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Thunderbirds

Pinside rating

This game received 52 approved Pinsider ratings and currently rates 4.767 /10

4.767

Top 100 ranking

This game ranks #347 in the Pinside Pinball Top 100.


Score breakdown

Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 4.449

Artwork: 5.63

Sounds/Music: 4.686

Other Aspects: 4.366



Pinside staff rating

This is how we, the very knowledgeable (wink wink) Pinside.com staff & moderators rate this game. 1 of us has rated this game.

5.881

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Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.


Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.



Found 31 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 31 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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1.165/10
3 months ago
This Game is wildly overrated!

When I played this I thought it was a one off or a joke. I had no idea that this game was a commercial product that would ever be sold. For these guys there is no where to go but up from here. i can’t imagine having paid for this box of firewood.

I tried to find some positive in the ratings but the most I could do was a 2 because the cabinet was made of wood and not mdf. At least that is my assumption.

And a lesson to be had out of this is don’t put money down on a product sight unseen or you could wind up with the next-thunderbirds

Good luck guys!!
8.300/10
3 months ago
For the price it’s very good
8.000/10
4 months ago
Good value for money.
2000 euros less than a NIB Stern...
4.276/10
4 months ago
I hesitated for a long time to write a review of Thunderbirds, because really really really really wanted to like this machine. The maker is a solid guy, the concept of a simplified DMD-era machine with a kid-friendly theme is great, and while I didn't grow up on the classic show it's a pretty funny cross-over theme that appeals to both kids for what it is and adults looking for MST3K-style irony (I say that with affection).

And the machines (four different ones) I've played have been rock solid -- as far as I can tell from limited play the intended build-for-reliability and quality goals were met.

I will also add the toys -- the screw drill in particular -- while not breaking any ground are neat for what they are.

But the playfield design is simply awful. The center ramp is too low, dominates the middle of the playfield, and combined with a very underpowered software and rules set (I've never been more bored by both a multiball and modes), the play doesn't even hold kids' attention, much less a pinhead who is willing to play almost anything.

I'm hoping the next title -- Chinese Zombies or what have you -- eventually gets past the rules design deficits. Homepin really needs a better software and rules design - there are some things you can't do all by yourself - and much better playtesting, whether or not it's intended for a different market than most of the other pins, it *has* to be more fun. I'm pulling for the company and Mike.
7.273/10
5 months ago
a good game for the price.it's a nice first game with lots of gadgets
7.736/10
5 months ago
For 4700€ very good
2.365/10
8 months ago
Not much to say. Poor shots. Not fun. Game just felt cheap. I think I have said it before but the flipper buttons just feel cheap. Pinball is liked and appreciated because of the physical connection of the player to the actual game. The more you cheap out, the more distant you feel from the game itself.
5.860/10
9 months ago
I have had the opportunity to play Thunderbirds rather extensively, and see it evolve since the time of release.

The build quality and feel of this machine is nowhere near any of the commercial machines being sold such as Stern Pro, JJP or American pinball. This would be a closer comparison to a stern Home pin for comparison. Maybe a little less solid feeling.

For a budget machine it does have some interesting features. Unfortunately however, overall the game just feels sluggish, and it seems that adjustments to the angle have a negative effect on some of the shots, particularly as the flipper power is on the weaker side.

On the positive side, the music is quite catchy, and goes well with the game.
8.354/10
12 months ago
I know I am going a bit against the grain with my review. And I will disclose that I do not own it. I would love to someday add to my collection, but I did play it extensively at the museum of pinball. I also had a difficult time hearing it due to the low set volume and room noise so I tried as best to grade it by what I can hear. I am also a huge fan of the Gerry Anderson series. A couple of things that impressed me. That this pin was designed and manufactured by a relatively new company. I believe this is their only machine. Quite impressive for a first attempt. The other is that it is not manufactured in the US. I'm sure the fact it's built in China probably is what led to the lower price point compared to a Stern, American or Spooky machine.
I do agree with some reviewers that the rules and objectives in this game aren't your standard rules. One person mentioned that the playfield is cluttered and feels narrow...I can see that too, but honestly I didn't feel it took away from the overall enjoyment of it. Playing Thunderbirds by Homepin put a smile on my face. Of all the pins I played over the weekend at Pinball Madness its on my 'top 5' list. It has a lot of charm and personality. Gameplay also flows much better than some other newer machines.

All in all I feel that reviewers were too harsh on it. Maybe it's because playing it brought me back to when I used to watch Thunderbirds with my dad as a child so I enjoyed it more. But of the near 1500 pins I played all weekend this one made a lasting impression and I went back to it several times.

Try it for yourself.
1.300/10
1 year ago
There is not much else that needs to be said about this poor pin. So, so sad. Very sad. It should have been put out of its misery at the Whitewood stage... but I doubt they built one.

This is just bad pinball. Shame.
5.609/10
1 year ago
Okay. This game is hated, but I personally think this game is just OK. It is super cheap and the rules are much to simple for a game from 2018.

Pro's:
Artwork is okay, fits the theme and gives you a little of that campy 60's feel that the TV show had.

The toys are a little unique, with the balls representing thunderbirds rising from the playfield.

Lighting is decent with some okay LED's.

Con's:

This game feels quite cheap around this flippers, which doesn't bother me that much but I would prefer a much nicer feeling game.

Center ramp has such weird physics and doesn't seem properly angled.

Game looks way too reminiscent of Data East Batman.


This game is overall just OK, but this company needs to make another machine and hopefully make it better then this, but I honor their work on this machine.
1.000/10
1 year ago
Yes I’ve played it and it is horrific.
3.958/10
1 year ago
One of the worst games I have ever played in my life.
2.294/10
1 year ago
So, I waited in a line 6 people deep to play this at Pinfest. Honestly, it felt a lot like playing an EM. I had fun! But I had the type of fun I would have on a random 1970s EM that I can pick up for $400 with a better theme and more nostalgia. It may have been set up poorly, but it felt like a really floaty widebody EM in a narrow body. The animations looked okay and the playfield was full of static toys. I'll give Homepin credit for pumping out a game but I just couldn't get into it.

One nitpick you can't get from pictures is that it just seemed... dirty to me on the inside. There were not a lot of ball tracks or anything, but it was full of black dust when you looked up close at the playfield. I am guessing that the rubbers or parts are disintegrating in there pretty quick. This would be more of a problem if people were putting games on it all the time like they were at the show.

All in all, I'd have a hard time choosing between a random well working EM or this.
3.868/10
1 year ago
Just a bad game...save you quarters/dollars.
2.770/10
1 year ago
I guess if you like the thunderbirds this one may be for you. The center ramp angle is off and ball comes back sdtm. I did not like this one.
2.684/10
1 year ago
I had one for about 4 months and recently sold it. I had about 70 games on it and got to the point where I just didn't want to play it anymore…like literally ever. I just didn't get any enjoyment out of it, it wasn't satisfying to play. It felt like a frustrating and tedious chore, to the point where I often wouldn't even finish a game before turning it off. There's nothing that gives you an adrenaline rush, no sense of accomplishment or purpose to what you are doing. The last month I had it, I never turned it on.
Some positives are definitely the build of the cabinet itself. The hinged speaker panel in the backbox is pretty neat. The stand to prop up the playfield is a nice touch. The ramp upgrade is a definite improvement and helps in the gameplay and aesthetic department. The plastic lockdown bar is 100% ridiculous unfortunately. They screwed up the one thing that you are physically connected with the entire time you play the game. It makes the whole experience feel cheap. There's no getting around that. There's an automatic pause and moment of confusion as soon as someone lays their hands on the game for the first time. I won't even talk about the flipper buttons because those can be changed at least.

I suppose if you are a huge fan of the theme you will be able to look past some of the negative aspects of the game - some, not all. There's just too much to overcome with theme alone, even for the most die-hard Thunderbirds enthusiast IMO. I may be wrong of course.

In closing, as harsh as this might sound, I have to stress that in terms of gameplay, this is undoubtedly THE WORST game I have ever played. There's no comparison.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is a post I made in the Homepin thread that I thought would be good to add to the review -

"Besides the people that paid blindly for it years ago...who else wants it? The game costs $6700 + 13% tax here in Canada. It took me 4 months to get rid of mine with 71 plays for $4000. In a fit of pure desperation I attempted several trades during that time as well, only to be laughed at...literally. I offered it to a friend of mine to keep until I figured out what I was going to do with it and he wanted no part of it. Pretty sure he called me a horrible name during that discussion if I remember correctly. To actually want this game I believe you either need to be so nostalgic for the theme that nothing else matters or you just never played another pinball machine in your entire life and have nothing else to compare it to. The look on peoples faces when they lay their hands on that plastic lockdown bar and touch those belly button-esque flipper buttons for the first time is truly a testament to the poor choices that were made in the design of this game. As was mentioned in the Bro review, "it's the only pinball machine that actively makes you not want to touch it." So true. You're already turned off before even pressing the start button - and that's when the gong-show really begins. The ramp to nowhere offers only frustration whether it's the saran wrap or stainless version. The only bit of excitement comes when the ball is trickling up the ramp and you're not sure if it'll make it into one of those super satisfying rollovers or come barreling back SDTM. The wireforms look somewhat interesting at first glance until you realize their only purpose is to release locked balls back into play. WTF? There's zero flow, no satisfying shots, the sounds are repetitive and grate on you by the time you get to the second ball and the DMD makes me want to claw my eyes out. I hated playing it so much that I rarely managed to get to the second ball before turning the game off. I do like the little stand in the cab to prop up the playfield though....good job on that Mike!
Living with this thing for 4 months and having experienced 71 painfully frustrating and unsatisfying plays on it, I can honestly say that Thunderbirds is, without a shadow of a doubt, THE WORST game I have ever played. It was a celebration when it left and that had nothing to do with the fact that I managed to even get anything for it. I just wanted it out of my life.

It's hard to explain but it actually bothers me that it even exists. There's just no excuse to make a game this bad in 2019. If you subscribe to the motto that 'all pinball is fun'......I think you really need to play this game. You'll never utter that phrase again."
3.281/10
1 year ago
A game only true, die-hard Thunderbirds fans might enjoy. Artwork isn't bad, but the play is really clunky (doesn't feel to be professionally designed) and that's the largest issue. Give it a shot at a barcade or similar, but for home use, I would really consider something else.
3.591/10
1 year ago
Played it the other day. The flippers were soft and the game was just bad
5.384/10
1 year ago
Flippers felt really spongy.

Sound quality is great.

Seems decently built.

Playfield design is poor, code is very basic, and so there are no real hooks to want to come back.

Yes, it's hard building a pinball, but you have to get basics right - shot geometry and code/rules.
3.728/10
1 year ago
Bad game but it could have been worse (theoretically). Paper thin ramps, poor design decisions, shallow rules that won’t be updated weak flippers :headbang: An 18 inch high pile of crap could get a higher rating. Carry this game to the highest rooftop and toss it off.
5.881/10
1 year ago
I got to play this game recently at Spinners in Fredrick, Maryland. My friend bought one brand new and I played about six or seven games. More importantly, I watched a player much better than me play the game, and that was probably more valuable in my review.

I found the layout to be lacking. I didn’t think much for the ball flow or lack thereof. No orbits and you could not lane change the lights on the top of the Playfield to light up the letters. The main goal seemed to be hitting the targets below the ramp, lowering the ramp, locking a multi-ball, lowering the ramp again and hopefully locking another ball for a 3 ball multi-ball. The third ball comes up from an elevator on the top left of the game, a nod to the series when the rocket ship used to blast off. I thought that was pretty cool.

The middle ramp was tight but not impossible but when you got it, it really didn't give you much in the ways of points or moving nodes forward. Animations were OK and probably would appeal to the Thunderbirds fans out there. Art work was OK. It didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t think it sucked, either.

Where this game really falls flat is with the code. Even with the three ball multi-ball running, there was a complete lack of jackpots. You are like, “Ok, what do I do now?” It reminds me of Batman66 when it first came out with that very underdeveloped code. This game would improve immensely with a software update to make it more interesting, fun, and playable.
5.196/10
1 year ago
It's bad but it's not THAT bad. Definitely a real pinball machine that's worth throwing a couple of quarters in on location.
2.670/10
1 year ago
Honestly the worst game I’ve ever played.
2.802/10
1 year ago
This is absolutely the worst game I have ever played, and I've played a lot of games.The layout is horrible. The callouts are very repetitive and don't line up with the action. The dmd animations are few and far between and are very slow in developing. They don't keep up with the plnball action on the playfield. The code is incredibly basic for a game made after 1990 and is buggy and just no fun at all. The orbits don't orbit, the center ramp is a ramp to nowhere. What kind of ramp goes in a straight line and then just lazily drops into the upper lanes? A very amateurish attempt at making a pinball machine.
There are 31 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 2.

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