Jersey Jack Pinball Officially Announces 2nd Machine: The Hobbit

arcadehero November 30, 2012 9
Jersey Jack Pinball Officially Announces 2nd Machine: The Hobbit

Hot on the heels of the announcement that their first pinball game, The Wizard of Oz is starting to ship, Jersey Jack Pinball wasted no time in leaving it up in the air what their next pinball machine will be: The Hobbit, based upon the three new Peter Jackson films that are coming to theaters based upon that property (I had hoped that the breaking of the book into three movies was just a stupid rumor but I learned recently that it was not. Thanks Harry Potter and Twilight!*grumble*grumble). Wizard of Oz was revealed a few years ago although first decent pictures of the playfield in a more complete form started coming out earlier this year.

From the release that JJP gave out, work has not really begun on it yet but they are taking pre-orders. This of course is good news for anyone who thought that JJP might be another fly-by-night pinball outfit, not to mention that this is a pretty big license to get your hands on. From the release:

Jersey Jack Pinball, Inc. proudly announces that we have licensed all three Hobbit Properties from Warner Brothers for our pinball machine which will embody all three movies. The game will ship as the third movie hits theaters in July 2014.

We are now accepting pre-orders for the The Hobbit Limited Edition Pinball Machine. We will be building 1500 of the LE Version and it will be a full-featured wide body in a similar fashion as with Wizard of Oz Pinball. Joe and our design team will get to work early next year and Keith will be programming the game as he did with Lord of the Rings Pinball as well.  Click here to place your order for The Hobbit Limited Edition Pinball Machine!

So not only will it be able to use JJP’s more creative vision of what modern pinball games should be, the programmer is already experienced in doing the LOTR trilogy and I have generally heard of that LOTR table as being really good (I have only played a busted version of it myself but it looked like a really fun game). I do recall JJP hinting that they might do a non-licensed pin for their second machine but I imagine that the opportunity this presented was too good to pass up. Either way I look forward to seeing what they do with it and I am sure we will get updates throughout the progress of the game’s development.

So what are your thoughts, how does the prospect of another pinball machine from the Tolkien universe float your boat?

Also, with this announcement that WOZ is shipping out in limited quantities, I have moved the game over to the “Released” section of our arcade releases for 2012 list.



  1. Gerard November 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    The Hobbit wouldn’t be my first choice. However, It does fit well with JJP. That’s a big license and have plenty of time to create a masterpiece. Especially with the programmer from LOTR in their staff. I’m afraid if they chose any other license it might of gone stale. Time’s on their side and I’m sure it will do well.

    • arcadehero November 30, 2012 at 4:01 pm - Reply

      Rumor has it that they still have an original theme in the works there but I imagine it has taken a back seat to getting WOZ out the door and now this. I also see this as strategic on JJP’s part – it was very likely that Stern would have gone after the Hobbit license around the time of the third film but JJP totally 1upped them by doing this. Of course now I would not be surprised if the licensing for movie based pins happens a lot earlier now to lock games up.

  2. Gerard November 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Now if they could include a clear LCD video screen in the playfield. I’d be very impressed.

    • Grenpoxx29 December 1, 2012 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      It would be a virtual pinbal game instead of a real pinball game, dude!

      • Gerard December 2, 2012 at 7:20 am - Reply

        Not virtual Pinball!!

        Clear LCD screen for Special FX. Screen could be hidden in backglass or areas or the playfield. This Newer Technology is used in Slot Machines. (WMS Gaming). Let’s say you get a Bonus the backglass has the illusion that’s its cracked and explodes. or Characters start walking around the play field.

  3. Neil December 1, 2012 at 12:42 am - Reply

    Well, this was a surprise! I was kinda hoping JJP would make something a little more current; more relevant.

    This is not to say WOZ isn’t a beautiful pin and an absolutely incredible achievement. WOZ was designed specifically for collectors in mind. I doubt I’ll ever get to see one in person unless I go to a pinball show because of the collectibility of this pin. I mean, come on, it’s the Wizard of Oz, man! 🙂

    Smart move for a first pin. Hobbit is even a smarter move. Why? Because it’s going to be stretched out over three years, so they’ll have time to tweak it and make it great and still be able to cash in on the Hobbit hype.

    I’d much rather see JJP put out licensed pins based on movies, then none at all. An original pin today is an incredibly risky venture. However, perhaps JJP could fill this void with high quality original pins?

    • arcadehero December 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm - Reply

      You never know on finding a WOZ. In their release announcement they said that they have one on location already, I imagine that a few places like Pinball Wizard Arcade or Pinballz will pick one up. While WOZ isn’t my thing, I really enjoyed the game and would get one if I had the capital although now I think I would save up for The Hobbit anyways.

      Too bad they weren’t the ones who could have done TRON. :\

  4. Neil December 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm - Reply

    Call me crazy, but if JJP did a pinball based on the original TRON, and did it to the same quality level as Woz, it would sell. Would it make money in arcades? I don’t know. Did “Legacy” make money in the arcades?

    • arcadehero December 3, 2012 at 10:05 am - Reply

      I never saw earnings across the board on it but when I spoke with the CEO of the new Gameworks at IAAPA 2011 he stated that at one of the locations, he had a TRON making much more than any other pin at the time, somewhere around $500/wk. I doubt that others had anywhere close to that but I think that technical problems aside the game had legs

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