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What’s Next in Pinball? The Current Rumors, Speculation and Facts About the Industry

Happy Friday everyone! Wooooo, it sure has been quiet in the world of pinball and arcade stuff this week. I’ve been swamped with actual paying work and my son has Spring Break from school, so I haven’t been writing just for the sake of writing for the past several days. I’m finally starting to catch up and I don’t like to let an entire week pass without hanging out with everyone here, so let’s talk about what’s coming up next in the hobby.


I’ll start things off with Jersey Jack Pinball. We probably won’t see another new game from JJP until much later this year…this fall's Chicago Pinball Expo or even later than that perhaps. It's known for a fact that JJP's next game will be designed by the Company’s new designer Mark Seiden. What’s not 100% certain is what the game’s theme will be. There’s been chatter for months that it may be based on the iconic Keanu Reeves movie series The Matrix, but… there’s been some speculation out there recently that it miiiiight not be. There’s been some rumbling that the next pin could be based upon an old rumor that I wrote about here last fall:


There's been rumors out there that a Muppets pinball machine is coming for years. The earliest mention that I recall hearing about a Muppets pin was a number of years ago when a disgruntled former Jersey Jack employee shared an entire list of upcoming themes up on Pinside. The post has since been deleted, but its legend lives on. The person correctly predicted Dialed In and Willy Wonka. They also said that JJP had a three pinball machine deal with Disney to make games based on Pirates of the Caribbean, Toy Story...and The Muppets. The first two themes eventually came true. Will the third? It's been a long time. I wonder if it's still valid?”


The Muppet Show Pinball Rumors...Is This Coveted Theme Happening?



I actually grew up loving The Muppet Show. I have a funny story from my youth about that in the aforementioned post that’s worth the price of admission. So I like the theme, but from a pure sales standpoint I personally believe that The Matrix would blow away The Muppets in terms of excitement for the game with the mainstream public, pinball locations and most people in the hobby. So, given JJP’s recent theme-selection track record, if I had to bet which of those themes is coming next, I’d probably guess the less popular one lol, but I have no idea which it will be for certain.


Next up we have Stern Pinball. Ever since I broke the story here back in July, it has become more and more likely that Stern’s next game will be based on another big Keanu Reeves movie franchise…John Wick.


Stern Pinball Supposedly Has the License For John Wick



Assuming that John Wick is correct, we’re left wondering when we’ll see it? I had speculated that Stern would reveal John Wick sometime in April with an outside chance that it would make an appearance at this year’s Midwest Gaming Classic Arcade and pinball show. Well, MGC has come and gone and no Wick.


I don’t anticipate seeing it at this weekend’s Pintastic New England show either - which is awesome by the way. If you’re in the Northeast and are free this weekend, do yourself a favor and drive on over to Marlborough, MA and go to the show. All of the newest pinball machines are there and already set up for the public to play - Chicago Gaming / Play Mechanix’s Pulp Fiction, American Pinball’s Barry O’s BBQ Challenge, Jersey Jack’s Elton John, Stern Pinball’s JAWS and Barrels of Fun’s Labyrinth. It’s pretty amazing to get to play everything new under the sun all in one place.



I digress, so John Wick won’t be there. I still think that there’s a very strong chance that Stern will tease it during the last week of April with production starting in May. We’ll see.


Speaking of AP’s Barry O’s BBQ Challenge, on the recent episode of The Pinball Show, Zach Meny from the distributor Flip N Out pinball stated that sales of Pinball Brothers’ recently revealed ABBA pinball machine are off to a much hotter start than BBQ Challenge. Specifically he said that he had sold 4x as many ABBAs and that it wasn’t even setting the world on fire sales-wise. American Pinball shared a brief video from the factory floor of BBQs being made a day or two ago that I wish I had saved because it seems to be gone now, so the newest AP game is on the line, but demand for it seems to be very low. Outside of Past Times arcade, which is owned by a friend of David Fix and has just about every pin ever made (amazing place), I haven’t seen a BBQ unboxing photo or video since the initial launch location flurry. I have yet to play the game myself, but I hope to at some point in the next couple of months.


As I mentioned in an article here a week or two ago, American Pinball’s next game was supposed to be a sequel to Dennis Nordman’s popular 1993 Williams game, White Water, but that game has been indefinitely delayed possibly by Nordman leaving AP or a rumored very high bill of materials. Instead, the Company’s next game will be a licensed theme. Recently that theme has been rumored to be the 2017 video game Cuphead. Cuphead isn’t as well known as some of the themes out there, but its cartoon-esque graphic style is beautiful. Many people have created homebrew custom Cuphead arcade cabinets (see below).


Having said that, I still personally think that there is a very real chance that AP’s next game isn’t Cuphead, but is actually a rumored theme that I wrote about here last July…He-Man & the Masters of the Universe.


At the time, I heard that AP had secured the He-Man license and that renowned pinball artist Christopher Franchi was already working on art for the game. Now if that was indeed the case, I find it hard to believe that all that work would just be scrapped in favor of a lesser-known theme like Cuphead. We’ll see - but likely not before this fall’s Chicago Pinball Expo at the very earliest if not later. I personally am heavily rooting for AP’s next to be He-Man because not only would it win me a bet, but I think that it’s the much more viable theme and I really want American Pinball to succeed.


He-Man & the Masters of the Universe Pinball is Coming, but Not From Stern



Say, what ever happened to the Canadian manufacturer of Punny Factory, Pinball Adventures? Sure I could reach out to them, but this just popped into my head as I sit here writing on my phone at 6:00 in the morning, so I’ll speculate instead. Pinball Adventures used to post daily, or at the very least weekly on Instagram. The Company hasn’t made a single post in all of 2024. That’s a whole lot of radio silence. I’m starting to wonder if Pinball Adventures is completely dead? If they’re not, I’m sure that I’ll hear about it after writing this lol. I saw and played my first Punny Factory on location ever a couple of weeks ago at the incredible Tabletop Tycoon Arcade in Manchester, New Hampshire. I took a bunch of pics of it there that I’ll include below.


I recently had my first chance to play Chicago Gaming Company’s latest game, Pulp Fiction at the aforementioned Tabletop Arcade as well. The game felt rock solid. It was built like a tank and a ton of fun. To me it had a very James Bond 60th Anniversary feel, but for half the price. If you want a simple, throwback game for your collection Pulp is the way to go. I could see it getting old quickly in a small collection though. I’ve heard people saying that it’s a hard game, but I was blowing that thing up. Maybe it was because I played it at the end of a three day Pinball Roadtrip marathon and I was in a playing zone or maybe it wasn’t set steep enough, but I personally found it to be pretty easy. I’ll include some pics of Pulp below as well.


So, what’s next from Chicago Gaming? Well, first they have to actually start making the Bad Mother Flipper Limited Edition Pulp Fiction machines. That likely won’t happen until this summer at the earliest. Their games are built great, but man CGC is slow and they have traditionally had almost no customer communication. It may take into 2025 before they have built all of the ordered Pulp Fictions.


CGC has been telling people for years that another run of its Medieval Madness Remake is coming. This time I think that it really is. That’s likely the next run they do after they have caught up on Pulp. Beyond that, I’m almost positive that Chicago Gaming has a new remake of the 1993 Bally classic Twilight Zone in store for us.


I’ve been writing about the possibility of a TZ remake for years here. I know for a fact that Chicago Gaming has the rights to produce the game, it has been trademarked specifically for pinball in the not so distant past and CGC most likely already has parts stockpiles for it. As to when they will actually get to it goes, probably sometime in 2025 would be my guess.


Last week Pinball Brothers showed off its new ABBA pin but the hobby has been all quiet this week. Hopefully this is the calm before the pinball storm. At the end of April we will likely hear something from Stern Pinball about its next title and before that we may get to see Pedretti Gaming’s first Bally Williams remake. I spoke with Pedretti a couple of weeks ago and they said that they were hoping for a mid-April reveal of their first title - the 1990 Williams Pat Lawlor classic FunHouse, but that an exact date had not been decided upon yet. Hopefully we get to see that soon.


Whew, how’s that for a pinball stream of consciousness? I broke out my phone knowing that I wanted to write something without knowing what. Thousands of words later here we are 😂. Have a great weekend everyone!


Pictures from yesterday at Pintastic:




Some of the custom Cuphead arcade cabs:


Pinball Adventures Punny Factory:






Chicago Gaming Company’s Pulp Fiction:





Random Masters of the Universe art from the Web:



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6 Comments


Pinball adventures is suing one of its few customers for $250k currently. Why? Because the customer posted publicly about the terrible playfield issues his punny factory had upon unboxing. The lawsuit claims that posting those pictures and his story of how pinball adventures promised to fix everything never happened and then andrew mcbain blocked customer on all social media... caused pinball adventures a loss of sales of 10 games and future game sales.



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sat one
sat one
Apr 17

she man is for F_ ags!! as every other rumored pin here. Dungeons and Dragons would be way cooler with actual quest decision's between ball locks to change the path of the game. How about someone makes The Funhouse based on Tobe Hooper and get the movie rights they would be so cheap for that b movie (that is awesome by the way). How about Amvityville or the Shining Pinball, C_uck master stephen King would gladly give the rights for the pin. Where are the post apocalyptic themes that do so well on home gaming stations. Last of Us, Days Gone and Dying Light would all be amazing and cheap and how about Planet of the Apes, another cla…

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you seem unpleasant

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I see the James Bond 60th Anniversary machine. Hard to find one around but fun to play.

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Fallout would be killer.

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He-Man could be amazing. Snake Mountain vs Castle Greyskull, two great sculpts staring at each other and lobbing bombs across the play field... ooh man. If AP blows this one they're dead to me.

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