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Opening a NIB Stern pinball

Every 5 or 6 years I have been the lucky recipient of a fantastic company bonus. The first one was a NIB Lord of the Rings pinball from Stern in 2002, this time it was a NIB Simpson’s Pinball Party from Stern. This game came from the most recent and final short run and has a manufactured date of October 24, 2008. Here it is after the driver dropped it on my driveway.

NIB tspp

I was anxious to open it up and move it into the game room, but I’d need help. I called my friend Bill K and he agreed to come over. We took our time and carefully opened up the box. Pulling out the sealed air foam inserts and cutting away the box until a hand truck could safely be used to move it off the pallet. There’s nothing like the smell of new pinball!

After we had the game safely off the pallet and strapped to the hand truck it was time to move it into the basement. Stair climbers and an extra hand make it easy work, especially when you have an exterior staircase. Double doors and a walk-out basement help too, no messing around here. Once in the basement Bill and I attached the legs and gave it a general once over.

We moved it into the game room next to the LOTR pin. I wasn’t sure if it would stay in this spot, but for now it was the best option. Powered up the game and everything looked good. I was able to play a few games, but only a few.

Every time the ball would shoot up the left orbit, or occasionally when it went through the garage door, a ball would get stuck somewhere under the mini playfield. I had to remove it to see what was going on. Turns out that the garage ramp piece was tightened down too hard. This pushed the ball guide into the path of the ball just a millimeter or two farther than it cared for. The ball stuck in place, as you can see. All I did was loosen up the screws a bit and it seems to play fine now. I also took some scans of the pinball plastics which I’ll post here. Email me if you’d like full size images.

I was excited to have a new pin for our first annual Halloween party, unfortunately the Friday before the Simpson’s Pinball Party started auto launching the balls, firing off the pop bumpers and other assorted craziness. Stern customer service was gone until Monday so the game had to sit quietly during the party 🙁 Once Monday came I was able to determine it was a bad CPU. I’m waiting for it to arrive any day now, I hope.

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