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Stern Pinball: Collector shows off 40 pinball machines in his Aurora basement

On tonight’s WGN News at Five, we’re heading to the Aurora home of Dave Rautio. He’s collected more than 40 Stern Pinball machines, all on display and ready to play in his basement. Stern has been making pinball machines since the 1980s in Melrose Park, Illinois.

Company President Gary Stern, along members of the company’s design team, went to see the collection for themselves this afternoon. It was like taking a trip back in time, all of their work on display in pristine condition. Dave had the team sign all of the machines before they left.

If you’d like to learn more about Stern Pinball, you can find their website HERE.

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28 Comments to “Stern Pinball: Collector shows off 40 pinball machines in his Aurora basement”

    GAP said:
    March 6, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    Games provided by Greatamericanpinball.com

      Steve said:
      March 6, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      Provided infers that you gave them to him. At 4K-6K/pop and 40 tables total, I'd be livid if I gave a company six figures of business over the years to see them piggyback on a story about how meticulously thorough my collection is.

      chuck said:
      March 6, 2013 at 8:41 PM

      Which means he over paid.

      DugFreez said:
      March 6, 2013 at 9:26 PM

      The Playboy wasn't provided by Great American Pinball so I have my doubts that all of the others were either. The Playboy was my machine that Dave bought from me at expo. I love the pink powder coated trim that he added. He has a great looking collection.

      William said:
      March 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM

      All those games were NOT provided by GAC. Other people were involved. Once again Mike "I'll do anything for profit" Nogle shows his True Colors.

    Chris said:
    March 6, 2013 at 8:39 PM

    They are friends so I dont think he is going to get upset.

      Steve said:
      March 6, 2013 at 8:47 PM

      It's just sleazy and another reminder as to what the amusement industry evolved to. Great story, great machines, great care to a collection and the first posted comment is "I PROVIDED THOSE, HERE'S MY WEBSITE!!!'

    retroVidPin said:
    March 6, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Ummm, about that being the "only" remaining company making pinball machines…
    I do believe there is another company that has been "following the yellow brick road."

      DugFreez said:
      March 6, 2013 at 9:29 PM

      …and what machines have they released?

        retroVidPin said:
        March 6, 2013 at 9:39 PM

        The Wizard of Oz. It's thier first release. Looks like they have a Hobbit machine in the works for thier next endeavor.
        There's plenty of room in the pinball market for more than one company.

      William said:
      March 7, 2013 at 11:51 AM

      ahhh, except that company hasn't shipped anything. Stern Pinball is, in fact, the only company designing and shipping commercial pinball machines in the world.

    DugFreez said:
    March 6, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Great story and a great looking collection.

    Guest said:
    March 7, 2013 at 12:54 AM

    GAP is a ripoff artist. This guy's "collection" sucks.
    New Stern owners think that by pimping their machines
    with powdercoating they can make up for their basic
    lack of pinball fun. I have pinball machines from the 1930's
    to the 2000's so I know what pinball is really about.

      Christopher said:
      March 7, 2013 at 1:50 AM

      Good for you bro, want a cookie! Been there and seem em' all, and it is a great "collection"! Seems to me, that someone is just a bit jealous :(

      William said:
      March 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      Well, your first sentence is accurate. The rest is your personal preference.

    --- said:
    March 7, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    I can assure you that GAP did NOT provide all of those machines!! Way to plug your business Mike!

    Donna said:
    March 7, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    I can assure all of you that everyone of those machines are in fact by Sterns pinball….you'd have to see them in person to really appreciate them. He has countless hours, time and money invested to make those machines what they are.

    Bub said:
    March 7, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    Yea… I hate that stern quotes themselves as the "only" pinball company when there are 3 others that I am aware of….. Wonder what Jersey Jack thinks of that?

    retroVidPin said:
    March 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    Stern did just fine many years ago with their machines next to Gottliebs, Williams, Ballys, etc; so why all the fuss now about having their machines next to a Jersey Jack?
    I think it's awesome that there is more than one pinball manufacturer.

    --- said:
    March 8, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    Taking peoples money over 2 years ago for a game that is STILL not available, does not make you a pinball manufacture! You actually have to sell, produce and distribute more than a hand full of machines in order to be considered a manufacture. So YES, Stern is currently still the ONLY pinball manufacture left.

    Dave Rautio said:
    March 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    For all you guys worried about where the machines came from ….does it really matter ??? Just for the record I bought 11 machines from Mike (GAP). The ones I dint buy new from mike, he located himself. I can tell you mike has come through for me on every machine. Matt from back alley creations did all my powder coating, and led backs were from flipper fidelity. All I know at the end of the day…all machines are perfect, not a bad machine in the collection.

      Josh said:
      March 8, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      Would you rather own Sterns Indiana Jones, or Williams Indiana Jones ?

        retroVidPin said:
        March 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        I liked the Stern model much better.

      Dave Nelson said:
      March 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Ouch Dave. ;)

    retroVidPin said:
    March 8, 2013 at 4:50 PM

    That guy needs a Seawitch in his collection. Seawitch is the best of the Stern classics.

    kid1339 said:
    March 15, 2013 at 5:14 PM

    If Lourdes Duarte is there the wife & I would come . Lourdes is the best looking woman on T.V. not just W.G.N. But all T.V.

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