While it wasn’t ready to reveal on May 4th, the word on the street had suggested that details on The Mandalorian pinball machine by Stern Pinball would drop a week later on May 11th. Here we are that week later and StarWars.com has the goods on the new game, along with an interview with the lead artist Randy Martinez. Stern also sent out a press release & kit this morning to further detail the new game, so I’ll break it all down as best I can. Let’s start with the trailer that gives you a pretty good look at the Pro & Premium models:
A features matrix was posted to Stern’s website this morning, outlining the various differences between the three models. As usual, the Pro comes with the least amount of features, but is still designed to be a game that can earn on location; It will have three flippers, one of which is in the mini-playfield, while the Premium/LE models will have a motorized playfield that comes with two flippers there instead of the one. Every machine comes with six balls, clips from both seasons of the show, a custom Razor Crest spaceship toy, custom speech recorded by Carl Weathers (who plays Greef Karga), and of course the giant “Baby Yoda” (Grogu) sculpture is a highlight of all the machines (my five year old daughter has been on a huge “Baby Yoda!” kick since last year – I showed her this game and she immediately ordered me to get one, solely because of that).
The Premium/LE models also come with wire ramps instead of plastic and a magnet for Grogu’s Force powers. The LE is limited to 750 units and is based off of the Beskar steel that plays an important role in the show.
One thing that Gary Stern mentioned in his message about this today is that pricing will be the same as LED Zepplin, despite the huge increases in costs that are plaguing all sectors of manufacturing right now (and will likely continue into the foreseeable future). Of course that can always change, but at least the first production run shouldn’t be affected. That said, fuel shortages are coming (or are already here in some areas) from various reports, so don’t be surprised if your freight bill is significantly higher than what you’ve paid for in the past.
While Stern has been clamping down on mods to their games, I will not be surprised if we see art related to the Cara Dune character appear as a non-official option out there – the controversial dust-up between Disney & actress Gina Carano means that you won’t see her on the game at all, which already has some fans talking in regards to this game.
I’ve also seen fans asking why another Star Wars game, when you had Star Wars come around just a few years ago. The answer should be obvious: The Mandalorian is the hottest thing in the Star Wars universe at the moment, while pretty much everything else Disney has tried with the franchise has come up with mixed results among fans. It’s also a show that drove a lot of people to sign up for Disney+, garnering Emmy awards and praise all around. I am glad that this wasn’t a reskin of Stern’s last Star Wars game, and as long as the gameplay captures the spirit of the show, it should be popular in the long run.
That aside, what are your thoughts on Stern’s latest effort? You can check out the official product page for it here.
Star Wars has been done to death in pinball. Stern’s next pinball machine should be a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde pin licensed from the book by Robert Louis Stevenson because the Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde franchise deserves at least one good game, but the NES version of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde is probably the worst video game based on a 19th-century licensed property (which is still a thing in the 21st century thanks to copyright creep and adaptation overload). First Ghostbusters, then Batman 66 and the Beatles, now Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde!