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Issue Date: Vol. 50, No.1, January 2010, Posted On: 1/13/2010

Stern Pinball Enters Financing Partnership; Big Buck Flipper Game Spotted

Nick Montano
Pinball, pinball machine, Stern Pinball Inc., Gary Pinball, Hagerty Peterson & Co., David Peterson, coin-op games, amusements, arcade games, jukebox, classic games, Big Buck Hunter, pinball news, Classic Playfield Reproductions

MELROSE PARK, IL -- Stern Pinball Inc. has entered into a "financing and partnership" agreement with a group of investors led by David J. Peterson, a founder and managing director of Hagerty Peterson & Co. LLC (Barrington, IL).

Under the agreement, announced in late December the investor will provide capital and services to help expand the pinball machine manufacturer's business. Peterson and HP&C's Daniel P. Wallace will join Stern's board of directors, and Gary Stern will remain chairman and chief executive.

"We were impressed by the commitment of the company's customers, suppliers and employees to pinball, which we share," Peterson said. "It will take some time, but we think we can help the company better serve that community and expand."

Separately, Jolly Backer has resigned his post at Stern, where he had served as director of domestic sales since the pinball machine company was established a decade ago. Backer has accepted a senior level executive position with a healthy vending company and will be moving from Illinois to California. San Diego-based YoNaturals Inc. launched its "healthy" vending program four years ago.

Stern Pinball, the only manufacturer of traditional flipper games, has leaked photos and advance game information about its forthcoming Big Buck Hunter Pro pinball game to flipper fan-oriented websites. Expected to begin distribution at the end of January, the flipper game is themed on the popular videogame of the same name, a licensed property of Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix.

According to Pinballnews.com, the Big Buck pinball game lets players shoot the silver ball at a 3D model of a deer that moves diagonally across the playfield. Playfield photos on various "fansites" depict additional 3D targets including an elk, a cow and a ram's head in a double scoring lane. Graphics feature shotgun shells, leaping stags, deer horns and the like.

In other pinball news, a Canadian company called Classic Playfield Reproductions said it might build full production models of a new pinball called Lost Vegas this year, aimed at the hobbyist market.

This appears to mean a few older pin games will be re- themed and offered for sale as complete "new" games. Definite plans call for 100 "Lost Vegas" conversion kits to be offered for older Dolly Parton pinball games. Dolly Parton was a 1978 solid-state flipper game originally manufactured by Bally Mfg. Corp.

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