Date: 23rd November 2010

Stern Pinball today formally announced the new limited edition version of their Avatar game.  However, in a bizarre marketing twist, anyone hoping to buy one may have already missed the boat because all 250 of the $5,499 machines have reportedly been pre-sold to distributors.

The Limited Edition model has a number of enhancements over the regular (or Pro) version, some of which we suggested in our in-depth review.  They are:

  • The amp suit model which just falls down and lifts back up in the Pro model, has animated legs which march up and down.
  • The transporter pod we said should have been motorised gets the motor it needs to enable the lid to open and close.
  • A shaker motor is included in the game.
  • There are more models of the characters including a banshee over the ramp, Colonel Quaritch in his amp suit - another feature we said should have been included - and Na'vi people over the N-A-V-I targets.
  • We noted the number of unused lamps on the lamp matrix.  Well, these have been used to add more controlled lighting which sits alongside more general illumination lamps.
  • There's a return to a metal bottom arch which has backlighting for new translucent blue windows.
  • Metal playfield slide rails are also fitted in place of the pegs used on newer models.
  • The original-style lock bar and latch mechanism make a comeback.
  • A white powerball in included in place of one of the steel balls, along with a sensor which increases scoring when the special ball is in play.
  • New game rules and software is added to operate the new playfield devices and features.
  • Chrome side rails, lock bar and hinges are installed.

In addition, playfields for machines 1-25 will be signed, while all Limited Edition playfields will have an additional hard coat applied.  All 250 will also be individually numbered and include a special plaque and certificate of authenticity.

Here's Stern's press release about the new model.

Stern Pinball Releases Avatar Limited Edition Pinball Machine

World’s Only Pinball Manufacturer Celebrates the Largest Grossing Film of all Time with a Special Run of Premium Machines

MELROSE PARK, IL – November 23, 2010- Stern Pinball, Inc., the world’s only maker of arcade quality pinball machines, announced today the Avatar Limited Edition Pinball machine. After the success of the arcade version of the Avatar pinball game, Stern is releasing a limited edition run of handcrafted machines featuring enhanced game play and superior mechanical features.

The Avatar special edition pinball machine brings players to the paradise planet of Pandora where they become hero Jake Sully on a quest to protect the Na’vi people from an invading mining colony. Staying true to the innovative nature of the film, this pinball machine translates James Cameron’s history making epic into a one-of-a-kind gaming experience. Stern Pinball is only producing 250 machines for this limited edition run that will each be numbered with a plaque and a certificate of authenticity.

“The Avatar Limited Edition machine has been a very special production for Stern Pinball and game designer John Borg,” said Gary Stern, founder, CEO and chairman of Stern Pinball. “We believe it to be worthy of James Cameron’s masterpiece film and firmly believe the pinball community will feel the same.”

The Avatar Limited Edition 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.

View the Avatar Limited Edition machine in action at: http://bit.ly/aKBzSD
(Editor's note: This link only shows the regular version, not the LE model)

Pricing and Availability
The Avatar Limited Edition machine is $5,499 and only available for a short time.

For more information and to view the limited edition machine visit: www.sternpinball.com
(Editor's note: At the time of writing there is no info on the site about the LE model)


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