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Top Pinball Flops??

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By Rick471

3 years ago


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  • Started 3 years ago
  • 90 posts
  • 53 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by goatdan

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    There are 90 posts in topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 3 years ago

    In honor of John Carter The Movie, what do you guys think is the biggest flop in pinball?

    Or maybe your top 3??

    I know recently, people had really high hopes for certain Sterns titles. Im fairly new to the pinball scene so I am still learning its history. Does WOF fall into this category?

    Thoughts???


    #2 3 years ago

    The first that comes to mind is SWE1.


    #3 3 years ago

    Is that because of gameplay or because Jarjar shows his face in it?


    #4 3 years ago

    Because it sold so poorly compared to its projected success and was pretty much the nail in Williams' coffin.


    #5 3 years ago

    #6 3 years ago

    do i dare say TRS....my personal favorite band...its heartbreaking.

    » YouTube video

    Love em!!!!


    #7 3 years ago

    TRS is a good choice. I never put any money into the one on route here. It does nothing at all.


    #8 3 years ago

    Here's four that come to mind:

    IJ4 - Great theme that Stern managed to screw up.
    Star Wars Trilogy - Great theme that Sega screwed up.
    SWE1 - The game, like the movie didn't live up to the hype.
    roadshow - Not a bad game, but a disappointing follow up to TZ and TAF


    #9 3 years ago
    MikeS said:

    Here's four that come to mind:
    IJ4 - Great theme that Stern managed to screw up.
    Star Wars Trilogy - Great theme that Sega screwed up.
    SWE1 - The game, like the movie didn't live up to the hype.
    roadshow - Not a bad game, but a disappointing follow up to TZ and TAF

    Interesting, I have seen RS spoken highly of on several boards.

    So it seems like there are no good Star Wars pins in general!


    #10 3 years ago

    If you base it strictly on the license/Pinside ranking ratio, Avatar has got to be one of the biggest flops. It was based on the most successful film of all time, and yet it doesn't even rank in the top 100.


    #11 3 years ago

    Sorry sleethering,but you need a pinball history lesson.It was a huge hit,both with ops and players.Please watch the movie "Tilt",it will explain,quite well,how big a hit it was.The real nail in the coffin was Popeye.Scott


    #12 3 years ago

    SWE1 - got annoying and boring fast
    TRS - just plain hated it


    #13 3 years ago

    i really like the de Star Wars. i find it to be a fun game.
    swep1. i want to like it. its not the theme that bothers me. its the fact that the video over powers the game and the layout itself is too sparse. you have 1shot straight up the middle.
    avitar comes to mind. although i really like the game,many people dont. Waterworld. crappy film.i have not played the pin.i passed on even looking at one near me as the seller just sounded too much like a pin nazi on the phone.


    #14 3 years ago
    gweempose said:

    If you base it strictly on the license/Pinside ranking ratio, Avatar has got to be one of the biggest flops. It was based on the most successful film of all time, and yet it doesn't even rank in the top 100.

    Played that machine for the first time this weekend and I really liked it.


    #15 3 years ago
    MikeS said:

    Here's four that come to mind:
    IJ4 - Great theme that Stern managed to screw up.
    SWE1 - The game, like the movie didn't live up to the hype.
    roadshow - Not a bad game, but a disappointing follow up to TZ and TAF

    +1


    #16 3 years ago
    Rick471 said:

    treveism said:Here's four that come to mind:
    IJ4 - Great theme that Stern managed to screw up.
    Star Wars Trilogy - Great theme that Sega screwed up.
    SWE1 - The game, like the movie didn't live up to the hype.
    roadshow - Not a bad game, but a disappointing follow up to TZ and TAF

    Interesting, I have seen RS spoken highly of on several boards.
    So it seems like there are no good Star Wars pins in general!

    RS is a good bang for the buck game, but at the time it came out Pat Lawlor was coming off the success of TAF and TZ and had an almost unlimited budget to work with and decided to make a game based off the theme of "Road Construction". It's laughable really! He could have picked any theme he wanted and the game could have been another top 10 game that goes for huge money. Instead you have RS, which sells for under $2K despite a production run that is only about 40% of what it's predecessor "TZ" sold.


    #17 3 years ago

    I like RS and I think it's fun...but it was too cartoony for it's time. I wouldn't use the term laughable as it was obviously a return to Whirlwind & ES...but at the time something just didn't sit right.
    It was almost too "tonka truck" looking, almost fakish. I mean we Had DE & Gottlieb for fake horrible games back then.


    #18 3 years ago

    1. TRS = Maximum flop. First pin that actually annoyed me to play.
    2. BBH = Lesson hopefully learned that designing a pin after a wildly popular video game isn't always the best idea.
    3. Austin Powers = So much more could have been done better on this one.


    #19 3 years ago

    In recent years:

    Avatar
    BBH
    WOF

    In the 90's:

    Not sure. Other than reading the numbers, I never played one DMD game until about 3.5 years ago.

    In the 80's: Six Million Dollar Man sold OK, but it was a #1 rated show for more that 2 seasons when the license was signed and on the verge of being axed when the game was released.


    #20 3 years ago

    Hmm,

    Interesting thread idea.

    I agree with IJ4. I do not agree with RS. Personally, i really like the game, but on it's release, pinball was already dropping from the lofty sales figures of the TAF and TZ heyday, and much farther off the real pinball golden era of the late 70s early 80s. It still managed to sell over 6000 units.

    I think the far greater Pat Lawlor flop was Monopoly. That was supposed to be his return to designing games and the initial reaction from the pinheads was not good. Reputation is no better today, I know a quite a few collectors that had it and dumped it.

    Anyone who follows my posts know I love and own this game, but WOF might qualify as a flop.

    Hyperball was thought to be such a hit they made a bunch of cabs for it that turned into Centaur 2 and EBD.


    #21 3 years ago
    jackofdiamonds said:

    Sorry sleethering,but you need a pinball history lesson.It was a huge hit,both with ops and players.Please watch the movie "Tilt",it will explain,quite well,how big a hit it was.The real nail in the coffin was Popeye.Scott

    I've seen Tilt and that is why I thought of SWE1. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly but I thought the point of the doc was explaining the ultimate FAILURE of Pinball 2000. SWE1 was expected to sell as well, or better than RFM, but their attempt to time the release of the game with the release of the movie was off and sales were much lower than expected, causing Williams to completely pull the plug on their pinball division.

    I was thinking more of this thread title as "flops" in the business sense, and not in the gameplay sense. Not that SWE1 is a great player, but it certainly has some fans.


    #22 3 years ago
    islandpinball said:

    do i dare say TRS....my personal favorite band...its heartbreaking.
    » YouTube video
    Love em!!!!

    Yeah, I think TRS bombed pretty bad. It really sort of came and went and nobody cared.


    #23 3 years ago
    jonnyo said:

    islandpinball said:do i dare say TRS....my personal favorite band...its heartbreaking.
    » YouTube video
    Love em!!!!
    Yeah, I think TRS bombed pretty bad. It really sort of came and went and nobody cared.

    But I thought we all expected it to flop and suck. Makes it less of a flop, I think...


    #25 3 years ago

    Almost forgot CSI and 24 only sold 500 units each due to a license not known outside North America.

    A flop in the 90's is under 3000 units, and in the millenium under 1000 units. What a change.


    #26 3 years ago
    gweempose said:

    If you base it strictly on the license/Pinside ranking ratio, Avatar has got to be one of the biggest flops. It was based on the most successful film of all time, and yet it doesn't even rank in the top 100

    BMore-Pinball said:

    Played that machine for the first time this weekend and I really liked it

    Yeah, I've owned Avatar for several months now, and I just don't understand why it's ranked so low. I think it might be a case where the hype (or expectation) didn't live up to what was delivered. However, since I had no expectations going in, I was pleasantly surprised. It's a standard fan layout, and plays pretty darn fast. Amp suit magnet is fun, and sounds/call outs are really good (IMHO). ...or maybe it's just me - seems like I'm always defending Avatar.

    Espo66 said:

    I think the far greater Pat Lawlor flop was Monopoly. That was supposed to be his return to designing games and the initial reaction from the pinheads was not good. Reputation is no better today, I know a quite a few collectors that had it and dumped it

    I owned it for less than a month. Way too 'stop and go' for me, and the sounds got irritating quickly. ...and that damn railroad ramp seemed to block every shot.


    #27 3 years ago

    I like Monopoly a lot. It's got it's issues like that damn bank door, & the cop targ

    To be honest i can't believe Avatar is ranked as high as it is.


    #28 3 years ago

    Street Fighter II pinball was pretty awful compared to the video game.

    Maybe worst artwork (next to Grand Lizard) of all time.


    #29 3 years ago

    Hi R471

    depending on your perspective, I believe TZ was a big flop with Operators in its day
    due to it's complexity of build & with casual players as a result of overly complex gameplay

    It didnt make the $ in the wild and was quickly moved on here in Australia

    Would be interesting to receive a US Operators's perspective on this.......as the game
    is highly coveted now!

    cheers

    DR


    #30 3 years ago
    devil_rider said:

    Would be interesting to receive a US Operators's perspective on this.......as the game
    is highly coveted now!
    DR

    I talked to a guy awhile back that operated probably 30ish+ pins over a decade or 3 and he said hands down TZ made him the least money.


    #31 3 years ago

    I liked my Avatar. I would own one again for the right price. It a fun game.


    #32 3 years ago

    Back on topic (interesting one for me) - let's define 'flop'. Is it sales? (total $$ or #) ...perhaps maket price compared to price at release? ...pinside or IMDB rankings? All are valid I suppose. Too bad Stern doesn't release sales #'s - would love to see this data.


    #33 3 years ago

    The problem with TZ is that it's one of the least approachable games ever made. I remember how confused I was when I first encountered it back in the day.


    #34 3 years ago

    Hey,

    I'd say Flipper Football by Capcom. Thanks to Lloyd (LTG) for sharing this story with me when I was at SS Billiards one time: http://www.ufopinball.com/BBB/capcom_small.JPG

    Luke


    #35 3 years ago

    Vacation America.. Seems like I remember this machine from a lot longer ago than the 2002 that IPDB states for it's production date.?? I remember this being at an bowling alley and hating it ! Seems like I had to pay to play it also and again IPDB says "non-commercial".


    #36 3 years ago
    islandpinball said:

    do i dare say TRS....my personal favorite band...its heartbreaking.
    » YouTube video
    Love em!!!!

    Coooool video


    #37 3 years ago
    Hawkeyepin said:

    2. BBH = Lesson hopefully learned that designing a pin after a wildly popular video game isn't always the best idea.

    Golden Cue was designed under Sega. You might know it as Stern's Sharky's Shootout.

    no, they didn't learn.


    #38 3 years ago
    The_Dude_Abides said:

    Avatar, TRS, IJ4, SWE1.

    Sums it up pretty well I think.

    I don't think that Avatar is that bad of a pin, but still consider it a flop based on the overall response from the pin community. This was the first title where a *lot* of people pre-ordered the LE for the sole purpose of reselling it at a profit. A lot of people got caught holding the bag.


    #39 3 years ago

    I wonder which machine had the highest surplus after initial purchases,,,


    #41 3 years ago

    Mr. Pinball's MM remake.


    #42 3 years ago

    Raven Gottlieb 1986
    Jubilee Williams 1973
    Indiana Jones Stern 2008
    World Poker Tour Stern 2006

    top 4 good enough

    IJ and WPT to me were just a matter of overhyped themes
    IJ due to the pinball adventure and poker just because I love it but think the pinball is just average at best.


    #43 3 years ago
    MikeS said:

    Instead you have RS, which sells for under $2K despite a production run that is only about 40% of what it's predecessor "TZ" sold.

    People might not know this, but a big reason that RS probably sold so poorly was that TZ was a total route dog. It broke down constantly, and people didn't understand what the heck they were doing on it. When I first started in pinball, you could regularly get nice ones all day for $1500 or so. It wasn't until repro parts made them totally repairable, and people figured out that it made a great home game (if you like that sorta thing) that it's price went up.

    So it depends on what you call a flop. TZ was a route flop at the time, but it sure doesn't seem like one now. And IJ4 which a bunch of people mentioned apparently does really well on route from what I've heard.

    If you're looking for games that didn't sell, the only recent one that seemed to be blown out has been WoF. Before that, there are lots of stories of games like CV and CC being blown out for like $1500-$2000 NIB because people didn't want them. Time changes the perspective of flops rather dramatically.


    #44 3 years ago
    goatdan said:

    Time changes the perspective of flops rather dramatically.

    Indeed.

    I don't understand the TZ being a flop on route in terms of earnings. How the hell did they sell so many of them if they weren't making money for ops?

    WoF is an interesting one, because I don't think anyone had any kind of high expectations for that one based on theme. If anything, WoF is a pin where the actual game play far exceeds the very mediocre theme. If only Stern finished the software...


    #45 3 years ago
    RobT said:

    I don't understand the TZ being a flop on route in terms of earnings. How the hell did they sell so many of them if they weren't making money for ops?

    Riding on TAF's coattails?


    #46 3 years ago
    GoneFishinLvMsg said:

    RobT said:I don't understand the TZ being a flop on route in terms of earnings. How the hell did they sell so many of them if they weren't making money for ops?
    Riding on TAF's coattails?

    I'm sure that is a big part of it..


    #47 3 years ago

    I cant be alone with thinking Sherk is a horrible game??

    PS. Transformers?? Sorry Stern lovers but this game stinks, I think Stern had a budget of $150.00 and a Walmart gift card to make this one.


    #48 3 years ago
    lukerp said:

    Hey,
    I'd say Flipper Football by Capcom. Thanks to Lloyd (LTG) for sharing this story with me when I was at SS Billiards one time: http://www.ufopinball.com/BBB/capcom_small.JPG
    Luke

    "The damn tampon machine makes more than Flipper Football."


    #49 3 years ago
    goatdan said:

    treveism said:Instead you have RS, which sells for under $2K despite a production run that is only about 40% of what it's predecessor "TZ" sold.
    People might not know this, but a big reason that RS probably sold so poorly was that TZ was a total route dog. It broke down constantly, and people didn't understand what the heck they were doing on it. When I first started in pinball, you could regularly get nice ones all day for $1500 or so. It wasn't until repro parts made them totally repairable, and people figured out that it made a great home game (if you like that sorta thing) that it's price went up.
    So it depends on what you call a flop. TZ was a route flop at the time, but it sure doesn't seem like one now. And IJ4 which a bunch of people mentioned apparently does really well on route from what I've heard.
    If you're looking for games that didn't sell, the only recent one that seemed to be blown out has been WoF. Before that, there are lots of stories of games like CV and CC being blown out for like $1500-$2000 NIB because people didn't want them. Time changes the perspective of flops rather dramatically.

    Well, I was kinda bummed when a place up here called Lanes and Games pulled TZ and replaced it with ACDC. The owner has like 8 or so games and when asked why TZ was the one being replaced he said it was because it was earning a lot less than everything else (like SS, SM, FG, Tron, TAF).


    #50 3 years ago

    Rollergames was a bit of a flop.

    It was based on a show that was cancelled before the game was released.

    It's still my favorite pin though



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