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Look to Major Motion Picture Anniversaries for Future Pinball Themes

Jersey Jack Pinball The Godfather 50th and Stern Pinball James Bond. What do these two recent pinball releases from major pinball manufacturers have in common? They both were released around a milestone anniversary for major film franchises. Godfather was obviously for the series' 50th anniversary. And the license holder for James Bond was so insistent that the game be released for the franchise's 60th anniversary that Stern Pinball had to jump through hoops to rearrange its entire game launch schedule to bring the pin out early. That's why Stern's Venom has been ready for over a year but still isn't out and why Bond launched with such early code.

So yesterday evening as I was driving into a Yankee game with my family I started thinking, what other major film anniversaries are coming up? I've heard from people in the know that two more major motion picture franchises have pinball machines coming out for their anniversaries. The question is...which ones.

As I wrote here back in December, I'm pretty sure that the first of the two is none other than the game that everyone is clamoring for, Back to the Future (BTTF). Back to the Future's 40th anniversary is coming in 2025. The cast of the film has been appearing at tons of shows and media events lately. Heck, known Stern Pinball collaborator Joe Kaminkow even recently was involved in the launch of a Back to the Future musical! I've confirmed with sources that BTTF pinball 2025 is almost certainly happening. Only time will tell whether this is right or not, but is sure seems likely to me. Below is a link to my earlier article on BTTF:

RUMOR: Stern Pinball to Release Back to the Future Pinball Machine in 2025

OK so if Back to the Future is the first major film franchise that's getting a pinball machine on a milestone anniversary, what is the other?I'm going to need your help for this one. Below I've compiled a list of major motion picture anniversaries. A new pinball release is just sitting in there somewhere waiting for us to pick it out.

Wow look at these lists! It's almost like a who's who of past and upcoming pinball machines...Ghostbusters (even more reason for that Stern Vault), Indiana Jones, The Terminator, This is Spinal Tap, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Toy Story and The Matrix. All of them are existing pins, or pins that are likely coming soon. Amazing. So upcoming titles have got to be in there somewhere.

I know that both Stern Pinball and Jersey Jack are working on games for launch all the way out in 2026 right now so at least one of these is in the pipeline already.

Gremlins and the Karate Kid are two logical ones though I haven't heard a peep about either specifically pertaining to pinball.

The Nightmare on Elm Street, Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even The Blair Witch Project to a lesser degree make a lot of sense for a collaboration with Spooky Pinball.

Earlier this week I wrote about how I believe that Stern Pinball has the license for The Matrix. One of its designers even bailed on another title to work on it (I know that's a little vague).

Here's the dark horse of the group...The Mask. The 30th anniversary of The Mask (whoa are all thes movies really that old? Yikes) is coming up in 2024. I don't know why, and it's not because I loved the movie it was OK, but I have a feeling that we could see a Mask pin.

Whew, this concludes a wild week of pinball rumors here. I've had a ton of fun discussing all this with everyone. Thanks for all the reads and comments. So what do you all think? Which of these iconic movie franchises will become pinball machines in the next couple of years? Did I miss any big movies on these lists. Let me know. Thanks and have a great weekend everyone!

40th Anniversary (Released in 1984):

  1. "Ghostbusters" (directed by Ivan Reitman)

  2. "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (directed by Steven Spielberg)

  3. "The Terminator" (directed by James Cameron)

  4. "Beverly Hills Cop" (directed by Martin Brest)

  5. "Footloose" (directed by Herbert Ross)

  6. "Sixteen Candles" (directed by John Hughes)

  7. "Gremlins" (directed by Joe Dante)

  8. "The Karate Kid" (directed by John G. Avildsen)

  9. "This Is Spinal Tap" (directed by Rob Reiner)

  10. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" (directed by Wes Craven)

50th Anniversary (Released in 1974):

  1. "The Godfather Part II" (directed by Francis Ford Coppola)

  2. "Chinatown" (directed by Roman Polanski)

  3. "Blazing Saddles" (directed by Mel Brooks)

  4. "Young Frankenstein" (directed by Mel Brooks)

  5. "The Texas Chain Saw Massacre" (directed by Tobe Hooper)

  6. "Murder on the Orient Express" (directed by Sidney Lumet)

  7. "The Conversation" (directed by Francis Ford Coppola)

  8. "The Towering Inferno" (directed by John Guillermin)

  9. "Lenny" (directed by Bob Fosse)

  10. "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" (directed by Martin Scorsese)

30th Anniversary (Released in 1994):

  1. "The Shawshank Redemption" (directed by Frank Darabont)

  2. "Forrest Gump" (directed by Robert Zemeckis)

  3. "Pulp Fiction" (directed by Quentin Tarantino)

  4. "The Lion King" (directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff)

  5. "Leon: The Professional" (directed by Luc Besson)

  6. "True Lies" (directed by James Cameron)

  7. "Dumb and Dumber" (directed by Peter Farrelly)

  8. "Speed" (directed by Jan de Bont)

  9. "Ed Wood" (directed by Tim Burton)

  10. "The Mask" (directed by Charles Russell)

25th Anniversary (Released in 1999):

  1. "The Matrix" (directed by Lana and Lilly Wachowski)

  2. "Fight Club" (directed by David Fincher)

  3. "American Beauty" (directed by Sam Mendes)

  4. "The Sixth Sense" (directed by M. Night Shyamalan)

  5. "Office Space" (directed by Mike Judge)

  6. "The Green Mile" (directed by Frank Darabont)

  7. "Being John Malkovich" (directed by Spike Jonze)

  8. "The Blair Witch Project" (directed by Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez)

  9. "Magnolia" (directed by Paul Thomas Anderson)

  10. "Toy Story 2" (directed by John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, and Lee Unkrich)

Go Yankees!

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Kanti Dinda
Kanti Dinda

Blade Runner already past :(



Pinball Party
Pinball Party

I'm just going to keep voting 'The Matrix' even though this isn't a poll. Runner up vote for Gremlins.


Yeah The Matrix would make an amazing pin for sure. I keep thinking that the manufacturer should use the BSD Dracula Myst Multiball slow motion ball trick to simulate Neo dodging bullets in slow motion. It would be perfect! Thanks for the comment :)

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