Looking ahead at Pinball Expo 2016
Pinball Expo 2016 in Chicago!
It’s time once again for the annual Pinball Expo in Chicago and 2016 looks set to be the best year yet! To mark the 32nd year of the U.S. exposition, the event will be a celebration of all things pinball, featuring classic pinball machines for sale and to play from all eras alongside the latest in new technology. Attendees will be given the chance not only to play rare and brand new pinball machines, but also to meet fellow fanatics, buy pinball machine parts, brochures or even new machines, and really just soak up the atmosphere.
The four day event, which is the world’s largest gathering of pinball industry and hobby celebrities, avid and casual collectors, will run from 12 – 16 October at the Westin North Shore hotel and is sure to offer something special for everyone. Alongside seminars, autograph signings, the ExpoBrawl and a Flip Out tournament, activities on offer also include a pinball art contest and an exclusive tour of the nearby Stern Pinball factory, allowing players to see the production of machines from beginning to end.
While the late-night gaming is bound to be brilliant and the on-site pinball repair service is a very nice touch, it’s the pending announcements from some of the biggest names in pinball that have got us most excited. Taking everything—all exhibits, vendors and entertainment—into consideration, these three (predicted) big reveals are what we here at Pinball Heaven are most looking forward to.
A New Pat Lawlor Pinball Machine from Jersey Jack Pinball
Although as yet unnamed, excitement is already building up for the highly-anticipated third release from Jersey Jack Pinball, designed by legendary 90s game designer Pat Lawlor. Following the major success of the Wizard of Oz pinball machine and The Hobbit pinball machine, it’s no surprise that this killer collaboration is continuing for a third round, with artist John Youssi, programmer Ted Estes and sound master Dave Thiel all on board.
Unlike the first two games based on movies, the new machine will feature an original theme and if Pat’s track record is anything to go by, it’s likely to be something most unusual and unique. We know from this year’s Southern-Fried Game Expo that the game will not be a concept that Pat has done in the past so we are absolutely expecting the unexpected! As the exclusive distributor of Jersey Jack Pinball machines in the UK, we’ll be sharing all of the latest updates about the new game right here on Pinball Heaven.
A New 90s Pinball Machine Remake from Chicago Gaming
We may not know much about this one yet but the team behind the much-loved Medieval Madness Remake are expected to announce another remake at the expo. The 90s favourites Attack From Mars and Cactus Canyon pinball machines are both tipped as frontrunners for getting a new lease of life, but our money is on the highly sought-after 1996 classic Attack From Mars pinball machine being remade next. Whatever Chicago Gaming have up their sleeve, Pinball Heaven will be stocking the pinball machine exclusively as soon as it’s available for sale in the UK. So if you are looking to buy Attack from Mars pinball machine – start saving!
Stern Pinball’s 30th Anniversary Pinball Machine: Batman 66
As you may have heard already, Stern Pinball have announced a brand new pinball machine based on the classic 1966 Batman TV show as part of their 30th anniversary celebration. Although there’s no image of the Batman 66 pinball machine yet, a flyer detailing some of the features has been doing the rounds online and we have to say it looks pretty fantastic. Check it out below.
Excluding the crane toy which is being lifted from their 2008 game, Batman: The Dark Knight, the machine will feature an all-new design and become the first Stern game to use a full-colour LCD display for both the backbox and the playfield, instead of the traditional single-colour dot-matrix display. Pinball designer George Gomez (known for Lord of the Rings and Monster Bash) and coder Lyman Sheats (known for Metallica and The Walking Dead) were both enlisted to help make the machine the best it could be—and expo attendees will be the first to see the results.
This collaboration between Stern and KaPow Pinball celebrates not only Stern’s own anniversary but the 50th anniversary of the original Batman TV show as well. In honour of this, anyone who preorders one of the 240 Limited Edition machines will gain entry to a special VIP meet-and-greet with Adam West, a.k.a. the original Batman! The meet-and-greet will take place as part of Stern’s Epic 30th Anniversary Extravaganza party during the expo.
Interestingly, there will be no Pro edition available, only Premium, Limited Edition and Super Limited Edition which can be purchased by invitation only. Ahead of the release in November, both the Premium and Limited Edition Batman 66 pinball machines can be preordered directly from Pinball Heaven with a £2000 deposit. See our full listing here.
The list of sponsors helping to make the Pinball Expo possible includes Stern Pinball, Pinball Mike, Jersey Jack Pinball, Marco Specialities and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which attendees will have the chance to give back to at a charity auction during a banquet on Saturday night.
Itching to buy tickets yet?! Whether you make it to the big event or not, it’s certainly set to be an exciting year for pinball collectors. If you’re looking to add to your own collection, check out our current range of pinball machines for sale in the UK here. To keep up-to-date with the latest pinball news, follow us on Twitter.