After 32 Years, ‘Ghostbusters’ Pinball Machine Is Worth the Wait

 

Ghostbusters Pinball Machine
Don’t cross the streams! The long-awaited ‘Ghostbusters’ pinball has arrived.

In an industry that produced a pinball machine for such underwhelming movies as Congo, Barb Wire, and Johnny Mnemonic, it’s almost criminal that a Ghostbusters pinball machine was never produced…until now. Yes, after months and years of speculation, Stern Pinball dropped an ectoplasmic bomb on the world by announcing a ghostly trinity of arcade-quality Ghostbusters pinball machines. For those folks who have been waiting the thirty-two years since the 1984 feature film’s release, the first images of the new Ghostbusters pinball machine prove it was worth the wait.

Designed by legendary pinball designer John Trudeau (Creature From the Black Lagoon, Wrestlemania) and software designer Dwight Sullivan (Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons Pinball Party), it seems as though the new table will be an instant classic. While theme, layout, and rules are always important aspects in a pinball design, the scene stealer here has to be pinball newcomer Jeremy Packer, artist at Zombie Yeti Studios. Expectations have never been higher for such an iconic theme for a pinball machine and Packer knocked the visuals out of the park! It seems every square inch of the machine’s surface was utilized to showcase iconic Ghostbusters imagery – everything from Slimer and Ecto-1 to the firehouse and, yes, even a Twinkie.

Image copyright Stern Pinball
Image copyright Stern Pinball

In addition to the pinball-standard flippers, ramps, and pop bumpers, the new Ghostbusters machine features the following:

  • Color-changing Stay Puft Marshmallow Man toy
  • Motorized animated interactive Slimer toy
  • “Public library” and “Stacked books” Newton ball features
  • Custom speech and narration by Ghostbusters actor Ernie Hudson a.k.a. “Winston Zeddemore”
  • Hit theme song “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr.

In what has become a standard marketing strategy by Stern, the new table is available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition (LE) models. While most folks will be happy just to play a Ghostbusters pinball after all these years, collectors and operators will have a tough decision to make. Priced at $5995 MSRP, the Pro model offers the most value, but the $8795-priced “Slimer Green” LE model is clearly the star. With a release perfectly timed to coincide with the heightened nostalgia and new excitement from the upcoming female-led Ghostbusters film this Summer, Stern has released a machine people have been dying to get their hands on for a long time.

The Limited Edition "Slimer Green" model
The Limited Edition “Slimer Green” model

Preston is a writer and graphic designer. He lives outside Atlanta, GA with his awesome wife and two amazing daughters (8 and 12). The host of the Gameroom Junkies Podcast, he has an affinity for VHS tapes and an obsession with arcade games and pinball machines. He has written for Paste and RETRO Magazines and is a founder of the Southern-Fried Gaming Expo.