Pinball Band Diversity

What music acts have generated pinball machine themes? Let’s see.

Led Zeppelin
Kiss (2)
Guns ‘n’ Roses (2)
Rolling Stones (2)
Alice Cooper
Iron Maiden
Ted Nugent
The Who (2)
The Beatles
Dolly Parton
Elton John

How diverse is this? Hmmm. All white. All but one male. Mostly “Rock” bands, and predominately the “loud / angry” type of that the past 15 years. Guess that’s what sells, and largely mirrors the current player base, but if we want to bring in new players, maybe we should try themes that reflect people unlike ourselves. Women, Blacks, Latinos, country music fans, the list of what else there is to choose from is lengthy. When will we reach out? I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for this, but it would really be nice to have more variety in music-themed games.


Gottlieb had the brooks and Dunn pin but they shut down before they could go into production.
The reality of the music pins is that those band themes sell.
They are for the most part the music I listen to.
Except for Led Zeppelin.
Not a fan at all of the band.



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Would love to see a 90s hop hop themed game.


Surely Metallica deserves to be classified as mostly white.


I would buy a Blondie pinball.

Debbie Harry is the best!

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Maybe the pinball manufacturers don’t want to take a million dollar plus gamble on a machine that probably won’t resonate with their customer base? I guess it’s a capitalism problem. God forbid someone has a business model to make money. Just sayin’.

The only manufacturer that can afford to sit on games that don’t sell well, like WWE, is Stern and no company can afford to do that repeatedly.


I think with all of these bands, it’s important to consider their widespread popularity when evaluating them as a theme. Bands with white male members aren’t just listened to by other white males, so “old white rock bands” aren’t nearly as divisive as I think a lot of complaints seem to suggest. I fully believe there is value in having diverse representation in themes but pinball companies are still constrained by what will work for a pinball machine, what will sell, and what will earn on location (including FEC-type locations).

Please name some bands/artists you would immediately put a non-refundable $1000 deposit on, sight unseen.

This was specifically to @bmu but anyone can feel free.

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Rage Against The Machine

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Other ones that I wouldn’t personally drop a grand on sight unseen because I’m having a hard time envisioning how it would work with their music, but that others have mentioned repeatedly:

Lady Gaga

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While RATM as a band is awesome, I really don’t see how a pinball machine could be made without ultimately mocking or parodying the band and the values/beliefs they stand for.

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I’d pay for a Snoop Dog and/or Dr. Dre pin, provided there aren’t any Chronic issues.


Yeah, I considered that, but figure if the machine gets made it would be awesome!


I’m not a big fan of band-themed games in general. I’d rather focus on playing the game than having familiar (or well-known but unfamiliar to me) music playing in the background. I may like the music from most of these bands, but I’d rather keep that music separate from my pinball. And there’s NO theme of any kind for which I would plunk down a non-refundable $1000 deposit. I was a Dr. Who fan long before most people on this board were born; doesn’t mean I want to own the game.

I totally get the marketing issue, but it’s largely catch-22, the people who are would-be buyers now were brought in by more of the same. It’s a sad state of affairs when licensing a theme is needed to sell machines, especially when it’s become a limited range of themes in some ways. How many of these bands? How many Marvel comics machines? Licensing used to be rare; now it’s become the default. Dialed In and Oktoberfest were refreshing departures from this trend.


Van Halen
Beastie Boys

Might be missing the point of this thread, although at least Beastie Boys isn’t straight rock.

But is is old white dudes… :smile:

Why not take the approach that some video games take when it comes to licensing music? Take the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, for example. Great games made greater by a solid mix of awesome music from awesome bands.

While there are some pop stars whose following and public image could justify their own pinball machine (Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, and Madonna are the first three that come to mind), why not come up with a theme that pairs well with a variety of artists from a genre?