Date: 19th February 2015

Following their announcement in October last year that they would be manufacturing the Whizbang Pinball game, Stern Pinball today confirmed that Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons is now available for purchase.

Whoa Nellie!  Big Juicy Melons
Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons

The game is the creation of Dennis Nordman and Greg Freres who teamed up to bring modern technology and high quality printing techniques to an old-school electromechanical game design. It is based on the Continental Cafe playfield, but has a new electronics system to control the lamps and solenoids, drive the score reels, generate in-game sounds, and provide playfield lighting.

Dennis Nordman and Greg Freres with their game
Dennis Nordman and Greg Freres with their game

The recommended retail price of the Stern-made Whoa Nellie! game is $6,499, pitching it around $1,000 above the price of a current Stern Pro model game and crushing any hopes it would be more affordable than a regular Stern game.

The game will be supplied with two mounting options - the fruit crate base seen here, and a set of four powder-coated pinball legs for a more traditional look.

Both young and old at the same time
Both young and old at the same time

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons was first unveiled as 'Project X' back in 2009 when it was still at the prototype stage. Dennis said he'd always been a fan of fruit crate label designs and Greg thought if they could combine that look with the Roy Parker/George Molentin style of pin-up artwork, they could produce something distinctive and attractive.

Dennis and Greg with their prototype game in 2009
Dennis and Greg with their prototype game in 2009

The initial sketch of the backglass
The initial sketch of the backglass

Whizbang Pinball's backglass design
Whizbang Pinball's backglass design

The Stern models has a number of differences, including a full-size coin door, the removal of the ball lift mechanism, the addition of backbox side art panels, the Stern logo on the backglass, and a change in the wording at the top left from "Packed & stacked by Whizbang Pinball Co., Chicago, Illinois" to "Packed & stacked somewhere near Chicago, Illinois.

The new backglass
The new backglass

The new game's playfield
The new game's playfield
(click to enlarge)

Whoa Nellie on powder-coated metal legs
Whoa Nellie! on powder-coated metal legs

Here's how Stern announced the game's availability:

MELROSE PARK, Ill., March 19, 2015 - Today, Stern Pinball, Inc., the world's oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball games, and Whizbang Pinball LLC officially announced the availability of their Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons™ pinball machine.

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons™ pinball takes players on a journey through the Mellon Family farm renowned for abundant produce.  Players score points on the farm operated by the lovely Melony Mellon and her twin sisters while avoiding the wrath of their over-protective shotgun-wielding father.  The colorful easy-to-learn game features a fun classically styled pinball playfield tuned for a balance of randomness and skilled shooting challenges.  The game rewards players of all skill levels.

"Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons™ offers an entertaining classic pinball experience," said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball.  "We're excited to work with Whizbang Pinball to provide players and operators with a unique pinball game and a fun playing experience."

"I love the combination of designing a retro-style playfield powered by today's latest technology," said Dennis Nordman, Whizbang Pinball co-founder.

This unique blend of classic and modern technologies creates a new breed of pinball machine that presents pinball as an art form while maintaining the reliability and serviceability of modern commercial pinball machines.  The playfield, backglass, and cabinet art and styling, central to the game's unique visual quality, feature detailed original characters and fresh hand-drawn artwork that blend elements of mid-century pin-up art and classic pinball themes.

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons™ offers many unique features including:

  • Original retro-style playfield designed by Dennis Nordman
  • Original retro-style hand-drawn graphics by Greg Freres featuring fresh fruit, a cool truck and the ever popular Mellon family
  • A unique, durable, weathered fruit crate cabinet design
  • A supplemental set of powder-coated legs for ease of operation and transportation
  • A standard coin-door for location play
  • Illuminated mechanical score reels
  • Retro-style bumper caps and flipper bats
  • Dual-action bullseye melon targets
  • A retro mechanical Knocker  
  • Space for crushed beer cans to set the perfect playfield angle (players can choose their own brand or use Whoa Nellie! branded cans)  

Pricing and Availability:

Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price ("MSRP") for the United States: US$6,499

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons™ is available through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons™ merchandise and accessories are now available through the Stern Shop: http://costore.com/sternpinball/welcome.asp and select authorized distributors and dealers around the world.

About Whizbang Pinball LLC

Founded in 2009 by Greg Freres and Dennis Nordman, Whizbang Pinball LLC is a design studio that presents boutique pinball as a new art form by integrating its extensive pinball industry experience with its artistic vision for a unique combination of art and technology.

About Stern Pinball, Inc.

Stern Pinball, Inc., headquartered just outside Chicago, Illinois, is the oldest and largest producer of arcade-quality pinball games in the world.  Stern Pinball's highly talented creative and technical teams design, engineer and manufacture a full line of popular pinball games, merchandise and accessories.  Recent Stern Pinball titles include WWE WrestleMania, The Walking Dead, Ford Mustang, Star Trek, Metallica, The Avengers, X-Men, AC/DC, Tron, Transformers, Avatar, Iron Man, Batman, and Spiderman. A broad range of players enjoy Stern Pinball's games from professional pinball players who compete in high-stakes international competitions around the globe to novice players who are discovering the allure of the silver ball for the first time.  To join the fun and learn more, please visit www.sternpinball.com.

All trademarks and product names are the property of their respective companies.

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