(Topic ID: 241548)

Why do all Sterns have three pop bumpers?


By Mizzou0103

1 year ago



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  • 110 posts
  • 71 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by DS_Nadine
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    There are 110 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    -1
    #52 1 year ago
    Quoted from woodrailwizard:

    I recently ran into a Transformers machine in a local pizza shop. I didn't get to play it but gave it a good long look. I don't remember seeing any pops. Am I wrong?

    Yes, you are incorrect. 3 pops

    WWE has 1, Simpsons has 2. There are plenty of designs that counter this argument

    #53 1 year ago
    Quoted from dsmoke1986:

    Yes, you are incorrect. 3 pops
    WWE has 1, Simpsons has 2. There are plenty of designs that counter this argument

    Both Data East Simpson's and TSPP have 3 pop bumpers.

    #54 1 year ago
    Quoted from RJW:

    Both Data East Simpson's and TSPP have 3 pop bumpers.

    And both DE WWF & WWE have 3...but hey don't ruin a good story with facts!

    #55 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    And both DE WWF & WWE have 3...but hey don't ruin a good story with facts!

    Oh ya, lol, I totally missed that.

    My apologies, I do love a good story.

    #56 1 year ago

    If my crowd-sourced info is correct: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1-or-2-pops
    (only 2) layouts with 1 or 2 pops since 1998.
    Yet there are many historical games with 0 pops (Grand Lizard), 1 pop (Black Knight), or 2 pops (Defender) that are GRRREAT.
    -mof

    #57 1 year ago
    Quoted from mof:

    If my crowd-sourced info is correct: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1-or-2-pops
    No modern designer has had the gumption to try 1 or 2 pops since 1998.
    Yet there are many historical games with 0 pops (Grand Lizard), 1 pop (Black Knight), or 2 pops (Defender) that are GRRREAT.
    -mof

    Stern Star Wars has 2 pops.

    #58 1 year ago
    Quoted from Coz:

    I’ve got a Star Wars premium- it has 2- innovation!

    Just another cost cutting measure by Stern. Next thing you know we will be down to only one flipper.

    #59 1 year ago
    Quoted from Who-Dey:

    Just another cost cutting measure by Stern. Next thing you know we will be down to only one flipper.

    Shhhhh! Don't give them any ideas!

    #60 1 year ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    Shhhhh! Don't give them any ideas!

    Every game will be like a old pitch and bat machine.

    #61 1 year ago

    Gary believes a pinball machine must have two flippers at the bottom with two slings and usually 3 poppers. He sees this as the basic elements all machines should have.

    #62 1 year ago

    Was talking with Steve Ritchie at California extreme when Star Wars came out and he stated that Gary stern requires at least 2 pop bumpers and a plunger unless you can provide a really good reason why you dont need them. Also I don't know if anyone mentioned that The Shadow has no pop bumpers. I know its not a stern game, but i think the game is great without any pops.

    #63 1 year ago

    Pops are generally my least favorite thing in a game...depends on how they are utilized.

    I would love to see more layouts without them.

    #64 1 year ago

    Pop bumpers are great when they are a feature that means something.

    In the 50's Gottlieb used them intelligently - mostly as a separate scoring system. Scoring single points.

    As the decades went by, designers seemed to lose creativity as to how to use them so they mean something.

    On modern Stern's they are sometimes used ok.

    KISS is good as you have to light them in a series where they change colors.

    Use them intelligently or lose them!

    #65 1 year ago

    I love the single pop in Meteor. Also really like what Scott Danesi did with TNA. That's how you use a pop!

    #66 1 year ago
    Quoted from cody_chunn:

    It's the holy trinity. For maximum ball action you need at least three.

    gCdIxwb (resized).jpg
    #67 1 year ago
    Quoted from Shapeshifter:

    Pop bumpers are great when they are a feature that means something.
    In the 50's Gottlieb used them intelligently - mostly as a separate scoring system. Scoring single points.
    As the decades went by, designers seemed to lose creativity as to how to use them so they mean something.
    On modern Stern's they are sometimes used ok.
    KISS is good as you have to light them in a series where they change colors.
    Use them intelligently or lose them!

    I agree, but preferably to use them intelligently, not lose them. Nowadays it seems like there are always three pops in a triangle relegated way up in the top corner of the playfield, hard to see, necessarily out of the way of the requisite fan of long flipper shots, placed there as an obvious (to me) requirement that the playfield must have them to pay homage to the idea of a pinball machine, thus they interfere with the rest of the playfield design. Or, you shoot between/past them like on TAF. Meh. I wish a designer would try to again make pops a featured destination, like they once were, boldly placed smack dab in top center of the playfield, in the open, maybe five of them like 1973 Williams Swinger, where you shoot for them and hoped the ball spent some time there (and often did). Nowadays it's all about having multiple lanes fanned out across the upper third of the playfield (what I call the Hyperball Effect) and the pops are squeezed in somewhere like an afterthought. I think some players have noticed this design intrusion and prefer they not be there at all?

    Couldn't pops be featured more obviously and with easy ball access as a place to get lots of points and still have usual several lanes for aiming and shooting? Or are today's players disliking of ball action that does not follow a line or a loop?

    Of course, as soon as I wrote that, I see the new Black Knight Sword of Rage playfield does have its three pops more centered like I like. I wonder if they are easily accessible and figure into the game play in the way I've been missing? Maybe somebody who gets what I am talking about can tell me once they've played one.

    As long as I'm whining, and I've said it before, I also am tired of the ubiquitous Italian bottom, it's been done to death, IMHO. Especially in solid state games. The slingshots facing each other like a V, always volleying the ball back and forth bap bap bap bap, until it either head towards an outlane or towards the flipper end of the inlane. The same predictable dance. It's interesting to me that more players don't notice the repetitiveness of play in that dance and demand more variety there, other than it's foreplay for those popular aimed long shots.

    Ok, I'll go back under my rock now. LOL

    Great topic.

    #68 1 year ago
    Quoted from SkillShot:

    Gary believes a pinball machine must have two flippers at the bottom with two slings and usually 3 poppers.

    Well 2 flippers and 2 slings who can really argue with that. 3 pop bumbers especially with zero affect on gameplay seems foolish, more of a sacred old timer pretentious pinball gadget than a requirement.

    #69 1 year ago

    I love the single pop bumper in TNA. It’s so well integrated and is something that regularly requires you to shoot for it. It’s easily the best use of a pop bumper in a long time. I wish there were more modern games that used them that intelligently.

    Also, Beatles is an older layout, but that’s another one where there’s three pops, but at least they’re used for a mode. They at least seem to be there for a reason.

    #70 1 year ago

    Pop Bumpers added randomization to make the game harder...

    ...but cheap drains aren't a good thing anymore with so many games going in home collections.

    So therefore (and yes I know Williams also did this allready) the Pop Bumpers are mostly completely packed away in a seperate area where they just get trough ans allways come out the same way. Just like someone above wrote with Star Trek.

    You can do something with the code but for gameplay it's just 'keeping some balls busy in multiball' or 'maybe the pops fire the ball up again trough the jet lanes'.

    And yes, TNA's single Pop was completely different!

    #71 1 year ago

    my guess is you need a min. of 3 to get the ball "trapped" in there for any period of time
    with 1-2 two - it's going to hit the pops and go right out.
    I love when a ball gets in the pops and goes crazy - sort of a throwback to EM games for me when that was where all the action was

    The single pop on TNA is not a whole lot different than a sling

    #72 1 year ago
    Quoted from waynoid:

    Also I don't know if anyone mentioned that The Shadow has no pop bumpers. I know its not a stern game, but i think the game is great without any pops.

    Yes and agreed!

    Quoted from I_P_D_B:

    ... I also am tired of the ubiquitous Italian bottom, it's been done to death, IMHO. Especially in solid state games. The slingshots facing each other like a V, always volleying the ball back and forth bap bap bap bap, until it either head towards an outlane or towards the flipper end of the inlane. The same predictable dance. It's interesting to me that more players don't notice the repetitiveness of play in that dance and demand more variety there, other than it's foreplay for those popular aimed long shots.

    I love a good Italian bottom ( ), but it would be nice to see some innovation here too.

    #73 1 year ago

    I could take em or leave em game play wise, but I do like the iconic sound they make. It also serves as random length break, to catch your breath, which can be welcome at times.

    #74 1 year ago

    Not really a fan of pops either. They rarely seem to serve any purpose especially on modern games. I do like games where you have a shot through the pops.

    #75 1 year ago

    Without Pop Bumpers it is hard for me to get into it.

    #76 1 year ago

    Played a BKSOR Pro last night and the pops are just kind of there. I know this is true in lots of machines, but the flat, exposed look of the Pro really highlights it. Why not throw a spot target somewhere in the nest to at least encourage some creative nudging? It feels like zero thought goes to the pops sometimes.

    #77 1 year ago
    Quoted from Ericpinballfan:

    The spinning one drives me nuts.

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    #78 1 year ago

    ACNC has no pops

    #79 1 year ago

    I like the randomness that pops add and the popping sound - defines what pinball is for me. That does not mean every game needs them. I loved No Fear and JD when I owned them. However, they are kind of wasted when just used at the top of the playfield without adding any randomness (like in SM for example).

    One of the things that attracts me to pinball is the element of randomness - you cannot just memorize patterns & levels like in some video games. Pop bumpers and slings add to that element but other things like magnets and spinning disks work too. Bottom line is that not every game needs pops.

    TZ even tried no bat flippers (Power playfield) which many people hate but I love it. Would not, however, be fun if used on every game or in place of every traditional bat flipper.

    #80 1 year ago
    Quoted from PBFan:

    I like the randomness that pops add and the popping sound - defines what pinball is for me.

    I feel the same, love the sound an dynamic of pop bumpers. You don't need them in every game - but I do like them in general.

    #81 1 year ago

    I feel like at least in maiden they serve a purpose. They kinda block the left ramp making the shot a lot harder- at least for me. If you miss they make you pay.

    #82 1 year ago
    Quoted from tommyp:

    I feel like at least in maiden they serve a purpose. They kinda block the left ramp making the shot a lot harder- at least for me. If you miss they make you pay.

    Yes, Maiden or Houdini are great exaples to mix that classic formula up a bit.

    #83 1 year ago

    My WW has 6
    My Monopoly has 6.

    Overkill? It doesnt bother me

    #84 1 year ago

    Pops are fine but this whole thing with them having to be there is foolish. Spinners are the only thing I believe are needed in every game just personal taste, without at least one I definitely feel that something is missing. I guess a lot of pinheads feel that way about pops so its all good.

    #85 1 year ago

    My lost in space has 5, and they are awesome. Balls stay up there for a while, usually more than one at a time.

    #86 1 year ago
    Quoted from phoenixpin:

    Love Star Trek and Spider-Man layouts EXCEPT for the pop bumper areas which are irrelevant to game play as they just come out that one exit and do so almost the same way each time. Seems like wasted space and no randomization at all.

    They don't increase the randomness, but they do serve a purpose even on games like this. They slow the ball down. This can come in handy during multiball when you can shoot one or two balls up there to make it easier to focus on the remaining balls down below.

    #87 1 year ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    This can come in handy during multiball when you can shoot one or two balls up there to make it easier to focus on the remaining balls down below.

    If u want that sure, I'm ok with furious pinball mayhem. Ah who cares anyway.

    #88 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinheadpierre:

    Old Chicago has 5. The lower two are a couple of the most brutal pops ever.

    That's a Bally EM, not a stern.

    #89 1 year ago

    I do like them on games like IMDN, Congo, TZ, TAF, WOZ, JJPPOTC, etc...when there is a shot through the pops

    #90 1 year ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    They don't increase the randomness, but they do serve a purpose even on games like this. They slow the ball down. This can come in handy during multiball when you can shoot one or two balls up there to make it easier to focus on the remaining balls down below.

    Honestly fair point. Well said.

    #91 1 year ago
    Quoted from Rockytop:

    I do like them on games like IMDN, Congo, TZ, TAF, WOZ, JJPPOTC, etc...when there is a shot through the pops

    Have to shoot through the pops on Monopoly & Whirlwind. Same shot on both pins.

    #92 1 year ago

    Harley Davidson has 4 pops
    IJ4 has 4 pops (Who would have guessed since it is based on 4 movies?)
    KISS has 4 pops. Imagine that....4 band members.
    image-8 (resized).jpgimage-41 (resized).jpgimage-23 (resized).jpg

    #93 1 year ago
    Quoted from thirdedition:

    Well Kiss and Aerosmith both had exposed pop bumpers, and both of them had 4.

    I count 3 in Aerosmith. image-7 (resized).jpg

    #94 1 year ago
    Quoted from Mizzou0103:

    Just curious why Stern always has three pop bumpers. It seems to have effect on a designers’ creativity, when you always have to save room for pops. Thoughts?

    Because if they got rid of them the thread bitching about Stern cost cuts would be ten times longer then this thread

    #95 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballManiac40:

    I count 3 in Aerosmith. [quoted image]

    The fourth one is invisible.... I mean it is really tucked in there and hard to see.....

    I admit I was wrong, my bad.

    #96 1 year ago

    Honestly I think its because they don't try to be different. I firmly believe and actually have had this confirmed to me, they have a program like google sketchup. Inside this program it shows you what you can use to design a game, and outside of that you can't use it. I think these guys are stuck in a rut personally. Why don't they do something different do a wide body, add wifi, add a camera, do something epic, try and be different, think outside the box?

    They won't because for one its not profitable just look at POTC, do something way outside the box you have parts issues, etc. Two why should they, they're kings, making money, no need. Three they have no real competition really so no need to ramp up anything. Four they use parts that are tried and true, there is no doubt their machines are tanks. Doing anything outside the norm is risky.

    Until Stern has a serious downturn in business, or they get some big league competition will you see them mix it up.

    Lastly I honestly think worshipping the same guys who've designed pinball games for years, is a mistake. Where is the new blood? When you're 60 years old and you've been doing this for decades no reason to change. Look at Iron Maiden everyone loves that game, it was his first game, you need pinball companies to take more chances on new, fresh eyed talent.

    Just my opinion.

    3 weeks later
    #97 1 year ago

    there is 3 pops in transformers. i own one

    #98 1 year ago

    I always saw pop bumpers as this sort of "free parking" moment in pinball where you are being stimulated by the ball ricocheting, the solenoids firing, the action, the lights, the sound, but aren't actually at any risk for that moment.

    #99 1 year ago

    Some of the best shots in pinball are through the pops. Whirlwind, Iron Maiden, Addams Family. I also like pops that have at least 2 exits. One exit pops are pretty lame. I do like how they are implemented in GOTG rules with a certain number of pops to fire to complete the Yaka Arrow mode.

    #100 1 year ago

    Single exposed pops can be amazing and add a lot of strategy and nudging skill elements to a game. Think of Meteor: the pop can be worked nudge right to hit the METEOR drops (you can work the pop to even aim for specific targets) or return the ball to the upper flipper, nudge left to hit the upper left drop bank or dead 1 bumper. A shot directly to the pop from the lower flippers can send the ball screaming back at you or down an outlane. I really wish modern designers made sure that pops served specific strategic purposes, or just didn't include them at all.

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