Welcome to Pinball Magazine's monthly pinball industry news recap, looking back at June 2021 and the first week of July.
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Spooky Pinball reveals Halloween + Ultraman
Multimorphic releases Silver Falls
Team Pinball reveals layout for Elements

Welcome to Pinball Magazine's monthly pinball industry news recap, this time looking back at the events that took place in June 2021 and the first week of July. As every month, the previous month's news is also discussed in the Pinball Magazine & Pinball News PINcast, hosted by Martin Ayub and myself. So let’s see what June 2021 brought us.
Spooky Pinball finished building Rick and Morty and started building a short run of Alice Cooper's Nightmare Castle that were allocated for a distributor but never realized. Chances are these games are sold out by now, but contact Spooky Pinball to find out if they are not.
The new add-on to the Spooky factory is almost ready.

In videos one and two, Charlie and his son Bug announced several hardware upgrades on Spooky games from now on, including the use of Molex connectors, a quieter power supply with no fan noise, and more. The pricing for the various upcoming models was also announced:
  • Standard Edition: $6995 with a $1000 initial payment, build last.
  • Bloodsucker Edition: $7995 with a $1500 initial payment, built before SEs, some extras
  • Collector Edition: $8995 with a $2000 initial payment, built first, all the bells and whistles.
For an additional $995, the Bloodsucker and Collector Editions come in a clear-coated butter cabinet.
Playfield image taken from the reveal video
Following several teasers, the next Spooky Pinball title has finally been announced: Halloween (the 1978 movie, not the holiday). The entire production of the game is limited to 1,250 units, but public demand will decide how many units of each model will be made. In the meantime, the game has been revealed, and TWIP has all the info and links. Interestingly, the game has seven physical ball locks, that can lead up to a 7-ball wizard mode.
Playfield image taken from the reveal video
But that’s not all! Kaneda’s Pinball Podcast had already leaked that Spooky would reveal two titles, and he turned out to be correct. Spooky Pinball revealed a second game, using the same playfield layout as Halloween for: Ultraman: Kaiju Rumble. Ultraman is sort of like the campy Japanese equivalent of Superman and very popular in Japan. Due to old TV shows also being broadcast in America, the character has an international following. 

The entire production of the Ultraman game is limited to 500 units, although I didn't see any announcement that number has a hard limit. Suppose the game ends up being a hit in Japan, who knows if the production will be scaled up. Like with Halloween, public demand will decide how many units of each Ultraman model will be made. TWIP has all the details on Ultraman: Kaiju Rumble, and the Super Awesome Pinball Show has an exclusive interview with Charlie Emery and his son Bug.

Sales for both Halloween and Ultraman: Kaiju Rumble will open up for Spooky Fang Club members on Wednesday, July 7th at 9:00 AM Central and will likely sell out before non-Fang Club members get a chance to place their order. Congrats to the entire Spooky team for this dual reveal. 
Multimorphic announced  Silver Falls, a new game for the Heist module. The game is designed by Nic Baldridge and his 10-year-old daughter Sophia. The game has music by Scott Danesi, although it's rather loungy, and not as energetic as Total Nuclear Annihilation. Buffalo Pinball was the first to stream gameplay.
Pinball Adventures didn’t have any news, although it appears their website is getting a makeover as it’s currently under construction. Team Pinball, who have been contracted to design several pinball games for Pinball Adventures, revealed the layout of Elements on their social media. Elements was announced in May as the second game by Pinball Adventures. However, supply chain issues have yet prevented Pinball Adventures from starting production of their first game title, Punny Factory.
At Stern Pinball, it seems to be business as usual. No new game announcement, but The Mandalorian Limited Edition was on the line. There were plenty of other things going on as well.
The company sent out a press release, announcing they hired Tom Kopera as Director of Mechanical Engineering. Tom has already been working for Stern Pinball for close to a decade, in which he worked as a mechanical engineer and was credited for the design of The Rolling Stones in 2011. He also worked on games like Star Trek, Game of Thrones, The Beatles, Elvira's House of Horrors, and more. In his “new” role, Tom will lead mechanical engineering, the whitewood lab, the model shop, and the bill of materials group.
Gary Stern was interviewed on Shacknews and WGNRadio, but despite interesting questions being asked, he responded with the usual promo talk that we’ve heard already many times. Shacknews also hosted a Mandalorian showdown with Jack Danger.
As Gary Stern celebrated his 76th birthday last month, this might be an excellent opportunity to point out our interview with Gary Stern from last year, in which he discusses many details about his earlier days in the business that he rarely talks about. Gary Stern interview Part 1 and Part 2.
Stern Pinball was also present at two industry trade shows. At the International Bowl Expo in Louisville, KY, Stern shared the booth of their authorized North American Distributor Player One Amusement Group, with representation by Evan Kirby and Ryan Cravens. Three games were present: Stranger Things, Jurassic Park, and The Mandalorian

At Amusement Expo, held in Las Vegas, NV, Stern showed up with more games and a bigger delegation. Games announced for the show included The Mandalorian (Pro and Premium), Led Zeppelin, Avengers: Infinity Quest, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, and Deadpool. Staff included Gary Stern, John Buscaglia, Evan Kirby, Patrick Powers, Roper Fuentes, and Ryan Cravens.
Stern also released a code update for Mandalorian (0.96)
Jersey Jack Pinball is still building Guns N' Roses Limited Edition models. There is no public news on the recent playfield issues. 

The company launched a new webshop, introducing some new Guns N' Roses merchandise. The webshop also offers the official topper for Guns N' Roses, which is also available through PinballSTAR Amusements. 
Haggis Pinball posted an update video which taught us they are building Celts, 50 orders in total. Thirty cabinets are currently in various stages of assembly. Fathom Mermaid Edition will be up after that. The current expectation is that the production of Fathom will start at the end of July.

The company is currently under lockdown due to new Covid outbreaks but still operational, albeit slowed down. Supply chain issues are slowing things down as well, partly due to a shortage of framed timber.

Earlier in the month, Haggis announced they were hiring. Although some positions have been filled, they are still expanding their personnel to complete the proper manufacturing crew. In the meantime, they shipped all Clan Haggis packs to Clan Haggis members, although incomplete. A second package will be sent once the missing goodies arrive.
The first shipping container full of Alien pinball games by Pinball Brothers, shipped by Pedretti from Italy, arrived at Cointaker. The shipment of the second container is delayed due to container shortages. That second container is expected to ship later this month.
Jimmy Lipham posted an update on Pinside on the progress of the remake of Kingpin by the Circus Maximus Group. It appears they are still facing plenty of challenges to make everything work. Partly because certain Capcom mechs are to be replaced with more standard parts, which have different dimensions than the parts that Capcom used originally. The update also mentions that nobody on the team wants to set up a production line. Several third parties are interested in being hired for the assembly of the games, but according to the update, it's still too early to talk to anyone.
Sad news from Dutch Pinball. Founder Jaap Nauta lost his battle against cancer and passed away on June 12th. Jaap was a very likable person who always saw the light at the end of the tunnel when he was involved with Dutch Pinball. RIP

Dutch Pinball also reports that the recent supply chain issues seem almost over, and they expect to pick up the production pace on The Big Lebowski full steam ahead soon.
The only news I could find regarding American Pinball is that they found a distributor for Italy: the Gemma Group.
Although an update from Deeproot Pinball was expected after the 4th of July weekend, so far, no news. Pinsider Blueberryjohnson did some interesting info digging up on PPP loans to Deeproot Pinball and other pinball companies. 
What may be more interesting is the internationally shared news by Gerard van der Sanden of the Dutch Pinball Museum about a group of three Dutchmen who each bought a Magic Girl pinball machine built by American Pinball a few years ago. Since then, designer John Popadiuk joined Deeproot, and Magic Girl is announced as a future title for Deeproot as well. As you may remember, the Magic Girl games built by American Pinball are barely playable due to the lack of mechs and game code. Basically, the game is nothing more than a beautiful-looking box of lights. However, these three Dutch owners have taken it upon themselves to get the game working in the spirit of how the original designer intended it. And they have come a long way. 
I've talked with Erik Bartels, the most technical-educated of the three, and he explained to me how they already put two-and-a-half years into this project, trying to figure out what the game is supposed to do. Although they're not finished yet, they have solved quite a few technical issues, resulting in the game being a lot more playable than it ever was. If Deeproot still intends to release a Magic Girl-themed game in the future, maybe they can save themselves a lot of time and effort by talking to Eric and his team.

Although Erik and his team prefer not to share any video at the moment, we're talking about doing a story on their journey to bring this Magic Girl to life in a future issue of Pinball Magazine. The Dutch Spinner Magazine has already reported on this story with two articles and a third in the making.
To be continued…
Although expected by many, Chicago Gaming didn’t announce their next title yet.
The Museum of Pinball in Banning, CA, and its entire collection of games, is in jeopardy after plans to move to a former printing plant in Palm Springs, CA, turned out to be too expensive. Yet, the current building has already been leased to a new party that is expected to move in early October. The museum is now looking for a solution in the form of a  sponsor, or a collector who would buy the entire collection of 2,200 pinball and video games, or a location to store all games temporarily.
To be continued… 
July 1st, the new location of the Pinball Hall of Fame had its grand opening. However, the event was overshadowed by the news that the newly-built building is built eight feet on their neighbor's land, which happens to be the Dream Hotel Group. Read the full story on the VitalVegas website.
That’s about all the pinball industry news for now. In case you're interested, there is some other news I'd like to share as well. 

As you may know, I produce music for a living. I also support upcoming producers where I can. This Friday, a track that I had some involvement in will be released and become available on all major music streaming services. The general feeling is that this is going to be BIG! If you're curious, please check out JayJay Nkosi – We Are Growing (feat. Tpeah) on Spotify this Friday and onwards. 

In case you like the track, feel free to put it on repeat for the next two months or so :) In case you don't like the track, that's also fine. You can turn the volume down and still put it on repeat :D Thanks for all your support.
That’s all for now. Keep on flippin’!
Kind regards,
Jonathan Joosten
Pinball Magazine 
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