Worthwhile? Upgrading to Stern Insider Connected All Access ($39.99 USD/year) + Special Access to Buying JAWS Limited Edition

By Todd Russell Jan7,2024

The answer to the question in the headline, IMO, is no.

No, “All Access” is really not worth it unless you want to be able to buy a Limited Edition when it first is announced directly from Stern. It’s essentially a $40 yearly fee simply to get a better place in line to buy a new LE machine.

That’s it. No special forums, no behind the scenes content that only “All Access” subscribers can get.

Now, if you want to skip down to the JAWS section below, that’s literally the only value I’ve seen in the “All Access” membership to date after having it for a month.

If there are any forums, I don’t see them. Where? Somebody please tell me where these are at in the comments. And the whole “special access” must be something that’s only available to “Pro Operators” not non-operators that paid for the “All Access” plan.

Like most, I have been using the “Basic”/FREE account of Stern Insider Connected to date. Have been curious what more the $39.99 “All Access” option would provide>

On 12/2/2023 I ponied up the money and decided to give it a try. Retrospectively, not my finest hour buying something of value.

This article will explain what I found behind the walled garden.

Once logged in as an “All Access” member I literally noticed nothing different. Zero. Zilch.

One of the things I’d hoped to find, was more direct access to Stern through some subscriber-only forums/discussion area.

Nope, not there, don’t see it.

What I do see are a bunch of older videos, podcasts, some early rendering sketches and mock-up designs. A bunch of “stuff” that feels somewhat cobbled together and my wife, that is still a free member, can access too.

Seriously, all this stuff shouldn’t be behind a paywall — and it isn’t.

And give us the direct access to Stern employees and a true paid forums area to talk all things Stern for the paid membership. I swear they advertise this as one of the perks, but don’t see that it exists anywhere.

Here’s specifically what I’m referring to:

Again, if anybody reading this knows where to find this access to “exclusive forum discussions” please use the comments to throw me a bone. As of this writing, I don’t see this anywhere.

In fact, it wasn’t until the day before Jaws was released, that there was anything different to see for “All Access” members.

One day ahead of Stern releasing to the general public on 1/3/2024, there was information available on purchasing Jaws LE with a 24 hour timer as shown at this page: https://shop.sternpinball.com/products/all-access-limited-edition-jaws-pinball (NOTE: link may not work at time of publishing, but did work on 1/3/2024)

So, this is the access given for paying $40? The ability to purchase a Limited Edition of a brand new Stern pinball before the general public through their vendor directly from Stern Pinball. Or so it seems. The video they included is shown below:

Ok, this is totally stupid on my part. Why did I spend $40 for the sole privilege of being able to buy a JAWS Limited Edition directly from Stern? That is all the $40 appears to do for this “All Access” and that’s not even remotely worth it (unless you want to buy a newly announced LE directly from Stern).

Please, somebody, anybody — third and final request — tell me that there are other features I’m missing here?

Now, as for JAWS, I didn’t take advantage of buying an LE from Stern.

My son, however, did preorder a JAWS Premium. There are a zillion places out there talking about JAWS, so not really going to add to that here at this time. Will wait until JAWS is closer to being delivered and setup. I did start a thread on the PGM Discord and will probably talk more about this on the Twitch live streams.

Looking forward to playing JAWS when it arrives at my son’s house. Anybody else preorder JAWS? If so, which model? Pro, Premium or LE? Let us know in the comments.

UPDATE 1/7/2024 @ 5:42am PST: I belong to a Facebook group called “Stern Pinball Enthusiasts” (FB group link) and decided to post there asking if anybody else was subscribed to “All Access” and see if they have links to these forums that Stern advertises. My post shown below is waiting for admin approval. This must be some kind of anti-spam procedure by the group (see next update, confirmed that it is)

UPDATE 1/7/2024 @ 9:17am PST: About an hour ago, the Facebook group admin(s) approved the post mentioned above (thank you!) and comments from their group of 1,600+ members are starting to flow in. So far, no link provided for these advertised “forums” but will update here if/when I receive such a link and/or if it exists. One person that replied said he received a gift box with about $10 worth of stuff. No, I didn’t receive that either, but I signed up on 12/2/2023, a little over a month ago, maybe it takes them more time to ship this gift box out (?). Or maybe that was something they used to do.

UPDATE 1/7/2024 @ 10:02am PST: I just tweeted/X’d or whatever it’s called these days to the official X @sternpinball account my question:

When/if I receive an official answer, will reply here. At this point, just want them to either adjust their sales page text to clearly and concisely indicate what the benefits truly are when you pay $40, not say there is something that may exist someday, but is certainly not easy to find for both current and prospective customers. More to come, when/if received.

UPDATE 1/8/2024 @ 4:12pm PST: When I tweeted/X’d @sternpinball yesterday, I started the message with their tag, which means it was a message directed to them vs. a public message that mentioned them that others could read. Just changed that and updated the screenshot and link above in hopes of receiving some kind of response, sooner than later. Should have done this from the start. More importantly, multiple people have replied in Facebook indicating the forums advertised do not exist … yet. If that’s true, then Stern needs to change that, see my last update above. Change the text, Stern Pinball.

Spread the love

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *