Date: 4th January, 2022

Stern Pinball today revealed their latest cornerstone title, Rush, based on the popular and well-known Canadian rock band.

Stern Pinball's new Rush pinball
Stern Pinball’s new Rush pinball

The game is designed by John Borg with programming led by Tim Sexton. It includes sixteen of the band’s tracks as well as custom callouts recorded by band members Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee. Additional callouts come from Barenaked Ladies frontman and fellow Canadian, Ed Robertson, making a total of 600 individual voice calls.

The sixteen tracks included in the game are:

2112Headlong Fight
Bastille DayLa Villa Stranglatto
Big MoneyFly By Night
Cygnus X-1One Little Victory
Far CryRed Barchetta
Fly By NightSubdivisions
Free WillWorking Man
The Rush pinball set list

The game uses concert footage to supplement to music along with multiple custom animations from the graphics team at Stern.

As with most cornerstone titles, Rush is available in three variants – Pro, Premium and Limited Edition. Let’s take a look at all three starting with the Pro.

Pro Model

The left side of the Pro model
The left side of the Pro model
The front of the Pro model
The front of the Pro model
The right side of the Pro model
The right side of the Pro model
The Pro model's translite artwork
The Pro model’s translite artwork

The artwork for all three models comes from Michael Barnard of Sunburn Designs. After trying to contacting Stern several times without success, Michael finally got offered the opportunity to pitch for the Rush project and in August 2020 his concept was the one chosen for the game. He then developed it over the following twelve months to create the cabinet, backbox, translite, playfield, plastics and decal artwork packages for the three models we see here.

Premium Model

The left side of the Premium model
The left side of the Premium model
The front of the Premium model
The front of the Premium model
The right side of the Premium model
The right side of the Premium model
The Premium model's translite artwork
The Premium model’s translite artwork

Limited Edition Model

The left side of the Limited Edition model
The left side of the Limited Edition model
The front of the Limited Edition model
The front of the Limited Edition model
The right side of the Limited Edition model
The right side of the Limited Edition model
The Limited Edition model's backglass artwork
The Limited Edition model’s backglass artwork

As usual, the Pro is the more basic, operator-friendly model, while the Premium and Limited Edition models add extra playfield mechanisms and features. Usually the Premium and Limited Edition models share the same playfield, but with Rush, as with Led Zeppelin, the LE gets the additional ‘Expression Light System’ build into the cabinet interior sides.

The Limited Edition model is restricted to 1,000 units which will have the following additional features.

  • Expression Light System™included (not as an accessory)
  • High gloss guitar shaped side armour, legs, hinges, and front molding
  • Mirrored backglass
  • Reflective foil cabinet decals
  • Upgraded audio system
  • Shaker motor
  • Non-glare playfield glass
  • Certificate of authenticity signed by Gary Stern
  • Designer autograph on the bottom apron
  • Sequentially numbered (1 to 1,000) plate
The Pro, Premium and Limited Edition models
The Pro, Premium and Limited Edition models

All models come equipped with Stern’s Insider Connected QR code reader built into the bottom apron and the associated software to connect the game to Stern’s servers for score and achievement recording, software downloads and in-game analytics.

The MSRPs (suggested prices) for the three models in the US are:

  • Pro – $6,899
  • Premium – $8,999
  • Limited Edition – $11,099

The Pro and Premium prices are the same as Godzilla, but the Limited Edition price has increased. Limited Edition versions of almost all recently-released games have rapidly sold out with some buyers offering them for resale at higher prices than originally paid.

Let’s take a look at the playfields, starting with the Pro.

The Pro model's playfield
The Pro model’s playfield

Rush is a three-flippered, single-level, standard-width game with two inlanes on the bottom-right and one on the bottom-left, moving the centre-line of the game over to the left.

The two main flippers on the Pro model
The two main flippers on the Pro model
The bottom-left of the playfield
The bottom-left of the playfield
The bottom-right of the playfield
The bottom-right of the playfield

Above the two main flippers are the progress inserts and portraits of the three key band members, Alex Lifeson, Neil Peart and Geddy Lee.

The bottom-centre of the playfield
The bottom-centre of the playfield

Sadly, Neil Peart died on 7th January 2020 at the age of 67 following a lengthy battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer.

The progress inserts
The progress inserts

There are three ‘instrument’ drop targets corresponding to the three key band members – bass guitar, lead guitar and drums.

The three instrument drop targets
The three instrument drop targets

Behind the left-most drop target is a stand-up target which starts a multiball mode. On the upper two models this is replaces by a ball lock mechanism to create a captive ball device.

On the right side is a bank of four R-U-S-H standup targets.

The R-U-S-H standup targets
The R-U-S-H standup targets

Mid-way up the playfield is a double scoop which can be shot from the front or from the side by the upper-right flipper.

The upper-right flipper
The upper-right flipper
The double scoop
The double scoop

The scoop feeds an underground ball lock which has a small window to show locked balls. Locked balls are ejected out of both scoops once multiball begins.

The front shot into the double scoop
The front shot into the double scoop with the locked balls window on the right

On the left of the scoop are the game’s three pop bumpers, with a shot through them into the outer orbit lane.

The pop bumpers and left outer orbit laner
The pop bumpers and left outer orbit lane

The main ‘toy’ is the Time Machine at the top-centre. This works like the ‘ring’ in The Lord of the Rings, in that players can shoot the ball through it, or the ball can be held within it and then thrown out by a circular electromagnetic coil.

The top-centre of the playfield
The top-centre of the playfield

There is a fixed ramp leading into the Time Machine. On the upper two models the ramp is motorised with an additional target below which can be accessed when the ramp is lowered.

The Time Machine device
The Time Machine device
The Time Machine at the top of the playfield
The Time Machine at the top of the playfield

There is a side ramp shot and an inner orbit lane which can also be shot from the upper flipper. In addition, a short upper lane to the left of the Time Machine leads to a standup target on the Pro. On The Premium and Limited Edition there is a saucer with an upkicker feeding another wireform instead.

Shots at the top of the playfield
Shots at the top of the playfield

To the right of the Tim Machine is the other inner orbit lane which includes the Spirit of Radio optical spinner, and the right ramp which includes a laser-cut Rush logo.

The Spirit of Radio spinner and right ramp
The Spirit of Radio spinner, right ramp and right orbit

Both the side ramp and the right ramp feed to a common point behind the Time Machine were a diverter can send the ball to either the left or right return ramps and into their respective inlanes.

The diverter and send the ball to either return wireforms
The diverter and send the ball to either ramp return

The Premium and Limited Edition playfield features and designs are the same with the exception of the Expression Light System which is included on the LE.

The Premium model's playfield
The Premium model’s playfield
The Limited Edition model's playfield
The Limited Edition model’s playfield

The Limited Edition has some additional ‘bling’, such as the signed bottom apron, numbered plaque and a more integrated Insider Connected scanner.

John Borg's signature on the Limited Edition
John Borg’s signature on the Limited Edition
The LE's numbered plaque
The LE’s numbered plaque
The Insider Connected QR code reader on the LE
The Insider Connected QR code reader on the LE
The instruction card from the LE model
The instruction card from the LE model
The Limited Edition playfield
The Limited Edition playfield

As we said earlier, the Premium and LE have a motorised ramp in front of the Time Machine which rises to allow shots into the ring.

The Time Machine from the LE model
The Time Machine from the LE model
The moving ramp
The moving ramp
The Time Machine on the LE
The Time Machine on the LE
The back panel artwork
The back panel artwork behind the Time Machine

The right ramp is the same on the Premium and LE models as on the Pro, with a plastic return ramp to the right inlane.

The right ramp on the LE model
The right ramp on the LE model
The right ramp disappears behind the back panel
The right ramp disappears behind the back panel

The right bank of standups is also the same as the one found on the Pro.

The LE's R-U-S-H target bank
The LE’s R-U-S-H target bank

Another difference from the Pro we noted earlier is the inner lane next to the Time Machine. Where the Pro has a standup target at the end of the lane, the Premium & LE have a saucer with an upkicker.

The upkicker onto the left ramp return wireform
The upkicker onto the left ramp return wireform

One of the other two remaining major playfield changes compared to the Pro is the Clockwork Angels clock moulded into a bass drum mounted over the pop bumpers.

The Clockwork Angels clock
The Clockwork Angels clock

This advances with pop bumper hits and when the hour hand reaches midnight a multiball mode begins.

The Clockwork Angels drum
The Clockwork Angels clock bass drum

The other Premium/LE feature enhancement is the ball lock behind the instruments drop targets.

The ball lock behind the drop targets
The ball lock behind the drop targets

When the targets are down, a ball can be shot behind the left target where two prongs hold it as a captive ball to start multiball.

The Expression Light System first seen on Led Zeppelin makes a return on the Limited Edition version of Rush. Incorporated into the cabinet sides, it aligns with lights on the game’s side blades. There are no videos of the lights in action yet, so we suspect this feature is still being programmed.

The Expression Light System is mounted in the cabinet sides
The Expression Light System is mounted in the cabinet sides
The Expression lights on the right side
The Expression lights on the right side

Stern Pinball have a number of videos available to promote their new Rush game.

Here’s their Pro Model promo:

Here’s the promo for their Premium and Limited Edition models:

This promo is for all models:

Finally, here’s a video about the recording of the voice calls by the band members.

Here’s how Stern officially announced their new Rush pinball.

CHICAGO, IL and LAS VEGAS, NV – January 4, 2022
Over 40 million records sold.  More than 40 years of unparalleled creativity.  Countless sold-out tours.  An impassioned global fan base.  A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Inductions into the Canadian and U.S. Rock and Roll Halls of Fame.  Officers of the Order of Canada.  Countless other awards and recognitions.

That’s all very nice.

For the three band members, however, it was never about the accolades.  It was always about their music, their friendships, their band, their fans, and now:

PINBALL!!!

Stern Pinball, Inc. proudly announces a new line of pinball machines celebrating the iconic Canadian progressive rock band, Rush.  Rush pinball machines are available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) models.

Rush first burst onto the scene when its song, Working Man, crossed the pirate radio airwaves from Toronto, Canada to Cleveland, Ohio and then onto the rest of North America and the world.  Their magnum opus, 2112, represents one of progressive rock’s greatest works.   Rush’s music remains in constant rotation to this day.  Absolutely uncompromising in every conceivable way, the band featured bassist, keyboardist, and lead vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson, and the late drummer, percussionist, and lyricist Neil Peart.

Stern’s Rush pinball machines, reflect the energy, excitement, and experience of a live Rush concert.  In this epic music pinball adventure, players will travel with Rush through time.  Immersed in exclusive Rush concert footage and guided by custom speech from Alex Lifeson, Geddy Lee, and fellow Canadian Rock Hall of Famer, Ed Robertson of the Barenaked Ladies, players will experience Rush and their iconic music as never before.  This Rush pinball concert under glass features sixteen iconic songs, accentuated by sound and lighting effects.  Songs include Headlong FlightFar CryOne Little VictoryWorking Man2112Tom SawyerThe Spirit of RadioFreewillCygnus X-1 (Book One: The Voyage and Book Two: Hemispheres)The Big Money, SubdivisionsLimelightFly By NightLa Villa StrangiatoBastille Day, and Red Barchetta.

Rush pinball machines include Stern’s new Insider Connected™ system, which enables players to interact with the game and a global network of players in a variety of ways.  Stern Insider Connected provides dynamic entertainment and player engagement features.  Insider Connected also provides an operator focused toolset to drive location play and remotely manage every aspect of the machines.  Registration for Insider Connected is available at insider.sternpinball.com/.

Travel back in time with Rush by shooting pinballs through a custom sculpted, electromagnetic Time Machine.  Players will explore Red BarchettaSubdivisions, and Fly By Night Multiball action.  The Rush Premium and LE model pinball experience includes a motorized ramp with custom lighting effects and a custom sculpted Clockwork Angels Clock, inspired from Neil Peart’s bass drum from their Time Machine Tour.  This motorized clock illuminates, and when it strikes midnight players will be transported to a Headlong Fight Multiball frenzy.

Additional features on the Premium and LE models include a custom subway system, locking pinballs to unleash a high energy Far Cry Multiball.  The ‘Dead End’ vertical upkicker propels pinballs up an additional wireform ramp return for non-stop pinball action.  As an encore, a three-bank of musical drop targets guard a secret ball lock for players to discover an adrenalized Freewill Multiball to continue their musical pinball journey.

Limited to 1,000 LE machines globally, the highly collectible LE version includes the Expression Lighting System™.  With 96 intelligent RGB LEDs, the Expression Lighting System enables full color spectrum control.  Positioned in pockets cut into the cabinet sides to provide color themed full playfield illumination, this integrated playfield lighting system is synchronized to custom light shows specifically designed for every song and dynamically responsive to game events.  The LE version also includes an exclusive full color mirrored backglass inspired by Clockwork Angels, iconic custom cabinet artwork, custom high gloss and powder-coated guitar-shaped pinball armor, a custom designer-autographed bottom arch, exclusive inside art blades, upgraded audio system, anti-reflection pinball playfield glass, shaker motor, a sequentially numbered plaque, and a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Stern Chairman and CEO Gary Stern.

“Partnering with Rush, we created a musical pinball experience that every fan will want to explore.  Incredible music, memorable toys, unique mechanical pinball action, and custom speech will make players feel like they are on tour with the band,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO.  “In memory of Neil Peart, we have also decided to support the Neil Peart Research Award sponsored by the Glioblastoma Foundation as it researches cures for this deadly brain cancer.”

Rush pinball machines will be showcased virtually to the press and public for the first time at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas from January 5th – 8th.

Pricing and Availability:
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (“MSRP”)*:
*MSRP for sales to USA end-users, before any VAT, GST, Sales Tax, Duties, or other taxes.                             
Pro Model:                                                      $US 6,899
Premium Model:                                             $US 8,999
Limited Edition Model:                                    $US 11,099

Rush pinball machines and accessories are available now through authorized Stern Pinball distributors and dealers around the world.

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 Godzilla, The Mandalorian, Led Zeppelin, Avengers: Infinity Quest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Stranger Things, Elvira’s House of Horrors, Jurassic Park, Black Knight: Sword of Rage, The Munsters, The Beatles, 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 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.
Stern Pinball’s press release

Here’s the feature matrix showing how the features differ between the three models:

The feature matrix for Rush
The feature matrix for Rush

Gary Stern, Stern Pinball’s CEO and Chairman, also sent out an e-mail to distrubutors and operators detailing the new game’s features, the prices, availability and expected production schedule.

Here’s what he said:

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last week we aired a teaser video for our latest cornerstone game, RUSH. Today we are making a full announcement of this game, with press releasefeature matrix, photos, webinars, gameplay videos, and this email from me. Jack Danger and our RUSH design team will stream the game 6pm Chicago time, Friday, January 7 at https://www.twitch.tv/deadflip. Download high and low res images here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/obaujpr04l8vsn5/AABkXqkUlab5o6jIk140cpxra?dl=0
 
Formed in Toronto in the late 1960’s, RUSH is known for complex compositions drawing heavily on science fiction and fantasy. Over its more than 5 decades of popularity, RUSH‘s music spanned from blues-inspired hard rock through progressive, to synthesizers, and back to guitar driven hard rock. Third only behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the most consecutive gold and platinum albums, RUSH has sold over 40 million albums. In 2013 the band was inducted into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame.

RUSH pinball uses the band’s album cover art in addition to hand drawn artwork created custom for this game. The game LCD makes extensive use of concert footage, augmented with custom animations. At the beginning of each ball players can select among 16 songs performed by RUSH:
               
Headlong Fight                               Cygnus X-1
Far Cry                                            Big Money
One Little Victory                            Subdivisions
Working Man                                  Limelight
2112                                                Fly By Night
Tom Sawyer                                     La Villa Stranglatto
Spirit of Radio                                 Bastille Day
Free Will                                          Red Barchetta

Speech calls, 600 of them, are voiced by band members Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee along with game consultant and Barenaked Ladies lead, fellow Canadian Ed Robertson.

This game is Rock N’ Roll.

John Borg and Tim Sexton have built RUSH pinball around these iconic RUSH songs and RUSH symbols. A ramp leads to a custom molded RUSH electromagnet Time Machine, holding and then expelling balls out forward and back. The 3-bank drop targets are coded to collect guitar, bass, and drums. Rules are visually portrayed with R-U-S-H spell out target, 1-2-3 arrows, 17 RGB lit inserts, and 3 RGB pop bumpers. Its two large metal and plastic ramps include a player and game controlled diverter, redirecting the ball to either return lane. Scoops facing the playfield front and side lead to an under playfield subway; players can view ball flow through an insert before the balls are kicked out the front scoop. Added to this are red and white GI lighting, 3 flippers, 4 main mulitballs, 6 main timed modes, and more. Games are ready to add the accessory Expression Lighting System, a must for a rock game.

The Premium/LE have important changes from the Pro. The Time Machine ramp is motorized, up and down, with custom lighting effects on its side and floor. Neil Peart’s drum is custom molded into a Clockwork Angels Clock, with motorized minute hand to stop at all 12 face numbers. Behind the drop targets is a ball lock post system, using a captured ball as a Newton ball. The under-playfield subway can lock balls and kick out the side scoop in addition to the front scoop, kicking balls out both at once. An added VUK fires the ball up a wire ramp. GI lighting is red and white plus blue. 

Stern will make 1,000 Limited Edition games featuring these enhancements and collectibles:
 
Expression Light System™ – included, not as an accessory
High gloss guitar shaped side armor, legs, hinges, and front molding
Mirrored backglass
Reflective foil cabinet decals
Upgraded audio system
Shaker motor
Non-glare playfield glass
Certificate of authenticity signed by me
Designer autograph
Sequentially numbered (1 to 1,000) plate

RUSH will ship equipped for Insider Connected™. Another new title with all games fully equipped for connectivity is essential to achieving the greatest early Insider Connected adoption and fastest success. All Stern commercial LCD games are being manufactured equipped for Insider Connected. We have shipped thousands of kits to upgrade earlier Stern LCD games with Insider Connected. We will ship thousands more starting this month. Near 20,000 players are registered. Thousands of games are connected, half in commercial locations.

On New Years’ Eve Day we stopped production to take year end inventory. We will resume production during the second week of January with RUSH Pro. We will follow later in January with RUSH LE, then in February RUSH Premium. We increased our production rate in December, and we are staffed and have parts to increase it more.

We again ask that our USA customers help us dedicate the first Pro models produced for commercial use. This is a good policy for international customers also. More people can see and play a new game on location than can see it in someone’s home.

The wholesale RUSH Pro and Premium prices will be the same as Godzilla, in spite of continued supply chain cost increases. As previously announced, all other Pro and Premium models will also be the same prices. Contact your sales rep regarding any order impact. The RUSH LE price is increased; your sales rep will contact you with details. As normal, full LE payment is due with order and without cash discounts. Costs for specifying an LE number remain the same.

A new UMRP, MAP and MSRP list will be sent to USA customers shortly. The USA MSRP’s are as follows:
     
Pro                                  $  6,899
Premium                         $  8,999
Limited Edition                $ 11,099
               
A full line of accessories will be available. We will provide you separately with dates for art blades, side armor, shooter rods, toppers, and Expression Lighting Kits for Pro and Premium.

I have a preproduction RUSH in my apartment. It plays absolutely great! Watch the RUSH game play video over and over, both on our webinar and on Stern sites. Get the game on your showroom floor. You will agree — RUSH pinball is Rock N’ Roll.
                                                                                                                                   
Best regards,


Gary
Gary’s Stern’s e-mail to distributors and operators

That’s all for now. Stern will be showing their new Rush game at the virtual CES starting tomorrow, while their latest recruit, Jack Danger, will be streaming the game this Friday, 7th January at 6pm Chicago time.

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