As one of the first in the UK to receive my copy of Keeping the Ball Alive – 30+ Years of Stern Pinball, Pinball News’s Editor, Martin, asked me if I would be interested in writing a review of the book.

To fully appreciate this review first you need to understand the journey it has taken to get this book.

On October 14th, 2016 a Kickstarter project was launched by Paperflock Inc. to produce a coffee-table-style book documenting the thirty years of Stern pinball.

The original Kickstarter project

The cost for just the book, with no frills, was $55 (£40).

As with the majority of Kickstarter projects, you could pledge extra to get additional bonuses, including such things as T-shirts, jackets, exclusive Zombie Yeti artwork, posters, a dust jacket signed by Stern’s designers and even Slash’s signature. Prices for these went as high as $2,500 (£1,850)! Estimated delivery was May 2017.

I opted for the basic package of just the book and was excited to see that they reached their target of $50k pledged from 444 backers just 2 weeks after launching, and that the book was indeed going to be made.

At first updates came regularly from Paperflock, but then excuses were made as to the delays. Then there was just radio silence.

As the weeks, months and YEARS passed, I had given up hope of ever receiving my book and put it down to experience.

Then, in November 2020 Paperflock announced that the end was in sight and they were confident of being able to print and ship the books in time for Christmas.

I then received an invoice for $85 (£63) for postage and packing (against an estimated fee at the time of the Kickstarter of $14) taking the total cost of the book over $140 (£100).

I received my book today, January 12th, just 1,551 days after paying!

The subtitle has now changed to 30+ years of Stern Pinball

So was it worth the wait?

The package arrived in a standard USPS priority mail cardboard box. Despite the outside being slightly damaged, the book was well protected in bubble wrap & paper and was undamaged.

The shipping box