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October 2014 Retro Gaming Article


October 18, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Stern's upcoming electro-mechanical style pinball game, Whoa Nellie, is very... Melony

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons I've always loved Stern Electronics' Berzerk. From that amazing 1980 arcade classic and it's sequel, Frenzy, I've had an interest in Stern as they went into the pinball business. They've carved out an interesting niche by creating high-profile themed pinball tables. They've released such tables as The Walking Dead, Mustang, Metallica, AC/DC, Star Trek, The Avengers, X-Men, Tron, and more.

As much as these tables enhance the arcade scene, they are amazing promotional tools for the companies, studios, and musicians behind them. It's a very clever way to boost the visibility of Stern's creations and pinball in general!

Their upcoming table, Whoa Nellie, is a partnership with Whizbang Pinball to create this entirely original concept/design pinball table. It incorporates both vintage and modern elements including real bells, mechanical score reels, a solid state control system, and a digital soundtrack. Additionally, it has a custom stand that ties in nicely with the overall theme. About that theme...

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons features a farming theme... a melon farm... with Melony Mellon and her twin sisters, Ellen and Hellen :)

With all original artwork and design, this table sounds really cool. In particular, I love the mix of old & new styles along with the melon crate stand that really sets it apart visually. You may notice a few "crushed beer cans" at the rear, give the playfield just the right angle. Whizbang Pinball's co-founder Dennis Nordman says it's the first new electro-mechanical style game in over 35 years!

While the electro-mechanical aspect of this table in 2014 is very cool, I hope folks respond to it's vintage style and retro pin-up art, as opposed to the "Melons" aspect. These days everyone is eager to denounce for all the wrong reasons.

"The playfield, backglass, and cabinet art and styling, central to the game's unique visual quality, feature detailed original characters and fresh hand-drawn artwork that blend elements of mid-century pin-up art and classic pinball themes."

Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons Originally created as a limited series of 3 hand-crafted games (completely redesigned from a "chopped" 1957 Gottlieb pinball machine) the partnership with Stern is to build and distribute Whoa Nellie in 2015 via Stern's Chicago factory.

A garage full of Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons Keep an eye out for Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons in 2015 and let's hope it sparks a resurgence of original artwork to accompany larger runs of classic-styled pinball games! The past blends nicely with this modern game and could create a new trend!

September 2015 update:
The woman who did the voice-over work for Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons reached out to us after our tweet about National Watermelon Day.

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