Around the Playfield with Keith Elwin

Around the Playfield with Keith Elwin
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Around the Playfield with Keith Elwin
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Around the Playfield with Keith Elwin
Published on
August 9, 2018
Updated on
August 9, 2018
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With Keith Elwin (KME)


Keith Elwin is a pinball designer for Stern Pinball. Also, he’s pretty good at competitive pinball.

Around the Playfield

The Start Button: How did you first get into pinball?

Pinball was everywhere when I was a kid. Used to play at 7-11 and the local pizza places before getting serious @ 12 years old.

The Plunge: What was the first pinball machine you bought?

I was 16 I bought a Xenon from some guy with a huge storage unit full of games for $160. As I was loading the game up he tossed in an NOS playfield into the deal.

After playing the game for a few weeks I did my first playfield swap!

The Skill Shot: What is your best pinball achievement or favorite pinball moment?

The first time Steve Ritchie played Archer he told me “This doesn’t suck.”

Good Shots, Bad Bounces: What is your favorite and least favorite pinball machine?

That’s a tough one since I have been playing for some time. I think it will always be Frontier because it was the first game I ever got hooked on. World Cup 78 zzzzz….

Honorable mention to High Hand and Algar.

The Wizard Mode: What is your dream theme you’d like to see made into a pinball machine?

The Hardy Boys

The Tilt: What is the dumbest mistake you’ve made in pinball (mishap moving a machine, messing up trying to fix a machine, etc.)?

Accidentally leaving a Warlok backglass outside for a week. P.S. Anyone selling a Warlok backglass?  🙂

The High Score: Describe the pinball hobby in one word.


Match – Next Game: Where do you see the pinball hobby in 5-10 years?

Good question! Pinball will always be a mashup of newer tech driving something vintage (See Total Nuclear Annihilation). I think we will see newer and newer tech that will hopefully add to the experience but retain the heart and soul of pinball. I think the more we can push pinball to be more social like it was in the 60s and 70s with the quick games and simple rules the more it will expand.  Of course the tricky part is finding that balance between quick and deep games.