(Topic ID: 242956)

Bally "Class of 1981" Prices are Soaring


By tomdrum

9 days ago



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    #1 9 days ago

    I've been collecting Bally early solid state games for 20 years. Bought many when they were cheap and have fixed and resold dozens over the years. I've noticed prices of these classics have gone up a lot in the last 18 months. Mostly the 1981 games. These are best of the early Bally's but the prices are going way up. I'm a firm believer in a pin is worth whatever someone is willing to pay. If you can get crazy money, more power to you. But some of the asking prices now are making my head spin. NOTE Mr Pinball prices are for good working games. My point:

    Flash Gordon 10K produced. Average price is well over 2K for a working game with cosmetic issues. 2001 Mr Pinball $800 (very good). Price for projects rising due to hardtop release. $4500 restored.

    Eight Ball Deluxe 8,250 made. Average price now 2K for a working project 6K restored. 2001 Mr Pinball $950.

    Fireball II 2,300 made. Projects running $1500. Mr Pinball 2001 $500 Impossible to get a new PF.

    Embryon 2,250 made. Projects are $1200, restored are $3500. 2001 Mr Pinball $500 Impossible to get a new PF.

    Fathom 3,500 produced. Off the charts. Restored are $6-7K now. Mr Pinball $875 in 2001

    Medusa 3,250 produced. 3-6K restored. Projects are few are far between. Mr Pinball in 2001 $575

    Centaur 3,700 produced. 5-7K restored. Projects rare. Mr Pinball in 2001 $850.

    My point is how far will these prices climb from today? Again I wish every seller gets max dollars but how high will these titles go?

    #2 9 days ago

    hey, it was a good year...my birth year....

    A lot of really good games from that year, don't forget Black Hole and Pink Panther are in that class too.

    #3 9 days ago

    I agree. '79 - '81 are very hot. Also old Stern around '81.

    #4 9 days ago

    I sold a Centaur with a CPR playfield and plastics for $3300 about 5 years ago. Never dreamed it would be worth more than that some day. I still have Fathom, Embryon, Medusa and Skateball. I try to ignore prices because I really don’t want to sell them. There’s just something special about them.

    #5 9 days ago

    Fathom catapulted to that price point 6 - 7 years ago. I traded a nice one back then and watched the market carefully in the years leading to the phenomenon. Centaur (and Medusa to a lesser extent) were beginning to fetch escalated numbers in that timeline as well.

    #6 9 days ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    I've been collecting Bally early solid state games for 20 years. Bought many when they were cheap and have fixed and resold dozens over the years. I've noticed prices of these classics have gone up a lot in the last 18 months. Mostly the 1981 games. These are best of the early Bally's but the prices are going way up. I'm a firm believer in a pin is worth whatever someone is willing to pay. If you can get crazy money, more power to you. But some of the asking prices now are making my head spin. NOTE Mr Pinball prices are for good working games. My point:
    Flash Gordon 10K produced. Average price is well over 2K for a working game with cosmetic issues. 2001 Mr Pinball $800 (very good). Price for projects rising due to hardtop release. $4500 restored.
    Eight Ball Deluxe 8,250 made. Average price now 2K for a working project 6K restored. 2001 Mr Pinball $950.
    Fireball II 2,300 made. Projects running $1500. Mr Pinball 2001 $500 Impossible to get a new PF.
    Embryon 2,250 made. Projects are $1200, restored are $3500. 2001 Mr Pinball $500 Impossible to get a new PF.
    Fathom 3,500 produced. Off the charts. Restored are $6-7K now. Mr Pinball $875 in 2001
    Medusa 3,250 produced. 3-6K restored. Projects are few are far between. Mr Pinball in 2001 $575
    Centaur 3,700 produced. 5-7K restored. Projects rare. Mr Pinball in 2001 $850.
    My point is how far will these prices climb from today? Again I wish every seller gets max dollars but how high will these titles go?

    1981 was one of the best years EVER for pinballs. The games were built to last, themes are addictive, the art was impeccable...not the photoshop crap you see these days. It sucks that they are going up, but these are GREAT pins we are talking about.

    #7 9 days ago
    Quoted from tomdrum:

    My point is how far will these prices climb from today? Again I wish every seller gets max dollars but how high will these titles go?

    As high as the market allows.

    Personally, I won't pay any of those $2k+ prices for these titles. I think those prices are completely ridiculous. But some people want the game bad enough, so they have no problem paying those prices.

    Those games are fun, but not quite $2k+ fun. I'd rather put the funds into newer DMD games.

    #8 9 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    As high as the market allows.
    Personally, I won't pay any of those $2k+ prices for these titles. I think those prices are completely ridiculous. But some people want the game bad enough, so they have no problem paying those prices.
    Those games are fun, but not quite $2k+ fun. I'd rather put the funds into newer DMD games.

    I think they're easily $2K fun. I play '80-'81 machines more than I play any DMDs.

    #9 9 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    As high as the market allows.
    Personally, I won't pay any of those $2k+ prices for these titles. I think those prices are completely ridiculous. But some people want the game bad enough, so they have no problem paying those prices.
    Those games are fun, but not quite $2k+ fun. I'd rather put the funds into newer DMD games.

    What are yoir favorite pins from 1978-1982?

    #10 8 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    As high as the market allows.
    Personally, I won't pay any of those $2k+ prices for these titles. I think those prices are completely ridiculous. But some people want the game bad enough, so they have no problem paying those prices.
    Those games are fun, but not quite $2k+ fun. I'd rather put the funds into newer DMD games.

    Eight ball deluxe is 2k+ worth of fun all day, everyday in my opinion.

    Same with Joker Poker, but joker poker sells for half

    #11 8 days ago

    Was looking at a Xenon- roached out playfield with nothing but bad options in sight for replacement.

    Choices at this time are overlay decal or $1000 playfield with wrong inserts. For $1000 for a core machine in a basket I walked away.

    Seen some nice ones in the $2k-3k range, I'd rather spend the extra and get a nice one. For $3000 I'd rather spend an extra $1500 and buy a Walking Dead Pro though.

    #12 8 days ago

    It's the best of the best concept.

    NIB games are generally 5500-over 10K now.

    Best of the best early 90's DMD games, 5K-8K
    Best of the best early 80's games, 5K-8K
    Best of the best late 90's oddities and boutique games, 8K-well over 10K.

    I don't know what's so surprising. It's been like this for roughly 15 years. If you want the best, you are going to pay roughly the going rate for a NIB machine. Back when an original nice condition Monster bash sold for 4K, a NIB Stern was 4K.

    #13 8 days ago

    I'm hoping Scott Daneisi iI is an attempt to modernize the early Bally magic.

    #14 8 days ago

    Start hoarding your flipperless games if you wanna get ahead of the curve

    #15 8 days ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    Was looking at a Xenon- roached out playfield with nothing but bad options in sight for replacement.

    CPR playfields are just entering silkscreening phase. Won't be long before they're available.

    #16 8 days ago

    The availability of parts to restore these games fueled the price increases, as it should. Before the parts were available, all of the early Bally's except EBD were sub $1000 games. First Fathom I had in 1986 cost $350, second Fathom in 2007 was $2,000.

    Compare them to NIB all you want, but they are not making anymore of these. Ever. So as more people get into the hobby, the prices will continue to grow for a scare resource. Paragon will be next to shoot up as the repro playfields become available.

    #17 8 days ago
    Quoted from Xenon75:

    The availability of parts to restore these games fueled the price increases, as it should. Before the parts were available, all of the early Bally's except EBD were sub $1000 games. First Fathom I had in 1986 cost $350, second Fathom in 2007 was $2,000.
    Compare them to NIB all you want, but they are not making anymore of these. Ever. So as more people get into the hobby, the prices will continue to grow for a scare resource. Paragon will be next to shoot up as the repro playfields become available.

    People with no nostalgia for the game will buy newer titles for the same money or a touch more.

    Nostalgia is the key.

    #18 8 days ago

    Its just a matter if time before centaurs and eightball deluxe,fathom are reproduced. Just need the squalk and talk.

    #19 8 days ago

    Great games command big prices no matter of era.

    Frankly I would take a collection of predominately early 80s games with a few sys11 and a few classic DMDs sprinkled in over pretty much anything else.

    Like others have said, great games all rise to NIB logic of price over time.

    When 5500 is what it takes to get a new game, why wouldn't great, fully coded, fun games from earlier eras be similarly priced, esp as pinball increases in popularity and naturally these older games get discovered as people hang out in the hobby.

    #20 8 days ago
    Quoted from pinballplusMN:

    Its just a matter if time before centaurs and eightball deluxe,fathom are reproduced. Just need the squalk and talk.

    possibly, but very unlikely.

    They will also be 6k and cheaped out parts if it happened.

    #21 8 days ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    People with no nostalgia for the game will buy newer titles for the same money or a touch more.
    Nostalgia is the key.

    These are great games for people who get tired of the "shoot right ramp, shoot left ramp, rinse and repeat" gameplay. Nicely restored and tuned examples provide plenty of excitement with ball times measured in seconds, not minutes.

    Nostalgia is key for some, I agree. About 20 games in my keeper collection have nostalgia for me -- games that I played in the arcade that stood out from the crowd. But I've added another 10 or so keepers that I never played or even saw in the arcade which are fantastic playing games with no nostalgia.

    Plenty of younger people who grew up with 90's games are getting into 80's games and even EMs. I think once the nostalgia crowd dies off, these games will get scooped up quickly and their popularity will remain high.

    #22 8 days ago

    I have a Mr and Mrs Pac Man pin... I know most people do not like it very much... I love it... the feel of the flippers on the early Bally machines is the best...

    #23 8 days ago
    Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

    Same with Joker Poker, but joker poker sells for half

    I rejected a $4,500 for my restored Joker Poker.

    #24 8 days ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    People with no nostalgia for the game will buy newer titles for the same money or a touch more.
    Nostalgia is the key.

    Nostalgia is important to some degree, but I love wedgeheads and I was definitely not alive during their heyday or even played one until about 20 years ago.

    I am starting to take interest in other EM's as well. I think once pinball gets in your blood, curiosity takes over and you find fun in all eras of games. That is what makes this such a fun and interesting hobby. There is always something to learn and discover. Especially if you don't limit yourself to a particular type/era of game.

    #25 8 days ago

    Everyone has their own opinions, but for me, 1978 through 1982 was the 'golden age' of pinball. SO MANY great titles released during that time, and I'm not surprised prices are going up.

    Now, who wants to sell me a Centaur??? I overpay for pins.

    #26 8 days ago
    Quoted from Lathroum:

    I have a Mr and Mrs Pac Man pin... I know most people do not like it very much... I love it... the feel of the flippers on the early Bally machines is the best...

    Awesome game. It's not just underrated, it's ignored and not appreciated at all in pinball circles. Such a shame.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/mr-mrs-pac-man-pinball-restoration/page/2

    #27 8 days ago

    You should have seen the Bally Row at the Pinball at the Zoo show this year featuring 21 solid state Bally games from 1977-1983. It was packed pretty much the whole time, very fun to see.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BwvqQs8lMlj/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

    #28 8 days ago
    Quoted from Xenon75:

    I am starting to take interest in other EM's as well. I think once pinball gets in your blood, curiosity takes over and you find fun in all eras of games.

    I started with EM and I'm adding solid state to the mix but draw the line on lcd screen games. Too much going on for my taste and I don't like taking my eye off the ball for any reason.

    #29 8 days ago

    1981 Classic Sterns have also shot up in price.

    Catacomb
    Dragonfist
    Viper

    Lightning, Freefall and Split Second, maybe not.

    #30 8 days ago

    Fathom will be 8k soon. Sick game!

    #31 8 days ago
    Quoted from tktlwyr:

    I rejected a $4,500 for my restored Joker Poker.

    There was a Joker Poker at Allentown with a new playfield, a bunch of new parts, a Pascal board, nice cabinet, and nice backglass that failed to sell at $2300. I couldn't believe no one bought it, but... it's a data point.

    #32 8 days ago

    So what's the next hot group of games going to be? System 1 and early System 80 Gottliebs?

    #33 8 days ago
    Quoted from snyper2099:

    Awesome game. It's not just underrated, it's ignored and not appreciated at all in pinball circles. Such a shame.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/mr-mrs-pac-man-pinball-restoration/page/2

    Thanks for the link. Machine looks great! I've got a project machine I need to get working on one of these days. Picked up a nicer playfield at Pinfest, so at least that's a start.

    #34 8 days ago

    And threads like this continue to fuel the fire...

    #35 8 days ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    So what's the next hot group of games going to be? System 1 and early System 80 Gottliebs?

    Sounds like a joke but I have honestly seen both of those upticking in price. Once whatever the current popular trends get bought up there has to be a next trend and I think you are oddly right in your assumption here. People basically learn to appreciate what is available and as they get snatched up they increase in value.

    #36 8 days ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    So what's the next hot group of games going to be? System 1 and early System 80 Gottliebs?

    Williams system 7 games. Warlok, Cosmic Gunfight, Time Fantasy, Barracora, Defender, Star Light, etc...

    #37 8 days ago
    Quoted from dothedoo:

    I think they're easily $2K fun. I play '80-'81 machines more than I play any DMDs.

    The point was most were well *over* $2k. Some pushing $3k, $4k, and even $5k or $6k.

    Would I pay $1k-$1500 for a nice EBD? Sure. Would I pay $3k+? Nope. It's a fun game, but I can find better uses for that $3k.

    Quoted from gweempose:

    So what's the next hot group of games going to be? System 1 and early System 80 Gottliebs?

    System 80 games have always had a decent following, and a few specific/popular titles are already fetching solid prices. I've been finding it a bit more difficult to get my hands on system 80 games lately, especially after all the prices for bally/stern/williams games started taking off a few years ago.

    System 1 games can basically be upgraded a bit using a pascal MPU with all the extra features. The hulk I've been bringing to shows always seems to get a ton of plays.

    Some of the system 1 games are reasonably desirable, but there are a few duds too. However, even the decent ones seem to struggle to fetch more than $800 (such as sinbad and close encounters).

    #38 8 days ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    System 80 games have always had a decent following, and a few specific/popular titles are already fetching solid prices. I've been finding it a bit more difficult to get my hands on system 80 games lately, especially after all the prices for bally/stern/williams games started taking off a few years ago.

    I like the System 80 odd playfields, Gold Wings is great, Spring Break I'm still warming up to as I learn the shots and ruleset. Hot Shots I'm "meh" on but my wife and the younger son like it so ok it can stay for the moment. I tried a few down at Allentown, Genesis looked interesting but I didn't care for the gameplay.

    #39 8 days ago
    Quoted from DrJoe:

    Williams system 7 games. Warlok, Cosmic Gunfight, Time Fantasy, Barracora, Defender, Star Light, etc...

    ship seems to have sailed long ago on many of those sadly

    I would love that whole list if anyone is selling...

    #40 8 days ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    So what's the next hot group of games going to be? System 1 and early System 80 Gottliebs?

    Two words: Zipper Flippers

    #41 8 days ago

    Bally prices are soaring...I still recall a conversation with Steve Young when I was beginning to accumulate classic Bally games. He told me, that yeah you can find them now but prices have already gone up, you missed the boat on that one. I agreed with him that prices had spiked some and I would be paying a premium over what prices were a year or so ago. That conversation took place in 2003.

    Anyone looking to buy classic games would be well served to play them first. Most of the old classics will always be great games, but some other games of that era are forgettable and just benefiting from the current classic Bally/Stern buying frenzy.

    #42 8 days ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    I like the System 80 odd playfields, Gold Wings is great, Spring Break I'm still warming up to as I learn the shots and ruleset. Hot Shots I'm "meh" on but my wife and the younger son like it so ok it can stay for the moment. I tried a few down at Allentown, Genesis looked interesting but I didn't care for the gameplay.

    Haunted House is easily my favorite

    #43 8 days ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    Haunted House is easily my favorite

    I missed a Black Hole that went for very good price at Allentown, needed a little work which doesn't bother me. Played a few games at Pintastic and didn't care for it, a good friend says give it more time and it grows on you. I trust his advice enough to pick one up even though first impression wasn't good. Have not had the opportunity to play HH yet, my wife loves the theme though.

    #44 8 days ago
    Quoted from djblouw:

    Two words: Zipper Flippers

    =)

    2017-09-01 16.23.44 (resized).jpg
    #45 8 days ago
    Quoted from gdonovan:

    I missed a Black Hole that went for very good price at Allentown, needed a little work which doesn't bother me. Played a few games at Pintastic and didn't care for it, a good friend says give it more time and it grows on you. I trust his advice enough to pick one up even though first impression wasn't good. Have not had the opportunity to play HH yet, my wife loves the theme though.

    I have owned 3 HH pins, and people kept begging me to sell them and offering VERY good money. It is a great game and very challenging...not to mention the gorgeous art package.

    #46 8 days ago

    I'm amazed at the prices that 81 Bally project games are bringing. EBD with blown out PF, bad BG, beat up cabinet and missing MPU, $1250. Centaur at public auction, no keys to head (couldn't verify it had a board set), stored in damp basement, not working, decent PF & BG. $2250 sale. I've been actively looking for a FG or Medusa for a year under $1500, when they pop up, they're gone in minutes.

    #47 8 days ago

    I love the fact that there is a large contingency of new pinballers who look down on any game that doesn't have a DMD, ramps, etc. They don't know any better. These 80's games are the shit.

    Take Catacomb for example. I got to finally play one a few months ago. The rules were incredibly hard to grasp, and once they were understood, I have never had to use so much brainpower on the fly while playing pinball. It was completely captivating to me. Never played anything like it. Great shots, drops, spinners, beautiful artwork, a difficult multi-ball, etc etc. I'll take a bunch of unique shooting games like that anyday.

    #48 8 days ago
    Quoted from HoakyPoaky:

    I love the fact that there is a large contingency of new pinballers who look down on any game that doesn't have a DMD, ramps, etc. They don't know any better. These 80's games are the shit.
    Take Catacomb for example. I got to finally play one a few months ago. The rules were incredibly hard to grasp, and once they were understood, I have never had to use so much brainpower on the fly while playing pinball. It was completely captivating to me. Never played anything like it. Great shots, drops, spinners, beautiful artwork, a difficult multi-ball, etc etc. I'll take a bunch of unique shooting games like that anyday.

    Have you played bally paragon?

    #49 8 days ago
    Quoted from Daditude:

    Have you played bally paragon?

    Yeah

    #50 8 days ago
    Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

    Eight ball deluxe is 2k+ worth of fun all day, everyday in my opinion.

    You got that right. EBD is the best pin ever made made period IMO.

    I had my EBD sitting right next to a Stern AC/DC, a Metallica, and an Adams Family on the other side and guess which machine got the most play?

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