Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

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HPR Pinball
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby HPR Pinball » Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:21 pm

The fury of Steve Ritchie is back !! Look very nice :)
But i think Star Wars premium is a better design ;)
Last edited by HPR Pinball on Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Murphelman » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:11 pm

TwilightZone wrote:
Murphelman wrote:I am a little upset about no upper PF on the Pro. I mean BK has always known for the upper PF. How can they not include it on the Pro?


Pinball is too popular for it's own good. Like a snake eating it's tail. Price increases and decrease in quality will kill pinball. I really don't think $8K NIB with taxes, and more if you are talking Premium, LE, or JJP, are sustainable.

And I agree....seems stupid to release a Black Knight without an upper playfield. I really don't think the lexan "playfield" costs that much. They could have removed the ball lock mech and went virtual with Pro, but the greed is high in pinball right now.

Stern: "Don't put a mini playfield on it and we'll sell a ton more Premiums"

JJP: "Let's remove some mechs, slap on some yellow powder coating, call it an LE and INCREASE the price" (talking WOZ here).



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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby cait001 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:58 pm

Splitskull wrote:On another note: why is he a "black night"? It's racist!!! Call him African-American... at least... or make him white! Why is he not white?!? I'm offended!


Come on man, you're supposed to be an admin here. We don't need this 1980s Evening At The Improv tedium.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby tom_454 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:12 pm

TwilightZone wrote:Pinball is too popular for it's own good. Like a snake eating it's tail. Price increases and decrease in quality will kill pinball. I really don't think $8K NIB with taxes, and more if you are talking Premium, LE, or JJP, are sustainable.

And I agree....seems stupid to release a Black Knight without an upper playfield. I really don't think the lexan "playfield" costs that much. They could have removed the ball lock mech and went virtual with Pro, but the greed is high in pinball right now.

Stern: "Don't put a mini playfield on it and we'll sell a ton more Premiums"

JJP: "Let's remove some mechs, slap on some yellow powder coating, call it an LE and INCREASE the price" (talking WOZ here).


Going to play Devil's advocate a little here regarding the cost and popularity of Pinball.

Point 1:
Pinball is no where near as popular as it was at it's peak in the 70's. Yes it has seen a recent up-tick when compared to it's near-death experience in the early 2000's. But let's face it the LARGEST demographic buying these for home are people that experienced the arcade culture in the 70's and 80's - i.e. people that have disposable income today (2019). This demographic will start to die-off soon and it isn't going to be replaced - Sorry, but millenials are not going to embrace it en-masse like we did. Companies need to capitalize while they can!

Point 2:
A Six Million Dollar pin cost CDN$2,200 in 1977 which translates to more than CDN$8,600 in 2018. So they are priced almost exactly the same when compared to a STERN PRO today.

Point 3:
In the 70's and 80's people would have thought you were nuts if you paid that much money for a pinball machine for your home. (Most people outside the hobby still do!) Pins were designed for OPERATORS to route and make money - they were not conceived to have in peoples homes. (side note: Size and space is why most people have gaming consoles and not arcade machines in their home.) Operators can recoup their capital expenditures and profit during ownership whereas the home owner can only recoup (some) money when they sell the asset. That is a lot of money for most home-owners to spend on home entertainment.

Point 4:
Business (STERN, JJP, ...) are in business primarily to make money and not because they want to increase entertainment value for home-owners at the lowest possible cost. No business does (except maybe a few very niche and smaller ma-and-pa stores).

Point 5:
0.25c (a quarter) in 1977 is equivalent to 0.99c in 2018. Almost exactly aligned with the cost at the coin-drop. So even the onlocation cost has not changed in 40 years.

I hate that Points 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are reality as I would love to own them all. But then again if Arcades made a come-back I wouldn't need to - I would probably own one.

Reality sux but it is reality.

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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby cait001 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 3:48 pm

Great points on inflation, Tom. It is pretty cool how well the numbers hold up.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby djodars » Tue Mar 26, 2019 4:06 pm

tom_454 wrote:
TwilightZone wrote:This demographic will start to die-off soon and it isn't going to be replaced - Sorry, but millenials are not going to embrace it en-masse like we did. Companies need to capitalize while they can!


Maybe not 1:1 but I doubt barcades are going away anytime soon and they serve as a great introduction to the genre to many millenials (myself included). Some are just passing by but I also see many coming back week after week and developing a genuine interest and passion for pinball.

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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby TwilightZone » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:15 pm

Cripes, Tom! That was a hell of a list. I won't bother arguing all your points. I'll save that when we have a brew together :-)

As for inflation.....

Electronics are cheaper, in real dollars, than they have ever been. When I bought my first computer in the 80s it cost me about $1,200. Today, for $1,200 I could still get a decent entry level computer. So I don't buy the "pinballs cost X 20 years ago, and should cost x inflated adjusted" argument. The components are cheaper. Manufacturing is cheaper. The technology to build is cheaper. Design is faster -- at one time playfield layout was actually designed by hand! And those node boards....how much do you think those cost? I bet they are cheap, cheap, cheap!

I think you missed my point, though. My main point was and is, they are gouging the collector and that will hurt pinball in the long run (maybe short run). There is absolutely no denying Stern has continued to decrease quality while increasing price. The cabinets and legs are noticeably lighter than my LOTR. And I don't care what anyone says, the wood is poorer quality as well (this has been argued on Pinside). Take a look at my HUO LOTR now compare it to Mike's HUO Star Wars. One has a shit ton of divots while my LOTR does not. Take a look at my HUO Xmen, the stupid Wolverine broke in home use and that's not uncommon. Cheapest toy every built!

JPP was the first to show that collectors were willing to pay more. At least, they delivered an exceptional product. Now, they are removing mechs AND increasing price. Then throw a slap in the face to the collectors that bought the previous "LE" and call it an LE.

Greed, pure and simple.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby tom_454 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:43 pm

djodars wrote:Maybe not 1:1 but I doubt barcades are going away anytime soon and they serve as a great introduction to the genre to many millenials (myself included). Some are just passing by but I also see many coming back week after week and developing a genuine interest and passion for pinball.


I agree barcades won't dissappear antime soon (I hope) and they are a great way to introduce pinball to a new demographic in much the same way that arcades did in days past. My point was more along the lines that the new demographic (millenials) are not yet (today) in the same financial position as their parents (arcade generation). That position is aligned with financial security, etc. At some point in the future they might have more financial means but (most) will have had significantly less exposure to pinball (as compared to smart phones). There will be far fewer interested buyers in the future due to lack of exposure. This does not mean that "no" millenials will be attracted to pinball - only that a smaller percentage of them will want to own many for their home as compared to the arcade generation. So pinball manufactures will have a better opportunity to sell pins with wider profit margins today then they will years down the road as their primary demographic dies-off.

Also related is that pins in barcades are not "home-use" for personal entertainment but as a means of "earning" (be it at the coin-drop or to entice people to stay and drink/eat more). And that (operator demographic) is not the same as the home-use buyer as operators can in theory afford to buy machines because they earn them money and don't keep them in a limtied space in their home. So if an operator could afford the NIB amount in 1977 they should be able to afford that amount in 2019 (unless of course the business does not have any viability). Yes, most operators will tell you that running a route (pinballs only) today is no where near as profitable as it was back in the day.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby tom_454 » Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:49 pm

TwilightZone wrote:Cripes, Tom! That was a hell of a list. I won't bother arguing all your points. I'll save that when we have a brew together :-)

As for inflation.....

Electronics are cheaper, in real dollars, than they have ever been. When I bought my first computer in the 80s it cost me about $1,200. Today, for $1,200 I could still get a decent entry level computer. So I don't buy the "pinballs cost X 20 years ago, and should cost x inflated adjusted" argument. The components are cheaper. Manufacturing is cheaper. The technology to build is cheaper. Design is faster -- at one time playfield layout was actually designed by hand! And those node boards....how much do you think those cost? I bet they are cheap, cheap, cheap!


I agree - electronics is cheaper but labour is not. Also relates to my point 4. Capitalism by it's very nature eventually leads to greed - it just took us from the 80's until now to really see it in full force. Their is no longer accountability for companies anymore (Enron, Volkswagon, Banking crisis ... and on and on) as consumers don't exhibit any form of consumer consciousness like they used to. We keep buying their stuff and they will keep raising prices until they find the point where the consumer can't take it any more and then leave them just below that threshold - yes that is the definition of greed but that is capitalism today. Sucks though.

I agree this is a great discussion topic over beers and pinball. I should have started it in a new thread instead of the Black Knight thread.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Splitskull » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:25 pm

cait001 wrote:
Come on man, you're supposed to be an admin here. We don't need this 1980s Evening At The Improv tedium.
:FP:


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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Splitskull » Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:28 pm

IMO should have looked somehow like a Williams. Not a Stern.
Premium looks cool. Is same price as the other Sterns? No mini pf on pro... is kinda bleah. Good tactic on Stern to make you buy the Premium at least.

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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Sparky » Wed Mar 27, 2019 7:07 am

Bagdad wrote:"The original Black Knight 2000 music is returning to the game in a special retro mode"

...oh dear...


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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Bagdad » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:31 am

Splitskull wrote:IMO should have looked somehow like a Williams. Not a Stern.


Yeah, that's why I think I'll stick with trying to find a BK2k instead...

So I reiterate; if anyone is selling their BK2K to finance their BK3K, or any other reason, I'm a taker...
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby TwilightZone » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:54 am

tom_454 wrote:I agree - electronics is cheaper but labour is not.


Have you seen pictures of Stern's manufacturing? I don't think they are paying top dollar for labour. Likely taking advantage of new Americans looking to get a job.

As well, advances in manufacturing have offset increases in labour. That's why electronics are relatively cheap. Again, take a look at the node boards. Those things are cheap, cheap, cheap. Yet to replaced them is hundreds of dollars.

Of course, you are right. The goal of capitalism is to make the most money possible. Right now demand is through the roof. So they can be as greedy as they want....for now.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby EVH » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:48 pm

I agree 100%. How can people spend this kind of money on a game they have not played in person. A remake, I get it, a new Stern, that's crazy. Look at Munsters now being sold weeks after purchase. Stern is doing it right, market excitement and they sell games on pictures alone. Next they will sell games they haven't even built yet. Take their money now.


R.A.B. wrote:Jesus, when is Stern (or anyone worth their god dam coin) going to do something that looks less dark and angry and loud. Guess marketing strategies are taught that you have to reflect the times.

I just can't be moved solely by how this looks in order to make a decision to line up for it. Not too many people seem to consider game play before purchasing the latest Stern anymore. It is all about how it looks, the license or theme. And if "the code" is finished, well so much the better. The game layout is less and less important it seems, put some stuff here and give us a bunch of shots that make us go "ooh haa", yeah that makes sense. It is hard to create something original these days, looks like it all has been said and done in many domains as well as pinball and what they now call music.

Stern is able to sell a bunch of pinballs at 7k before anyone even plays it, simply based on licence or theme, not actual game play. Wow ! That is marketing baby, and we have become the product now, not the machine - hats off to Stern, I bow in their general direction. I am impressed at how pinball has been cheapened to hype as more important than gameplay.

I had to get that off my chest now that I no longer work for their Canadian distributor, feels good to finally be allowed to be honest without any reprimand from the man. :lol:

I remember when Tron first came out and we set it up in the showroom, I really didn't care for the theme, but man did that game play well.

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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby HPR Pinball » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:36 am

EVH wrote:I agree 100%. How can people spend this kind of money on a game they have not played in person. A remake, I get it, a new Stern, that's crazy. Look at Munsters now being sold weeks after purchase. Stern is doing it right, market excitement and they sell games on pictures alone. Next they will sell games they haven't even built yet. Take their money now.


R.A.B. wrote:Jesus, when is Stern (or anyone worth their god dam coin) going to do something that looks less dark and angry and loud. Guess marketing strategies are taught that you have to reflect the times.

I just can't be moved solely by how this looks in order to make a decision to line up for it. Not too many people seem to consider game play before purchasing the latest Stern anymore. It is all about how it looks, the license or theme. And if "the code" is finished, well so much the better. The game layout is less and less important it seems, put some stuff here and give us a bunch of shots that make us go "ooh haa", yeah that makes sense. It is hard to create something original these days, looks like it all has been said and done in many domains as well as pinball and what they now call music.

Stern is able to sell a bunch of pinballs at 7k before anyone even plays it, simply based on licence or theme, not actual game play. Wow ! That is marketing baby, and we have become the product now, not the machine - hats off to Stern, I bow in their general direction. I am impressed at how pinball has been cheapened to hype as more important than gameplay.

I had to get that off my chest now that I no longer work for their Canadian distributor, feels good to finally be allowed to be honest without any reprimand from the man. :lol:

I remember when Tron first came out and we set it up in the showroom, I really didn't care for the theme, but man did that game play well.


I will explain :) it's the excitement of life :lol:
Personnaly if I would have had the money i would have already ordered the LE :P
I will not watch any video and I would like to discover the pinball only once out of the box.

And maybe, in the future this could be my next NIB if i can find some extra money :mrgreen:
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Fifty » Thu Mar 28, 2019 12:17 pm

I can't get excited over this. Steve Richie I'm a fan of, but I'm not a fan of the original BK or BK2000.

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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby HPR Pinball » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:24 pm

Video stream monday yesss !!
My first basic impression is:
BKSoF pro > Star Wars pro
BKSoF premium < Star Wars premium
The software, sounds and rules will make the difference, can't wait to see :-)
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby tombiosis » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:47 pm

tom_454 wrote:
djodars wrote:Maybe not 1:1 but I doubt barcades are going away anytime soon and they serve as a great introduction to the genre to many millenials (myself included). Some are just passing by but I also see many coming back week after week and developing a genuine interest and passion for pinball.


Yes, most operators will tell you that running a route (pinballs only) today is no where near as profitable as it was back in the day.

I dunno
Todays operator snags a nib pro for 8k ish
Routes it for a year or so and earns maybe 3 or 4k... then pulls it off route and sells it for 7k still in good shape and looked after.
Profit 2-3k...rinse and repeat... no?
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Murphelman » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:51 pm

I watched the reveal stream of Black Knight. I really like music and the animations. The Black Knight toy is super cool with the spinning flail challenging you to hit the ramp behind it. The shield blocking the mode start shot is cool too.

I think I prefer the pro after watching it and the LE. the upper playfield slows the game down and is only there for the extra catapult multiball which seems inconsequential.

The pro seems to have a little more flow. That ramp shot when the flail is spinning looks like a really fun shot. Some of the call outs are great and the animations and graphics are probably the best by Stern yet.

It did seem to be a little drain heavy with hungry out lanes. The magna save on the right and revive on the left may help that. The wizard mode was cool how it goes into old school Black Knight mode with the sounds and the screen. It did seem easy to get to wizard mode which I hope changes or they add something further.

Overall I was very impressed and can't wait to flip one in a few weeks.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby tinyrodent » Tue Apr 09, 2019 10:03 pm

Looks awesome, I hope one will be coming to Ottawa in the near future! :D
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby HPR Pinball » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:36 am

Ok, a little deception about BK3 for me. The Genius SF failed to make the return of BK impressive.
It looked an ok pinball but in my opinion there's no long term fun possibilities.
Star Wars premium is a much more better pin, there's no doubt about it for me.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby Sparky » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:16 am

I rather go say hi to Michel, chat a bit, and play it for myaelf before judging. Ultimately, it is a question of personal preference.

But if I just look at visuals and sound, looks and sounds great.
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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby pingod » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:45 am

Watched the live stream, it really didn't make me want one.
I loved the original BK, even though it was easy to play.
I thought for sure this would be a must have for me.
Right now I'm thinking it is a wait and play game for me.
I'm sure on location it would make bank for a while, after the novelty wore off, I could see coin drop dropping off.
Those drains were fast on most games, players will stay away from money eaters after a while.

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Re: Stern Pinball - Black Knight Sword of Rage

Postby TwilightZone » Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:12 am

I watched the stream. The Pro looks fantastic. Very fast. Look forward to playing it.

The Premium/LE are let downs in my opinion. The upper playfield is essentially wasted. Basically the only thing to shoot is the cannon. And I like the ramp on the Pro over the limited playfield on the Prem/LE.

The upper playfield on both BK and BK2K are so much better than Stern's BK mini playfield. Very cheap looking. Why didn't they do a better job on the playfield? They did a great job with Game of Thrones Prem/LE and TSPP, for example. Once again, the Pro looks like the best of the three.
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