Believe it or not, but new pinball machines are still being made. Chicago-based Stern Pinball still makes them and has found a niche selling modern machines to individual buyers and arcade distributors. For its latest cabinet, Stern partnered with Ford to create a pinball game that pays homage to the 50th anniversary of the Mustang, including the next generation. The new machine is being unveiled at the Chicago Auto Show on February 6 and goes on sale in March.

Stern is offering the machine in three variants. The pro-level machine is meant for arcades and public spaces and retails for $4,995. All of them come with background and cabinet art by Camilo Pardo, who designed the Ford GT, and Top Gear USA host Tanner Foust is the game's announcer. Depending on where players shoot the ball, they activate events that simulate drag racing, rallying, drifting and racing the Mustang, and hitting targets lets players shift the gears up and down.

An upgraded, premium table with added art will be added later for pinball machine collectors. The third model is a signed, special edition with art of the 1965 Mustang and 2015 Mustang on the machine and chrome and Mustang badges on the speaker grilles. Prices for these editions will be announced later.

It is probably hard to remember the last time you saw a pinball machine, let alone played one, but scroll down to check out the machine in action and read the complete press release about it.
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AMERICAN POP CULTURE ICONS CONVERGE AS STERN PINBALL ANNOUNCES THREE NEW FORD MUSTANG-THEMED GAMES

A new pinball game from Stern Pinball, featuring the all-new Ford Mustang and celebrating 50 years of the original pony car, debuts at the Chicago Auto Show

Stern Pinball will also offer a premium game featuring Mustang Boss 302, Boss 351 and Boss 429, plus a limited-edition game honoring the 1965 original and all-new 2015 Mustang

Champion pinball player Zach Sharpe will challenge journalists to beat his high score on the new machines during media preview days at the Chicago Auto Show on Feb. 6 and Feb. 7


The all-new Ford Mustang headlines a trio of new pony car-themed pinball games to be revealed at the Chicago Auto Show. Crafted by Chicago's own Stern Pinball, the Mustang-inspired games combine two prime examples of 20th century American pop culture – the coin-operated pinball machine and the original pony car.

"For five decades, Mustang has represented some of the best of American culture, inspiring a feeling of freedom and independence for people around the world," said Steve Ling, Ford car marketing manager. "We're excited to have Stern Pinball join us here in its hometown of Chicago with its brand-new games featuring Mustang."

Stern is introducing three new Mustang-themed games this spring featuring cabinet and backboard artwork that pay tribute to 50 years of Mustang. The pro-level machines, designed for arcades and other public spaces, feature Mustangs from the past five decades. The more feature-rich premium edition focuses on Mustang Boss 302, Boss 351 and Boss 429 of 1969 to 1971 and 2012 to 2013.

Stern Pinball is one of many companies producing officially licensed products to celebrate 50 years of Mustang. Other licensees include Mattel with a 50 Years of Mustang Hot Wheels collection, Caddyshack with a limited-edition Shelby GT500 Mustang golf car and the Mustang GT pedal go kart from Berg. A range of apparel and other products are available from shopfordmerchandise.com.

The all-new 2015 Mustang makes its first Chicago appearance at the auto show alongside six of Stern's pro-level Mustang games. Top-ranked competitive pinball player Zach Sharpe will also be on hand to demonstrate the new game and set benchmark scores for show visitors and media to challenge.

A special limited-edition model signed by the game designer features the 1965 original and the all-new 2015 Mustang. Both premium and limited-edition games feature genuine chrome Mustang badges on the speaker grilles.

"The first car I ever bought was a 1970 Mustang Sportroof with a 302, and I'm currently restoring a 1969 Mach 1," said George Gomez, executive vice president for game design, Stern Pinball. "In designing these new games, we wanted to celebrate the freedom and fun of driving Mustang."

Click to see a video about the Stern Mustang pinball games http://youtu.be/xvSLTNrLyK0

The games incorporate a mix of classic pinball play features and modern technology to let players "go racing" with some of the greatest Mustangs of all time, and even build up a dream collection as they progress.

Different interactive sections of the playfield and sequences of shots let players go drag racing, rallying, drifting and road racing in pursuit of a high score. For example, hitting specific targets with the ball enables gear shifting, and subsequent hits activate going up or down through the gears. The games feature video displays in the backboard and real Mustang sounds, giving players the visceral experience of driving Mustang.

Chicago is the spiritual home of the classic coin-operated pinball machine. The modern games were developed in the city in the 1920s and 1930s by companies such as Bally, Gottlieb and Williams as an evolution of 18th century French parlor games. Over time, designers added a wide array of features to enhance gameplay, and incorporated pop culture themes from movies, television, music and comic books – the same mediums that often incorporate Mustang.

Pinball pioneer Harry Williams said, "The ball is wild!"

"The beauty of pinball is that there is no set outcome, and it can't be programmed like a video game," said Gary Stern, founder of Stern Pinball. "That makes pinball a perfect match for Mustang, taking drivers anywhere they want to go."

The very first Mustang-themed pinball game was introduced in 1964, the same year as the car, by the now-defunct Chicago Coin Company. Unfortunately, all of the other great Chicago pinball companies succumbed to the challenge of the video game business. Stern has committed to creating great games that remain true to what made pinball fun in the first place, while incorporating modern design and mechanical systems to challenge players.

2015 Ford Mustang
The all-new Mustang is the most advanced version yet of the iconic pony car. The sleek new design of Mustang fastback and convertible is backed up by world-class performance from a range of available engines, including a new turbocharged EcoBoost® 2.3-liter and an upgraded 5.0-liter V8 with more than 420 horsepower. In addition to state-of-the-art connectivity systems, Mustang features available advanced driver-assist systems, track apps, launch control and more.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      Applez64
      • 10 Months Ago
      I bought a 1966 red Mustang back in 1968. I'm still driving it. The only car I've ever owned.
        Sharon
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Applez64
        Lucky you!! My dream car is a 1965 Mustang Convertable!!
      lthrnck68
      • 10 Months Ago
      Make it an original Mustang in blue. Say a 67.
      Patrick
      • 10 Months Ago
      Bally and Midway were the top pinball machine makers. Thier machines now sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
      nhlhawkfan
      • 10 Months Ago
      To Patrick, Bally and Midway games go from $300- 1500 NOT tens of thousands! PS I like the single player Gottlieb games the best...
      Brian Hope
      • 10 Months Ago
      I've always been a Ford person, but the current line of Mustangs, Fusions, et al. look kinda snarky.
      Nick Allain
      • 10 Months Ago
      Hm... motorcycle or pinball machine....
      • 10 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      • 10 Months Ago
      [blocked]
      janetmml
      • 10 Months Ago
      I'd love to have this game. My favorite pinball ganme from the 80s was Silverball Mania.
      Billy Devine
      • 10 Months Ago
      The quality of their Machines are horrible, beautiful when new but they turn to complete crap after a few years. I owned a few of them to know all the problems they are. I am talking about Stern pinball machines, but i guess you can apply it to Ford also. Midway Games (another Chicago company) were the best pinball Machines on the planet, they last forever without a hiccup...RIP Midway pinball.
        think!!!
        • 10 Months Ago
        @Billy Devine
        well billy, nice try. there never was a midway pinball machine. years ago Midway manufacturing was owned by Bally manufacturing which also owned Bally pinball. two distinct and seperate companies. ah, but then you also probably didn't know that when Bally introduced electronic pinball 40 years ago, Stern licensed the solid state electronics...so the guts were virtually identical. Sten, Bally, Williams and Gottlieb...all the pinball manufacturers used the same company in Chicago to manufacturer their playfields so they all wear about the same. billy you should just shut up about stuff you know nothing about. Stern pinballs work fine.
      Mojosan
      • 10 Months Ago
      I'm an enthusiast/collector of both cars and pinball machines. The quality of Stern's pins is just fine. They will sell 4000 to 6000 of these pins with no problem. In the real world they sell for about $4500 or so. Supposedly they wanted to include some Shelby Mustangs in the pin but the licensing talks dragged out too long to make it in this run. I'd assume there will be premium or limited edition with Shelbys featured.
      Jeavis
      • 10 Months Ago
      I'm guessing it will be a slow table. Ay Oo! Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week. As always don't forget to tip your waitress.
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