My veteran pinball tech has an inexplicable adversity to any machine with the Stern label, and even longtime pinball emporiums like the Asbury Park Pinball Museum refuse to showcase even a single example from the most prolific creator of new games. Those who venerate the glorious 90's when Bally/Williams brought their most celebrated machines to market are particularly militant, often going as far as to claim the Stern product is cheaply constructed by comparison. To be sure I am a huge fan of 90's pinball and am plotting to purchase upcoming CGC re-makes of the most renowned games of that era, but unlike others I do find that Stern has given pinball lovers some magnificent games and will continue to do so well into the future. In this vein I offer a question that hopefully will invigorate meaningful discussion in assessing Stern's most noteworthy creations. Is the beloved LORD OF THE RINGS their irrefutable piece de resistance or shall we bring the likes of AC/DC, Batman 66, Metallica, The Simpson's Pinball Party, Spider Man, Aerosmith, Elvis, The Walking Dead, Iron Maiden, Tron Legacy, The Sopranos, Monopoly, Star Wars, Ripley's or others into the discussion? And can we also conclude that volume and creativity has evened the score with the now defunct labels, who did certainly have their day in the sun?
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