Stern Pinball just rolled out Episode 19 of its Insider Connected Podcast. This episode features the pinball podcasting legend Nate Shivers interviewing guests George Gomez and Mike Vinikour. Here's my notes from listening to it, hot off the press. I'm updating this post in real-time as I listen to the show. BTW, as I'm working on this Stern just dropped the official trailer for the main Bond games (see below). We have yet to see any imagery on the Elwin 60th Anniversary Edition.
"Gomez. George Gomez. Join lead game designer George Gomez and associate game developer Mike Vinikour as they discuss the collaborative approach in bringing the legendary character to life in pinball form as players experience James Bond's most famous assignments!"
- As had been hinted at by George Gomez on the Marco Pinball Twitch stream, Stern Pinball's new James Bond pin has four trim levels, Pro, Premium and Limited Edition based on George Gomez's design and a Keith Elwin-designed 60th Anniversary Edition that incorporates all 25 Bond films.
- The from scratch Elwin single level playfield game has mechanical scoring reels in the back box and a small video display from the Home Editions on the playfield. The backbox contains the "ghosted images" like old-school games such as "Game Over" etc... It was programmed by Mark Penacho who used to work at Williams Pinball back in the day and came over to Stern in 2021. The game has 3D molded Odd Job hat spinning device on the playfield, along the lines of the Tesseract from the original Stern Avengers pin. Every 60th Anniversary game comes with a topper. George Gomez said that Elwin's game has "a shot that I've never seen before." 60th Game has lots of drop targets and four spinners. The game contains every actor who has ever played James Bond.
- Insider Connected will link the two Bond Games. Achievements in one game will unlock certain things in the other.
- Pro art is based on "Dr. No", Premium are is based on "You Only Live Twice" and Limited Edition art is based on "Thunderball"
- Film footage, music and callout from all six Sean Connery films is in all versions of the Gomez-designed games.
- Gomez Bond contains Bird One Rocket Base from "You Only Live Twice." Players hit the floating rocket and it moves, does explosion effects, starts multiball, etc. Three drop targets in front of rocket light locks. The Balls shoot up through a rocket gantry into a physical ball lock on the Premium and LE. The rocket is surrounded by seven standup targets that spell "S-P-E-C-T-R-E." The corresponding letters light up on the back panel when hit.
- Aston Martin DB 5 custom molded for the game that has an ejector seat for the ball.
- Custom molded Sean Connery and diver locked in battle under the playfield, much like the Creature from the Black Lagoon shot in Monster Bash.
- Dragon tank with lights inside. James Bond with jetpack that has a magnet. Can pick up ball and drop it in strategic areas. At first the game controls the jetpack Bond, but eventually the player can control it.
- Game contains all major villains, henchmen and Bond women from the films.
- First three flipper game design from George Gomez since Corvette.
- Game has a post that pops up in front of the right flipper to present modes, etc...like they did on Jurassic Park, but on the opposite side.
- Game incorporates bond gadgets (one of my favorite aspects of the films). Shows film clips with funny interactions between Q and Bond. Go to Q Branch to collect gadgets.
- Villains have weapons, i.e. Dr. No - tarantula. Odd Job's hat. Sharks.
- All of the films have their own color code for lights. Dr. No - Yellow, etc.
- Insider Connected has a number of special missions in the game for people with accounts.
- If the James Bond game sells well, down the road there may be some "Goldfinger representation." It wasn't clear exactly what this meant but I interpreted it as there potentially being a Goldfinger art package introduced down the line at some point, like when Stern redid the art for Star Wars with Comic Art.
That's all I got from the podcast, but it's a lot. It's definitely worth listening to if you are a member of Stern Insider Connected.
As far as pricing for the new games goes, Stern raised its price on Pro models by $100, Premium models by $700 and the LE model is now up to $12,999. The limited number of LE models that Stern was offering for sale on its website to Insider Connected All Access members sold out in record time.
Below is the full text of Stern's official press release announcing the game:
CHICAGO, IL – September 22, 2022 – Stern Pinball, Inc. launches a new line of pinball machines celebrating the iconic, genre-defining James Bond films. The James Bond 007 cornerstone series features the original 007 actor, Sean Connery, available in Pro Edition, Premium Edition, and Limited Edition (LE). Stern Pinball will also release a special James Bond 007 60th Anniversary Limited Edition pinball machine featuring all six James Bond actors.
In Dr. No (1962) Sean Connery propelled 007 into the cultural zeitgeist, bringing the legendary literary figure to life through adrenalized action sequences, ground-breaking gadgets and effects, memorable characters, and timeless villains.
Stern’s James Bond 007 cornerstone pinball machine will highlight film footage and iconic music from the films that built the 007 legend: Dr. No, From Russia With Love (1963), Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967), and Diamonds Are Forever (1971). Players are immersed into the world of espionage in this action-packed pinball experience, tackling assignments, teaming up with key allies, and stopping SPECTRE’s villainous schemes.
Gather gadgets from Q Branch as pinballs get ejected through the roof of a custom sculpted Aston Martin DB5. Break through the Osato Chemicals drop targets to battle SPECTRE at the Bird 1 rocket base. And hold your breath on the gravity defying, magnetic jetpack as it transports pinballs across the playfield.
James Bond 007 pinball machines include Stern’s award-winning Insider Connected™ system, which enables players to interact with the game and a global network of players in a variety of ways. Through Insider Connected, players can track progress, earn new game-specific achievements, engage with the player community, and participate in promotions and Challenge Quests. Insider Connected also provides an operator-focused toolset to drive location play through Location Leaderboards, build player loyalty, analyze performance, make adjustments remotely, and maintain the machines. Registration for Insider Connected is available at insider.sternpinball.com/.
Limited to 1,000 machines globally, the highly collectible cornerstone Limited Edition includes an exclusive full-color mirrored backglass inspired by Thunderball, masterfully adapted cabinet artwork, custom high gloss and 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 signed by Stern Chairman Gary Stern and President Seth Davis.
Stern’s James Bond 007 60th Anniversary Limited Edition pinball machines will immerse players in the history of 007. Limited to 500 machines globally, the highly collectible 60th Anniversary Limited Edition offers players a retro-inspired playfield packed with exciting mechanical action. Control the chaos from Oddjob’s kinetic spinning disc hat, survive tactical precision shots against 10 drop targets, escape SPECTRE’s evil henchmen navigating pinballs through 4 fast-flowing optical spinners, learn assignments through an in-playfield LCD screen, and rack up high scores on classic-style score reels.
“James Bond is as timeless as pinball. Partnering with EON Productions/Danjaq, MGM Studios and Aston Martin, we created a pinball adventure capturing the suspense, action, and humor from this beloved film series.” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO. “Get connected today and become a legend.”
Fittingly, the new James Bond 007 pinball machines will be on show for the first time to media and public in London. On September 26th the games will be on display and available to play as part of the Bond-themed Christie’s Late, a public event celebrating the forthcoming Christie’s Sixty Years of James Bond Charity Auction. Shortly after, they will be a part of the James Bond at 60 weekend at the British Film Institute on the South Bank, September 30th-October 2nd.
Pricing and Availability:
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (“MSRP”)*:
*MSRP for sales to USA end-users, before any VAT, GST, Sales Tax, Duties, or other taxes.
Pro Edition: $US 6,999
Premium Edition: $US 9,699
Limited Edition: $US 12,999
60th Anniversary Limited Edition: CALL FOR PRICE
James Bond 007 pinball machines and accessories are available now through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world. Pro and Premium Editions will also be available at 007Store.com
Here's all of the official Stern Pinball videos and that are now out and a few pictures: