1986 Gamatron, Pinstar and Segasa Spain;Sonic
There’s no record of the production numbers of this game. Even Gary Stern doesn’t remember...
(Still trying to find video of this explanation)
From my research I had discovered that the Gamatron playfield was an original design by Harry Williams, and was not used by williams inc., but later used as a template for flight 2000 in 1980. Taking a normal style design playfield and creating a widebody, adding 2 inlanes and a popbumper and a few other design elements were changed...
Enter Pinstar 1986 with Gary Stern and designer Steve Kirk (stars, galaxy, 9 ball, meteor (early 80’s Stern)). Taking the original Harry Williams design and producing a kit for early 1980’s Stern cabinets...
Gamatron was a conversion kit produced by Pinstar, a company started and owned by Gary Stern between the collapse of the 'original' Stern and the formation of Data East Pinball. The playfield is a version of Stern's 1980 'Flight 2000' and features a device similar to that game's ball-walker at the upper left, completing G-A-M-A-T-R-O-N letters to enable locks, etc. The Bally/Stern boardset is used - a PinStar daughterboard plugs into the CPU socket. A binary comparison of the software indicates that it is 100% identical to Flight 2000's software. The kit could easily be used to "upgrade" a worn-out game from the early 1980's, but it did not include the features that were starting to drive the market in 1986 - namely ramps, speech, and displays capable of showing text as well as player scores - thus not many Gamatron kits were sold and few examples exist today.
Reportedly, this kit was used to modify existing Stern games as well as Bally games. However, the manufacturer flyer shown here states only, "Fits most standard size 4 player Bally Manufacturing Corporation pinballs".
The kit was advertised as plug and play, it took me several evenings to follow instructions in the Gamatron manual to convert a globetrotters wiring harness to Gamatron. I have yet to get the vsu100 speech board from flight 2000 to wire in to Gamatron to work successfully. I cannot find sufficient information to wire up the vsu100.
As far as I know, there is a collector in Texas DFW area that owns the only known white wood