Pinball news: Teaser videos for TRON Pinball; Wizard of Oz witch toy + more

arcadehero May 11, 2011 1

Let’s kill a few birds with one stone here by combining a few bits of recent pinball news into one post. First, the one I’m a little surprised by – Stern hasn’t released anything quite like this previously. Being a teaser, it doesn’t show the new Tron game of course(which has already been seen anyways) but it’s notable since it shows a stronger effort on Stern’s part to promote a new pinball game. They don’t have much longer to milk that “only maker of real pinball machines on the planet” line either so I guess this is as good a way to do it as any with a high profile release like this.

Speaking of the company that is challenging Stern, Jersey Jack Pinball also has released a little bit of a tease regarding their upcoming Wizard of Oz pinball machine. This video shows a prototype of their Wicked Witch toy, demonstrating the level of complexity we can expect in some of the playfield toys. has some more details on the features of this toy.

Last but not least is news (via The Stinger Report) on the next IFPA World Pinball Championship, which is being held later this month in Sweden, May 27th-29th. Tron Pinball will be there as the tournament celebrates the 140th anniversary of pinball.  The press release with all of the details can be found by clicking below


The World’s Best Pinball Players Get Ready To Battle For Global Supremacy *

In celebration of the 140th anniversary of the first pin game ever patented, The International Flipper Pinball Association is proud to announce IFPA8. This World Pinball Championship features the top 64, the world elite pinball wizards from over 16 countries across the globe, competing in a marathon of silverball prowess, the subtle nudge at a precise moment; the
ability to control and maneuver a 2.6 sphere with the delicacy of a skilled surgeon. All of this and more will be on display at the Balacs PinballParlour in Vargarda, Sweden May 27th- 29th.

It was May, 1871 that a Cincinnati man named Montague Redgrave carved out his place in history when he patented a game he called “*Improvements in Bagatelle*”. He had taken what was a popular nineteenth century amusement played by royalty and even President Lincoln, and downsized his creation so that it could sit on a table top. It featured a wooden spring-powered plunger, similar to those used in modern pinball, which propelled the balls onto the playing surface. There were scoring cups for players to aim at, pins to alter the ball downward progress, bells, and even a metal swinging gate.

It was the beginning of what was destined to become a timeless art form; a transformative part of the culture which has transcended generations and technological advancements. Today’s sophisticated pinball machines owe everything to Mr. Redgrave through the various evolutionary cycles of pure mechanical ingenuity during the depths of the Great Depression, to the embryonic beginnings of battery power and electro-mechanics on through to the dawn of the age of solid-state electronics in the mid-Seventies.

And through it all, pinball has captured the imagination of the young and young at heart with stylized graphics that helped pay homage to the iconic imagery associated with each subsequent era (the pin up art of the ’40s, the influence of the ‘beat generation of the Fifties on through to the air brush techniques of the 70s on through to today’s more realistic
renderings). And if that weren’t enough to captivate us, pinball stands alone with its unique spellbinding light and sound effects for a thoroughly interactive and tactile experience unlike anything else. After all, who doesn’t remember the first time they ever encountered a pinball machine and the emotions that it magically bestowed upon us?

Well, today’s state-of-the-art technological wonders still feature all the ingredients emblematic of pinball–flippers, bumpers, targets, spinners and so much more to test our mettle and reflexes. But there are those who have been able to take playing pinball to a totally different level where the controlled focus and concentration result in spectacular performances
that have to be seen to be believed. It is the fascinating sport of competitive pinball where wonders never end and surprises loom with each and every press of the flipper buttons.

And now the stage is set for the IFPA8 World Pinball Championship showcasing the very best of the best from around the world for a test of wills and endurance over two and a half days of battle against the whims of that beguiling little silver ball. Can returning champion, Daniele Celestino Acciari catch lightning in a bottle for a second consecutive year? Will the last four European champions, including France’s own Franck Bona, Robert Sutter from Switzerland, Paul Jongma from the Netherlands or Sweden’s hometown favorite, Jorian Engelbrektsson, be up to the challenge? Or can one of wizards of the United States recapture the title of  “World Pinball Champion” and bring the spoils of victory back home? From around the world each will come with a single purpose–that they can master the intricacies and nuances of machines selected from the last five decades.

With a prize package of over $16,000, including a brand new pinball machine from Stern Pinball, IFPA8 promises to deliver non-stop memorable moments of pinball playing artistry.

The International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) was created with the express purpose of encouraging, supporting and endorsing competitive pinball throughout the world. The organization provides oversight and assistance to not only establishing pinball leagues, but also tournaments (over 220 events are being held annually) and other promotional activities.

“The staggering and explosive growth of the entire worldwide community of pinball players and enthusiasts has been nothing short of remarkable since we re-launched the IFPA just a few short years ago. And with this year being the 140th Anniversary of pinball; the future has never looked brighter,” states Roger Sharpe, Co-Director of the organization.

The World Pinball Tour features over $250,000 in cash and prizes given away each year. With nineteen international country directors, the IFPA has additionally created the first official player ranking system, which awards points based upon player performance. The World Pinball Player Rankings (WPPR) includes over 9,500 players from 27 different countries.  And these numbers keep increasing with the revered entertainment attraction pinball, continuing to draw in men, women, boys and girls all looking to embrace the timeless battle of man versus machine.

Stern Pinball, headed by the legendary pinball scion Gary Stern, and one of the IFPA8 World Pinball Championship sponsors, is the only coin-operated amusement pinball manufacturer in the world. The company produces 2 to 3 models each year and will be showcasing their latest release at this World Championship event. For more information regarding Stern Pinball, Inc. please call (708) 345-7700 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (708) 345-7700 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, email to or check the company website: Other corporate sponsors include
the leading video game manufacturer in the world, Raw Thrills as well as Betson Enterprises, Play Meter Magazine, Planetary Pinball Supply, GameWorks, the American Amusement Manufacturers Association, the Amusement & Music Operators Association and Prilosec OTC. 

And, for more information regarding the IFPA or any of its participants, please contact International Flipper Pinball Association co-directors, Roger Sharpe ( 773-961-1562 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 773-961-1562 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or 847-506-9903 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 847-506-9903 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) or Steven Epstein ( 908-754-0934 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 908-754-0934 end_of_the_skype_highlighting) or check the organization website: as well as

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