The next pinball table from Stern Pinball is upon us, with this one hearkening back to an old IP with an established fanbase all around the world. Godzilla’s the name, and now pinball is his game.
Per the web listing:
In this monster-packed pinball adventure, players become Godzilla! The evil aliens, the Xiliens, use mind control rays to take control of the monsters King Ghidorah, Gigan, Megalon, Ebirah, and Titanosaurus. The Xiliens are demanding all of Earth’s resources. Godzilla and its allies, Mothra, Rodan, and Anguirus, battle the Xilien invasion with the goal of conquering Mechagodzilla to become King of the Monsters!
The full features matrix can be found here on this offsite link to a PDF.
The principal designer behind this one is Keith Elwin, whose team has been responsible for titles like Iron Maiden, Jurassic Park and Avengers: Infinity Quest. The theme eschews all of the modern Godzilla stuff in favor of the classic movies, although funny enough this is the first game that will come with Stern’s hot new system, Insider Connected. This is available on all three models:
Godzilla pinball machines also debut Stern’s Insider Connected system, which includes a QR code reader on the bottom arch that enables players to interact with the game and this new network in a variety of ways. Stern Insider Connected provides new entertainment and player engagement features and an operator focused tool set to drive location play and remotely manage every aspect of the machines. Insider Connected goes live with the launch of Godzilla, with the full scope of features scheduled for roll out over the next year.
One thing I noticed is another jump in price, but this one is a bit larger than usual. Comparing the MSRP between this and The Mandalorian, it’s a difference of $700. That might be due to the Insider Connected system…and if these are rolling out at that cost, then I’m not going to invest until I see some consistent, solid numbers to demonstrate that it truly is worth the price. As mentioned in the previous story about Insider Connected, my pinball really doesn’t earn that well. It does ok, but these machines are not getting anywhere close to a year ROI, which is what you hope for (at minimum) on everything else in this business, excepting machines that cost above $25k. If IC can demonstrate a good & consistent 2-4x higher income on the games, then I’m all for it. Still, I was hoping for a lower entry cost than this, but at least it adds a lot more value to a game than a $600+ topper. This also brings Stern and JJP pricing closer to parity, as JJP’s version of the Pro (“Standard”) generally starts at around $7000.
Anyways, I’d heard that there was going to be something innovative on this one, and that appears to be a new style of magnet:
All models of Godzilla pinball machines feature an innovative “Magna Grab” magnetic newton ball, capable of catching pinballs from five different shot paths, including off the plunge. This device can also divert pinballs to set up shots from the upper left flipper.
That also reminds me of the magna-slings that Ghostbusters Premium had, although I’ve never seen used again. You can see the Magna Grab in the video; It also looks like the Premium model really offers an awesome jump over the Pro in terms of features between the Mechagodzilla and the breaking bridge ramp.
What do you think about this one? What about Ultraman: Kaiju Rumble by Spooky? Since this now means that we have two classic Japanese monster themes on the pinball market, I wonder what pinball fans will think, or prefer, between the two?
This table looks really nice, as most Stern releases do. I’ve had the opportunity to play many of their releases over the last five or so years and while I enjoy them, their depth is a bit much for the casual pinball player like myself. Learning all the games within the game takes a significant amount of table time that I just don’t find myself having in front of these. I wonder if that doesn’t factor into some of the slow ROI’s on these?
Stern should follow this up with a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde pinball machine licensed from the 1886 book by Robert Louis Stevenson. Dracula and Frankenstein already have their own licensed pinball machines, and 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.