Date: 13th October 2010

Back in May, Stern produced a cost-reduced home version of their popular Batman game in a trial to see whether the technique could be applied to other models.

Although reports suggested sales of the 'lite' models were slow at the 16 Costco stores where they were on sale, reaction has apparently been positive enough for Stern to take the idea further.

Iron Man is the next game to get the cost-cutting treatment. Already pretty light on mechanical features, Iron Man Classic - as Stern's marketing department prefers to call it - no longer includes a number of mechanisms and devices found on the original, while other areas have been re-designed to make them cheaper or more-suited to a home environment.

The cabinet construction has been changed, so it is less robust (apparently it is made of MDF instead of plywood), uses bolts to hold the cabinet together and has decals for the artwork instead of printing directly onto the cabinet.

The new cabinet front
The new cabinet front

While there continues to be a door on the front, it can no longer be called a 'coin door' as it doesn't include a coin mechanism.

The backbox now uses round speaker cutouts on the display panel, but otherwise looks to be largely unchanged.

The backbox
The backbox

Inside the backbox though, the game uses new code which is locked to free play and - according to Stern - is not upgradeable.

Free play only, so no pricing card
Free play only, so no pricing card

The main changes have taken place on the playfield. While you might think the most obvious cost-reduction would be to get rid of the Iron Monger toy which rises up out of the playfield, this has been kept and it is the other characters who have gone under the knife.

Whiplash no longer has a magnet to 'whiplash' the ball around when his targets are hit. The Whiplash toy has gone too.

The central playfield
The central playfield

Whiplash isn't the only one to lose his magnet. The Iron Monger's magnet has gone too, replaced with a flash lamp insert like Whiplash's.

The Whiplash magnet becomes a flasher
The Whiplash magnet becomes a flasher

This should result in the ball's movement being less random and lead to longer ball times.

Another feature which could result in loss of ball control has also been taken out. The War Machine kicker is no more, making that feature somewhat impotent.

Minor cost savings have been achieved by removing the flasher domes and associated flash lamps from the playfield.

Flasher domes have been taken out of the game
Flasher domes have been taken out of the game

This has left round holes on the ramps where the flashers once sat.

With all these changes, you might expect to see a significant reduction in the price of the product. Stern say their price will be $3,799 plus shipping and tax.

Stern have produced a promotional video for the new version and issued a press release which you can see below.

Stern Pinball, Inc.
October 2010

The perfect gift for the holiday season, Iron Man(TM) Classic Pinball

On November 1, 2010 Stern Pinball will begin shipping an all-new pinball machine made exclusively for the home. Iron Man(TM) Classic Pinball is a full-sized pinball game that provides non-stop action for pinball players of all ages and skill levels. Join billionaire industrialist Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey Jr., as Iron Man, the metallic super hero, on a thrilling action-packed adventure as he battles his enemies. Iron Man(TM) Classic Pinball features visuals, speech, music and sound effects from the Marvel blockbuster films Iron Man 1 and Iron Man 2.

For homeowners and your customers alike, nothing could be more fitting with the approaching holiday season. Stern Pinball will offer this game to consumers for $3,799 plus shipping and tax.

Iron Man(TM) Classic features:

* Designed exclusively for use in the home
* New, more affordable price
* Full-sized pinball game
* Same high quality as Stern's award-winning arcade pinball games
* Classic scenes, lines and music from the Marvel blockbuster Iron Man(TM) movies
* Vibrant artwork
* Iron Monger rises from the beneath the playfield
* Multiple ways to trigger multi-ball and light shows
* Dual elevated lightning-fast ramps
* Multiple game modes
* Enjoyable, longer game play
* Automatic free play, no coins necessary
* UL applied for
* Uses standard household current
* Easy assembly and set-up
* Supported by Stern's worldwide service network
* Proudly Made in the USA

How the game is different from Iron Man(TM) Pro:

* Not designed for use in commercial coin-op locations
* No coin mechanism
* Fixed, non-changeable game code designed for non-coin usage (permanently set on "Free Play")
* New cabinet design for light-duty home use
* Decals on the cabinet (not silk-screened)
* No dome lights
* Magnets have been removed from Whiplash and Iron Monger
* Kicker removed from War Machine
* Whiplash Toy removed

For more information and to place an order, please contact Jim Belt at 1-708-786-7039 or Mike Reimer at 1-708-786-7029 .


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