While Stern Pinball has carried the title of the world’s only coin-op pinball manufacturer for a while now (with occasional challenges by companies like Retro Pinball although AFAIK they haven’t been able to roll out the long promised King of Diamonds remake yet) there is a company out of Spain who now appears to have removed that particular title from Stern. Known as Marsaplay, they already built content such as dartboards and jukeboxes and now they are taking on pinball. As they actually have products rolling out, we can say that they are one of two coin-op pinball makers in the world now. Whether they will stick around is the big question but their first effort is pretty cool.
Called New Canasta, they have remade an older Spanish pinball game called Canasta ’86. They have remade the game with a number of modern changes, including some things I would like to see in some current Stern machines – an LCD screen in the backbox, no incandescent bulbs in the game, solely LEDs and even the removal of the bundles of wires underneath the game by repalcing them with printed circuit boards connected with ribbon cables (which reminds me of how they used to do Cinematronics arcade games) . The playfield itself is pretty simple, which isn’t surprising since this is a game from ’86 before toys were all the rage. So while this is a pretty basic game, if it does well in Spain we could see Marsaplay producing more games, hopefully some original content as well.
Pinballnews does mention that where the playfield is all in English, Marsaplay could have export sales in mind. Due to the simplicity of the game it’s doubtful many business venues will pick it up unless they already have similar, older tables setup so it will cater more towards home collectors. We’ll be keeping an eye on Marsaply however to see what else they might have up their sleeves.