This week takes us to Stern Pinball, headquartered on a non-descript industrial zone west of O’Hare in Elk Grove Village.
Jumping in the car for the episode is Stern Marketing Director Zach Sharpe, who’s also the #1 pinball player in the world. For real. #1.
Here’s what we covered this week (in an episode sponsored by the fantastic BOOST MOBILE):
- We got food from Portillo’s, because… Portillo’s.
- Zach’s dad, who essentially saved pinball as we know it. “You think I’m an interesting Sharpe? You should talk to my dad.”
- To explain: “Pinball was illegal from the 40s to the 70s.”
- Zach’s introduction to the pinball tournament circuit
- The appeal of pinball: “Everyone can play it.”
- The lure of pinball: “It’s a physical, interactive experience.”
- Stern owner Gary Stern walked past the Mazda 3, but didn’t stop to chat.
- The history of Stern as a pinball company, including early pinball games like Sea Witch and Stargazer.
- Stern’s work with rock bands: Iron Maiden (best game ever), AC/DC, Metallica, KISS, etc.
- How do bands respond when they first see “their” pinball games?
- The Batman ’66 pinball table.
- Who is the typical pinball client?
- How do you get good at pinball? What are some pro tips/baseline strategies?
- Don’t be afraid to TILT.
Car Con Carne got to tour the Stern arcade after recording. Check out the video here: