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Posts Tagged ‘Stern’

Stern production numbers and more CCI photos

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

Among the Chicago Coin Industry press photos, Stern flyers and parts I found this little gem. (see the original post HERE) A two page, photo copied list of Stern production numbers! Stuff like this doesn’t come up too often so this is a great find. Sheds some light on how many games were in production and how long they were being produced. Insert token to continue…

Chicago Coin Las Vegas Shuffle advertisement found!

Monday, April 30th, 2012

A recent arcade purchase from a former Stern employee turned out to be a small treasure trove of arcade history. I was super excited to find a potentially NOS Stern Frenzy cabinet right from the factory floor! You can see it stuffed into the back of my 4 runner below, or check out the full post about the cabinet HERE. As exciting as that was, the real treasure turned out to be the plastic bin of miscellaneous parts and documentation.

NOS Frenzy Cabinet

In a Rubbermaid tote full of parts, photos, flyers and documentation, I found an original 8.5″ x 11″ marker rendering mock-up of the 1963 Chicago Coin Las Vegas Shuffle game. The artwork is drawn on vellum and then glued back to back onto a piece of white filler paper to create a double sided flyer. This was probably done in house by the marketing department, or by the person handling the company advertising at the time. The mock up is very similar to the flyer that was eventually produced and gives a rare glimpse at the creative process behind the arcade flyers we love so much. Insert token to continue…

Grabbed a handful of arcade assets today!

Friday, April 27th, 2012

If you were thinking Stern’s Moon War, you were right! Considered by many arcade enthusiasts to have the best game flyer around, Moon War is all about 80’s sexy. Just look at that game! 🙂 While I didn’t find the actual cabinet, I did get these arcade flyers along with a small lot of goodies from a former Stern employee. While many of the flyers, pictures and schematics had water damage I did come away with some interesting stuff.

Moon War flyer

I was contacted by Terry, a former employee of Stern’s video game division, about some old pictures and a Stern cabinet he had in storage. Could I help him determine the value? Was I interested? Of course! Getting a chance to talk to a former Stern employee and grabbing some arcade history is always of interest to me. Terry told me he saved the stuff from destruction when the division was closing down. Everything was being tossed into dumpsters and he meant everything! Heartbreaking to hear when you’re a die hard arcade collector, and sad to know that all the history and documentation about the company is gone forever. Here’s a glimpse of the small piece he was able to save. Insert token to continue…

Georgia or Bust! Part One

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

The annual arcade road trip was in jeopardy! Jeff had scored a fantastic new full time job and I was in school trying to finish up my RN degree. It was already October of 2011 and we hadn’t been on the road yet, time was slipping away and with the holidays quickly approaching, I didn’t think we’d pull off a trip this year. Never fear, the bulk deal would save us! Jeff had been working on securing a bulk deal somewhere near the east coast of Georgia, of all places, and was having some trouble. With a little help from our friend Steve, a collector in Georgia, the deal was secured and Jeff ended up with a nice Food Fight. He just had to pick it up or have it shipped. It was then that I remembered the trade offer I got from that same collector. Steve wanted a Tron and I just happened to have a nice working Tron. I wanted a Black Hole pinball and Steve just happened to have a nice working Black Hole pinball. Shipping wasn’t an option for me, so I’d have to drive there to pick it up. It hadn’t made sense before, but for some reason it did now.


What a drive it would be, at just over 17 hours and about 1000 miles one way. Ouch. But now there were two games to pick up and the annual arcade road trip was starting to take shape. I was on winter break from school and Jeff took some vacation time. The trip to Georgia and back again was on!. The idea was to take our time on the way down and visit a few collectors in route. We’d meet up with Steve to grab the games and check out his collection, and then take a few short detours to see collectors on the way back, just to make it interesting. I was excited to squeeze in the trip before the year was up and this time we’d be bringing back some cool games. With the trailer secured I was ready to go. Insert token to continue…

Stern Berzerk Upright ~ I

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

It has been quite a while since I’ve had any time to post, but for good reason. I have been working on projects galore, including a game I purchased at one of the Milwaukee Super Auctions way back in December of 2006 (or perhaps January 2007). Berzerk! This classic arcade game brings back a lot of memories for me as I loved playing it as a kid. It was easy to understand, had great robot voices and high scores were pretty rare so I even got my initials on the game from time to time. I inspected the cabinet at auction and while it was working, it was obvious that a fast paint job was done to polish it up for auction. I had been on the lookout for a Berzerk UR and since I hadn’t seen one come up in a long time, I decided to pull the trigger. There was a little bidding back and forth, but I ended up winning. It fit nicely in the back of my 4 runner.

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I didn’t have any other projects at the time and decided that I would do a cap kit, clean it up and even re-stencil the side art. I got started by stripping the cabinet and taking lots of pictures for future reference. Taking lots of pics during a tear down is a great idea no matter what game you’re working on. If you end up having to shelve the project you can always refer back to the pictures. The game had a Willis control panel overlay on it and a crackled original underneath. Little did I know that would lead to another whole project…

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After a complete tear down I started sanding down the side and repairing the hidden damage with bondo. The wood must have sat in water for awhile because the plywood had taken on the soft, brittle quality. A pain to repair with bondo. I only managed to do a first coat on one side before I got the golden egg dropped in my lap. A warehouse raid and bulk buy 5 minutes from my old house. Bezerk would have to wait, but stay tuned!

Willis Scramble cpo

Saturday, January 2nd, 2010

Stern did a nice job with the artwork on Scramble, a fun scrolling horizontal shooter. The stainless steel panel, the partially suggestive bezel, stenciled side art and the marquee blend to give the bright yellow cabinet a unified look. While the artists at Willis tried, I think they missed the boat on this replacement overlay. Using the stylized “worms” from the marquee isn’t very original and gives the cpo a flat and boring appearance. Great game, not so great overlay. At least the piece is in excellent shape and will make a good addition to the archive.

Willis Berzerk cpo

Monday, December 28th, 2009

This one is among my favorite Willis overlay’s and while I admit it’s not as amazing as the stainless steel original, at least there was an attempt to make it blend with the theme and artwork of the game.

Lots of robots pulled from the side art and colors from the bezel. Not a bad replacement and perhaps better than the dark factory replacement cpo that was offered direct from Stern. This Willis Berzerk control panel overlay is in great shape and produced with their typical quality production. I will happily add it to the archive.

Looking for a stainless steel reproduction for your Berzerk upright? Pre-order yours now! Likely the last time I will revisit this project, so if you need one, let me know.

Stern Factory Tour

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

I got a chance to visit the Stern pinball factory on Thursday for a tour of the facility. This was part of the package deal from the Pinball Expo and I think it was worth every penny. Three school bus loads of happy pinheads piled out to wait in line for their turn to see the goodies up close. (more…)