The rumors have been swirling for months, and finally the day has arrived for Jersey Jack Pinball to unveil their fifth game – Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. This is the first of two new games that the company will be unveiling this year (the Yellow Brick Road edition of The Wizard of Oz not counting towards those two), but we’ll have to wait until later in the year for the next one.
For Willy Wonka, this is based upon the 1971 classic version of the movie and not the more recent Tim Burton/Johnny Depp remake. The game has been designed by Pat Lawlor, whose reputation should precede him for game designs, but if you’re new to pinball, he was the main driving force behind The Addams Family, Fun House and many other games. He is the head of game design at Jersey Jack Pinball, and previously designed the original title, Dialed In!. Joe Katz is heading up the software on this one, with John Youssi on the artwork, Jean Paul-De Win on animations and Vikas Deo on sound. For full details, including the rule sets, multiball modes and Wizard Mode functions, hit up This Week In Pinball, who has that info and more media. The game is also on Jersey Jack’s Games page and is available for pre-order.
For Willy Wonka, it will launch with three editions: Standard($7,500), Limited Edition($9,500) and Collectors Edition($12,500), following the pattern that JJP has used since they first launched The Wizard of Oz. This is a standard sized game and not a widebody. It should be noted that JJP has dropped the price on their standard games by $1,000; the pricing has often been a sticking point for people, so I think that will help this move more units into collections and onto locations.
All models include: A 27″ HD display, RGB LED lighting; speech from the movie; The Most Secret Machine target and scoop(this is a new device that works a little differently than your normal scoop, by what I caught in the Buffalo Pinball livestream); a spinning Everlasting Gobstopper; Oompa Loompa camera sculpted toy; a 7″ WonkaVision LCD screen; Wonka Tower sign; 4 flippers; a camera (like with Dialed In!); and 7 magnets.
The LE and CE editions have several upgrades like the Invisiglass, different art and all that, but also include a different toy called the Wonkavator Super Ball lock. The CE version also has more upgrades, such as a 3D topper, an Everlasting Gobstopper shooter knob; “sparkle” artwork and more. The Super Ball lock is a very interesting concept that hearkens back from the olden days of pinball; when balls are locked into it, it saves it over for the next game, so eventually someone gets to have a really fun multiball experience. That’s a great way to incentivize repeat play. Here’s the features matrix:
— Jersey Jack Pinball (@JJPinball) April 13, 2019
If you want a very in-depth look at it, here’s an exclusive video that was launched today by Straight Down The Middle and really gets into the nuts and bolts of the game, while interviewing Mr. Lawlor about it:
Buffalo Pinball has a live stream on Twitch of the game in action from Midwest Gaming Classic, although after the stream is over, it should be available on their channel. From watching this, people seem quite pleased with how it plays, mentioning a lot of shots and a good flow; Pat designed it to be easy and enjoyable for everyone to play with “lots to explore.”
The game will begin shipping “within 60 days,” with Standard models rolling off the line first, followed by LE and CE models. Thus we’ll say June for the official release.
What do you think about it from what has been revealed?