Thursday, August 21, 2014

Stern Pinball's Dale Jr. Special Edition

Here's a look at an early example of Stern's limited edition games. Back in 2005 they released NASCAR pinball designed by Pat Lawlor. In other parts of the world the game was released under a generic racing game called Grand Prix. Two years later Stern pinball ran 500 new special edition units of Dale Jr. The gameplay is the exact same as NASCAR but the cabanet, playfield and backglass are all new. Unlike the special editions they release today the plaque on the machine at Flippers does not have the exact model stamped onto the machine. The same goes for the Spider-Man Black Special Edition.

A lot of people have a love/hate relationship with this game. For me, I really enjoy it. I'm not that big of a NASCAR fan but I like the elements brought into the game. I love the unique way you launch the ball into the game. After hitting the auto-launcher the ball will go around a track around the playfield three times till it's shot into the playfield. Sadly when I reviewed this unit the Test Car in the middle didn't function right. In the normal version of the game the car stays down until you hit it and then it pops up to reveal a scoop shot and two targets.

The game has a horrible cover of Sammy Hagar's "I Can't Drive 55" and if that is him it sounds terrible. Other then that I think it's a fun game. I like the loop shots and the ramp shots feel good when you hit them. It's much different then other Pat Lawlor games. Well worth checking out!

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