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In the world of pinball rumors, where there is smoke there is quite often fire. Elton John has been in the rumor cycle for months now (perhaps longer, depending on where you look), attributed to Jersey Jack Pinball as their first Steve Ritchie-designed game.
With the official launch at Pinball Expo today, we can now confirm that Elton John is in fact the next Jersey Jack Pinball machine.
Officially titled Elton John Pinball, this marks the 2nd release for Jersey Jack in 2023, following the launch of The Godfather: 50 Years Pinball earlier this year. The game will also be the first Jersey Jack game for veteran game designer Steve Ritchie, after his departure from Stern Pinball in 2021.
The game offers pinball players a chance to experience the music and storied career of Elton John on a whole new level as they play through 16 full-length studio master tracks including hits like Bennie And The Jets, Pinball Wizard, and Tiny Dancer. All games also incorporate custom callouts by Elton John himself.
Elton John Pinball is offered in two trim levels, a Collectors Edition ($15,000, limited to 1,000 units) and a Platinum Edition ($12,000, no limits).
Notable for this release, the Platinum Edition comes standard with RadCals, factory installed Inner-Art Blades and a Dual Layer Acrylic LED Topper. The Platinum edition also features an exclusive art package by Christopher Franchi (Batman 66, Beatles, The Godfather).
Those that step up to the Collectors Edition will receive an alternate art package by John Youssi (Addams Family, Twilight Zone, Toy Story 4) and Jean-Paul De Win (The Hobbit, Guns n' Roses, Wizard of Oz), as well as a "SUPERSTAR" topper with dual 10" LCD screens and an interactive laser light show, a mirrored backglass, and quite a bit more.
Both the Platinum and Collectors Edition playfields look absolutely packed with colorful, lively artwork, custom toys, sculpts and mechanical ball locks for that extra dose of kinetic satisfaction.
Elton John peaked at #71 in our Hype Index of the most hyped pinball themes, leading some in the community to question this particular choice of themes for Jersey Jack. Similar to their previous release, The Godfather, Elton John is not necessarily a theme that the pinball world seems to be pining for, at least in the forum and social media communities where pinball's most vocal fans congregate. Still, the pinball playing and buying universe extends far beyond what we can see on places like Pinside, and there's something to be said for building a game around an artist as well known and loved as Elton John.
Elton John is one of the top selling solo-artists of all time, and just wrapped up a farewell tour that saw him play 330 shows to over 6.25 million fans, grossing $939.1M, making it one of the highest-grossing concert tours ever.
Having had the good fortune to attend one of Elton's final shows, I personally find myself quite excited by this theme. Elton has a number of historical ties to pinball (see Bally's Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy) and while the music represents a change of pace from the tried-and-true hard rock and metal bands more often found in pinball games, I'm looking forward to losing myself in a few games with some toe-tapping, light-hearted classic pop rock.
Also exciting is the potential for this theme (much like Barrels of Fun's Labyrinth) to reach and connect with more diverse audiences who may not otherwise be predisposed to buying or playing modern pinball machines. In our IP and franchise-driven climate, themes sell games, and licensing themes that appeal to different types of audiences is one of the best ways to grow pinball overall.
Getting Started with Elton John Pinball
The Jersey Jack team has provided us with a brief overview of the current rules to Elton John Pinball. While this shouldn't be confused for complete code notes, or even one of our more detailed rules tutorials, we thought it would be helpful to give players a concise overview of how they might want to approach the game the first few times they step up to it.
We had contributor Noah Crable take a look at the rule notes provided to us, as well as the game's playfield, to offer the following "keys to the game" style guide for new players.
Time the first plunge of each ball to select a skill shot award from any of the five above the plunger.
The songs are your modes on this machine, and one can be selected at the start of each ball.
Each song has three goals to achieve, each corresponding to Elton's wardrobe selections for the song. Collect all three wardrobe items for victory laps.
Shoot the drop targets in front of the Rocka-Box jukebox to collect albums and start one of five feature modes that boost scoring at certain playfield areas. Champ Multiball can be started after playing all five.
There are three multiball modes available:
- Crocodile Rock multiball is started by locking balls at the crocodile ramp.
- Rocket Man multiball can be started at the far right "rocket" lane by collecting fuel, either by completing tasks or shooting the drop target in front of the rocket lane.
- Signature Stage multiball can be started by spelling ELTON JOHN by collecting stars, then shooting the piano ramp to lock balls. There are four different Signature Stage multiballs that can be switched using the action button.
All tasks in the game - completing songs, playing multiballs, and doing well during feature modes - help contribute to "milestones". Collect all four milestones to qualify the Final Tour wizard mode.
Note: be sure to also check out the Tilt Forums guide for a more detailed rules overview that will be updated frequently as more details about the code are released.
Note: mobile users, use the gallery at the top of the page for a more curated selection of our favorite game photos.
Platinum Edition Photos
Collectors Edition Photos
Design Team Credits
- Game Design: Steve Ritchie
- Software: Bill Grupp, Joe Katz, Duncan Brown, Ted Estes, Jason Allen, Taylor Snyder
- Art: Christopher Franchi, John Youssi, Jean-Paul De Win
- Animations: Olaf Gremie, Mark Molitor, Jean-Paul De Win
- Designer Apprentice: Mark Seiden (go Mark!)
- 3D Sculptures: Evolution Studios
- Sound: Pierce Colbert
- Mechanical Engineering: Dan Molter, Chris Talko, Nick Jensen, Ernesto Velazquez, Dan Lachcik
- Electrical Engineering & Support: Tony Tumminaro, Eric Miller, Ashley Peterson
Videos & Gameplay Footage
Elton John Pinball Tracklist
The album where the song originally appeared is listed in parentheses.
Appropriate for the company that first produced Wizard of Oz, Elton's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album is the most sampled from on this playlist, with 5 of the 16 available songs. Also represented are Madman Across the Water, Honky Château and Elton John's self-titled album, with 2 songs each.
- Rocket Man (Honky Château)
- Tiny Dancer (Madman Across the Water)
- Bennie And The Jets (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
- The Bitch Is Back (Caribou)
- Crocodile Rock (Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player)
- I'm Still Standing (Too Low for Zero)
- Pinball Wizard (Tommy Soundtrack)
- Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting) (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
- Your Song (Elton John)
- Take Me To The Pilot (Elton John)
- Philadelphia Freedom (Elton John's Greatest Hits Volume II)
- Levon (Madman Across the Water)
- Honky Cat (Honky Château)
- Your Sister Can't Twist (But She Can Rock'n Roll) (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
- Funeral for A Friend / Love Lies Bleeding (Goodbye Yellow Brick Road)
Elton John Pinball Flyers
Jersey Jack's Elton John pinball machine is available for purchase now through authorized Jersey Jack Pinball distributors.
We will update this page as more details are announced.