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Bally Star Trek Pinball backglass

The first Star Trek pinball backglass from Bally

Westmore with pinball machines

Westmore with his two pinball machines

Star Trek Pinball has been a popular promotional tool in the game industries, with a number of pinball machines being manufactured dating back to the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

The first Star Trek pinball machine was made by Bally to tie into the release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. This machine featured imagery of the main cast from the film.

Twelve years later in 1991, Data East released a pinball game, again based on the Star Trek: The Original Series characters.

In 1993, the first machine based on Star Trek: The Next Generation was released by Williams Electronic Games. This game featured imagery from the show and also included a number of recordings from the main cast. Michael Westmore was part of the crew creating this machine. (Westmore's Legacy, Star Trek: Insurrection DVD release, special feature)

1998 saw the first video game release of a pinball game by Interplay with their Star Trek Pinball game for MS DOS. The game featured imagery and sounds from Star Trek: The Original Series.

With the release of Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness, Stern Pinball released a series of machines with missions based on the two films. Karl Urban recorded his voice as Leonard McCoy to be used in the games. The first three variants of the game were released in 2013, with two "Pro Vault Edition" re-releases in 2018. [1]


Two other machines with references to STAR TREK were released prior to the 1979 Bally game, but neither were officially connected to the series.

The first, Gottlieb's 1971 STAR TREK machine, was a re-naming of their ASTRO pinball game (released the same year in the US) made strictly for the Italian market. Other than the re-naming, the game has no other connection to STAR TREK.[2]

The second was actually made by Bally in 1976 and named STAR SHIP, featuring an Enterprise-like vessel on the backglass. This was a prototype machine, and according to reports, only one full-scale machine and two backglasses were made (the second backglass was used for art registration purposes). This machine was re-themed and fully released in 1979 as SUPERSONIC, themed for the recent release of the SST Supersonic Airplane. [3]