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The Rumored Story Behind the Mysterious Harry Potter Pinball Picture - UPDATED with New Info

Updated: May 18, 2023

Ever since Sunday's Facebook by Joe Kaminkow stating that Jersey Jack Pinball has secured the license for a Harry Potter pinball machine the industry has been completely abuzz. I've listened to a number of podcasts on the subject since the news broke. The most recent of which - the LoserKid Pinball Podcast - had by far the most insider take on the situation.

LoserKid had Christian and Sarah Line aka Dr. and Mrs. Pin on as guests for their most latest episode. Christian had unique insight about the Harry Potter situation because he is friends with and was co-host with well-known pinball artist Christopher Franchi on the Super Awesome Pinball Show podcast.

In the episode, Christian said the following, which leads me to believe that the picture of a Harry Potter pinball machine that Joe Kaminkow shared in his post was an actual mockup of a potential Stern Pinball Harry Potter game that was used to attempt to secure the license:

"I can confirm that the mockup that was posted on that Factbook post was indeed Christopher Franchi's art and that was a Stern machine prototype that he was going to hopefully use to sell this game to WB as a machine that could be made. Beyond that a lot of this is speculation. I know for sure that because that image was made that it was brought to WB and to J.K. Rowling and they were trying to get that past past by her because the rumor is that she has been totally anti-pinball because she thinks that it's a gambling device and associates it with bars and places of ill-repute. And so I think that they probably though that and through Kaminkow's actions got them to lighten up a little bit and to loosen up with the chance to make this a pinball machine. From there, it gets murky...

How it got from Stern to Jack Guarnieri, there's the mystery and I don't know that anyone fully knows why."

So this is what a Stern Pinball Harry Potter game may have looked like had they gotten the license. Very interesting stuff. I wish that I had saved a clearer picture of it :).

Below is a link to the episode of the LoserKid Pinball Podcast that I referenced. The quote that I shared is from about the 30 minute mark:

Ep 109: Jersey Jack has Harry Potter?! LoserKid Pinball Podcast

UPDATE: I heard through the grapevine that Kaminkow laid all of the groundwork for a Harry Potter pinball machine, but someone at Stern dropped the ball didn’t get their bid in in time. So Jack used his good relationship with Warner Brothers to swoop in and snatch the Harry Potter license out from under them.

Is this true? I wasn't there, so I have no way of knowing for sure, but it certainly sounds plausible to me given the facts that we know.

To read this story from the start, make sure to check out my original article on the subject:

Joe Kaminkow States that Jersey Jack Pinball has the Harry Potter License

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