Hellen: "Who don't like big juicy melons?"Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons
(usually just called Big Juicy Melons
or Whoa Nellie!
) is a single-player Physical Pinball Table
, the first pinball machine from WhizBang Pinball.
In 2009, sensing a growing interest in "boutique" pinball games, industry veterans Dennis Nordman
(design) and Greg Freres
(art) reunited at Seattle's Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show. The two soon formed WhizBang Pinball, with Big Juicy Melons
as their first project.
Instead of a modern game, Melons
is an electro-mechanical table that was made by reusing the components of a 1957 Gottlieb Continental Cafe
on an all-new playfield, wrapped up with new art and current lighting and imaging techniques in an original theme. Three other machines were similarly made using a modular solid state system called "PinKit", and the result is a retro throwback
that remains true to the integrity of the electro-mechanical era while weaving in modern sensibilities.
The game was publicly unveiled at Pinball Expo 2011, and all four tables were quickly sold for a rumored price of $14,000 each. Some die-hard fans have since taken to creating their own tables, with Greg Freres sharing the cabinet art and Classic Playfields
selling playfield plastics. Stern Pinball
was reportedly exploring the feasibility of a small production run, but nothing has been announced.
The creation of Big Juicy Melons
is documented on WhizBang Pinball's blog.
Whoa Nellie! Check out these tropes!
- Absolute Cleavage: On all the girls.
- Alcohol Hic: There's a very drunk guy in the lower-left corner of the playfield.
Drunk: "*Hic* The brest band *Hic* best brand *Hic* ever!"
- Art Shift: The Big Juicy Melons machine eschews the conventional pinball machine design to look like a series of melon crates stacked on top of each other.
- Badass Beard: Papa Mellon has one.
- Bare Your Midriff/Who Wears Short Shorts?: Melony and Ellen.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Melony and the twins. Melony has blonde hair, Hellen has medium-brown hair, and Ellen's hair is almost completely black.
- Cap: The score caps at 9,999 points, as there are only four scoring reels in the backbox.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?/Double Entendre: The game is filled with these, shamelessly and unabashedly, usually involving the girls and big melons.
Hick: (pointing at a flock of geese) "Look at them honkers!"
- Doing It for the Art
Greg Freres: "Since we are industry guys first, we looked at this as an opportunity to make a game with a theme that we could never do in a commercial environment."
- Excited Show Title!
- Everyone Loves Blondes: Out of all the Mellon sisters, the one featured on the backglass, the promotional materials, and on The Merch is the blonde Melony.
- Everything's Better With Cows: There's a wry cow in the lower-right corner of the playfield.
Cow: "Complete and udder nonsense."
- Fanservice: LOTS. Lifting all those heavy melon crates requires the girls to do lots of bending over...
- Farmer's Daughter: The Mellon girls — Melony, Ellen, and Hellen.
- Farts on Fire: A bucking horse on the playfield gets its flatulence lit by a match, forming a fireball (score light).
- Genre Throwback/Retraux
- Girlish Pigtails: The twins have these; Hellen has one, while Ellen has two.
- Gonna Need More X: One of the playfield plastics has a photographer who comments, "I need a bigger... lens."
- Hello, Nurse!: On the backglass, Melony is standing while holding a pair of melons, oblivious to the lustful farm workers (and horse) completely distracted behind her.
- The Merch: "Big Juicy Melons" mugs, T-shirts, framed backglass art, and Melony standees are available.
- Ms. Fanservice: Melony and her sisters, full stop.
- Overprotective Dad: The Mellon patriarch, complete with shotgun.
Dad: "Hands off the twins!"
- She's Got Legs: Melony shows off a pair of shapely legs right above the flippers.
- Title Confusion: Players almost always refer to the game as either Whoa Nellie! or Big Juicy Melons. Nordman and Freres often shorten it to WNBJM when writing.
- Toilet Humour: One of the playfield plastics shows a horse shooting a green melon out of its posterior.
- Visual Pun:
- The horse with its fart on fire is a "hot ass".
- On the backglass is a collie dog playing with a melon; maybe he's feeling melon-collie?
"Nice action! And the melons ain't bad either."