Expo 2017 Preview

Expo 2017 Preview

It is almost time for Pinball Expo 2017!  Expo takes place near Chicago on October 11th-15th, and includes competitions, exhibitors, seminars, and of course reveals.  You can view the full schedule of events here.  Below are some things we know, some predictions and some speculation.

Jersey Jack Pinball – 4th Game Will Be Revealed

What we know:

  • The new game will be unveiled Thursday evening (10/12) at the JJP Fireside Chat.
  • Keith Johnson is doing the rules/software and is creating another deep game.
  • David Thiel (The Hobbit, Star Trek, etc.) is doing the audio.
  • The reveal will be streamed live by Buffalo Pinball.
  • JJP #4 is designed Eric Meunier, a first time designer.  Eric spoke about the game in an interview, check it out here.  Interesting notes from the interview include:
    • Eric has been working on the game since around June of 2016.
    • The game has been flipping since November of 2016.
    • The game has been in JJP’s programming office since May(ish) of 2017.
    • After Expo they will field test the machine, likely in Chicago and New Jersey.

What we are pretty sure of:

  • The theme of the game is likely Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • The game is likely a wide body.

Rumor round-up and questions:

  • There are rumors that the game is based on all five movies.
  • Will Johnny Depp be included?
  • There are rumors of a ship, but one that is very different than the Stern toy.
  • There may be some type of cannon.
  • There may be some sort of tilting upper playfield (like Williams Indiana Jones?).


Look for Buffalo Pinball (Twitch, Facebook) to stream the reveal live on Twitch on Thursday evening (10/12, 8:30PM Central, 9:30PM Eastern) – just click here to go to their Twitch page to watch!


Also, check out the Buffalo Pinball guys in the Pin Stadium Lights booth as they go head to head vs. Straight Down the Middle: A Pinball Show (YouTube, Facebook, Twitch) – check out your favorite streamers battling it out!

Stern Pinball – Not Planning Expo Reveal…Right?

No Reveal Planned…Pretty Sure

  • Stern told This Week in Pinball “there is no new game reveal planned for Expo”.  So that’s it, right?  Well…maybe.  Stern is rumored to be working on a Guardians of the Galaxy theme.  It is also rumored that the game is being designed by John Borg, the artist is Christopher Franchi, and the software is being done by Lonnie Ropp.  It is also rumored that all three models are completed (or very close).  Expo is in Stern’s back yard.  On Thursday morning, Stern will be doing an exclusive factory tour for those attending Expo.  Why wouldn’t they show something, at the least some sort of teaser?Prediction/Speculation: There may be some type of soft reveal or leak of a future Stern pinball machine, possibly just pictures or possibly something on the factory tour…

Other Questions

  • What will Gary Stern discuss in his seminar?
  • Will we see a Batman 66 Code Update?  Stern would not confirm or deny any possible code updates, so all we can do is speculate.  Stern revealed BM66 at last year’s Expo, and owners are anxiously waiting on the code update.  Prediction/Speculation: Major code update for BM66, it feels like the right time.
  • Stern Marketing: With the hiring of Zach Sharpe, will Stern discuss any future marketing plans or changes?  NOTE: One change was revealed this week, with the new monthly Stern of the Union!


  • Check out Stern-O-Rama on Friday, October 13th from 8:30PM-11:30PM CST.  Jack Danger of Dead Flip will host the event, and special guests include Dirty Donny and Zombie Yeti.  They’ll also have a lineup of classic Sterns, along with free beer.  What more do you want?

Riot Pinball to Debut Dead Man’s Hand Pinball

Riot Pinball will be showing off their new pinball concept: Dead Man’s Hand.  “Dead Man’s Hand is a table top, all mechanical, “bingo” style pinball table…The game challenges a wide range of players as they attempt to make the best poker hand possible. Beginners and advanced players alike can compete against one another in this game of finesse and nudging skill.”  You can check out the Dead Man’s Hand Pinball at Cointaker’s Booth.  They will also have a tournament featuring Dead Man’s Hand starting Friday evening – stop by to check it out and win prizes!  Read the full Facebook post and description of the game here.


Spooky Pinball’s Plans

Spooky told This Week in Pinball they will NOT reveal Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle at Expo.  Right now, the popular Total Nuclear Annihilation will be the star of the show for Spooky.  Spooky and TNA will be at the Pinball Life Open House Thursday and Friday.  Not only will TNA be there, but Spooky will have the full evolution of TNA – the whitewood, the prototype, and the Butter Edition production game – all playable!


Not exactly Expo related, but The Spooky Pinball Podcast is released the first of each month, and on the most recent podcast (10/1), Charlie revealed some of the details of the goals of their upcoming machine: Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle.  From Charlie: “We wanted to do something different with the Alice Cooper game.  Typically a music rock themed pinball machine is all about that artist, and you’re starting as a roadie and you work your way up to manager and you’re starting the songs.  We wanted this to be something completely unique.  The premise is – as you’re going into Alice’s castle, you’re battling all the monsters that live there and Alice is the overlord so-to-speak, directing them to attack you.  And all the Alice songs have to be earned which is unique in a music theme.


Check out the TNAs at the Pinball Life Open House – and keep an eye out for Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle in the coming months – won’t be long!


Dutch Pinball – Announcements

Barry and Jaap will be doing a presentation on Friday, and they plan to introduce their new contract manufacturer and give a production update on The Big Lebowski.  Who will it be, what will be their experience, and what will be the status and timeframe of The Big Lebowski?  Jaap told This Week in Pinball that they also plan to spend a lot of time in the Cointaker booth where people can play TBL and ask questions to Dutch Pinball.


The Pinball Circus Remake Updates

Circus Maximus, the group that was building a re-make of Python Anghelo’s The Pinball Circus, are back at it!  After taking a break, they are back to building whitewoods for the remake prototypes and possible production of The Pinball Circus.  They will have a booth at Expo but will not have The Pinball Circus game in the booth.  They will be selling some t-shirts and art from The Pinball Circus, along with pinball parts.  This Week in Pinball will be writing an article on the status of this project after Expo – we’ll keep you updated on this intriguing project!

Alien Pinball 

Heighway Pinball announced this week that the Cointaker booth would also have Alien Pinball available to play.  They also announced they “have made major improvements to the reliability and playability. In addition to the vastly improved code, we have upgraded the processor, power supply and Xeno head.”

ColorDMD to Release New Title?

A Facebook post from ColorDMD read “Expo is around the corner and it’s a little too quiet. Remember all the excitement you’d get when pinball companies would tease by pre-announcing an announcement?  Well there you go.”  Hmmm…a new title to be released at Expo??

There will likely be some surprises at Expo, what will it be this year?  Do any of the manufacturers have any tricks up their sleeves?  We’ll see in a few days!!


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