(Topic ID: 170027)

Big Ball Bowlers - Price check


By pacman11

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 59 posts
  • 31 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 days ago by cfh
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    There have been 27 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

    348ab4e4c28ef2f6fc735b609cd0359c84b9c841 (resized).jpg
    2C37EA2A-F5C8-42E8-8695-5CA552CE1B4A (resized).png
    IMG_2627 (resized).JPG
    IMG_2622 (resized).JPG
    IMG_2614 (resized).JPG
    DSC02177 (resized).JPG
    IMG_0626 - Copy (resized).JPG
    IMG_2082 (resized).JPG
    IMG_2123 (resized).JPG
    IMG_1977 (resized).JPG
    spp (resized).jpg
    stsp (resized).jpg
    image (resized).jpeg
    image (resized).jpeg
    image (resized).jpeg
    image (resized).jpeg

    There are 59 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 2 years ago

    Don't know much about these, so any advice is appreciated on value. Guy said they were both nonworking. Thanks..

    image (resized).png

    #2 2 years ago

    These appear to both be shuffle alleys. They run about $200-$300 not working. Maybe 500-600 working. Ball bowlers with the ball return are the ones that command much more money

    Mike V

    #3 2 years ago

    Keep in mins, since they are so large, they can be hard to resell later.

    For goldmine, make sure all the boards and displays are there. They are sometimes removed and installed in pins.

    #4 2 years ago

    Whats the price range on a working / non-working bowler?

    #5 2 years ago

    Thanks guys for the information..

    #6 2 years ago

    EM shuffle alleys in fully working condition, with reasonably good cosmetics, top out in price around $500. If the backglass is cracked, broken or has substancial paint loss, but otherwise fully working, its worth $100. Backglasses are nearly impossible to find for EM shuffle alleys. Nonworking EM shuffle alleys in reasonably good cosmetic condition start out at $100.
    Solid State/DMD shuffle alleys in reasonably good cosmetic condition that are fully operational bring $600 - $800.

    Few people undertake high level restorations of shuffle alleys, simply because they will never ever sell for whats invested in them. Yes, one will see all kinds of insane prices for shuffle alleys on craigslist & ebay. They rarely sell.

    #7 2 years ago

    I remember Goldmine

    #8 2 years ago
    Quoted from Beebl:

    Whats the price range on a working / non-working bowler?

    The ball bowlers range from $1000 to $2500 not workings. I think they are all EM style but I'm not sure. A restored one can fetch from $2500 to $4500. The range usually depends on size and manufacture. The smaller ones (like 11 foot) can bring towards the higher end since they fit inside a game room better. United brand seems to fetch at the higher end as well.

    Mike V

    #9 2 years ago

    I recently sold my 16 foot, 1963 United Fury, for $3500.00. After I brought it back to life it worked flawlessly for more than 5 years in my game room. It was the most popular machine I have ever owned. Paid $400 (non working), put in another $100 for parts and some elbow grease.

    Some of my friends hate me now for selling.

    DSCN0000 (resized).JPG

    DSCN1378 (resized).JPG

    DSCN1388 (resized).JPG

    DSCN1004 (resized).JPG

    DSCN1392 (resized).JPG

    DSCN1002 (resized).JPG

    #10 2 years ago

    Corey, shuffle alleys generally don't bring much money. especially pre-1955 models that score 20/30 and don't score regulation (and use smaller pins, which are impossible to get). Electronic shuffle alleys i personally like the least. they really suck due to their lack of "personality", i guess i would say. The 1960s shuffles are my favorites, with different game selections. but again you're lucky to get $500 for a working one (and often they require a lot of work to get working right.)

    Since you're in michigan, as am i, this has been my experience (because no one ships these things, it costs more to ship then they are worth!)

    As my good friend doc doom used to say, "shuffle alleys are for pussies." Obviously he liked ball bowlers. But he was right, the amount of work required to restore a shuffle alley is about the same as a ball bowler. Yet ball bowlers are worth 5 to 10 times more!

    #11 2 years ago

    Here is my take on ball bowlers. Any ball bowler worth owning is an EM. If you see an EM converted over to solid state.....run away.....quickly.
    Pricing. I happen to think $600 - $800 is the absolute maximum one should pay for a non restored non-working ball bowler. If its in storage, and the seller insists it worked fine before being put in storage, it shall be considered a non working ball bowler.....and priced accordingly. Mechanically, shuffle alleys & ball bowlers are almost identical.....obviously pucks bounce back & balls have a ball lift mechanism.
    Professionally restored big ball bowlers (heavy emphasis on PROFESSIONALLY), can bring over $10K.
    Small ball bowlers were produced in 1956 & 1957. They are by no means on the high end of the pricing spectrum, but rather on the low end. The high end of the pricing spectrum is for 16' or longer big ball bowlers. Highly sought after ball bowlers are any of the 63-69 Bally Ball Bowlers as well as the 1960 United & MBA Bowl-A-Rama.
    Ball Bowlers were produced from 1956 - 1973. United & Chicago Coin are the most common with Bally a far distant 3rd. There is a trade off on ball bowlers. Many find the ball bowlers prior to 1961 the most desirable for aesthetic reasons. I happen to think certain Pre-1961 United Bowlers with curved pinhoods & attractive females on the backglass are tops. As ball bowlers evolved, females disappeared from the backglass, but game variations multiplied. Certain models of the early 60's Chicago Coin bowlers also are very aesthetically pleasing & offer many game variations.

    #12 2 years ago
    Quoted from Mr68:

    I recently sold my 16 foot, 1963 United Fury, for $3500.00. After I brought it back to life it worked flawlessly for more than 5 years in my game room. It was the most popular machine I have ever owned. Paid $400 (non working), put in another $100 for parts and some elbow grease.
    Some of my friends hate me now for selling.

    Wow now that's a nice bowler. One of these days I'll find one and add it to my gameroom. Thanks everyone for your input now I know what I am looking for and somewhat have an idea on value.

    #13 2 years ago

    Everyone here is correct, I have had about 20 bowlers. The one I have now has only been in a home ever since new. It all depends on how well the graphics are and condition and length. Schuffle bowlers are not worth much because they are not as fun to play or as realistic as the big ball bowlers.

    #14 2 years ago

    Ive been looking for a sys11 shuffle bowler too. These things are difficult to even find for sale. The ones you do see are on sites like feebay and retail sites for north of 2500 bucks. Yeah right.

    #15 2 years ago

    people think schuffle bowlers are worth a lot, they are not worth that much at all

    #16 2 years ago
    Quoted from Hoopjohn:

    Here is my take on ball bowlers. Any ball bowler worth owning is an EM. If you see an EM converted over to solid state.....run away.....quickly.

    Wow thanks for all the info!

    #17 2 years ago

    I have two shuffle alleys and one ball (3 in.) bowler in my game room, and actually prefer the shuffle alleys over the ball bowler. Faster learning curve, and game room visitors seem gravitated to them. The ball bowler requires more skill to compete.
    _8015144 (resized).JPG

    Also have a skee ball machine, 13 ft. long, which is always a crowd pleaser.
    _8015147 (resized).JPG

    As for prices on them, condition plays a major role, along with completness. They are relatively easy to get up to normal operation, but a bear to move. Values will range from clapped out machines ($100) to nice examples ($2500) with the exception of the very long, large-ball bowlers which can cost in excess of $5000. Look for one that hasn't been in a flood, that was working when it went into storage. And prepare your room for the length of it.

    #18 2 years ago

    Good advice in this thread. To each his own on preference. I personally like the CCoin bowlers from the early 60's the best. My favorite switch model is the Majestic. My favorite contact bowler that blows them all away is the MBA/Bowlarama by United. I have owned over 100 bowlers and nothing comes close to the MBA/Bowlarama. Don't get me wrong, the switch style has some fun games you can't get on a contact bowler like Flash and are definitely worth owning but once you play a Bowlarama it's all over. I am working on 5 of them right now (see pic of my basement of 3 of them). Score reels were froze stiff and same with pinsetters. I currently have the pinsetters off the Bowlarama's and am going through them now. I fun project that takes ALOT of time.

    Bowlarama MBA Bowlers (resized).jpg

    #19 2 years ago

    The Bowl A Rama is a large ball bowler? Over 100 - You must have a vast knowledge base! The long lane and large ball, I'd have to agree, that'd be the best ever.

    I agree too, that repairing and restoring these machines is very satisfying once they work properly.

    #20 2 years ago

    This one was left in a foreclosed home, best price free. Out of all my pinballs this game gets played the most when people come over

    0ff08c58540ffedafd0d9190d1721327df3966c7 (resized).jpg

    #21 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinplayer1967:

    This one was left in a foreclosed home, best price free. Out of all my pinballs this game gets played the most when people come over

    Beautiful bowler
    I love the chi coin lazy suSan design heads

    #22 2 years ago

    I too like the 1962 to 1965 CCM switch lane bowlers. they offer a lot of features and easy of maintenance, especially compared to United. But my favorite bowlers are the 1960s Bally reciprocating contact ball bowlers. They made them from about 1963 to 1969, almost every year. They are a bit hard to find, but easier to find that say a Bowlarama.

    You can get TOP this old pinball #8 where we go through repair and show most of the 1950s and 1960s bowler types, including Bowlarama. http://www.pinrepair.com/top/top8.htm

    Frankly i think the hype around Bowlarama/MBA is over shoot. Again i prefer the Bally reciprocating bowlers, for a variety of reasons. The MBA/Bowlarama is neat, but they are freakly HUGE and parts are impossibly expensive. The Bally reciprocating bowlers are easier to deal with and have in a "normal" basement. And i think they provide the same experience (and are less expensive). Also the pins don't break in half when your drunk friends throw the ball too hard.

    Here's a video about the Bally bowlers:

    #23 2 years ago
    Quoted from cfh:

    I too like the 1962 to 1965 CCM switch lane bowlers. they offer a lot of features and easy of maintenance, especially compared to United. But my favorite bowlers are the 1960s Bally reciprocating contact ball bowlers. They made them from about 1963 to 1969, almost every year. They are a bit hard to find, but easier to find that say a Bowlarama.
    You can get TOP this old pinball #8 where we go through repair and show most of the 1950s and 1960s bowler types, including Bowlarama. http://www.pinrepair.com/top/top8.htm
    Frankly i think the hype around Bowlarama/MBA is over shoot. Again i prefer the Bally reciprocating bowlers, for a variety of reasons. The MBA/Bowlarama is neat, but they are freakly HUGE and parts are impossibly expensive. The Bally reciprocating bowlers are easier to deal with and have in a "normal" basement. And i think they provide the same experience (and are less expensive). Also the pins don't break in half when your drunk friends throw the ball too hard.
    Here's a video about the Bally bowlers: » YouTube video

    Great video very informative
    I plan on using the top 8 bowler video for assistance on restoring my gold medal

    #24 2 years ago

    My prospective on shuffle bowlers is they are worth nothing, or less than nothing if you don't personally want it for your collection. I received a Williams Taurus puck bowler as part of a group buy. It would partially boot and was in decent shape. I could not get a single offer for the machine, not $1.

    I am sorry that I did not have space for it, I would have kept it for fun.

    I ended up selling the boards, displays and coin door. The rest hit the dumpster. Considering the time and effort it took to move the machine and part it out the value was negative, the only satisfaction was I put some pinball parts back into the world.

    #25 2 years ago

    Clay by far is one of the best guys to talk to on the bowlers, he has been to my home numerous times to help me out with my bowler problems. The video he made is awesome, I was lucky enough to play his Bally contact bowler in his basement. By far the best bowler I have ever played,
    Here are a few pics of my bowler I have, it has never been in a bar or arcade only in a home.

    image (resized).jpeg

    image (resized).jpeg

    image (resized).jpeg

    image (resized).jpeg

    #26 2 years ago
    Quoted from Hoopjohn:

    Here is my take on ball bowlers. Any ball bowler worth owning is an EM. If you see an EM converted over to solid state.....run away.....quickly.
    Pricing. I happen to think $600 - $800 is the absolute maximum one should pay for a non restored non-working ball bowler. If its in storage, and the seller insists it worked fine before being put in storage, it shall be considered a non working ball bowler.....and priced accordingly. Mechanically, shuffle alleys & ball bowlers are almost identical.....obviously pucks bounce back & balls have a ball lift mechanism.
    Professionally restored big ball bowlers (heavy emphasis on PROFESSIONALLY), can bring over $10K.
    Small ball bowlers were produced in 1956 & 1957. They are by no means on the high end of the pricing spectrum, but rather on the low end. The high end of the pricing spectrum is for 16' or longer big ball bowlers. Highly sought after ball bowlers are any of the 63-69 Bally Ball Bowlers as well as the 1960 United & MBA Bowl-A-Rama.
    Ball Bowlers were produced from 1956 - 1973. United & Chicago Coin are the most common with Bally a far distant 3rd. There is a trade off on ball bowlers. Many find the ball bowlers prior to 1961 the most desirable for aesthetic reasons. I happen to think certain Pre-1961 United Bowlers with curved pinhoods & attractive females on the backglass are tops. As ball bowlers evolved, females disappeared from the backglass, but game variations multiplied. Certain models of the early 60's Chicago Coin bowlers also are very aesthetically pleasing & offer many game variations.

    Keep in mind that location plays a HUGE part in pricing for a ball bowler. Out here in Ca they seem to be very rare, and I would guess even a non working one that is at least complete would bring about 1200 or so to start.

    #27 2 years ago

    I have a Bowl-A-Rama for sale; might be more than you're looking for

    https://pinside.com/pinball/market/classifieds/ad/37707

    #28 2 years ago
    Quoted from ChadKeller:

    My favorite contact bowler that blows them all away is the MBA/Bowlarama by United. I have owned over 100 bowlers and nothing comes close to the MBA/Bowlarama.

    These are definitely cool to play, but another downside besides not having the extra game versions (found on the 60's/70's switch style bowlers) as you mentioned, is that the pins take a beating and are expensive to replace. IF you can find them. Truly a rich man's bowler between the typical initial purchase price and the extra pins cost.

    One other thing - picking up a 7-10 split on them is basically impossible. A comparatively minor point, but still, a fun and challenging gameplay feature on switch style bowlers.

    #29 2 years ago

    Many of those puck bowlers can be bought stupid cheap. Keep in mind they have parts you can harvest and reuse in the full sized bowler machines.

    #30 2 years ago

    I'm looking at a 69 Bally contact bowler tomorrow 21 foot which is in pretty nice condition. Also have a puck alley I can pick up for a few hundred bucks which is obviously much cheaper but also much smaller. 21 feet is gonna be hard to fit but I feel like maybe I shouldn't pass on this. Looks great and working 100%.

    2 weeks later
    #31 2 years ago
    Quoted from rollinover:

    Beautiful bowler
    I love the chi coin lazy suSan design heads

    I've owned both and found the Bally very easy and boring compared to Bowlarama. That's why I sold the Bally contact and kept my MBA. Regarding parts, the pins and all chains are now available to buy new and these new ones seem impossible to break. What parts are hard to find on Bowlarama? All backglasses are available, it's basically united guts. I am rebuilding one now and I think parts are easier now than they were a few years ago.

    2 weeks later
    #32 2 years ago

    I love my Gottlieb Strikes and Spares. It has what must be the most beautiful playfield of all time. They only made 750 in 1995 just before closing the doors at Gottlieb, it's definitely different and the gameplay is fantastic. As for price, I believe it must be the greatest steal in pinball. I bought mine for $1250 from the original NIB owner and home use only, very little home use at that. It's a magnificent machine.

    stsp (resized).jpg

    spp (resized).jpg

    #33 2 years ago

    I have 2 CC majestics - working on restoring the first. Someone had the bright idea to paint everything including the oak with about 8 coats of paint that I had to strip, sand, fill, repaint/refinish.

    IMG_1977 (resized).JPG

    IMG_2123 (resized).JPG

    IMG_2082 (resized).JPG

    3 weeks later
    #34 2 years ago

    How are the 70's Williams puck bowlers? About the same price range for them too, a couple hundred bucks or so?

    #35 2 years ago
    Quoted from Agent_Hero:

    How are the 70's Williams puck bowlers?

    I love mine. While I think I would prefer a ball bowler overall, I like the fact that the puck bowlers, especially the 70's ones are on architecture I can somewhat understand, since I'm not knowledgeable with EM at all. Plus it's fast with the high speed wax, and a great filler for in between games of pinball. And they're a few feet shorter, I think 10 feet or so, which makes them easier to fit in a lot of places.

    I think they're probably a few hundred cheaper than the ball bowlers, based on what I've seen in my area in the last year. They're also nice for people who want to play games but are intimidated by pinball.

    7 months later
    #36 1 year ago

    Anyone have an opinion about what this bowler would be worth? It works, and is in nice (not perfect) original condition.

    ebay.com link

    Thx! Steve

    #37 1 year ago

    A Bally Lucky Alley is a nice Bowler. I sold (although fully restored)
    small ball bowlers for that price. Because I've restored so many, I primarily
    pick up only non working bowlers for a decent price, but for a fully working
    Bally Lucky Alley, that's not a bad price at all. Although I have many ball bowlers,
    2 set up in the gameroom and one being a big ball Bally, I made a trading deal
    for a Bally Lucky Alley because it's a nice machine.
    I wouldn't sell the Bally ABC Tournament Bowler for that price, and that Lucky
    Alley looks to be in maybe better shape.. (T)

    IMG_0626 - Copy (resized).JPG

    #38 1 year ago

    Thanks for the feedback Mopar. I actually picked this one up for $2600 so I feel pretty good about the deal based on your feedback. It's not as nice as yours seems to be, but I have a 3yo, so having anything in the house in pristine condition is not a great idea! Steve

    2 months later
    #39 1 year ago

    Alright going to look at this bowler soon. What kind of value would you put on this one? Guy said game is complete and working. Thanks! 16ft long

    DSC02177 (resized).JPG

    #40 1 year ago

    I paid $1,700 for my 1965 CC Preview bowler about 2 years ago. It was 100% working but a cosmetic mess.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1965-cc-preview-ball-bowler-restoration

    This one looks a bit nicer than mine, so I would estimate $2,000-$2,400? Of course, other factors will also drive the price - location, motivation of seller, etc. Good luck.

    I wouldn't sell mine for less than $4,500 - of course i am biased, as i spend 100+ hours cleaning it up...

    #41 1 year ago
    Quoted from VegasMike:

    I paid $1,700 for my 1965 CC Preview bowler about 2 years ago. It was 100% working but a cosmetic mess.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/1965-cc-preview-ball-bowler-restoration
    This one looks a bit nicer than mine, so I would estimate $2,000-$2,400? Of course, other factors will also drive the price - location, motivation of seller, etc. Good luck.
    I wouldn't sell mine for less than $4,500 - of course i am biased, as i spend 100+ hours cleaning it up...

    Thanks for the information. Are these ball bowlers hard to move? Looks like the lanes come apart in a couple sections. Would this bowler fit in a pick up truck? Or I might have to get a trailer for it.

    Wow man your ball bowler looks great. Now I am excited to restore this one I am getting soon.

    #42 1 year ago
    Quoted from pacman11:

    Thanks for the information. Are these ball bowlers hard to move? Looks like the lanes come apart in a couple sections. Would this bowler fit in a pick up truck? Or I might have to get a trailer for it.

    Yes. You'll need a trailer or rental moving truck. The lanes come apart, and the scoring head comes off, but the bulkhead where the pins are is attached to the lane setion, and is bulky. My thread details how i was able to seperate those two sections.

    In short, it's all bulky, and all heavy, even in pieces.

    #43 1 year ago

    I have moved the goose neck bowlers with an eight foot box pick up,
    but a trailer surely is more comfortable. It comes apart in 4 sections.
    Two lane sections, the head, and the rear ball lift box with the rear
    lane section with the pins being the heaviest..
    C.C. made some solid bowlers, especially the pre 1968 which had the
    larger and more solid score reels..
    It's a good idea to transport the bowler with the pins up. If the machine
    is working, before taking apart, you can just run your hands over all but
    the last row of roll overs, then turn off. A 9/16 socket and rachet is your
    main tool. An extension is also nice to have when taking apart the rear ball
    lift box. It takes much sanding and body filling (bondo with small fiberglass
    strans), but once completed, you'll have a nice game room bowler.. (T)

    2 weeks later
    #44 1 year ago

    Alright picked up this 16ft ball bowler over the weekend. This will be my next project, I believe this Sonic bowler was repainted at some point in it's life. After talking with St. Louis Ball bowlers he said the color don't seem right for a Sonic Chicago Coin opt machine.. Either way I'll be doing a lot of sanding and repainting it anyways..

    #45 1 year ago

    IMG_2614 (resized).JPG

    IMG_2622 (resized).JPG

    IMG_2627 (resized).JPG

    3 months later
    #46 1 year ago

    Looking for a Bowlarama/MBA especially a long one..

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from Loudvette:

    Looking for a Bowlarama/MBA especially a long one..

    As the late Mike "Doc" Doom was fond of saying: "Big Ball Bowlers are like penises - the longer the better!".

    I miss talking to Doc about bowlers. In his honor, rather than cutting down the extension lane he sold me for my Fleetwood BBB, I'm going to keep it as is in the hopes that I'll yet own a home that will allow my game's full 22-feet length to be enjoyed.

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from Loudvette:

    Looking for a Bowlarama/MBA especially a long one..

    If youre looking for a long MBA, you better have $15,000 for the base 20ft. and then another $1,000 for every extra foot you want. That's pretty much how it works on these.

    #49 1 year ago
    Quoted from Gundam_Pilot_:

    If youre looking for a long MBA, you better have $15,000 for the base 20ft. and then another $1,000 for every extra foot you want. That's pretty much how it works on these.

    Your more like $1000 too $1200 per foot for a Bowl a rama. MBA...even more. Not many out there.

    #50 1 year ago
    Quoted from kidchrisso:

    Your more like $1000 too $1200 per foot for a Bowl a rama.

    Yeah, the prices skyrocket the past 15 - 18 years. There more people out there
    with plenty of money (or at least enough) than there are Bowlarama/MBAs.

    Promoted items from the Pinside Marketplace
    $ 99.99
    Lighting - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    € 27.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    YOYOKOPTER MODS
    $ 209.99
    $ 38.00
    Electronics
    Yorktown Parts and Equip
    $ 125.00
    Cabinet - Toppers
    Sparky Pinball
    € 27.00
    Cabinet - Other
    YOYOKOPTER MODS
    $ 35.95
    Playfield - Other
    MicksPinball
    $ 29.99
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 1,099.00
    Flipper Parts
    Mircoplayfields
    $ 999.00
    Pinball Machine
    Mircoplayfields
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 94.95
    Cabinet - Shooter Rods
    Super Skill Shot Shop
    $ 45.99
    Eproms
    Matt's Basement Arcade
    $ 15.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Metal-Mods
    $ 40.99
    Lighting - Interactive
    Lee's Parts
    From: $ 22.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    $ 69.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 259.99
    $ 10.00
    $ 179.99
    $ 29.99
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 5,799.00
    Pinball Machine
    Gulf Coast Pinball, LLC
    $ 29.99
    Cabinet - Sound/Speakers
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 48.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    There are 59 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside