Godzilla has been a pop culture icon since his debut in 1954. Since then we’ve seen his large lizard face on countless items. A merchandise monster by nature, Godzilla has been the subject of both video games and other forms of media, including pinball! Let’s look at Stern’s Godzilla! The first time Godzilla made his mark on the solid-state world was in 1998 with Sega’s Godzilla (based on Godzilla 2000), with only 510 produced. In 2011 a homebrew (fan-made) Godzilla machine appeared, and finally in 2021 Stern released their take on Godzilla, paying homage to the original Toho kaiju!
Once players hit the power button, the title screen appears in a flash of color and a clip from one of the many Toho films plays. You are Godzilla in this game, and it’s up to you to defeat the evil Xiliens, who are using mind control rays on King Ghidorah, Gigan, Megalon, Ebirah, and Titanosauru to do battle with the larger-than-life Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, and Anguirus. It is now up to you to save the planet!
It’s Got the Look
The field on this game is downright stunning. The Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models all feature the basics: wire form ramps, three spinning targets, three flippers, three stand-up targets, and pop bumpers. The Premium and LE feature a remarkable Mechagodzilla that is motorized and even traps balls via a magnet. The Premium’s body is also eye-catching, with hand-drawn artwork by Zombie Yeti. Blue Oyster Cult’s Godzilla plays in the background during some part of the game as well but is prominently featured after the game ends.
The gameplay for Godzilla is as good as it gets. This is hands-down one of the most exciting pinball machines out there! Players can shoot the ball to the designated targets to follow the gameplay, or you can let chaos reign free and not abide by any rules — after all, Godzilla doesn’t. Players are able to destroy buildings, break a few bridges (watching the bridge “collapse” on the playfield is something), and can go ballistic in multiball.
This game is rather difficult and obtaining a high score will take several attempts. Thankfully, the ball does not have a tendency to drain after it’s released from the shooter lane, but if it does, Mothra and her magical ball save will come to the rescue. This is a quick machine, so fast reflexes are a must!
Resale values on Godzilla have also been strikingly high. The MSRP on the premium is $8,999, but sellers have seen them go for as high as $12,500.
The pro edition is still reselling for its MSRP of $6,899, while the limited edition, with its MSRP of $10,499 is harder to find (as it has sold out), but if you’re looking in the aftermarket, expect prices of up around $15,000.
If you’re looking to invest in this machine, you could be able to do a quick flip on it. However, prices for the machine will likely not reach their peak until production halts. If you’re in it for the long run, this might be a worthwhile investment. If you just want a fun machine to play with, this is worth the money.
Have you played Stern’s Godzilla yet?