The Mandalorian

The backglass of Mandalorian as described in the post

Star Wars: The Mandalorian (Pro edition), 2021, Stern.

It took close to 75 pinball posts for me to get to a Star Wars property, which is really an accomplishment considering how many different ones exist.

It’s still a Stern machine and it’s still a licensed property, so yes, the backglass looks more like marketing material than anything else, but at least now that we’re in the 2020s, we’re getting a little more artistic about it again. This is an illustration, not a photo still or mashup. The Mandalorian stands center stage with the child in front of him, one of the Fetts to the right and a woman I recognize but don’t know the name of to the left. A bunch of other characters are milling around, they’re on a desert planet, and typical Star Wars ships hover in the far background.

(Look, I only watched like two episodes, cut me a break.)

It’s very orange and charcoal, but in a way that’s in line with the show’s aesthetic. Yeah, it’s advertising. Gotta sell machines somehow.


The backglass for Deadpool as described in the post

Deadpool (Pro edition), 2018, Stern

We’re back in this century and it’s a branded backglass so you know it’s going to be, well, marketing. Deadpool, center, is punching Colossus (I think it’s Colossus, been a while since I picked up a comic book) while a bunch of other characters including Wolverine and Mystique lurk in the red background. There’s a taco truck in the top left corner. The Hell House and mini-Deadpool also make appearances. Everything is very red.

The comic is better.

Batman 66

The backglass for the game Batman 66 as described in the post.

Batman 66, Stern, 2016.

There are a large number of Batman pinball games and as of this writing, Batman 66 is the newest one. While most of the other machines are tie-ins to the movies, Batman 66 is a tie-in/homage to the 1966 TV classic. It’s filled with cut scenes from the TV series featuring Adam West.

The glass is typical of its time. Batman is centered in his blue costume with his cape billowing behind him. To our right, Robin runs beside him in red, yellow, and green. Both are masked. To the left, mini portraits of Catwoman, Joker, Riddler, and Penguin are painted. The bottom right corner contains a painting of the absolute land yacht that was the 1966 Batmobile.  We can barely make out a city skyline and the bat signal in the background, because so much of the space is filled with comic word balloons of the sound effects from the show: sock, wammm, biff, zap, etc.

While I’m not a fan of the “look we made a movie poster” style of tie-in, this one is particularly good at capturing the clean bright colors of the show as well as the zany sound effect bubble special effects. It’ll do quite well.

The Shadow


Backglass for The Shadow as described in the post.

The Shadow, Midway, 1994.

Another movie tie-in machine, this one features the character of The Shadow in the center holding two pistols, a woman whose maid’s costume is falling off on  the left, and Ghengis Khan reincarnated on the right. Two stone lions guard the lower two corners while two of the movie’s magical ring decorate the upper two corners of the backglass. A full moon and city skyline complete the background. If you’ve seen the movie poster, there are no surprises here, which is of course the point.


Genesis backglass as described in the post

Genesis, Gottleib, 1986.

One would think looking at this backglass that it was based on a science fiction movie, and it sort-of is, but nothing you’ve probably heard of.  According to the Internet Pinball Database (IPD) entry for Genesis, designer John Gottleib based the concept on a 1927 German film called Metropolis.

Anyway, the backglass is eye-catching in how different it is from most designs of its era. It’s a photo of three people, an old man dressed like a mad scientist, a younger woman with big 80s hair and lots of fishnets, and a younger man possibly with dwarfism dressed in a black leather vest but no shirt.

Behind them one can see a wall of devices, all painted the same matte grey, a weird looking machine to the left and a screen of some sort to the right. Definitely hearkens back to the age of b-movie science fiction, even if the exact plot is known only to the designer.