Star Trek Pinball Now In Production, Different Game Versions Detailed

arcadehero September 11, 2013 5

The other day Stern Pinball announced that their next pinball machine, Star Trek Pinball, was coming soon and just now they have announced it as in production. They also have published pictures of the three different models and playfields, which you can check out below. In case you missed news on this one up until now, this is a design by Steve Ritchie, who has prior experience in making a Star Trek pinball game. One notable announcement about this pin is that it is Stern’s “first all-LED model”, using multicolored LEDs. Whether they will be used differently than how Jersey Jack Pinball’s Wizard of Oz Pinball used the effect remains to be seen.

Pro ‘Starfleet’ Model – This is the basic model that is designed for commercial locations like arcades, although nothing says that these places can’t opt for the higher end models if they really want them. Stern has changed the backbox design from their traditional style – particularly with the speaker grill and DMD piece. Rumor had it that this was supposed to use an LCD; perhaps the change was to accommodate that but the LCD was shelved at some point in the process. The playfield uses plastic mold ramps and features the USS Vengeance as the sole toy. All models have 3 flippers and a “phaser and photon torpedo launcher button” that is found on the bar below the playfield glass. This is the same kind of button used in their AC/DC pinball although what that will do in-game isn’t defined at this point.



Premium ‘Vengeance’ Model – Next up in the triple set is the Premium model. Aside from the different external artwork this also has a more detailed playfield and features. That is not a surprise given the history of Stern’s Premium and Limited edition designs. Gone are the cheaper plastic ramps to make way for the classic wire ramps; there is an Enterprise toy above the ball launcher lane, asteroid toys above some of the ramps and slightly different artwork near the bottom on the outside ramps and a ball-saving kickback function. The Vengeance has a “crash’ effect, there are more detailed LED lighting effects and it also has something called an “animated playfield laser starfield projector”, which sounds self-explanatory and should prove interesting to see in person.  A full list of the differences can be found here.



Limited Edition ‘Enterprise’ Model – This is similar to the Premium model except for a few extra touches. The playfield is the same but it has a more detailed cabinet, a shaker motor, some cool backlit laser cut “armor” on the sides, a backlit Starfleet logo on the back of the backbox and of course a signature of Steve Ritchie under the hard coat on the playfield. It’s certainly more of a collector’s piece as these often are, the website does not mention the production numbers for it however.


As mentioned in the other post about this, being a Trekkie I wanted to see more and we didn’t have to wait very long to get that info. With the capital I’d go for the LE model but would settle for the Premium too. I’d say its progress on Stern’s part, moving over to full LED lighting and preparing for some other changes to their games for the future. With the game in production we should be seeing these pop-up in various locations soon; I also heard through the grapevine that the production on this has replaced the TRON pinball machines the company had still been making. I’m not sure when I’ll have a chance to play one of these but when I do some video will be captured and shared. In the meantime, here is the Stern trailer for the game in case you missed it.


  1. ECM September 12, 2013 at 12:12 am - Reply

    I have a dumb question: do the pins in these various editions play differently from one another? Due to the different materials used? Like if I cut my teeth on the ‘budget’ model and then take my game to the higher end ones, does that mean I might play better/worse?

    • arcadehero September 12, 2013 at 7:47 am - Reply

      In my experience, the Premium/LEs consistently play better than the pros. Often they have had significant feature differences although this doesn’t seem to have anything huge (the ship crashing feature I guess?). As an example on some other Stern units, AC/DC premium had a small playfield underneath the main one; Rolling Stones had an extra set of buttons to control some rods that could shoot up on the field, TRON had EL wiring and moving toys, etc. I think the rulesets are different too to accommodate some of the changes.

  2. neil September 12, 2013 at 1:02 am - Reply

    Hmm. I like the color scheme, but I don’t like the overall bland-ness of the playfield graphics, or layout.

    I was hoping that Star Trek was going to be a sort of Flag Ship, a new high bar after the fantastic Metallica pins they put out, but this seems to be a step backwards.

    Guess the license fee is eating up all of the “toys” on this one…

    Compare with the STNG pin, or even the Data East pin, and it seems this Stern offering is looking a tad anemic.

    When tricked out with new LEDs the Data East ST pin is lookin’ pretty good. 🙂

    • arcadehero September 12, 2013 at 7:50 am - Reply

      Yeah I am surprised that it is lacking any action figures (probably would have cost a ton more in licensing perhaps?) and it is too bad that they decided to not go with the LCD like all the rumors had been suggesting. Unless these new backboxes can easily be switched out with an LCD kit for whenever they finally roll that out.

      But I would like to see the laser playfield projector and the phaser/photon shooter in action.

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