|I got this e-mail from a gaming expo mailing group that I'm on. Interesting...|
Stern Pinball is conducting a limited market test exclusively in select Costco stores, offering a modified version of the Batman pinball designed for the consumer market. The initial test involves 48 Batman games with fewer features and a less complex playfield than the commercial version of the same game.
Participating Costco stores have three games each. Stern is conducting this test to study products best suited for various segments of its market. These games are shipped from the factory set on free play and have only one fixed coin setting of five credits per one coin.
Stern says it will not sell any more of this test Batman in this configuration in the U.S. If the test is successful, Stern says it will further simplify future game design for tested market segments. Such changes would likely include a redesigned and simplified cabinet and replacement of the current dot matrix score display.
However, it should be noted that Stern will continue to build its full line of traditional commercial coin-op pinball games, as well as special collector models.
Costco Store test locations are the following:
Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
Simi Valley, Calif.
North Fresno, Calif.
St. George, UT
San Antonio, TX
Overland Park, Kan.
Deerfield Township, OH
Pembroke Pines, Fla.
Best of luck to Stern, being THE only pinball manufacturer left on the planet, they're going to need it. I just wonder how much they cost though.
Also, Sears had been selling some pinball machines last year as well, dunno if they're still doing that though.