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Pinball & HDTGM Movies
TopMoose posted a topic in How Did This Get Made?I've seen people posting photos of the Shadow pinball machine here on the forums and on the HDTGM twitter feed and, as a pinball collector and someone who's interested in the history of pinball, thought I'd offer some insight into this and other relevant games. As I'm sure you know, production companies often sell licensing rights to manufacturers who make toys, video games, clothing and, starting in the late 70's, pinball machines, to tie in to their movies. In order to time the release of these products with the release of the movies, development had to start a year or more ahead of time, so there's often no way to predict if the licensed products will be tied to a hit movie or a dud. We pinball collectors have a joke that the worse the movie, the better the pinball machine. Some of the highest-rated, most sought-after games include The Shadow, Congo and Demolition Man. Others, that aren't quite A-list but are still highly regarded include Barb Wire, and Godzilla (1998). In Michael Shaloub's book The Pinball Compendium, Vol. 3, game designer John Trudeau reveals that his company, Williams, spent a lot of money on the licensing to Congo but none of the designers wanted to work on it. Finally, it got to the point where he was forced to design the game and he really hit it out of the park. The Super Mario Brothers and Street Fighter pinball machines are based on the video games, rather than the movies and the Judge Dredd, TMNT machines are based on the comic books. The Spider-Man game was released between the 2nd and 3rd movies. Pinball machines based on movies HDTGM hasn't gotten around to yet include Flash Gordon, Johnny Mnemonic, Krull, and The Flintstones. Of course, the rule doesn't always hold true. The Addams Family, The Lord of the Rings and Pirates of the Caribbean are all great movies with great pinball machines. the original Star Wars trilogy is great, but the three pinball machines based on them (by Hankin, Data East and Sega) are all pretty dull.