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Homepin Working on New Sub-$5,000 Licensed Game Based on "Extremely Famous" Movie

This morning Dr. John Cosson released a new episode of his show, The Aussie Pinball Podcast on The Pinball Network. This episode he welcomed Mike Kalinowski of Homepin as a guest. Homepin is the manufacturer of various replacement parts for arcade machines as well as the Thunderbirds and most recently This is Spinal Tap pinball machines.

Mike told the story of why the release of Homepin's initial pinball machine Thunderbirds was so significantly delayed. Thunderbirds was the company's first game, so every design and part, even the Company's factory itself had to be started from scratch. Also, at the time one of Homepin's engineers passed away in Mike's Chinese apartment, causing a police inquiry, his only English speaking employee to become fed up and leave on maternity leave and ultimately the payment of a large cash settlement. All of these issues were time-consuming and kept Homepin from having another pinball machine in the pipeline.

Homepin's second game, This is Spinal Tap Pinball wasn't started until after Thunderbirds was complete. Spinal Tap was delayed by Homepin's move from China to Taiwan after China's business climate became less friendly towards foreign businesses and owners, his partner's brother having a stroke and other reasons. So far only sample Spinal Tap machines have been released around the world, two or three machines to Australia, one to Canada and one to the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas.

Homepin has a container load of cabinets and backboxes in hand, waiting for finished playfields to be inserted. The factory is putting two playfields per day together. These playfields do not use clearcoat, but rather have art sandwiched between levels. Mike claims that Haggis Pinball copied his playfield design.

In response to feedback on the released sample games, Homepin has made some changes to its flippers, specifically the link assembly, that it will implement on production games. Homepin is one to two months away from completing the first container of games, which will be shipped to Europe.

While the license for Thunderbirds pinball has expired, Homepin's license for This is Spinal Tap enables it to produce machines for at least another year.

Now that things are up and running and a lot less hectic at Homepin in Taiwan, Mike has been able to secure a third license for a pinball machine that it is working on while it manufactures game number two, Spinal Tap. According to Mike, the license that Homepin has secured for Game Three is for an "extremely famous" movie, but it comes with a lot of problems because it is "owned by about six different players" many of which don't get along. The license that Homepin has secured is only with the main players and it doesn't allow any video or audio clips.

Homepin has decided to create a "cut-down" machine that doesn't have a DMD or a monitor, reminiscent of Bally Solid State games. It has made a commitment to the owners of the game's IP that he will show the game at next year's Pinball Expo in Chicago. The visit to the show and the reveal will be Mike's first trip to America. The Company's goal is to have the new game retail for $4,999 USD.

That's actually pretty descriptive. I bet that we can narrow down a list of possible themes if we put our heads together. Any guesses?

Kudos to Dr. John for the great interview. Below is a link to the episode for anyone interested in checking it out:

The Aussie Pinball Podcast Ep 16: Mike From Homepin

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Brian Thomas
Brian Thomas
Jun 23, 2023

The Hangover? Jumanji? Beverly Hills Cop? Taken? Conan? Sherlock Holmes? The Hunt for Red October? Gladiator? Rear Window? Taxi Driver? I could go on, so many famous movies out there...


Scott W.
Scott W.
Jun 14, 2023

Friday the 13th maybe?

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