The American Music & Pop Culture Expo – Hershey, PA – The Wizard of Oz Review #1 – March 29,2013

My girlfriend and I made a day trip to the Hershey area for two reasons.  To enjoy the rides at Hershey Park and it hit up The American Music and Pop Culture Expo which happened to be in a nearby GYMNASIUM in Hershey.  With keynote stars like Bronson Pinchot and Paris Themmen (Mike TV from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) you know this was going to be a blast. Mike TV should now be called Mike Smart Phone as he was glued to his phone.  Did I mention that David Orange was there?  You might know him better as the Sleepy Klingon from Star Trek VI.  And don’t miss barn walker Triston Johnson from the Walking Dead.  See real promotional photo below:

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I don’t know why it was called the American Music and Pop Culture Expo when 31 bags, Avon, and a bunch of people who sold jarred food products made up over 1/2 of the vendors (I did get some delicious hot mustard and hot pepper jelly).  I did score some pretty cool items.

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My main reason for attending this extravaganza was to see the Wizard of Oz pinball machine.  The hype surrounding this machine is palpable as people I know have waited patiently for over 2 years for this machine.  These are my thoughts.

Machine #132: JERSEY JACK THE WIZARD OF OZ

Machine #132: JERSEY JACK THE WIZARD OF OZ

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The Wizard of Oz is incomplete.  Many of the features are not working.  Many of the LCD animations are not there.  The balls do lock properly.  The score does not tabulate correctly.  The T-O-T-O rollovers do not score.  The crystal B-A-L-L targets do not register.  The loop around the house does not score.  The code is not anywhere near finished.  It’s really hard to judge a machine based on these factors.

I will tell you that the 26 inch LCD screen in the backglass will revolutionize pinball as we know it.  That the animations are fantastic and I’m stunned Stern will make Metallica with a DMD.  The machne is solidly constructed and the side art is screen printed on (no decals).  The playfield toys are great.  The crystal ball has a 1.5 inch  LCD with animations.  The House will eventually spin, the spooky tree pop bumpers look great, the ruby slipper flippers are awesome.  The scoring was extremely low (playing about 10 games my high score was 27,000, but I assumed things were not scoring).

I found the callouts to be annoying as the theme does nothing for me.

I talked to Joe Newhart from Pinball Star Amusements and he said they’d be updating the code weekly, but if I got this sent to my home after paying $6500 or $7500 for it in this state, I would be ultimately dissapointed.  I personally don’t think that machines should be shipped to people or on location in this condition.

This is the 1st of 3 reviews I will do for this machine.  I will do another when Julius gets his and update you with what’s different and then one at the end of the end with the latest code.  After playing 10 or so games on it, the craftmanship is evident and the potential is there, but I wasn’t impressed.  GRADE: INCOMPLETE

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