(Topic ID: 271927)

Question about the rarity of Rocky

By Charlemagne1987

2 years ago


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  • 19 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 months ago by YeOldPinPlayer
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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#1 2 years ago

A few days ago someone listed a Gottlieb Rocky in the marketplace then removed the listing the same day. They were asking $8,500 (obviously a lot) and the voice didn't work. They attributed the high price to the game's rarity. That got me wondering if anyone has any idea roughly how many fully working ROCKY machines are still in existence. Back in 1982 Gottlieb made 1504 of them. When I bought mine (about ten years ago) I was told there are only about 100 fully operational Rocky's out there. And, no, it wasn't the guy I bought it from who told me that! Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a database or some other source that does some sort of accounting for rare games like this. And can anyone give an accurate figure as to how many of them are still around?

#2 2 years ago

I know one thing.

Many years ago on Rec Games Pinball. Someone restored a Rocky pin. New playfield, plastics, everything. He was asking an exorbitant price for it. I don't know if he got it or not.

Ever since then that game's asking price went through the roof. People used it as a price guide.

Until then, it was a $500 pin.

No idea on rarity or great game/fun factor.

LTG : )

#3 2 years ago

Thanks Lloyd. It's a fun game for its age/era and relative simplicity. It's certainly not the most played game in my collection, but it does get play. And it's sentimental to me because I grew up on the Rocky movies and have always been a huge fan of them. I hope someone out there has some accurate info regarding it's rarity. Until someone tells me different I guess I'll just keep repeating what that guy told me a decade ago about there only being about 100 of them still in existence.

#4 2 years ago
Quoted from Charlemagne1987:

Thanks Lloyd. It's a fun game for its age/era and relative simplicity. It's certainly not the most played game in my collection, but it does get play. And it's sentimental to me because I grew up on the Rocky movies and have always been a huge fan of them. I hope someone out there has some accurate info regarding it's rarity. Until someone tells me different I guess I'll just keep repeating what that guy told me a decade ago about there only being about 100 of them still in existence.

It is most certainly an arbitrary number plucked out of thin air, there is no way to know.

I could just as easily claim there is 200 or 300 left.

#5 2 years ago

IPDB links to an owner’s list and the serial number database. If you wanted to pursue it I’d probably survey owners and see if they know of others.
https://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=1993

#7 2 years ago

I have done a lot of study on game rarity, and this is what I can tell you:

First and foremost, it is absolutely impossible to get a finite number. It simply isn't feasible. Some people have burned them, parted them out, don't even know they have one in the attic, or there may be a stash of 50 somewhere in a warehouse.

As far as Rocky goes...1504 were made, 53 are registered on ipdb, and 42 on pinside. This does not account, however, for the items mentioned above. It also doesn't take into account multiples owned by a single person, parts owned that could fully make one, or cross-posted pins owned by one collector.

The older the pin, the fewer survivors. That goes without saying, but it is important to note that Rocky came out in 1982, which was in the middle of a huge arcade boom. Many pins we're routed to death, parted, and literally thrown away afterwards. Rocky does have the license tie-in that likely led it into more collector hands, however (especially for the time, when there were far fewer home collectors) so there may be some really nice copies unaccounted for. Due to the popularity of the movies, it is highly unlikely there is a large stash because they would either go to collectors who loved the movies or operators who would route them instead of stash...the lower production numbers also mean that all were likely sold, so there weren't extras laying around.

Rarity and the beloved licensed tie-in mean that a fair amount of them have been restored, refurbished, etc. Unlike a pin with a run of 10k, there likely aren't nearly as many projects laying around, however...it also means a larger percentage were parted.

Pinballs from this era dwindle by approximately 30-60% every decade. That's not to say that they have necessarily been destroyed (though some certainly have), but they have become parted/lost/destroyed, etc. If we assume a 50% depreciation per decade due to the era and its' arcade usage, that puts us at 94 after 4 decades. I would guesstimate a few more are in long time collections, attics, or could be made via extra parts. There are obviously some that are languishing as projects or are just unaccounted for also, but this number is likely not very high for the reasons described above.

To summarize, given the information at hand...100-200 working examples is likely a great guesstimation, with another 100-200 in project condition or being possible from parts.

#9 2 years ago
20200628_144429 (resized).jpg
#10 2 years ago

well, i have to keep my TRANSPORTER THE RESCUE than

#11 2 years ago
Quoted from Daditude:

I have done a lot of study on game rarity, and this is what I can tell you:
First and foremost, it is absolutely impossible to get a finite number. It simply isn't feasible. Some people have burned them, parted them out, don't even know they have one in the attic, or there may be a stash of 50 somewhere in a warehouse.
As far as Rocky goes...1504 were made, 53 are registered on ipdb, and 42 on pinside. This does not account, however, for the items mentioned above. It also doesn't take into account multiples owned by a single person, parts owned that could fully make one, or cross-posted pins owned by one collector.
The older the pin, the fewer survivors. That goes without saying, but it is important to note that Rocky came out in 1982, which was in the middle of a huge arcade boom. Many pins we're routed to death, parted, and literally thrown away afterwards. Rocky does have the license tie-in that likely led it into more collector hands, however (especially for the time, when there were far fewer home collectors) so there may be some really nice copies unaccounted for. Due to the popularity of the movies, it is highly unlikely there is a large stash because they would either go to collectors who loved the movies or operators who would route them instead of stash...the lower production numbers also mean that all were likely sold, so there weren't extras laying around.
Rarity and the beloved licensed tie-in mean that a fair amount of them have been restored, refurbished, etc. Unlike a pin with a run of 10k, there likely aren't nearly as many projects laying around, however...it also means a larger percentage were parted.
Pinballs from this era dwindle by approximately 30-60% every decade. That's not to say that they have necessarily been destroyed (though some certainly have), but they have become parted/lost/destroyed, etc. If we assume a 50% depreciation per decade due to the era and its' arcade usage, that puts us at 94 after 4 decades. I would guesstimate a few more are in long time collections, attics, or could be made via extra parts. There are obviously some that are languishing as projects or are just unaccounted for also, but this number is likely not very high for the reasons described above.
To summarize, given the information at hand...100-200 working examples is likely a great guesstimation, with another 100-200 in project condition or being possible from parts.

That’s very helpful. Thank you.

10 months later
#12 1 year ago

I’m new to the pin industry but when I was looking for my first pin a few months ago I wanted a Rocky pin to be my first pin! A nice gentleman saw my ad and contacted me. Within 1 month I purchased it and yes I got my first pin!!!! I paid a lot for it but I don’t plan on ever selling it. Everyone I contacted that has one said they would never sell and it took them 10-20 years to find theirs. They all told me the same thing and they all said there is around 100 of them in existence.

#13 1 year ago
Quoted from Charlemagne1987:

Anyway, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a database or some other source that does some sort of accounting for rare games like this.

Sam Harvey's notebooks.

1 month later
#14 1 year ago

Love my Rocky, but need NOS plastics or top reproductions

2647A291-0711-4E36-9C5A-37E9BC0FF8AE (resized).jpeg
#15 1 year ago
Quoted from Tomjoe:

Love my Rocky, but need NOS plastics or top reproductions
[quoted image]

That’s a gorgeous looking machine. How much of it is original?

1 month later
#16 11 months ago

ThanksCharlemagne1987.it is all original apart from the Back glass which I purchased from BG Repros and it is excellent.
Regards, Tom

2 weeks later
#17 11 months ago

Also what’s not been taken into account of the above calculations is Rocky (amongst plenty of others) was used a Donor pin for kits!!

My Mythology has used a Rocky as it’s base machine! So that’s definitely 1 less I know of. But it does give Mythology a nice yellow cab inside on a plus side.

I especially like collecting rare pins and numbers are definitely massively less than production numbers. My joust I searched for years and I found 2 in all of Europe in that time, only to find out the 2nd time it was the exact same machine just in another country. I’ve not seen another in Europe since. Anything that had 400 production runs in the 80s must realistically be down to 30-40 units max. No one looked after them like they do now. They weren’t seen as future collectibles and just parted out if not working.

#18 11 months ago

A Rocky just sold yesterday at the Banning Pinball Museum auction for an astounding $10,000 not including auction fees. Hot damn!!!

#19 11 months ago
Quoted from Charlemagne1987:

A Rocky just sold yesterday at the Banning Pinball Museum auction for an astounding $10,000 not including auction fees. Hot damn!!!

Good luck replicating the conditions that led to hundreds of ridiculously overpriced sales.

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