Following our first look at the playfield layout and the teaser video in our earlier report, Stern have now released full cabinet and playfield pictures of the Pro edition and the two Limited Edition variants - Wolverine and Magneto.

First of all we have the Pro version.

The AC/DC backglass
The Pro model

As you can clearly see, the game is based on the comic books rather than the series of movies, which gives the opportunity for more, ahem, licence when designing playfield features, using licensed artwork and avoids the tight deadlines associated with movie theatrical and DVD releases.

Here's the Pro's playfield layout.

The Pro's playfield
The Pro's playfield

The three flipper, two ramp layout includes two large X-Men toys - Magneto at the top, sitting over the centre lane, and a Wolverine bash toy with a magnet in front. Magneto does have a magnet too, but it's some way in front of him. All the shots are associated with an X-Men character, including Ice Man on the right ramp, Beast on the shot through the pop bumpers, Gambit in the pop bumpers themselves, Cyclops on the right inner loop, Phoenix on the right orbit, Xavier on the centre left lane, Rogue on the left inner loop and Storm on the side ramp.

Each of these characters is also shown on the progress ring above the flippers along with seven other features to collect - Sabretooth, The Shadow King, The Hellfire Club, Juggernaut, The Brotherhood of Mutants, The Sentinels and Omega Red.

The centre left lane leads to a tall vertical up-kicker (VUK) which sends the ball onto the side ramp return, while the three inlanes are labeled 'Blackbird Launch' which appears to be the scoop to the left of Wolverine. The special inserts have been placed in the two outlanes, and are therefore best collected when the 'shoot again' insert is flashing between the flippers.

Three views of the Pro model
Three views of the Pro model

Here are the features included on the Pro model.

  • Custom-moulded Wolverine bash toy
  • Wolverine playfield magnet activated by 'bash toy' and game rules
  • Orbit shot Magneto ball diverter (into the back of the ball lock)
  • Magneto dual up-post ball lock assembly
  • Custom-moulded Magneto figurine
  • 'Power-Scoop' ball ejector
  • 3rd flipper (upper-right)
  • Vertical up-kicker diverts ball onto left ramp
  • 2 moulded super speed ramps
  • 2 'Hellfire' targets (on left)
  • 2 'Brotherhood' targets (on right)
  • 2 'Light Lock' targets
  • 1 Cyclops spinning target
  • 3 super-bright LED pop bumpers
  • 2 high-powered slingshots
  • Traditional country-specific coin door
  • Game-specific QR codes
  • Decal and leg protectors
  • Official game speech provided by Marvel
  • Magneto playfield magnet in front of Magneto
  • 4 dome flash lamp assemblies
  • 'Latch' lockdown bar
  • Black ABS lower arch

Cabinet side art on the Pro
Cabinet side art on the Pro

The two Limited Edition models feature subtle but important changes to the playfield.

The Wolverine and Magneto playfield
The Wolverine and Magneto playfield

Probably the most visible difference is the metallic 'Ice Slide' section of the right ramp. This swings out to divert the ball to the left ramp somewhat like the crane in Last Action Hero, or to dump it elsewhere on the playfield.

Stern have helpfully supplied a picture to show how this works.

The right ramp diverter
The right ramp diverter

To save you playing 'spot-the-difference', we've done the work for you and here are the answers.

The Pro on the left, the LE on the right
The Pro on the left, the LE on the right

The feature arrowed '1' above is a pair of troll-like Night Crawler shot blockers which pop up to block shots to the centre-left lane and the right ramp.

The magnet arrowed '2' above looks the same in both pictures, but we believe the circular section spins in the LE - just like in the game Twister - and has four lamps or LEDs beneath the playfield which also cycle in a circular motion.

Number 3 is the right ramp diverter which results in the removal of the flasher section of the ramp (4) and requires a different design on right inlane/outlane separator (5) which is raised to prevent the ball rolling off the ramp and down the outlane.

Those are the only obvious playfield differences, but there several others across the game. Here's the full list of how the LE's features vary from the Pro's:

  • Unique powder-coated coloured side armour, legs, and trim
  • Unique metal lower arch with illuminated windows
  • Unique mirrored backglass
  • High-definition colour cabinet decals
  • 'Ice Slide' motorised ramp transports ball from right to left side
  • 2 pop-up Night Crawler assemblies
  • Spinning disc with toggling blue and yellow flash lamps
  • Magnet located in spinning disc randomly accelerates ball
  • LEDs to replace all incandescent bulbs
  • Separate red, blue, & white GI LEDs change playfield colour
  • 3 dome flash lamp assemblies
  • Traditional playfield slides
  • Traditional lockdown bar assembly
  • Certificate of authenticity
  • Designer-autographed playfield under hard coat
  • Numbered plaque (1-250 of each model)

The cabinets and backglasses are certainly not the same as the Pro.

The Wolverine Limited Edition model
The Wolverine Limited Edition model

The Magneto Limited Edition model
The Magneto Limited Edition model

All three have striking artwork and will no doubt appeal to fans of the comic books and the individual characters.

The three backglasses
The Pro backglass

The Wolverine LE backglass
The Wolverine LE backglass

The Magneto backglass
The Magneto backglass

Stern Pinball also sent out a press release about their X-Men game, and here it is:

Stern Pinball Launches Much Anticipated X-Men Pinball Machine

World’s Only Maker of Arcade Quality Pinball Announces Newest Addition to Comic Inspired Collection of Machines

MELROSE PARK, IL – June 7, 2012 Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s only maker of real pinball games, announced today the availability of the X-Men pinball machine based on the Marvel comic book series.The newest addition to the Stern collection celebrates X-Men, one of the most popular comic book series to date. X-Men will join Stern’s revolutionary line-up of comic inspired machines including Spiderman, Iron Man and Batman.

Since the first appearance of X-Men in 1963, the characters in the Stan Lee series have resonated with millions of comic lovers. Now X-Men fans can experience the adventure first hand with a first of its kind pinball display. In this game, players can help gather their favorite X-Men to battle and defeat their villainous enemies. The game features seven main villains including Juggernaut, The Brotherhood of Mutants, The Hellfire Club, Shadow King, Sabertooth, Sentinels and Omega Red. The machine also features a Blackbird launcher and special game modes that touch on the most exciting events in the X-Men Universe.

“Stan Lee’s compelling storytelling combined with his dynamic cast of X-Men have captured the hearts and imaginations of fans of all ages for almost 40 years,” said Gary Stern, founder, CEO and chairman of Stern Pinball. “The X-Men pinball machine celebrates Stan’s much loved series and brings fans a whole new adventure right at their fingertips.”

The X-Men game continues both the Stern Pinball and the Stern family tradition of producing quality pinball machines for young and old. The company traces its lineage to Philadelphia in the 1930s when Sam Stern entered the business of operating pinball games. Stern passed his lifelong enthusiasm for the game and the business of pinball to his son Gary Stern who founded Stern Pinball. Today pinball remains one of America’s favorite pastimes.

Pricing and Availability: LE Model $7999 MSRP
                                              Pro Model $5699 MSRP

To learn more about the X-Men pinball machine and Stern Pinball, visit www.sternpinball.com.

We'll have much more about Stern's new X-Men pinballs right here at Pinball News, but why not have your say right now? Send us your comments and see what other readers think.

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Its a copy of Gottlieb's Stargate. :-)

Well what do you know. Its almost the same as Stargate pinball.

Love the theme but game Looks CHEAP and the plastic ramps and huge plastic cheap looking toys looks awful. 8000.00 you gotta be kidding me we've all now seen a working Wizard of Oz and what we get for a lot cheaper. Same ol same cheap overpriced Stern pins. As long as people keep paying these crazy prices for crap,Stern will keep producing it. JJP for me from now on.

X-Men machines look impressive. The audio will make or break this title. The Red LE looks excellent. The Pro model is also impressive. Looking forward to playing one. Stern have made another great looking game. Looking forward to also seeing the playfield from the players view rather than just from above.

Finally, a Stern with great artwork!!!!

Almost the same as Stargate? Don't be silly. There are some similarities in layout, but similar comparisons can be made with almost every pin ever made. Tron is a copy of Funhouse. Yea...those play exactly the same and Tron was a huge flop because of it, right? Addams Family and Jurassic Park are just recycled Whirlwinds, right? Similar shots, but the games are worlds apart. It's not like we are talking Fireball to Fireball Classic or even High Speed to Getaway here. I bet Stargate will never even cross your mind once you actually get to play one of these! Looks great to me...Stern hitting another one out of the park! Between this, Wizard of Oz, Predator, Zombie Adventureland, etc...these are exciting times for pinball!

Jon Miller:
Dont see how they can say World's only maker of pinball machines now with JJP. Stern must believe that because they still act like it with a copy of Stargate that is not impressive. Same artwork on a toy or cereal box.

Looks like the typical Borg seven shot fan pattern, same spinning disk from Twister and Lost In Space and everything else he does and reversed Tron layout too. ...Stern obviously did this game in a vacuum. Cut and paste code and push it out the door. Where does the ball get a toy to do something? Sad for $8,000. Cannot fool collectors who this game is aimed at.

Bladed Cicada:
General playfield copying aside, I'm glad to see that the toys are molded plastic and not that crappy thin clear plastic with a decal. Please never produce a machine like that again stern. Rolling Stones is a joke. A not very funny joke. Also very glad to see it's the comic version and not the terrible bastardized movie version.

Stern have done a very nice job. I like the look and layout. It is visually very different and should be a very fun game. Some people knock STERN no matter what STERN produce. But I bet that these knockers knock everything from everyone.The pinball world needs more expert players and less expert knockers and no one ever said u cant submit your ideas to Stern and get a email reply which they always do.

To all the knockers, I say show me what you have produced, yes, NOTHING.

Get real and get positive because all the games STERN have produced have given alot of people alot of fun for many years.Play pinball not polotics. Be positive. The pinball industry needs positivity to survive, not cheap shots from the minority of armchair knockers. Long live pinball.

I still wish they put all their effort into making one kick ass, great playing pinball.which one is most fun to play?

Cool. A new game to play. Nothing wrong with that..

Paisley Pinball:
This thing looks great. I can't wait to get my hands on one. I have ordered the Magneto LE edition and August can't come fast enough for me to get my hands on it.

I love pinball and I love this resurgence of the game in the last year. Long may it continue.

Nick P:
This thing has TONS of shots!! I ordered a Wolverine. I have a REALLY good feeling about this one. But, I've been wrong before. lol.

Analog Kid:
I beleive X-MEN is an excellent pinball theme. I am inpresssed with the cabinet an back glass art. A STARGATE copy: no. I think it has more in common with TRON. I am looking foward to playing this one. I do have one criticism and that is the playing field art or rather lack there of. Since this game appears to be based more on the comics than the movies a hand drawn comic art playing field on the LE would have really brought the game together. I am hoping that the Magneto figure has the ability to levitate one or more pinballs during game play, that would be cool. Stern keep up the good work.

I think it looks good overall and I like pro cabinet graphics/backglass the best. Don't understand the big characters though, a little oversized don't you think? I won't be buying because I plunked my money down on a wonderful Tron LE, but I'm looking forward to playing this one and it will definitely get some of my quarters.

Stern really needs to improve on customer service Before I ever fork out $7.5k. For an LE game

Getting my ac/dc LE was unpleasant at the least

to many ramps and price. jersey jacks high price is do to start up costs whats yours.at least, we now have another pinball manufacturer. one that wont take a pinball and resell it with a different name to cut costs.

Mr Tobias:
A colourful game with a layout that suggests many possibilities for shot making and gameplay. The two figures look a bit big, but they made me smile so maybe that's ok.

The LE versions look hopelessly overpriced though, and I wonder if they will sell more on perceived collectability than true added value or content. Shame it almost requires a second mortgage to get a game with more than one interactive toy these days.

JB Wiz:
Glad to see a upper-flipper shot-to-a-ramp design. I enjoy Tron, Spider Man and Monopoly too. Would like to see the rules give a big reward for the upper ramp, as that can make a game to remember.

AFAIK, hasn't been done since Monopoly. by contrast, High Speed (1986) started that, and Whirlwind and Addams Family had it, with Fun House and Twilight Zone similar.

Great looking game and hope game play is fun
And exciting

Playing a lot on my acdc LE , what a blast !

Any chance Gary you make a Dukes of Hazzard Pinball ?? Great options for that game And great for all !!


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