Every time a new pinball machine is released, fans are already looking to the next game, and when we heard about The Beatles, rumors were circulating that The Munsters was next. Today, with CES 2019 upon us, Stern Pinball has officially confirmed those rumors, and shown the game off through the streaming pinball wizard Dead Flip & Jack Danger.
Stern is one of the few amusement companies that has fully embraced the CES tradeshow, an event focused on cutting edge technology that will be coming to the world. They’ve setup impressive booths there in the past, but this is the first time that they’ve used the attention from the occasion to unveil a new game. Honestly, this event garners a lot more interest from the public that industry-specific stuff like Pinball Expo or IAAPA, so it makes sense.
For the theme, The Munsters means it’s a “horror” theme, although I think that’s to be used loosely since the 1964 TV show and the spin-offs were all comedic outings with horror dressing on them. One can’t help but think about The Addams Family in this instance either – both TV shows launched the same week back in ’64, both were gothic comedy involving the adventures of a wacky family and both were filmed in black & white. From what I recall, The Munsters was a little more whimsical, but I haven’t seen it in ages (as it was on TV many years before I was born). Now that The Munsters come to pinball, I’m sure there will be comparisons between this and TAF that will exist from here onto eternity.
The Munsters Pinball
For the design, this is a game designed by John Borg (click for his extensive pinball resumé). It has Pro, Premium and LE models, with all three offering plenty of fun shots, ramp action and six standard balls. There’s Herman Munster bash toy in all three, a scoop target, a magnet, and a cool hidden bash toy underneath the upper left ramp. Premium and LE versions have a lower playfield with two flippers and various shots; all models have the HD color screen, although Premium models come with B&W artwork to keep with the nature of the original show. Here’s a trailer for the for Pro and Premium models:
Dead Flip has been streaming the LE version; they’ll be showing all three models over the next few days. One photo I took from the stream shows that Gary Stern is dressed up as Grandpa Munster and other Stern employees are properly dressed for the event too. Here’s the features matrix, click to embiggen it:
Let’s start with the Pro Model and work our way from there. As you can see from the features matrix, Pro’s don’t have huge differences or rules, only really lacking the lower playfield (Grandpa’s laboratory) and the extra pair of buttons that comes with; it also mentions a Grandpa bash toy for the Premium/LE and a digital display. Fortunately, the Pro model has wire ramps and not plastic:
I’m almost surprised that they did the Premium as the black & white art model and not the LE, but most likely they assumed that a lot of people will be wanting this model. It’s a good idea and apart from fitting with the show, looks good by what I can tell. Note that the lights still provide color for this one:
The LE model keeps the tradition of maintaining the same playfield layout, but goes full color; it also has different backglass, an HD 3-channel sound system and not as many of these will be out there.
Stern is already touting that this is available, saying to contact your local authorized dealer. By the info that is out there, what do you think about it?