Pardon me, sir, but did you know there’s a Walking Dead pinball machine? Yes, I know, mind… BLOWN. You’re welcome!
With season 8 of AMC’s The Walking Dead kicking off tonight – with its 100th episode, no less! – I thought it would be a good time to chat about a Walking Dead property you may not be familiar with. You’ve probably heard of Telltale’s The Walking Dead video games, and perhaps the solid entry into the mobile gaming market, but you’d have to be part of a pretty elite group of fanatics to know about Stern’s The Walking Dead Pinball machine.
Stern Pinball is the only manufacturer left from the golden age of pinball. And surprisingly, in all that time, there hadn’t been a zombie-themed pinball machine. Stern addressed that oversight in 2014. There were 3 versions of the machine made, as is the current trend with pinball. Starting with the pro version, a base model which is the cheapest at an MSRP just over $6k (note, if you contact a pinball dealer, you will pay lower than MSRP in most cases). The pro model is typically the one that you may find on location in arcades and pubs. Then there’s the Premium, a few more bells and whistles and a higher price tag. This one’s the sweet spot for the home collector, and clocks in at an MSRP of $7700.
But if you’re wealthy or very dedicated to either pinball or The Walking Dead, and simply must have the best of the best… there’s a pinball for that. Enter the LE version. It’s got unique art, sometimes additional bling, and most importantly is limited to a set run of machines. Despite the $8600 MSRP, Stern’s Walking Dead LE has been long sold-out. You could find one on the secondary market if you really wanted to, but given this title is pretty well-regarded in the pinball community (currently #20 in Pinside’s Top 100), don’t expect to get a huge discounted deal just because it’s “used”. That’s not how the pinball seller’s market works.
As mentioned, this is one of the favorites of modern Stern machines. It’s designed by John Borg and Lyman Sheats, two industry veterans whose work is highly regarded. Fans of the show might be put off by the audio callouts, however. The callouts are done by a voice impersonator doing Rick Grimes, but it’s a lot more red-neck than you’re probably expecting. If you can get past that, though, it’s a great play experience that’s flashy, fun, and challenging.
Elements from the show such as Daryl’s crossbow, the prison, the CDC, the barn, “bicycle girl”, and the well zombie are all here, as well as the Governor’s tank of zombie heads (Premium and LE models). The art is all from the tv series as well.