[Exclusive] Stern Pinball brings ‘Venom’ Pinball to SDCC 23 with a hands-on demo


In the midst of the crowds, exhibit hall, off-site activations and panels is the Stern Pinball Pop-Up Arcade located within the Marriott Marquis next door to the convention center. Within that arcade, Stern Pinball has brought a new pinball machine to debut to pinball fans and convention-goers alike.

Comic-Con 2023 was my fourth year — my first convention was in 2017. I never knew there was an arcade on campus for convention-goers to play. So, I scheduled a demo with Stern Pinball for their newest pinball machine, Venom, that launched worldwide at Comic-Con.

I’ve played pinball multiple times in my life and have gone to breweries/bars that had pinball machines on-site. Pinball always makes for a fun night out! Escaping the buzz (and heat) of Comic-Con, I was excited to get a hands-on demo from the Stern Pinball team of their newest machine, and it did not disappoint! I learned more about the company and the new machine before I got to play the Venom pinball machine myself. Fun fact: Stern is local to where I live in Chicago! It brought a hometown-feel to my Comic-Con experience.

A cool feature, that may or may not startle you, is shown in the video above. Shhh…it’s a surprise! This was a neat effect to the game, as I’ve never played a pinball machine where something “popped out” from the inside of the machine. Select your host and then begin! Also, the music within the game was on point and created a fun vibe while playing. Look at how slick the machine looks, too! It really catches your eye.

Be sure to look for the Venom pinball machine the next time you’re out at an arcade or brewery/bar! Thanks to the Stern Pinball team for this exclusive demo and for letting me experience this unique machine.

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