Weird Al announces new pinball machine

Originally published at: Weird Al announces new pinball machine | Boing Boing

9 Likes

“You’re a Pin Ball Wizard, Al.”

7 Likes

I don’t know what that means

It appears that it’s a modular system; P3 is the customizable pinball machine platform, and the game kit consists of add-on modules to the platform.

3 Likes

Do what you love for work?

2 Likes

As a league pinball player, I can’t say I’ve ever seen a Multimorphic brand machine at any of the numerous locations our group plays at. Stern, Jersey Jack, and the historic defunct brands seem to be preferred. The only other places I’ve seen differently-branded new pins are specialty museums and showrooms.

While I’m pleased to see Al getting a pin, I don’t know where else these are intended to end up, with their mostly-video playfield - maybe the home ownership market. Still, I’d love to take a crack at it.

1 Like

Interested in seeing the market research revealing that pinball fans over index in listening to Weird Al. The product dev guys came running into the conference room, “Guys, this is huge. We gotta get a Weird Al machine in the pipeline STAT!”

$13,000 price point. I bet the venn diagram is a single circle.

1 Like

I am so can answer any questions you may have. :relaxed:

@muser nailed it. This is a new game from Multimorphic who have developed a pretty wild attempt to create a modular pinball platform. This is very much a “everyone said it couldn’t be done” situation so it’s nice to see they are still at it. They’ve been working on the P3 system for many years. It’s a real coup for them to get the Weird Al theme. As muser said, you’re looking at around $11000 US all in for this machine. That’s on the high side of current high end machines, but not outrageous. A limited edition fully optioned machine from Stern or Jersey Jack will run you around $9000.

I can also pre-answer some questions that folks typically have every time a pinball story hits a mainstream audience:

“OMG pinball still exists?” Yes, and it’s had a huge renaissance in the past several years. There are several new boutique manufacturers.

“I loved pinball in 1974!” Great! It’s a very different experience now than it was back then. The machines tells stories and have missions and quests like video games. These are not your fathers’ bells and bumpers.

“Holy crap those are expensive!” Yup, they sure are. They are all made by hand in the US. Keep in mind they are commercial coin op hardware intended for location use. They are built to survive 20 years of teenagers kicking them and to earn profit for businesses. Hence the cost.

18 Likes

It is much larger than that. See above.

The people buying them are a combination of location operators, tournament clubs, and high end enthusiasts. The price point is not out of line for any of those groups and being a fan of theme is not a prerequisite.

These are not consumer electronics like an iPhone or whatever. The market for them is different.

10 Likes

No, I get it. Plenty of people love pinball. I’m just saying, the Weird Al license is… interesting.

That’s a much broader-appeal theme than a lot of them that have come out in the last couple of years. The smaller makers scramble to get interesting ones, and Weird Al has a huge audience. Multimorphic’s first two games were original IP which never does well, so for them this is big.

ETA: Examples of weird themes from recent games to put that in perspective:

  • Willy Wonka, the Gene Wilder version
  • Dialed In - something to do with cellphones
  • Wizard of Oz - the public domain version
  • Ultraman (for a US audience only)
  • Rick and Morty
  • John Carpenter’s Hallowe’en
  • Alice Cooper

There are plenty of blockbuster games that came out as well, but that list is to show the obscure themes within which Weird Al looks pretty big himself. :grin:

5 Likes

I haven’t played pinball in years, but it used to be the case that banging the machine at strategic times to nudge the ball was expected player behavior. With all the new widgets and video stuff, which I imagine might be somewhat delicate, is that still the norm?

Weird Al has a bright future.

5 Likes

Oh nudging is very much indeed crucial strategy. Even more so now. What used to be somewhat antisocial behavior is now codified as core gameplay. Tilt sensors still exist so you don’t get too carried away, but nudging is a key way to play. The pros get their whole body into it and have mastered the art of shoving the machine around without tilting. In fact the gameplay is designed such that you won’t live long if you don’t know how to nudge. Drains are fast and wide so you need to be able to slide the ball an inch one way or another while it rolls.

The machines’ legs are rubber mounted to allow flexibility for nudging, and everything inside is built like a tank, so nudge away!

6 Likes

Are you saying that there are human beings who don’t like Weird Al? Really? He’s in the national treasure category…

5 Likes

They were in some Dave and Busters with Cosmic Cart Racing in groups so you could play head-to-head if I’m remembering correctly.

But yeah, there are probably going to be a ton more home buyers of this pin. I know that the theme is definitely attracting pinballers’ significant others who normally don’t care for pinball so we may get more pinball players out of this in the end!

Since the base price of Stern / Jersey Jack / Spooky and used prices have all gone up, more people are thinking it may be better off in the long run to buy a Multimorphic + a few modules for the different games (especially Heist).

This actually seems pretty cost effective, in that after spending $8k for the base, you can upgrade it to a brand new game every few years for $3k instead of spending another $8k.

2 Likes

Ahhh… I was wondering why all the table-specific playfield hardware was at the top end, is that so that the machine could potentially be re-fit with a different table/theme/ramp hardware?

I can kind of see the appeal of that (one cabinet, multiple table potential) but that huge empty space in the middle of the playfield seems kind of meh (even with the video screen covering most of it).

2 Likes

Real pinball machines are awesome… but… extremely expensive.

The digital pinball simulations are quite good… check out Pinball FX 3 (on almost every platform) and the upcoming, fancier, updated Pinball FX exclusively on the Epic games store. It’s a long, long story but Pinball Arcade lost the Williams license a few years back and it transitioned to Pinball FX.

I had a cool digital pinball machine but sold it during the pandemic when I was getting rid of pretty much everything I could in my life.

Or! Find a local pinball parlor and support local biz! :clap:

1 Like

No, no. Of course I’m not. Never. (looks nervously around the room)

1 Like