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Creator: Stern
Stern 1977 (top) and today (bottom)

Stern is the name of two separate but related American companies known for manufacturing arcade Pinball and Video Game machines.

Stern Electronics was started when the Stern family, led by former Williams Electronics' president Sam Stern, bought and renamed the troubled Chicago Coin pinball company in 1977. Though overshadowed by competitors Williams Electronics and Bally/Midway, Stern was fairly successful in the pinball and jukebox industries.

When video games became popular in The Eighties, Stern entered the field by licensing games from Konami and creating their own games. Their first in-house creation was Berzerk, an instant hit that grabbed players with its Machine Monotone voice. Stern's other video games (including Scramble, Pooyan, and Tutankham) were only moderately successful, however. Their pinball line fared no better, partially because Stern almost completely avoided licensed properties, unlike their competitors. The company left the arcade industry in 1985.

Stern Pinball was started in 1999, during the implosion of the arcade pinball industry. Gary Stern, son of Sam Stern, was serving as the President of Sega Pinball when the company decided to close the division; he bought the assets and spun it off as Stern Pinball. At the same time, WMS Industries closed its pinball division to focus on casino gambling; this effectively left Stern Pinball as the world's only major pinball manufacturer for over a decade, and many notable pinball creators started working for Stern as a result.

Today, Stern Pinball continues to thrive on a modest but steady market, producing around a dozen new Licensed Pinball Tables a year. While they sell well to bowling alleys and game centers, the majority of their pins are bought by individuals and collectors; Stern produces multiple limited versions of their games to cater to this crowd. Although they no longer have the market entirely to themselves, Stern Pinball is well positioned to remain relevant in the field.


Pinball machines produced by Stern Electronics (pre-1985) include:

  • Ali (based on the boxer Muhammad Ali)
  • Big Game
  • Catacomb
  • Cheetah
  • Cosmic Princess
  • Disco
  • Dracula
  • Dragonfist
  • Flight 2000
  • Freefall
  • Galaxy
  • Grand Prix
  • Hot Hand
  • Hypnox
  • Iron Maiden (no relation to the heavy metal band)
  • Lectronamo (gameplay video here)
  • Lightning
  • Magic
  • Memory Lane
  • Meteor
  • Nine Ball
  • Nugent
  • Orbitor 1, Stern's last pinball.
  • Pinball (no, really)
  • Quicksilver
  • Rawhide
  • Seawitch
  • Split Second
  • Stampede
  • Star Gazer
  • Stars
  • Stingray
  • Trident
  • Viper
  • Wild Fyre


Video games produced or distributed by Stern Electroncs include:

  • Amidar (licensed from Konami)
  • Bagman
  • Berzerk
    • Frenzy
  • Cliff Hanger (laserdisc game)
  • Pooyan (licensed from Konami)
  • Scramble (licensed from Konami)
  • Tutankham (licensed from Konami)


Pinball machines produced by Stern Pinball (1999-present) include:

  • Good Morning America
  • Shrek

Midway GamesPinballData East
Starfire StudiosVideo Game CompaniesSting Entertainment

alternative title(s): Stern Electronics; Stern Pinball
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