Stern Pinball CES Las Vegas

Stern Pinball, pinball machine manufacturer since 1999

The story of Stern Pinball requires us to go back in time. Data East was founded in Japan in 1976, and started out producing video games and components for arcade terminals. In 1986, Data East joined forces with Gary Stern to create Data East Pinball.

Like all pinball players, Data East Pinball was hit by the collapse of the market, and was sold to Sega in 1994. Sega wanted to consolidate its position as number 1 in American arcades. However, this strategy failed to produce the desired results, as the episode lasted only five years.

Gary Stern’s takeover of Sega Pinball

In 1999, Sega Pinball was bought by… Gary Stern, the same man who had helped create Data East Pinball. Stern Pinball was born of this takeover, and became virtually the sole designer and manufacturer of pinball machines. All other manufacturers went out of business in the 1990s.

Gary Stern gathered around him the biggest names and the best skills in pinball. For more than ten years, his company was the only one to keep the market active, supporting operators and distributors all over the world, albeit in limited numbers.

This monopoly continues until 2011. In that year, Jersey Jack Pinball was born. Even today, Stern remains the leading manufacturer of pinball machines, far ahead of the competition. Whatever people may say, Stern was the first to understand the market’s shift towards retail sales. The company helped keep the sector alive during the long dry spell of the 2000s.

From a marketing point of view, Gary also inaugurated the logic of ranges within the same theme or license. These variants are called Pro (entry-level), Premium and Limited Edition (LE).

Stern Pinball’s transition into the 2020s

In September 2021, Stern Pinball Inc. launches a feature on which it has high hopes: the Stern Insider Connected. Inspired by what is practiced by game console manufacturers (Microsoft with the Xbox live in particular), the Insider kit is included by default on all new productions. It allows you to connect your pinball machine to the Internet and :

  • Update the pinball code without using a physical medium such as a USB key
  • Save your player profile online
  • Add additional objectives to games, called “achievements
  • Participate in online competitions
  • For operators, monitor machine usage and maintenance remotely

In addition to this major strategic ambition, Gary Stern is preparing his departure. At the end of 2021, the company recruited Seth Davis to the role of President, and appointed him CEO a year later, in December 2022. Gary Stern remains Chairman, but gradually withdraws from day-to-day business.

The latest news from Stern Pinball

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People at Stern Pinball

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Pinball machines produced by Stern Pinball

  • Harley-Davidson (1st Edition : 1999 / 2nd Edition : 11/2002 / 3rd Edition : info manquante)
  • Striker Xtreme : 01/2000
  • Sharkey’s Shootout : 09/2000
  • High Roller Casino : 01/2001
  • Austin Powers : 06/2001
  • Monopoly : 09/2001
  • NFL : 11/2001
  • Playboy : 01/2002
  • RollerCoaster Tycoon : 08/2002
  • The Simpsons Pinball Party : 02/2003
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines : 06/2003
  • The Lord of the Rings : 12/2003
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! : 03/2004
  • Elvis : 08/2004
  • Grand Prix : 2005
  • The Sopranos : 02/2005
  • NASCAR : 08/2005
  • The Brain : 2006
  • World Poker Tour : 02/2006
  • Pirates of the Caribbean : 07/2006
  • Black Spider-Man : 2007
  • Dale Jr. : 2007
  • Family Guy : 2007
  • Spider-Man : 06/2007
  • Wheel Of Fortune : 10/2007
  • Good Morning America : 12/2007
  • Shrek : 2008
  • Indiana Jones : 04/2008
  • Batman : 07/2008
  • CSI : 11/2008
  • NBA : 2009
  • 24 : 02/2009
  • Batman (Standard Model) : 2010
  • Iron Man : 2010
  • Big Buck Hunter Pro : 01/2010
  • James Cameron’s Avatar : 08/2010
  • The Rolling Stones : 2011
  • Transformers (Pro) : 2011
  • TRON: Legacy : 2011
  • The Avengers : Pro et LE 2012 / Premium 2013
  • The Avengers Hulk (Limited Edition) : 2012
  • Transformers The Pin : 2012
  • AC/DC Premium : 03/2012
  • X-Men Magneto LE : 06/2012
  • X-Men Wolverine LE : 06/2012
  • X-Men (Pro) : 08/2012
  • Metallica Pro : 04/2013
  • Star Trek Pro : 09/2013
  • Mustang (Pro) : 04/201
  • Iron Man (Pro Vault Edition) : 07/2014
  • The Walking Dead (Pro) : 09/2014
  • Game of Thrones (Pro) : 2015
  • Wrestlemania (Pro) : 01/2015
  • Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons : 03/2015
  • KISS (Pro) : 05/2015
  • The Walking Dead (Premium) : 05/2015
  • Spider-Man (Vault Edition) : 2016
  • Ghostbusters : Pro 04/2016 / Limited Edition, 05/2016 / Premium 06/2016
  • The Pabst Can Crusher : 07/2016
  • Batman 66 (Limited Edition) : 12/2016
  • Aerosmith (Pro) : 02/2017
  • Star Wars (Pro) : 06/2017
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (Pro) : 11/2017
  • Iron Maiden : Pro 03/2018 / LE 04/2018 / Premium 05/2018
  • DeadPool : Pro 08/2018 / Premium et LE 09/2018
  • The Beatles Pinball (Diamond, Gold, Platinum Editions) : 11/2018
  • The Munsters : Pro 01/2019 / LE 02/2019 / Premium 03/19
  • Netflix Stranger Things : Pro 12/2019 / LE 01/2020 / Premium 02/2020
  • Elvira’s House of Horror : Signature and Limited Editions 10/2019 / Premium 11/2019
  • Jurassic Park : Pro 08/2019 / Limited Edition 09/2019 / Premium 10/2019
  • Black Knight Sword of Rage : Pro 04/2019 / Premium et Limited Editions 05/2019
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : 06/2020
  • The Avengers : infinity quest : 2020
  • Led Zeppelin : janvier 2021
  • The Mandalorian : 06/2021
  • Godzilla Pinball! : 09/2021
  • Jurassik Park Pin (Home Edition) : 10/2021
  • Elvira House of Horrors 40th anniversary : 10/2021
  • Rush : 01/2022
  • James Bond : 09/2022
  • James Bond 60th anniversary : 12/2022
  • Foo Fighters : 02/2023