It’s hard to believe that The Beatles never had a pinball to their name. John, Paul, George, and Ringo have never appeared together on a pinball machine but that’s finally getting fixed with today’s announcement by Stern that The Beatles Beatlemania Pinball is coming, fully licensed and featuring the squeaky-clean (by today’s standards) images of the band in its pre-Sgt. Pepper Days. It’s been 54 years since Beatlemania started and The Beatles Pinball features eight songs taken from the period between 1963’s With the Beatles through 1965’s Rubber Soul. It’s a great idea for a theme of a pinball table but it does come with a few heavy disclaimers.
First up, this is a very limited release, with 1964 units in total being manufactured. The Diamond Edition is 100 numbered units that come with mirrored backglass, the 250-unit Platinum Edition tables are also numbered but with no other special features, and the remaining 1,614 units are all standard. This is a collector’s piece first and foremost and a pinball game second. Thakfully you can still play the game pretty easily if you can find an old Seawitch pinball kicking around anywhere, because aside from the spinning record with a magnet in its center the layout is identical. Why The Beatles Pinball is a reskin is anyone’s guess, but seeing as this is a collectible I’ll never get to play I can’t say it lands a hit on my personal Outrage Meter. Besides, if this is the first step towards getting a full Peter Max-ified Yellow Submarine pinball machine or even a deep-dive into the psychedelia of Sgt Pepper it can only be seen as a good thing.