Believe it or not, pinball has been around for centuries. In the United States, it became wildly popular in arcades and taverns in the 1930s, and over a hundred different companies produced pinball machines in the US. After pinball’s heyday in the mid-20th century, the number of companies producing pinball machines in the United States dropped off dramatically. These days, finding a new pinball machine can be a bit difficult. If you’re in the market for a cool pinball machine for your home or business, we’ve rounded up a few models that will definitely intrigue you.
Our list includes arcade-quality pinball machines that are great for adults, as well as smaller, less expensive pinball machines that are targeted towards children. Arcade-quality pinball machines can cost thousands of dollars, but you can defray that cost by going in on a machine with friends or family members. A new pinball machine is definitely not a small expense, but it’s a great way to create family memories that will last a lifetime. Plus, a brand new machine is less prone to malfunction than an older, used pinball machine. Whether you’re looking for a toy for the kids, or an awesome addition to your man cave or family room, these pinball machines are some of the best models currently available.
1. Stern Pinball ‘The Walking Dead’ Arcade Pinball Machine – Premium Edition
For many people, the joy of playing ball is tied up in the theme of the pinball table. Fans love being able to play a pinball machine that’s inspired by their favorite movie or TV show. For fans of The Walking Dead, there’s no better gift than this detailed pinball game. The game is packed with graphics, music, and cool details that any fan will love, including a “Cell Block C” interactive prison building that’s integrated into the layout.
This is a fairly advanced table, with lots of interactive elements and multipliers to keep you on your toes. As the ball progresses in a round, you can collect supplies and unlock play modes that change your gameplay experience. A counter accumulates killed Walkers and collects a bonus when the ball drains. The fish tank with illuminated sculpted zombie heads is a really nice touch that true Walking Dead fans will appreciate.
Price: $7,095 (5 percent off MSRP)
Get a closer look at this pinball game in the video above.
- Awesome details that fans of the show will appreciate
- Complex multipliers to unlock, which keeps the game feeling fresh and challenging
- Deeply detailed table that’s packed with sculpted elements
- Because this show is so popular, the price for this new table is quite high
- May be too gruesome for families with young children
- Machine is heavy, some set-up will be required upon delivery
Find more Stern Pinball The Walking Dead Arcade Pinball Machine – Premium Edition information and reviews here.
2. Stern Pinball WWE WrestleMania Arcade Pro Edition Pinball Machine
If you love watching WWE on TV, then this wrestling-themed pinball machine is a great choice for your house. As you play, you’ll try to become the WWE worldwide heavyweight champion. Multiple ramps guide the ball while it is in play, creating a dizzying gameplay experience. The LED playfield lights up in a variety of ways, and looks particularly cool when you’re playing in a darkened room.
The sound is also great here. The machine boasts a three-channel stereo and Hi-Fidelity sound system. As you play, you’ll hear the voices of WWE announcers Jerry “The King” Lawlor and Michael Cole. You’ll also experience licensed songs and wrestling intro music while playing, which creates a more immersive experience for wrestling superfans.
Price: $5,495 (8 percent off MSRP)
Learn more about how this pinball machine was designed in the behind-the-scenes video above.
- Features real WWE announcer voices and licensed wrestling music
- Hi-Fidelity sound system
- Features the new SPIKE system, which uses less energy and generates less heat during operation
- While less than the Walking Dead machine, still quite expensive
- May not appeal to those who aren’t big wrestling fans
- Like most machines, heavy, and requires signature at time of delivery
Find more Stern Pinball WWE WrestleMania Arcade Pro Edition Pinball Machine information and reviews here.
3. Stern Pinball Ford Mustang LE Limited Edition Arcade Pinball Machine
Some of the pinball machines with a pop-culture tie-in are cool at first, but they can seem dated after just a few years. This Mustang-themed pinball machine is likely to age a bit more gracefully. This table was designed to celebrate over 50 years of the legendary Ford Mustang muscle car. Some of the more advanced, modern pinball tables can have rules that are hard to follow, but the gameplay is a bit simpler here. The easy to follow instructions, combined with the cabinet design, make this pinball machine ideal for players of all ages.
The machine features custom speech by professional car driver, Tanner Foust, along with 103 playfield icon inserts featuring controlled LEDs. The exterior of the cabinet features art by famed Ford GT artist and designer Camilo Pardo. It also includes a serialized number plate and certificate of authenticity.
Watch extended gameplay on this table in the video above.
- Easy to follow instructions for gameplay
- Great cabinet art design
- Cool soundtrack from Sony Music featuring five decades of hit songs
- Features 1:24 scale Ford Mustang
- Signature required at time of delivery
Find more Stern Pinball Ford Mustang LE Limited Edition Arcade Pinball Machine information and reviews here.
4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Power Free Standing Pinball
If your kids have been hounding you for a pinball machine, but you have a small budget, a kid-sized pinball machine is a nice option to consider. This TMNT pinball machine isn’t arcade-quality, but it’s perfectly serviceable for young players. The small size makes it the right height for shorter players, but the LCD score board and light-up design make this small table feel like as much fun as playing a “grown up” table. Electronic scoring allows easy score tracking for up to five players.
If TMNT isn’t your kid’s favorite thing, there’s a similarly-priced pinball machine featuring Spiderman you can check out instead.
- Costs a fraction of what you’d pay for a “real” machine
- Smaller size is kid-friendly
- Supports multi-player
- LCD score board
- Not fun for adults
- Lacks the premium build quality of “grown-up” pinball machines
- Some user reviews suggest machine is quite loud when in operation
- Runs on batteries that need to be replaced frequently
Find more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Power Free Standing Pinball information and reviews here.
5. Stern Pinball Whoa Nellie Big Juicy Melons Arcade Pinball Machine
Looking for a machine with a little sex appeal? This is a pinball machine that is well-suited for a bachelor pad, man cave, or hunting cabin. The table and cabinet design feature lovely ladies with melons placed suggestively over their chests. In an increasingly digital world, this table features some old-school design flourishes, including retro-style bumper caps, flipper bats, and a mechanical knocker. A cool design touch here is the option to install the table on powder-coated legs, or a weathered “fruit crate.” This is a nice option for players seeking the reliability of a modern machine, but with the design of an older machine.
Price: $5,995 (8 percent off MSRP)
In the video above, programmer Jack Benson plays the first Whoa Nellie machine to come off the assembly line at Stern Pinball in Melrose Park, Illinois.
- Adjustable game rule settings from “sweet” to “sassy” allow for customizable gameplay
- Runs SPIKE system, which helps machine run cooler
- Play on legs, or on a crate
- Design may not be the most appropriate choice for family settings
- You’ll need to find storage space for whatever leg option you don’t currently have installed on the machine