MELROSE PARK, IL -- A video teasing Stern Pinball Inc.'s upcoming game created excitement among pin fans last month. The 1:40-minute spot promoting an upcoming theme based on the Transformers, a hit film franchise that began as a Hasbro toy line, was released by Stern on YouTube on Aug. 19.
Filmed much like a movie trailer that's heavy on atmospherics -- it even includes a touch of special effects -- the pinball plug begins with a lonely designer working late at night in the Stern factory. The designer looks like George Gomez, although he is never identified in the trailer. After brief glimpses of the playfield and a prototype toy in action, the trailer ends with a pinball game transforming itself into a robot. | SEE VIDEO
Stern maintains a branded “channel” on YouTube for promotional videos. As of Aug. 31, the Transformers spot had garnered more than 28,000 views, and was the subject of some positive online buzz in the pinball community. One blogger called the video the most clever pinball ad ever made.
Pinball watchers speculate that the Transformers pinball will be released at the end of this year or early 2012. Reached for comment, Stern officials held off from providing any specific details about flipper game or its release date.
"Transformers" made its big screen debut in 2007 as an American science fiction action film. It was a box office success, the 45th most successful release (the fifth most successful of 2007) and grossed approximately $709 million worldwide. The film won four awards from the Visual Effects Society and was nominated for three Academy Awards for best sound, sound editing and visual effects.
A sequel, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," was released in June 2009. Despite the film's being panned by critics, it was a commercial success and grossed more than its predecessor. A third film, "Transformers: Dark of the Moon," was released in 3D on June 29, 2011, and went on to gross over $1 billion, despite mixed and negative reviews.
The forthcoming pinball game tied to the films will be created by one of the strongest design teams in Stern history. | SEE STORY