(Topic ID: 154893)

Did I do OK? Show Boat & Bank A Ball?

By Bull

3 years ago

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  • 39 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Bull
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#3 3 years ago
Quoted from Bull:

Been a while since I have been on here. You all helped me last year getting a Magnotron operational again which I picked up very cheap.
Looking for more advice, and soon I am sure will be asking questions in the tech section.
I picked up two machines this weekend.
One Show Boat and one Bank A Ball. Bought both this weekend.
I had been doing some reading, a read that Bank A Ball in good working shape was a awesome machine, didn't know much about Show Boat.
So Here are my questions.
1, I plugged Show Boat in and was able to play 5 balls. I almost couldn't see the play field for the dust, but knew it was operating.
I got it home, where it now resides in our living room much to my wife's concern (She actually thinks it is pretty cool now that it is here and working, I should say) and spent a few hours cleaning it up. Much to my amazement, the play filed is pretty damn nice, just needs more cleaning. Mechanically, it damn near seems to play %100. My daughter and I have well over 50 games on it, and it seems to keep ticking. Only operational problem I can see is that it seems to randomly increment credits. All plastics are in very good shape, no cracking or broken parts that I have found yet. I also believe all the rubber was replaced recently as it is in very good shape! Pop bumpers and flippers are very strong! Although the flipper arrangement takes a lot to get used to.
The bad: Back glass, cabinet and bulbs! I have been reading about repo back glasses. I am not looking to flip this game (No pun intended!), I want it for the house. Is there a problem with repos? Also, after it grew on my wife, she thought the used look of the cabinet added "character." Are there people that get their machines running %100 with nice back glass and play fields, but leave the cabinets "patina" if you will call it? I am also tending to side with her on this one as the machine has been in our town almost since new, and has a few peoples names engraved it that I know, probably when they were kids. I also realize, bulbs are the easy fix, but almost all, other than the play field are out.
2, Bank A Ball. I did not get home yet or even plug it in. Back glass is horrible almost not there, however all of the drop balls are there, and was told they worked!
Cabinet is in very nice, but dirty shape. What I can see of the play field looks nice.
I was told the last time it was played (15 years ago???) it operated.
I was going to get it home, clean it up a little and see if it would operate.
I would also like to do the same with it, and also not flip it, but keep it for family use. I did see that there are repo back glasses easily available for this one.
I am almost afraid to say what I paid, maybe too much? but I have been "eyeing" these up for years. I had to pick Show Boat up this last weekend.
I paid $500 for both??? For me, I am happy! Also being as I only had to move them a 1/4 of a mile, and had plenty of help.

I presume that you bought the 1961 Gottieb Show Boat (Chicago Coin, United and Genco also made game of that title). Obviously, you bought the 1965 Bank-A-Ball inasmuch as you mentioned the backbox animation balls. Based upon your rough description and sans photos, I estimate that these two games together were worth $600 to $900 or more, depending upon cosmetic condition. The playfield condition is the singularly most important value criterion.

Bank-A-Ball was the first game with return flipper lanes. It's a classic. Both games feature great art of Roy Parker. I much prefer original cabinets, with patina and a few battle scars, over a repainted cabinet. As long as the original graphics are present and the paint is largely intact, leave it. Buy a repro backglass for each game from Shay or whichever vendor carries those titles. Bank-A-Balls in overall good shape, with a repro backglass tend to fetch $$1K to $1,500+ for especially nice examples. High end restorations can bring over $2K.

Having all of the original animation balls is a major plus since the ones on the ends are often damaged and replacements are not available. This damage occurs because the wing nuts holding the bracket in the head tend to vibrate, causing the carriage to drop, and the end balls are thereby exposed to damage. I suggest that you rig up a reinforcement mechanism. It's easy. Just screw in an eye-hole to the internal head on each side and tie up the carriage with wire (or better yet, an adjustable hook, as I've done in the past on this game).

If your Bank-A-Ball coin door is dented or badly corroded, send me a PM. I have a good replacement. As for cleaning the legs, use steel wool, followed by metal polish.

1 week later
#20 3 years ago
Quoted from Bull:

Hello all,
As an update to this thread!
Still haven't got Bank-A-Ball home yet, but was able to get a good up close look at it, in the garage it is being stored in.
I really wasn't expecting much, but as far as cosmetic condition, I was presently surprised!
The machine is sitting in a back corner of a garage, covered in a good thick layer of dust, couldn't even see the play field. I didn't have anything with me to clean the glass, so I ever so gently removed it, and to my surprise, reveled a very clean and very nice looking play field. Now being as it was in a dark garage, and I was using a flash light, I may be missing some blemishes, but it really did look good! I am hoping once I get it home I can say the same, but I guarantee it is in much better shape than the Show Boat game I brought home from the same place! Also, the back glass is in much better shape than I thought, but if I keep it, will need to be replaced.
The bad, It looks like it has been sitting for 20 years untouched. Every rubber piece is almost non-existent. The few that were still one piece, as soon as you touched them, fell apart. I know that is the cheap part, but what concerns me is what that means for the rest of the machine, having sat for that long. I will say the garage is very dry, and there were no signs of critters in the machine.
I also did double check, all of the drop balls do look to be intact.
I hope to get it home this week and start working on it. After seeing how nice it is, I am really excited about this one!
As for Show Boat, I haven't don't much to it, other than play it. I has really been growing on me. I hear a lot of people bash this game, but for me the uniqueness if it is what make it fun. The 4 flipper arrangement are a bit to get used to, and the 6 pop bumpers are awesome! Maybe that is why I am enjoying this game so much, the flippers and pop bumpers on this one are very strong, and get the ball moving.
I have found out though that I really have a good high scoring game, or a real dud of a game! Either way, I still have fun!
So I guess once I get Bank-A-Ball home, I will have to decide which one is the first one to get taken down, cleaned and waxed good.
I will post pictures once I get Bank-A-Ball home!
Thanks for all the help!

Most of the games us EM enthusiasts acquire have been collecting dust for decades. Many of my machines over the years have been woodrails, which had not seen the light of day in over 60 years, when I bought them. As long as your Bank-A-Ball has escaped direct sunlight, moisture and hungry rodents/pests, it will likely clean up well and operate well after you lovingly nurse it back to good health. Bank-A-Ball is on a short list of the best vintage 1960s wedgeheads, in my view. It's got a great ruleset with logical, challenging shots. Also, the Roy Parker art package is wonderful. Add to that the cool backbox animation and this title is a winner. It's right up there with King of Diamonds. Also, Bank-A-Ball's green cabinet is highly unusual among wedgeheads. Below are a three photos of mine (which I regret selling many years ago). Also, I have attached two photo of the 1950 Gottlieb Bank-A-Ball, in my current line-up.






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