TWIP – Expo Preview! Predictions, Rumors, What To Expect

The Scoop


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.
  • 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!

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?

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!  Check them out – and keep an eye out for Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle in the coming months – won’t be long!  **LATE ADDITION** More on ACNC below!

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.

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 less than two weeks!!

Thunderbirds Reveal at Last

We should see Thunderbirds next weekend!  Homepin plans to show off the machine at Pinfest in Australia coming up October 7th and 8th.  We saw a good look at the playfield from Homepin last week (check it out here).  Ryan and Martin with the Head2Head Pinball Podcast (website, Facebook) interviewed HomePin a few weeks ago (listen to the interview here).  From the interview and forum posts, we found out:


  • The right ramp has a bank of three drop targets under it, and when the drop targets are completed, the ramp lowers to allow you to make the ramp shot
  • There is a diverter that allows you to lock balls under Tracy Island
  • The skill shot is very unique


Homepin has been slowly leaking info on Thunderbirds for weeks.  In the past we’ve seen a video of a playfield toyelectroluminescent headbox decals, steel aprons with built-in leveling bubbles, and a pic of the lock inserts.  Looking forward to gameplay videos of Thunderbirds.  And Jack Danger of Dead Flip recently booked a trip to Australia?  Hmmmm…

Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle Updates

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.

Alien Updates

Heighway Pinball released a few updates this week.  First, here is a gameplay video showing off software version 1.02.  Dave Sanders, the playfield designer, also shared some pictures of Alien cabinets and playfields, along with a bunch of finished Aliens being loaded into a truck for shipping.  Check out some of Dave’s pics below, and for all of Dave’s pictures, click here.

September Mezel Mods Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Steve Flake who won a Mezel Mods gift card for This Week in Pinball’s September giveaway!  To enter for the October giveaway, correctly answer the Name the Game (which comes out on Wednesdays).  Each additional correct answer each week is an additional entry.  Congrats Steve!  (Wonder how the drawing is done?  Click here.)

TITAN PINBALL – October Giveaway Sponsor

Thanks to TITAN PINBALL for sponsoring the October gift card giveaway on This Week in Pinball!  Titan Pinball has many different pinball parts for sale, but are most well known for being home to the Titan Competition Silicone Rings.  Please support them and visit their website!

Pinball Arcade New Release

Pinball Arcade released Fathom last week.  The hint in their newsletter is difficult to decipher.  Perhaps Gottlieb’s Spirit?  To learn more about the Pinball Arcade, check out their website by clicking here, or download the Pinball Arcade app onto your phone or tablet.

RIP Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, passed away last week.  He was featured on three different pinball machines.  RIP.

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Upcoming Games and Rumors

Stern Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Aerosmith
  • AC/DC Vault Edition
  • Star Wars


  • Elvira 3

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Guardians of the Galaxy?
  • Iron Maiden?
  • Jurassic World?
  • Deadpool?
  • Pulp Fiction?
  • New Ka-Pow Title?
  • Steve Ritchie Unlicensed?

Spooky Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International
  • Dominos (*contract game)
  • Jetsons (*contract game)
  • Total Nuclear Annihilation (*contract/house game)


  • Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle
  • Ben Heck’s game

American Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Houdini

Dutch Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Bride of Pinbot 2.0
  • Bride of Pinbot 3.0 (on hold)
  • The Big Lebowski (production issues)

Silver Castle Pinball

  • Timeshock (coming soon)

Jersey Jack Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Wizard of Oz
  • The Hobbit
  • Dialed In

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Pirates of the Caribbean?
  • Toy Story?
  • The Muppets? <<NEW

Chicago Gaming/Planetary Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Medieval Madness Remake
  • Attack From Mars Remake

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Monster Bash Remake?
  • Big Bang Bar Remake?
  • Cactus Canyon Remake?

Heighway Pinball

Most Recent Titles

  • Full Throttle
  • Alien (production issues)

Rumors of Future Titles

  • Queen?

P3 (Multimorphic)

  • Lexy Lightspeed
  • Cannon Lagoon
  • Cosmic Cart Racing


  • Thunderbirds (coming soon)

Deeproot Pinball

  • Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland?
  • Alice in Wonderland?
  • Magic Girl?



**TWIP dreams of the day Harry Potter Pinball will be added to these rumors. Ms. Rowling, I would be willing to pet-sit a Blast Ended Skrewt for a full month if you approve this!

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