Bought, Watched Labyrinth (1986) movie directed by Jim Henson starring and including music by David Bowie + Real and Virtual Labyrinth Pinball

By Todd Russell Oct28,2023

R.I.P Jim Henson. He was truly a man ahead of time and it seems crazy to say he’s been gone, as of this writing, over 30 years!

The 80s were really something and it is quite possible to have missed something. There is a company named Barrels of Fun (https://shop.kollectfun.com/) making a pinball (pictured above) based on the 1986 movie Labyrinth featuring music by and starring David Bowie with a bunch of puppet work (think goblins instead of muppets) directed by legendary Jim Henson. I don’t remember ever watching the movie when it came out, but definitely remember it. The good news? It’s on sale at Amazon Prime to buy for $1.99, so I bought it and (tried) to watch it. Honestly, I’m struggling. Movie isn’t really my cup of tea.

If I should ever finish it, my non-spoiler review will be posted to my Letterboxd (https://letterboxd.com/tjsnk/), but the general plot of the movie is a teen who wishes the goblins would take her baby brother away, has the wish answered, so she must adventure into the land of the Goblin King (Bowie), to find and return her brother safely. There are a bunch of muppet-like goblin creatures she encounters along the way. Bowie’s music actually fits the movie pretty well and one can see how a pinball machine based on this would have a bunch of creative possibilities.

Before getting to the Barrels of Fun real pinball table, there is, somewhat timely and ironically, already a virtual pinball table based on this movie that PGM featured on Humpday Wednesday Pinball #11 on 9/13/202 (see: Humpday Wednesday Pinball #11: Jaws – Bigger Boat Edition (FP Fizx3) | The Labryinth | Megaman (Original 2023))

Here’s a teaser trailer for the Barrels of Fun Labyrinth pinball machine:

This new Labyrinth pinball looks more interesting to me than the movie which I put in with other fantasy music movies like Michael Jackson’s The Wiz. Musical movies are a tough sell genre for me. This Labyrinth pinball, however, I definitely want to flip. In fact, they had a few Labyrinth pins at the Pinball Expo #39 in Chicago and long lines to play it. Seems like fellow pinheads are interested.

Our local distributor, Nitro Pinball, has put up preorder for Labyrinth on their website here: https://nitropinball.com/collections/bitronic/products/jim-hensons-labyrinth-preorder#.

$1,000 NON-REFUNDABLE down locks the preorder and $9,600 + sales tax and shipping if required. We could pick this up in my truck, as the warehouse is like an hour away, but have only like 2% FOMO on this. The prices on these New In Box (NIB) pinball machines kinda spook me (pardon the pun, Spooky pinball). If it’s the right game from the right company, I could see buying one, but it’s got to be a game I really, really love and would play the hell out of. Also, one that keeps value, so could trade for another newer game and doesn’t have a bunch of maintenance and customer service issues. This is Barrels of Fun’s first pinball machine, and it looks like a good one, but a safer bet seems to wait until it’s at Next Level (they buy all new pinball machines) and play one of the 1,100 worldwide there. A few bucks to play sounds so much better than over ten large.

What about you? What’s your interest level in playing Labyrinth?

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