THIS WEEK IN PINBALL: February 3rd, 2020

Interview with Joe Kaminkow | Rick and Morty Production Updates | Mini Interview with Charlie Emery | Escape Nublar Challenge | Iron Man Vault Rerun

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The Scoop

— This Week’s Top 5 Stories —

1. SAPS: Interview with Joe Kaminkow

Last week our friends at the Super Awesome Pinball Show interviewed Joe Kaminkow of KaPow Pinball! Joe is always great for interesting nuggets of information and did not disappoint! Here are just a few highlights:

On working on Guns and Roses:

Kaminkow: Guns and Roses was a fun experience, if you don’t know this, when you buy an extra ball it gives you a song called “Ain’t Going Down No More” which Slash and Guns and Roses never released, the only place you can hear it is there on that game.

On licenses:

Kaminkow: We hear that [Chicago Gaming Company] has one coming that may be _______ [beeped] or something, and you see Rick and Morty being done by our friends up at Spooky.  Gary [Stern] had some success with Black Knight but I’m pretty sure that game would have sold more if it was a better brand and if they had themed it differently…

On the cost of the Beatles license and a Harry Potter tease:

Kaminkow: It is seven figures.  It is the most expensive license that has ever been on a pinball I believe ever.  By a serious factor.  Harry Potter might prove to be more.

On Beatles licensing challenges:

Kaminkow: We had a problem – we had a [song] that wasn’t originally in the game, which was Taxman.  At the 12th hour, just as the game was getting ready to go in [to production?], George Harrison’s widow said that there wasn’t a song in there that George wrote.  We had to go pay for the song to add it to make her happy and get final approval.

On how many Beatles have sold:

Kaminkow: I would say 80-85% of [The Beatles] are already sold, so not too many more to go.

On how many licenses are still in his dream theme list and the future of KaPow Pinball:

Kaminkow: I’ve probably got about three or four that I haven’t made that are on my KaPow future production list.  One is actively wrapping up right now...

Potter…everyone wants it…currently with Zynga we’re building a beautiful Harry Potter product that I’ve been part of since day one and it’s been publicly announced…that builds a relationship on a brand and builds trust and you springboard off those things.

On the possible Harry Potter license:

Kaminkow: There is a big orbit of people around that brand.  From Warner Bros licensing to Warner Bros franchise to Warner Bros theme parks, before you even get to JK Rowling…so we’re just taking our time, never say never, some things take time.

On the possible Goonies license:

Kaminkow: Goonies – its ok.  I found the 80s stuff doesn’t do that well on the casino side…so we’ll see.

On the Willy Wonka license:

Kaminkow: A couple years ago you guys probably remember I did a poll of what were some of the popular themes that people wanted, and Willy Wonka came back really high.  We tried to get it and we didn’t, we did other things instead.

As they’re wrapping up, saying thanks for coming on, he dropped this about Back to the Future:

Joe K: You’re welcome guys, and Chris, I’ll talk to you about Doc Brown and our pinball project later…oops, did I say something I shouldn’t have?  …  Franchi: laughs, I don’t know…we have a bad connection … Christian: Hey you can edit this out but are you guys making Back to the Future?  Franchi: …it’s a bad connection…

He also talks about his history in pinball, talks about Space Shuttle (including some crazy Easter Eggs in the Space Shuttle backglass), talks about MAD Magazine, talks about the argument he had Gary Stern had over the South Park pinball machine, talks about the importance of licenses, talks about horror themes, his dislike of a Prince or Michael Jackson themed pinball machine, talks about his friendship and relationship with Gary Stern, talks about clear coating, talks about a previous Mad Max prototype, and much more.

Listen to the full episode here!!

2. Rick and Morty Production Updates

Our friends at Spooky Pinball shared some updates on their upcoming Rick and Morty machine! Check out the video below:

You can see a few glimpses of the topper during the video:

Congrats to Spooky on the progress and can’t wait to see more of this machine!

3. TWIP: Mini Interview with Charlie Emery of Spooky Pinball

TWIP reached out to Charlie Emery of Spooky Pinball to ask for more details on Rick and Morty – check it out!

TWIP: We got a sneak peek of the topper on a Facebook post last week.  When did you decide you were going to include a free topper for Rick and Morty?  Can you share any more about the topper?

Charlie Emery: We were looking at a few options for what we could do for “first day buyer” bonus toys, but really didn’t anticipate selling out the entire run in 4 hours. So, when that happened we were obviously all ecstatic here in the ol’ pinball shop in Benton, Wi.

We began to weigh out what we wanted to do, and Kayte was the one who came up with doing a topper. We all knew we wanted to do something a bit above and beyond as a thank you for the support, and her idea grabbed traction quickly. It’s a 2 layer topper with a spinning portal & flashers, and a stainless steel base. We’re thrilled that we were able to do something special and give back to everyone who made this the biggest day in our 7 year history. Be sure to thank Kayte when you see her at TPF! 🙂

TWIP: Do you know when we could expect to see gameplay and/or the reveal stream?

Charlie Emery: Stay tuned! All I can say for now. Still some negotiations and approvals in process, but it’s all ADDING to what we already have revealed WILL be in the game. We want to have this game be everything fans of Rick and Morty could possibly ask for. The wait will be worth it!

TWIP: Can you give an update on the status of production of Rick and Morty?

Charlie Emery: We’re building games non stop already, and games are being boxed as of today (1-30) … not stopping the build and getting faster each week. It’s still not a perfect transition process switching from Alice Cooper to Rick and Morty, but by FAR the most prepared and to date the smoothest launch we’ve had into a new game. Really proud of the minions and how they’ve found new ways to get this right. Huge thanks to our daughter Morgan (aka, Squirrel) and Brian Savage who helped her sort out and launch the new web store and the Spooky Pinball Fang club. We really want to see this grow and bring people closer to Spooky, and Squirrel really went beyond our expectations in taking this project over.

Sooooo much more goodness to come! Thanks everyone for the faith. 🙂

4. Jurassic Park – Escape Nublar Challenge

Our friend Keith Elwin shared some interesting tidbits on his Facebook page this week regarding a new mode that is coming to Jurassic Park!

The (cropped) image below was shared on Facebook:

That share included the following comment:

TWIP reached out to Keith Elwin for more details about this mode, and he shared the following:

It is a mini game without having to go into the menus or winning magic tokens 😉 The player holds both flipper buttons to bring up a menu which gives you the option of playing JP in tournament mode or playing just the Escape Nublar Challenge as it’s own entity with dedicated high score boards. You can choose to be a nice guy by trying for a good score and rescue all the people and dinosaurs stranded on the island still or you can be selfish and just make a bee line to the chopper on a speed run to try to make that high score board.

– Keith Elwin

Keith also shared more in depth details of the rules of this mode on Facebook:

Escape Nublar Challenge mini game

To activate hold both flipper buttons during attract mode (with credits on machine or free play enabled) Select “CHALLENGE” with the flipper buttons and press start up to 4 players. The goal of Escape Nublar is to navigate back through the main gate to the helipad while rescuing any remaining staff and dinosaurs before the volcano erupts.

Rescue phase.

Rescue phase consists of collecting rescues by hitting the rescue shots. Once all rescues achieved hit the trap targets to rescue the dinosaur from that paddock. If the dinosaur was already captured earlier in the game then this phase is skipped. Turning the truck during rescue phase rotates the locations of the rescues.

Navigate phase.

Navigate phase requires you to try to find a safe exit from the paddock by shooting the red arrows. If the path is blocked by lava then you must find another path. When a safe path is found the left ramp will light up to advance to the next paddock. Truck direction dictates which paddock you will navigate to.

Truck convoy and fuel.

You convoy consists of 3 trucks. Drain the ball or run out of fuel then the truck and it’s rescues will be lost. Once all 3 trucks are lost the game is over. Shoot raptor targets or pop bumpers or collect rescues to add fuel. Advancing paddock completely refuels the truck.

Path options.

Taking the path you already navigated on the way to the visitor’s will be the quickest escape from the island but fewer scoring opportunities. (In Nublar Challenge this path is randomly selected for you) 

Sudden death

If fuel level hits minimum then sudden death begins. All remaining rescues are lost and you have 15 seconds to leave the paddock before it becomes engulfed and that truck is lost.

Helipad hurry-up

Navigating back through the main gate starts the Helipad Hurry-up. Hurry-up value based on number of rescues, dinosaurs captured and number of paddocks cleared. Shoot Helipad to escape the island.

Escape Nublar Challenge has it’s own dedicated high score board separate from the main game. Play for a top 3 score or top 3 speed run time.
Tilt ends game!

– Keith Elwin on Facebook

Stay tuned! We’ll keep you updated as we hear more!

5. Iron Man Vault Vault

Distributors have shared that Iron Man Vault Edition will be on the line again at Stern Pinball and for sale!

If interested, contact your distributor!

  • Stranger Things
  • Star Wars Vault
  • Elvira’s House of Horrors
  • Jurassic Park
  • Star Wars (Home Version, The Pin)
  • Black Knight Sword of Rage
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Led Zeppelin
  • James Bond
  • Godzilla
  • Rush
Jersey Jack Pinball
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Dialed In!
  • Hobbit
  • Wizard of Oz
  • Guns N’ Roses
  • Toy Story

Chicago Gaming Company
  • Monster Bash Remake
  • Attack From Mars Remake
  • Medieval Madness Remake
  • Cactus Canyon Remake
  • Original Licensed Title
  • Theatre of Magic Remake
  • Big Bang Bar Remake
Spooky Pinball
  • Rick and Morty
  • Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle
  • Total Nuclear Annihilation
  • Jetsons (contract game)
  • Dominos (contract game)
  • None right now
American Pinball
  • Oktoberfest
  • Houdini
  • Hot Wheels
  • Robin Hood
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Valkyries
  • Poker Run
  • Cosmic Cart Racing (P3 Game Kit)
  • Lexy Lightspeed (P3 Game Kit)
  • Cannon Lagoon (P3 Game Kit)
  • ROCs (P3 Mini-Game)
  • Barnyard (P3 Mini-Game)
  • Lexy Lightspeed – Secret Agent Showdown (P3 Mini-Game)
  • Grand Slam Rally (P3 Mini-Game)
  • Hoopin’ It Up (P3 Mini-Game)
  • HeadsUp
  • Wizard
  • Magic Girl
  • Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland
  • Fire and Brimstone
  • 2 Dennis Nordman Unlicensed games
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Nothing so far

Other Manufacturers


Team Pinball: The Mafia

Circus Maximus: Kingpin, Python’s Pinball Circus

Homepin: Thunderbirds, Chinese Zombies

Suncoast Pinball: Cosmic Carnival

Great Lakes Pinball: Exposé

Haggis Pinball: Wraith, Celts

Pinball Brothers: Alien?, Queen?, Barry Oursler’s Original Theme?, Playboy?

Dutch Pinball: Bride of Pinbot 2.0, Bride of Pinbot 3.0 (on hold), The Big Lebowski (production/legal issues)

Silver Castle Pinball: Timeshock

Phénix Pinball: Goblin Contest

Pinball Adventures: Punny Factory, Sushi-Mania, Ninja Mania, First Class, Canada Eh!

Disclaimer: Any articles, interviews, or mentions of pinball manufacturers or pinball products is NOT an endorsement.