Date: 26th October, 2018

The long-awaited The Beatles pinball was finally unveiled by Stern Pinball and Ka-Pow Pinball in a video on YouTube.

The Beatles: Beatlemania Pinball backglass
The Beatles: Beatlemania Pinball backglass

Officially called The Beatles: Beatlemania Pinball, the game focuses on the band’s early years and continues the trend begun by the earlier Stern/Ka-Pow collaboration, Batman 66, of re-versioning an earlier playfield design.  In the case of Batman 66 it was George Gomez’s 2008 release Batman: The Dark Knight which was re-visited, but for The Beatles we go back to 1980 and the Stern Electronics model, Seawitch, designed by Mike Kubin.

The playfield for The Beatles: BeatleMania Pinball
The playfield for The Beatles: Beatlemania Pinball

Like Seawitch, The Beatles is a four-flippered single level game featuring three banks of drop targets, but it also adds a number of additional stand-up targets around the playfield and a second spinner to the left of the three pop bumpers.

The centre bank of four drop targets
The centre bank of four drop targets

But the biggest addition is a spinning disc with a magnet in the centre, as seen in various Stern games since Twister.

The spinning disc
The spinning disc

Whereas Seawitch has a star rollover at the top of the orbit shot, The Beatles adds a second magnet to grab the ball and drop it into the pops.  A flasher insert has also been placed between the three pop bumpers.

The upper part of the playfield
The upper part of the playfield
The top magnet
The top magnet
The right-side spinner on the orbit lane
The right-side spinner on the orbit lane

Down at the bottom of the playfield there have been fewer changes.  The number and arrangement of inserts have been redesigned to match the game’s new features, while a one-way gate has been added to the shooter lane to prevent the ball returning to the plunger and to create a fairly simple-looking skill shot.

The bottom half of the playfield
The bottom half of the playfield
The insert arrangement at the bottom of the playfield
The insert arrangement at the bottom of the playfield
The game keeps the original 1x-2x-4x bonus multiplier system
The game keeps the original 1x-2x-4x bonus multiplier system
The right side of the playfield
The right side of the playfield

While a full list of the tracks included in the game hasn’t been released, five of them are shown just above the flippers – All My Loving, Drive My Car, I Should Have Known Better, Ticket To Ride and It Won’t Be Long.  Collecting all five songs starts a multiball mode.

Five song with their associated features
Five song with their associated features

As with Batman 66 there are three models of The Beatles, and like the first Stern/Ka-Pow collaboration, despite the simplistic playfield design we can expect some top-end collector-level prices when they are announced.

There will be 100 Diamond Edition games, 250 Platinum Editions and a maximum of 1,614 Gold Editions.  That gives a total of 1,964 – the year of The Beatles’ first world tour and the release of the movie and album A Hard Days Night.

The bottom arch plaque for the Diamond Edition games
The bottom arch plaque for the Diamond Edition games

We’ll have more details of Stern Pinball and Ka-Pow Pinball’s new The Beatles: Beatlemania Pinball as soon as they are announced right here at Pinball News.  In the meantime, here’s the promotional video on YouTube.

UPDATE

Stern Pinball have formally announced their new The Beatles: Beatlemania Pinball and provided a few more details along with three pictures of the Diamond Edition model.

There will be eight The Beatles songs featured in the game: A Hard Day’s NightCan’t Buy Me LoveTicket to RideAll My LovingHelpDrive My CarIt Won’t Be Long and I Should Have Known Better.

Although The Beatles are a British band, the game gives a definite American twist to the theme by featuring the introduction by Ed Sullivan seen in the promotional video above, along with custom speech and call-outs by US disk jockey Cousin Brucie, who introduced the band when they performed at Shea Stadium in New York as part of their 1964 world tour.

One thing obviously missing from the announcement is pricing.  Potential buyers are advised to contact their Stern Pinball distributor, suggesting it could be a contentious issue.  We’ll update this report when actual dealer prices are available.

The new pictures are of the top-end Diamond Edition, showing the backglass, cabinet artwork and the playfield.  The cabinet introduces a new typeface for the band’s name on the cabinet and coin door.  The coin door also features a much larger decal, covering the area usually taken up by the coil slots, suggesting this game will not be able to be operated on coin-play (or at least, not officially!).

The Diamond Edition backglass
The Diamond Edition backglass
Cabinet artwork on the Diamond Edition
Cabinet artwork on the Diamond Edition
The whole playfield
The whole playfield

We can also read the instruction card to get some details of the gameplay.  It says:

DROP TARGETS:
– Increase Bonus
– Complete ALL Targets in a Bank to increase Bonus Multiplier when “X” is LIT.
– Complete ALL 3 Sets of Drop Targets to light EXTRA BALL.DROP 1-9-6-4 in order for Bonus Points!

Spell F-A-B F-O-U-R to qualify a Song.  Shoot the Top Loop to Start Song:
• All My Loving: 2-Ball Multiball!
• Drive My Car: Shoot the Left and Right Loop Shots.
• I Should Have Known Better: Shoot Drop Targets.

   • Ticket To Ride: Shoot the Spinners!
• It Won’t Be Long: Pop Bumpers Score Extra Points.
• A Hard Days Night: Finish ALL 5 Songs for a 4-Ball Multiball!John, Paul, George and Ringo Targets increase the Right Spinner value.

Here’s how Stern Pinball introduced their new title:

The Beatles and Stern Pinball Announce the First and Only Beatles Pinball Machine Ever Made!

Only 100 Diamond Edition Games
Only 250 Platinum Edition Games
Only 1614 Gold Edition Games
Only 1964 Games in Total

ELK GROVE VILLAGE, IL – October 29, 2018 – Stern Pinball, Inc., a global lifestyle brand based on the iconic and outrageously fun modern American game of pinball, in collaboration with Ka-Pow Pinball, proudly announced today the availability of the one- of-a-kind Beatles pinball machine. Only 1964 units will be produced in recognition of the year in which the world forever changed when Ed Sullivan introduced America to four young mop-topped musicians from Liverpool, England. The deal was brokered by Bravado Merchandising, the Beatles North American licensing agent.

The game is available in three models named for the recording industry’s sales award levels. The Diamond Edition, the highest level and most difficult to attain, is limited to only 100 units. The Platinum Edition is limited to only 250 units. The Gold Edition is limited to 1614 units.

The Beatles pinball machine will immerse players in 1960’s Beatlemania and feature eight timeless hit songs from that era:

A Hard Day’s Night Can’t Buy Me Love Ticket to Ride All My Loving Help Drive My Car It Won’t Be Long I Should Have Known Better

The game also features iconic introductions by Ed Sullivan along with custom speech and callouts by Hall of Fame disk jockey, Cousin Brucie. Cousin Brucie introduced The Beatles at New York’s Shea Stadium in 1964.

The retro-themed playfield features four flippers, eleven drop targets, eight stand-up targets, multiple skill shots, two opto-spinners, a ball-catching magnet and a magnetic spinning record disc in the center of the playfield. Players, friends and family will enjoy full screen animations as well as simulated reel scoring on the game’s high definition video screen.

All models feature unique art packages and custom powder-coated armor. The 100 Diamond Editions are numbered, certified collectible and include a mirrored backglass. The 250 Platinum Editions are numbered and certified collectible.

Complementing the immersive Beatlemania theme and exciting gameplay experience, Stern Pinball’s powerful SPIKETM electronics hardware system enables high-definition graphics and innovative animations on the high-definition video display. SPIKETM reduces system complexity and energy usage resulting in enhanced reliability and simplified servicing. The state-of-the-art electronic system also powers a high-fidelity 3- channel audio system that is three times more powerful than audio systems of previous generations.

“We are very proud of this Beatles pinball machine that was produced in collaboration with our good friend, Joe Kaminkow,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc. “We can’t wait for players to experience Beatlemania when they play this game.”

Pricing and Availability:

Please contact your local Stern Pinball distributor or dealer for availability and pricing. To find an authorized Stern Pinball distributor or dealer in your area, please visit: www.sternpinball.com/buy

About Stern Pinball, Inc. Stern Pinball, Inc. is a global lifestyle brand based on the iconic and outrageously fun modern American game of pinball. Headquartered minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in the heart of North America, the company creates, designs, engineers, manufactures, markets, and distributes a full line of technologically advanced terrestrial and digital pinball games, parts, accessories, and merchandise. Stern Pinball serves digital, consumer, commercial, and corporate markets around the globe.

Recent Stern Pinball titles include Deadpool, Iron Maiden, Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Wars, Aerosmith, Ghostbusters, KISS, Metallica, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Star Trek, AC/DC, Batman, and Spider-Man. 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.

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3 Comments

  1. Travis

    October 29, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    There’s also a Super Jackpot target hidden behind the F-A-B drop targets, which looks to drain into the left inlane.

    Reply

  2. Joey JoJo Shabadu

    November 1, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve gotta be honest; I’m extremely disappointed here. Wow. Hard to explain what a pile of crap this machine turned out to be. If you want to make a throwback machine, better release throwback pricing. Yuck.

    Reply

    • Buster

      November 8, 2018 at 2:53 am

      I agree. Gameplay looks boring and horrible. This game was made for 1964 era Pinball but not 2018.

      Reply

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