Worlds Only Arcade Pinball Machine Maker Based in Chicago - New York News

Worlds Only Arcade Pinball Machine Maker Based in Chicago

Posted:

There is a pinball factory in Chicago that is the last of its kind. Stern Pinball in Melrose Park is the only maker of arcade-quality pinball games in the world.

If there is a Pinball wizard these days his name would be Gary Stern, who as CEO of Stern Pinball in Melrose Park, carries on a legacy forged by iconic Chicago gaming manufacturers like Williams, Bally and Gottlieb as the only company on the planet still making full size arcade quality pinball games.

"We don’t like to say the last, we say the only. We don’t like saying the last because it makes it sound like we’re quitting, and we're not quitting,” Stern said.

The place literally hums with dozens and dozens of workers producing some 5,000 games a year, half of which are exported overseas.

Each game contains 3,500 different parts and a half mile of wire!!

“This isn't like your home computer, where one plugs into your monitor and the other into a computer,” Stern said. “There's four man days of labor making a pinball machine. That relates to about 30 hours a game. That's more than the Ford Taurus that was manufactured near here.”

Titles with widespread appeal like Batman, Spiderman and Avatar are important for any game, but it all comes back to Gary's favorite word: fun.

“That's the most important thing: the game has to be fun. Capital F, capital U, capital N, fun,” Stern said.

Stern's biggest target demographic is men in their late forties and fifties, who might not be very skilled but are easily seduced by flashing lights, flippers and nostalgia.

Stern has been in pinball his whole life, as his Dad was before him, carrying on a great Chicago tradition.

The entry-level games cost around $3,500. but the premium, special edition models can go as high as $6,500

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Friday Night Live: August 29, 2014

    Friday Night Live: August 29, 2014

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:14:33 GMT

    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: Electric Zoo Festival, Beth Shak, Richard Albrecht, Kathy Wakile, and Moses Laboy .

    This is Fox 5's Friday Night Live, a weekly celebration of the end of the work week. All summer long, the Fox 5 team brings you the latest in entertainment, nightlife, food, and music in our area. In this jam-packed episode: Electric Zoo Festival, Beth Shak, Richard Albrecht, Kathy Wakile, and Moses Laboy .


  • Cocktails with Moses Laboy

    Cocktails with Moses Laboy

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:49:46 GMT
    Mixologist Moses Laboy came to Friday Night Live to mix up some cocktails to get us started on the holiday weekend. Born and raised in Spanish Harlem, Laboy has mixed drinks at Red Rooster, Los Americanos, Le Colonial NYC, and elsewhere. He has served drinks to President Obama and President Clinton.
    Mixologist Moses Laboy came to Friday Night Live to mix up some cocktails to get us started on the holiday weekend. Born and raised in Spanish Harlem, Laboy has mixed drinks at Red Rooster, Los Americanos, Le Colonial NYC, and elsewhere. He has served drinks to President Obama and President Clinton.
  • Business is good at Coney Island

    Business is good at Coney Island

    Friday, August 29 2014 10:22 PM EDT2014-08-30 02:22:32 GMT
    From the brand-new Thunderbolt roller coaster to the world-famous boardwalk, tourists and business owners alike say Coney Island had a great ride of its own this summer. Toms Coney Island's general manager Vasilios Tourlokas says the mild summer impacted his boardwalk business in the best way possible: a 10 to 15 percent increase.
    From the brand-new Thunderbolt roller coaster to the world-famous boardwalk, tourists and business owners alike say Coney Island had a great ride of its own this summer. Toms Coney Island's general manager Vasilios Tourlokas says the mild summer impacted his boardwalk business in the best way possible: a 10 to 15 percent increase.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices