locations ahead of home buyers. Limited Edition models are next in line with production starting in the last week of September. Premiums will, as usual, be the last to be manufactured. These should go on the line in mid-October.
Here’s the feature matrix showing what you get with each of the three versions:
The prices of the three models have all increased since Stern’s previous cornerstone game. The Mandalorian cost $6,199 for the Pro model, $7799 for the Premium and $9,199 for the Limited Edition.
Godzilla’s prices are $6,899 for Pro (an increase of $600 or 9.7% ), $8,999 for the Premium (up $1,200 or 15.4%) and $10,499 for the Limited Edition (up $1,300 or 14.1%). The price rise can in part be explained by the higher cost of parts used in the games and the greater transport costs, while all new Stern titles will now include the QR code reader for their Insider Connected internet-linked system. The company also revealed they have had to increase wages due to staff shortages which has added nearly $100 to the price of a game.
The addition of the Insider Connected QR code reader means there is no longer space for a pricing card, although the game pricing can be viewed on the LCD panel in the backbox.
The company have also revealed a wholesale price (i.e. price to distributors) of $200 for the Insider Connected kits which can be fitted to older Spike 2 titles. Expect to see these available soon for not much more than that price, with an initial six month price reduction to encourage uptake.
There will also be some accessories available for Godzilla from the Stern Shop and from distributors.
Here’s how Stern Pinball announced their latest release:
|CHICAGO, IL – September 14, 2021 – Stern Pinball, Inc. and Toho International, Inc., the subsidiary of the Japanese entertainment studio Toho Co., Ltd, announce a new line of pinball machines based on the iconic Toho film franchise featuring the King of the Monsters, Godzilla! The Godzilla pinball machines are available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) models.|
Godzilla is the longest running film franchise created by Toho, with thirty-two films produced since 1954. The popularity of the films have made Godzilla one of the most recognizable symbols in pop culture worldwide. In addition to numerous accolades and cinematic awards for film, music, and special effects, the Godzilla film series and licensed characters have generated over $1 billion in merchandise sales around the world.
In this monster-packed pinball adventure, players become Godzilla! The evil aliens, the Xiliens, use mind control rays to take control of the monsters King Ghidorah, Gigan, Megalon, Ebirah, and Titanosaurus. The Xiliens are demanding all of Earth’s resources. Godzilla and its allies, Mothra, Rodan, and Anguirus, battle the Xilien invasion with the goal of conquering Mechagodzilla to become King of the Monsters!
Chaos and destruction ensue on the playfield with Godzilla multiball, started by shooting one of the various shots in and through the centrally located skyscraper. In the Premium and LE models, a motor actuates the skyscraper, diverting balls through each of its five stories as it collapses, ultimately locking three balls on its roof. The Premium/LE playfield also features a collapsing bridge ramp. This animated breakaway ramp is guarded by a custom molded Godzilla and can divert pinballs back to the flipper or directly onto the playfield during Bridge Attack multiball.
On the Premium and LE models, Mechagodzilla features a motorized three-bank target set which rotates to reveal a spinner and jump ramp. Players will engage the Kaiju in battle by launching pinballs with the jump ramp and bashing the magnetic ball catch on its chest to start Mechagodzilla multiball.
All models of Godzilla pinball machines feature an innovative “Magna Grab” magnetic newton ball, capable of catching pinballs from five different shot paths, including off the plunge. This device can also divert pinballs to set up shots from the upper left flipper. The game also includes the iconic title song “Godzilla” by Blue Oyster Cult, stunning hand-drawn artwork by Zombie Yeti, intricate wireform ramps, three spinning targets (Heat Ray, Mechagodzilla, and Monster Rampage), three flippers, three “powerline” themed stand-up targets and a UFO pop pumper. The game highlights video and audio from ten* Toho Showa Era Godzilla films to create a one-of-a-kind immersive Godzilla pinball experience.
Godzilla pinball machines also debut Stern’s Insider Connected system, which includes a QR code reader on the bottom arch that enables players to interact with the game and this new network in a variety of ways. Stern Insider Connected provides new entertainment and player engagement features and an operator focused tool set to drive location play and remotely manage every aspect of the machines. Insider Connected goes live with the launch of Godzilla, with the full scope of features scheduled for roll out over the next year.
Only 1,000 LE machines will be available. The LE version includes an exclusive full color mirrored backglass inspired by Mechagodzilla, iconic custom cabinet artwork, custom high gloss metallic silver powder-coated pinball armor, a custom designer autographed bottom arch, exclusive inside art blades, upgraded audio system, anti-reflection pinball playfield glass, shaker motor, a sequentially numbered plaque, and a Certificate of Authenticity.
“Partnering with Toho, we have brought the Godzilla universe to pinball” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc. “Insider Connected enables players, owners, and operators to interact with their machines like never before.”
Pricing and Availability:
About Stern Pinball, Inc.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this detailed look at Godzilla.
Jack Danger will be streaming the Premium or Limited Edition gameplay on his Dead Flip Twitch channel on 17th September at 6pm Chicago time.
We end with the latest promo video showing some of the features above.