Opinion: Sterns Stranger Things UV Approach Sets Another Dangerous Precedent In Pinball

Rob zombie

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UK pinball scene - a turd then and a turd now.
Yeah I can easily count on two hands how many different games I got to play on back in the day. Cue Ball Wizard, Addams Family, Terminator 2, Demolition Man, Flintstones are the main ones I remember. It's amazing I'm still hooked to be honest. Certainly never saw the later stuff like RFM until a few years ago. And never really heard of Stern until I played 24 about 6 or 7 years ago. That game alone could easily make me hate pinball.
 

PeteB

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LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WELCOME TO "MAKE UP ANY S.HITE YOU LIKE!" starring PeteB as head of all things bull****!

PeteB when did you see anyone buy a pinball machine? I see families taking dozens and dozens of Stern's home with them at all the shows I goto in
the US.

Get out of your cave and go to some meets. Loads of folks in the teens and twenties playing pinball, the worlds biggest tournament 1000 players sold out in blink of an eye, about 30% of the folks there are under 30 and that's increasing. At flip out about 20% of our league are people under thirty and a good few under 25.

Ray Day - world number one -> 27 years old
Escher Lefhoff world number seven -> 16 years old
Colin Urban 8th, -> 17 years old
Aleksander Kaczmarczyk 15th -> 16 years old
Zachary Parks 223rd -> 17 years old


The bottom four above , all under 18 were in the final of the Chicago Flip Expo tournament knocking out all the old ****ers on what games? all sterns.... a bunch of them in the final for the Open World Championship...

BW had lost $17M in its last three years of operation and in the last month of operations it losing was $1M a month, they sensibly stopped making games before it killed them.
Neil, clearly from the quality of your posts you are no academic. You completely missed the point I was making, and perhaps try doing a little reading and research once in a while.

Three pinball related websites that I run show in the demographics reports that most users are men between the ages of 34 to 47. You can cross reference that with multiple other sources, anyone who collects data. Go ask distributors. After 47 it tapers off quite steeply, and there's very little from anyone under 25.

But do women buy and play pinball? YES.
Do men in their 90's play pinball? YES.
Do kids under 16 play pinball? YES.

But this is not the primary market of buyers and players.

It'll always be a niche hobby and it'll continue to shrink because there's no enough uptake from younger kids. 20 years from now there won't be enough buyers to keep companies like Stern afloat, although it won't matter to you because you'll be in your grave by then. Sorry to burst your bubble. :)
 

PeteB

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@PeteB gaming events are a great introduction for people who've never really experienced pinball. I see people of all ages playing them at NERG. Once they experience it, they tend to fall in love and it's the main attraction for future events.
Absolutely, that's what these events are great for but I'm not convinced it will be enough get the next generation into pinball enough to keep the market as big as it is/has been right now.
 

Chief

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@PeteB from my experience owning a popular coffee shop and pinball room in London is that they are enjoyed by all ages, from 3 year old kids to the odd geriatric. Kids and teenagers these days are looking for a different form of entertainment away from video games, iPads and phones and pinball is fascinating to them. Come and pay us a visit at the weekend and see for yourself or check out these instagram pics of all ages who can’t get enough pinball. http://instagr.am/p/Bz79JXbnAUR/
 

PeteB

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@PeteB from my experience owning a popular coffee shop and pinball room in London is that they are enjoyed by all ages, from 3 year old kids to the odd geriatric. Kids and teenagers these days are looking for a different form of entertainment away from video games, iPads and phones and pinball is fascinating to them. Come and pay us a visit at the weekend and see for yourself or check out these instagram pics of all ages who can’t get enough pinball. http://instagr.am/p/Bz79JXbnAUR/
That's fantastic! Well done!
 
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PeteB

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Cheers. Oh the younger crowd seem to enjoy the new Sterns and older games equally. Wonka is also popular at the moment
Yeah there's no doubt when kids do get the opportunitty to experience pinball, they love it. As much as JJP get hated on for their choice of IP's, I think they're doing the right thing going after stuff that's way more appealing to families.

More of that, more NERG's, and more of your coffee shops is what we need. It's just a shame that the huge family entertainment centers, and places like Namco arcades don't put in any pinball machines. JJP games would fit right in.
 

Neil McRae

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Neil, clearly from the quality of your posts you are no academic. You completely missed the point I was making, and perhaps try doing a little reading and research once in a while.

Three pinball related websites that I run show in the demographics reports that most users are men between the ages of 34 to 47. You can cross reference that with multiple other sources, anyone who collects data. Go ask distributors. After 47 it tapers off quite steeply, and there's very little from anyone under 25.

But do women buy and play pinball? YES.
Do men in their 90's play pinball? YES.
Do kids under 16 play pinball? YES.

But this is not the primary market of buyers and players.

It'll always be a niche hobby and it'll continue to shrink because there's no enough uptake from younger kids. 20 years from now there won't be enough buyers to keep companies like Stern afloat, although it won't matter to you because you'll be in your grave by then. Sorry to burst your bubble. :)
LOL that first part of your reply is classic PeteB.

don't you sell ripped off crap quality decals for old pinball machines for those too tight to shell out for quality? I doubt many folks need to buy new games stuff like that!

How many people in their twenties can afford 6K for a pinball machine? Most of them are either paying off student loans or living with their parents hoping one day they can get on the property ladder.

They aren't all millionaires from trading bitcoin you know! So they unsurprisingly buy cheap DMD's. People in their twenties would NEVER have seen a Bally Williams game in this country and in many other countries, and certainly not one that worked well (seaside ****e).

folks in their twenties ask us in the club all time about buying games, give them a ghostbusters, Iron maiden or Star Trek for 2K and they'd bite your hand off.

Stern aren't stupid and they know that younger age bracket can't afford their games, that's why they put HUGE effort into location pinball where barcades all over the world have tens of thousands of future buyers playing the **** out of their games day in day out.

Neil.
 

Rob zombie

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@PeteB from my experience owning a popular coffee shop and pinball room in London is that they are enjoyed by all ages, from 3 year old kids to the odd geriatric. Kids and teenagers these days are looking for a different form of entertainment away from video games, iPads and phones and pinball is fascinating to them. Come and pay us a visit at the weekend and see for yourself or check out these instagram pics of all ages who can’t get enough pinball. http://instagr.am/p/Bz79JXbnAUR/
The problem with this is that these kids haven't sought out pinball for that photo op. They've been brought by their parents and yes they might enjoy it for 20mins....but if my own kids are any indicator they'll rapidly lose interest in favour of PS4's, riding around the basement on bikes and scooters or even just using a mop .
 

Neil McRae

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The problem with this is that these kids haven't sought out pinball for that photo op. They've been brought by their parents and yes they might enjoy it for 20mins....but if my own kids are any indicator they'll rapidly lose interest in favour of PS4's, riding around the basement on bikes and scooters or even just using a mop.
dood, its not the 80s anymore where your parents lived in the pub and you roamed the streets doing what you liked!
 

Rob zombie

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dood, its not the 80s anymore where your parents lived in the pub and you roamed the streets doing what you liked!
I wish I had those parents Neil. But actually my parents were pretty ****in strict. Oh and I was forced to be an altar boy. Yep. So there ya go. Perhaps explains why I'm making a very violent anti-religious VR video game in my 40's.
 
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Chief

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The problem with this is that these kids haven't sought out pinball for that photo op. They've been brought by their parents and yes they might enjoy it for 20mins....but if my own kids are any indicator they'll rapidly lose interest in favour of PS4's, riding around the basement on bikes and scooters or even just using a mop.
Incorrect. Sure they were introduced by their parents for the first time, but kids are dragging their parents back for more visits to play. I see it first hand week in week out. Families also come as a group and play against each other. I’m thanked regularly by parents that there is an activity they can do together and get their kids out to do something fun and different
 
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Neil McRae

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I wish I had those parents Neil. But actually my parents were pretty ****in strict. Oh and I was forced to be an alter boy. Yep. So there ya go. Perhaps explains why I'm making a very violent anti-religious VR video game in my 40's.
so your parents took you everywhere?! :D ah playing pinball with the clergy huh ? :D
 

Rob zombie

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so your parents took you everywhere?! :D ah playing pinball with the clergy huh ? :D
Actually my parents never took me anywhere. They were from Yorkshire and far too tight to spend money. I was fortunate (in the worst possible way) that my best friends mum was dying of cancer and she wanted to make the most of her final years taking her son and his best friend to lots of places.
 

PeteB

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LOL that first part of your reply is classic PeteB.

don't you sell ripped off crap quality decals for old pinball machines for those too tight to shell out for quality? I doubt many folks need to buy new games stuff like that!
Hahaha! 😂 Actually hilarious. If you can find someone making better quality decals, plastics, translites, sideblades and similar mods then be sure to let me know as I'd love to see them. We've spent 100's of man hours working on this stuff and continue to do so, so that people can enjoy nice things. That's my contribution anyway, on top of going out to service/repair people's games. Remind us all what your great contribution is, aside from sh*t talking on a forum every product someone comes out with?

Most of SideBlades and alternate translites we sell are for modern Stern's by the way. So yeah people do like to buy stuff for their new games. Wrong again huh Neil? 😂


How many people in their twenties can afford 6K for a pinball machine? Most of them are either paying off student loans or living with their parents hoping one day they can get on the property ladder.

They aren't all millionaires from trading bitcoin you know! So they unsurprisingly buy cheap DMD's. People in their twenties would NEVER have seen a Bally Williams game in this country and in many other countries, and certainly not one that worked well (seaside ****e).

folks in their twenties ask us in the club all time about buying games, give them a ghostbusters, Iron maiden or Star Trek for 2K and they'd bite your hand off.
Well how many people in their 30's, 40's and 50' can afford 6k for a pin? There's plenty of guys in their mid 20's who do well for themselves and have enough disposable income to afford higher end games. Some are buying the remakes, some are buying restores, but there's not enough interest in that age group to prop up a whole market. You can't tar everyone with the same brush just because that's what you've seen at your cute little pinball clubs. There's whole world which exists outside of your bubble.
 

Neil McRae

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“There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is not known to @PeteB. It’s a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, knock of ****e and quality, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge (or in Pete’s case - his ignorance). This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone or other people call the ****e knock of zone.”

Back to my bubble!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

CHRIS B PINBALLS

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Pete b you do talk utter **** and just seem to be an opinionated troll on here you claim to be some big pinball restoration and repair man but I have been in this game many years and I ask people Have you ever Hurd of this guy and nobody has you have had the opportunity to go to many shows and take your products but always fail to do so a great sales opportunity over looked
As I see it you just sell the decals for the east European guy and yes they are much cheaper than official ones but the quality is shocking in every aspect when you have spent a week preparing a cab to the highest standard then what’s a extra £100
 

andy

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Nobody even got to see those later machines on location (in this country at least). I certainly never did. After Addams Family it was pretty much over.
Thats not how I remember it, it was a far more gradual decline. I worked for JNC in Avonmouth in the mid 90s, games coming from site and being reexported mainly. There were lots of IJ , A13 , Corvette, STTNG , Road Show, WCS , TOM etc coming through.

Looking at ipdb, production figures really started dropping off in 1995 but even then WMS made 6600 TOMs And 4200 DHs that year, as well as 7 other games.
 
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PeteB

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Pete b you do talk utter **** and just seem to be an opinionated troll on here you claim to be some big pinball restoration and repair man but I have been in this game many years and I ask people Have you ever Hurd of this guy and nobody has you have had the opportunity to go to many shows and take your products but always fail to do so a great sales opportunity over looked
As I see it you just sell the decals for the east European guy and yes they are much cheaper than official ones but the quality is shocking in every aspect when you have spent a week preparing a cab to the highest standard then what’s a extra £100
Aha... Another sh*t talking cuck wants to have a go!

You must have been talking to some lamp posts because Retro Refurbs is pretty well known, Chris. I mean number 1 on Google for all products we sell and 5300+ followers on Facebook? Yeah sure, nobody knows... And thanks but no thanks, I don't need to trade at shows with the amount of work I already have on.

So you had an issue with colours on some IJ decals years ago and it was dealt with quickly. Apart from the fact I haven't sold Bally, Williams, or Gottlieb products for years, you didn't didn't seem to have a problem buying other things like the custom T2 Chrome decals which you were happy to show off on here in your shop log? Hmm. You're quite welcome to come and inspect where my stuff is made if you're ever passing by Middlesbrough way, no Eastern European's products here.

It's a sad state of affairs when a topic like this that invites people to share their thoughts turns into everyone attacking each other, all because a couple of members with a superiority complex feel the need to "rubbish" the opinions of others. I'm as entitled as anyone else here to share opinions, but if you don't like it you can just grab a tissue and politely f*ck off can't you? :cool:
 

Rob zombie

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Thats not how I remember it, it was a far more gradual decline. I worked for JNC in Avonmouth in the mid 90s, games coming from site and being reexported mainly. There were lots of IJ , A13 , Corvette, STTNG , Road Show, WCS , TOM etc coming through.

Looking at ipdb, production figures really started dropping off in 1995 but even then WMS made 6600 TOMs And 4200 DHs that year, as well as 7 other games.
I think if you lived down south and especially costal then your experiences are going to be very different from mine growing up in sunny Stoke-on-Trent. We had lumps of coal for Christmas.
 
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PBrookfield

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I'm 32. I remember TAF , F14 , A13 and DM from when I was a kid. I'm the exact sort of nostalgic bastard being discussed up above - I still own and collect most the stuff I 'remember'.

Thing is - I'd own all of it if I had the space and money. DMDs, Sys11s, EMs, wood rails. But brand new games as well. In fact I'd probably have TNA and at least two from the new Stern line up before many of the older games. But as I said before, I'd have everything if resources allowed.

But of course I only own F14 because I got it just before the point it became almost impossible to get a Sys11 game - even a ratty 'players' pin - for much if anything below a grand. I only have a chance at owning another game because I'm trying to resurrect a game that's a complete write off due to storage damage.

I'm not a rich man. I almost certainly could earn more if I made some adjustments to my life and chose not to lead the life that I do, but I wouldn't change what I did for the world. The way I see it, I have plenty of time left.

I wouldn't buy NIB simply because I'm too frugal to be happy with saying goodbye to a few thousand quid just for a 'new car smell' but I assure you that cost is the utter primary factor in what games I own. Pete, I don't know what your issue with newer games is but you're painting with a really broad brush to say they're all crap.
 
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PeteB

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Pete, I don't know what your issue with newer games is but you're painting with a really broad brush to say they're all crap.
Only Stern's and it's mainly due to build quality, lack of features (topic title), unfinished code etc. The games designed by Steve Ritchie seem to pack a lot, but then how does that leave all the others looking so basic they may as well have an EM playfield.

I wonder as well, and I've not checked this out, if Stern ever addressed the issue with their drop targets thats been going on for like 15+ years?
 

Durzel

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This topic took a dark turn.

Pinballs are too expensive for the younger crowd, really, so the logic that Stern are aiming at the ops does make sense. There is possibly some trickle down purchasing from that but in the main, as said previously - 20 somethings don't typically have £6k odd lying around to spend on a pinball machine. They probably don't have the space either. Moreover, they can just spend a tiny fraction of that on a PC or console games and get just as much enjoyment. Not the same kind of tactile enjoyment that us old(er) ****ers grew up with, but fun nonetheless.

Anecdotally whenever I've had mates with their kids over they've always wanted to play on the machines, but at the same time they're not nagging their parents to get one afterwards. It's transient fun for them, rather than a hobby.
 

M4carp

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I’ve got 3 sons 18, 20 & 26 also a daughter 30. Only the 26 year old son has some interest especially as he loves lotr . The other 3 don't care for pins and would rather play video games or get on the decks. My 2 grandchildren love them but for only 15 mins but they are only 5 & 6. Space, knowledge to fix and cost will keep them away anyway. They have so much choice with things to do these days that pins will be last on their list unless they inherit them of course!!!