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(Topic ID: 216409)

Shuffle bowler worth owning?


By RonSS

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 34 posts
  • 22 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by ralphs007
  • No one calls this topic a favorite

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There have been 3 images uploaded to this topic. (View topic image gallery).

shuffle head (resized).jpg
ballystern_retrofit_shuffle.jpg
IMG_0716 (resized).JPG

#1 2 years ago

Been seeing some shuffle bowlers on Craigslist here and there. Decent fun or quickly boring?

What's a fair price for an "average" machine?

A little vague I know, just ball parking right now.

#2 2 years ago

depends on how much you like it and how much room you have. i have wanted one but havent been willing to get rid of pins for one. fun, hell yes. i need more room! the older em ones, i would stay away from. have had to fix one for someone numerous times, and unless you have a donor machine for spare parts it might be extra work to fix. the newer williams alley cats, shuffle inn etc have more parts availability and a hell of alot less coils/relays to maintain.

#3 2 years ago

Yeah, but no clickity click of the score wheels

#4 2 years ago

So solid state is the way to go then.

What's a fair price?
I'm seeing $1500 - 2000, but that seems high to me.

#5 2 years ago

yes the clickity click sounds cool. but my god on those older 6 player em's.... soooo many switch stacks, so many relays (some of which you cant get an exact match for)

#6 2 years ago

Hi Ron

Have a Williams Alley cats that I bought and did a refurb job on. It is a fun machine to play and I bought it about a year and a half ago from an op in Northern WV for $450. Yes it needed work and I had to send the main board out to clive to get it worked on but it is a very fun game and people definitely gravitate towards it. I ageee that the em versions I would shy away from. Too damn much work.

I think the name of the guys business in wv was guns and roses pinball. At the time he said he several more of these so you may try and see if he can hook you up at a good price. He even delivered the game to me!

Hope this helps

G

#7 2 years ago

My 1964 United ball bowler has worked flawlessly for close to 20 years. It has Flash, Super Flash, and a couple other games besides regulation bowling. Adjusted properly, i’ll take the EM for charm and functionality any day.

#8 2 years ago
Quoted from GPS:

Hi Ron
Have a Williams Alley cats that I bought and did a refurb job on. It is a fun machine to play and I bought it about a year and a half ago from an op in Northern WV for $450. Yes it needed work and I had to send the main board out to clive to get it worked on but it is a very fun game and people definitely gravitate towards it. I ageee that the em versions I would shy away from. Too damn much work.
I think the name of the guys business in wv was guns and roses pinball. At the time he said he several more of these so you may try and see if he can hook you up at a good price. He even delivered the game to me!
Hope this helps
G

Very helpful, thanks!

#9 2 years ago

If cleaned properly, the EM’s will last for pretty much beyond or lifetimes. Most guys haven’t worked on an EM, so I think they shy away from them. Just my 2cents.

If you have room, I would suggest considering a ball bowler.

#10 2 years ago

....... 16 footer. Anything shorter than that isn’t much of a challenge for me. If you don’t have the room for that size bowler then a shuffle alley is a great option and I would choose solid state.

#11 2 years ago

TNT sells them for about 2k-3500 fully restored...They look amazing; I would have one if I had the extra room...They are fun as hell

#12 2 years ago
Quoted from alexanr1:

If cleaned properly, the EM’s will last for pretty much beyond or lifetimes. Most guys haven’t worked on an EM, so I think they shy away from them. Just my 2cents.
If you have room, I would suggest considering a ball bowler.

Yeah, I measured, not gonna happen. I was close to buying the one listed here.

Never worked on an EM, would need a working one to start.

#13 2 years ago
Quoted from Budman:

....... 16 footer. Anything shorter than that isn’t much of a challenge for me. If you don’t have the room for that size bowler then a shuffle alley is a great option and I would choose solid state.

My basement can't handle the long one, sadly.

#14 2 years ago
Quoted from alexanr1:

If cleaned properly, the EM’s will last for pretty much beyond or lifetimes.

This United bowler was the first machine I owned. Went through it back in the
early 90s, and never had a problem. Most of the time it doesn't get played for
months (maybe a full year), but always fires up and plays well wish is kinda unusual.
It's not uncommon for the score reels to get a little sticky if not played now and then..
Surely ball bowlers are the hot set up, but a shuffle can be just as good of a time when
playing with competition, and if you can land a Target Shuffle such as the Playboy, that is
also at least as much fun..
I'm into the vintage stuff. Like that oak and hard maple..

IMG_0716 (resized).JPG

#15 2 years ago

Older EM shuffle bowlers can be had pretty cheap, especially the ones from the mid-to-late 70s. Most people want the solid state ones for better reliability, more game modes and sounds. Lloyd @ Coinopwarehouse in Maryland probably has dozens of solid state shuffle bowlers at any given time and usually priced reasonably since they're projects (not fully gone through).

EM shuffle bowlers can be had for as low as $200-300 or less, depending on working condition. If you're patient you will probably find someone about ready to give one away as they're a harder sell unless they're super nice cosmetically or are one of the more desirable EM models.

The solid state ones are usually somewhere in the $400-800 range as working or non-working projects. Earlier Williams solid state models would be on the lower end of the range. IMO there's not too big of a difference between the later Williams solid state shuffle alleys running on Sys11 boardsets and the earlier ones.. better sound/speech, but it's a shuffle alley and it doesn't add as much to the game as it would in later pinball games for instance.

Fully shopped and ready-to-play solid state alleys offered by amusement companies are more likely to be in the $1200-$3000. So if you aren't looking for a project and don't want to have to deal with any of the electronics, it'll add quite a bit onto the price tag.

As with anything, if you're patient you're likely to find one pop up in your area at a pretty cheap price as people moving often "just want it gone".

Here's an eBay listing for a $750 Strike Zone (earlier Williams, from 1984):
ebay.com link » Williams Strike Zone Puck Shuffle Alley Bowling Machine 1984

Personally I have a Black Beauty Shuffle Alley, one of the few shuffle alleys that Stern Electronics made and they used the MPU-200 boardset in it -- mustn't have been many of them made because you rarely see them pop up anywhere. With the BLUE led displays in it that I sell, it looks pretty sweet. The limitations of the earlier sound board used (SB-100 for some reason, despite the SB-300 being used in most MPU-200 games) really don't bother me at all in a pinball machine. Tones and early electronic melodies, no speech.. but it works for the shuffle alley just fine. So while I don't care for that sound board in a pinball machine, it's "good enough" for a shuffle alley that's exciting on its own to play with a group of people because you're all egging each other on, talking or joking while waiting for your turn again (which comes around pretty quick) and the sounds don't matter so much. Just my opinion

ballystern_retrofit_shuffle.jpg

In terms of fun-factor, shuffle alleys are awesome when you're entertaining groups of people. No one has to wait long for their turn and it's some fun competition. The later alleys with the different modes like FLASH keep it interesting too.

#16 2 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Older EM shuffle bowlers can be had pretty cheap, especially the ones from the mid-to-late 70s. Most people want the solid state ones for better reliability, more game modes and sounds. Lloyd @ Coinopwarehouse in Maryland probably has dozens of solid state shuffle bowlers at any given time and usually priced reasonably since they're projects (not fully gone through).
EM shuffle bowlers can be had for as low as $200-300 or less, depending on working condition. If you're patient you will probably find someone about ready to give one away as they're a harder sell unless they're super nice cosmetically or are one of the more desirable EM models.
The solid state ones are usually somewhere in the $400-800 range as working or non-working projects. Earlier Williams solid state models would be on the lower end of the range. IMO there's not too big of a difference between the later Williams solid state shuffle alleys running on Sys11 boardsets and the earlier ones.. better sound/speech, but it's a shuffle alley and it doesn't add as much to the game as it would in later pinball games for instance.
Fully shopped and ready-to-play solid state alleys offered by amusement companies are more likely to be in the $1200-$3000. So if you aren't looking for a project and don't want to have to deal with any of the electronics, it'll add quite a bit onto the price tag.
As with anything, if you're patient you're likely to find one pop up in your area at a pretty cheap price as people moving often "just want it gone".
Here's an eBay listing for a $750 Strike Zone (earlier Williams, from 1984):
ebay.com link » Williams Strike Zone Puck Shuffle Alley Bowling Machine 1984
Personally I have a Black Beauty Shuffle Alley, the only shuffle alley that Stern Electronics made and they used the MPU-200 boardset in it -- mustn't have been many of them made because you rarely see them pop up anywhere. With the BLUE led displays in it that I sell, it looks pretty sweet. The limitations of the earlier sound board used (SB-100 for some reason, despite the SB-300 being used in most MPU-200 games) really don't bother me at all in a pinball machine. Tones and early electronic melodies, no speech.. but it works for the shuffle alley just fine. So while I don't care for that sound board in a pinball machine, it's "good enough" for a shuffle alley that's exciting on its own to play with a group of people because you're all egging each other on, talking or joking while waiting for your turn again (which comes around pretty quick) and the sounds don't matter so much. Just my opinion

In terms of fun-factor, shuffle alleys are awesome when you're entertaining groups of people. No one has to wait long for their turn and it's some fun competition. The later alleys with the different modes like FLASH keep it interesting too.

Wow, lots of good info!
And that ebay sale is pretty close too.

#17 2 years ago

I'm actually mad that I have to do this...

Quoted from RonSS:

My basement can't handle the long one, sadly.

That's what she said...!!!

#18 2 years ago
Quoted from Breaking_Dad:

I'm actually mad that I have to do this...

That's what she said...!!!

Lol! I knew it was only a matter of time! Throw a lob bsll, expect a hit!

#19 2 years ago

Keep in mind, the EM bowlers, especially the 6-player ones, will be very heavy and difficult to move, especially on stairs.

I've been kind of wanting to try to find a smaller shuffle alley and set it up at a show.

#20 2 years ago

I can see why TNT asks those prices... I got a system 11 shuffle alley that was cheap because it didn't work and was stored in a shed for many years.
Although they are not mechanically complicated, it's a big under taking to get them all painted up nice because you have to disassemble completely.
I highly suggest buying one that has been taken care of by a collector.

Even after all my work, I suspect getting $1500-2000 would be a stretch. Guess it depends on your local market. Also, their huge size further limits buyers.

All that said; if you have the space, they are a huge hit at parties! Last party, it was played non-stop.

#21 2 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

Keep in mind, the EM bowlers, especially the 6-player ones, will be very heavy and difficult to move, especially on stairs.

I would have to disagree with this. They come apart into 4 sections and actually are pretty manageable.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from Brypten:

I would have to disagree with this. They come apart into 4 sections and actually are pretty manageable.

I was just talking about the head portion of the larger, more complicated EM games. Something like this, for example:

shuffle head (resized).jpg
#23 2 years ago
Quoted from RonSS:

My basement can't handle the long one, sadly.

Oops...breaking_dad beat me to it! Haha!

#24 2 years ago

Have you considered Skee Ball?

#25 2 years ago

Yes,

If you have the space. Kids play, adults play, who doesn't like to bowl? When the Wii came out I think everyone played the bowling game on it?

#26 2 years ago

Because of our room configuration, we could fit three more pins if we did not have our bowler.

I had a friend over a few days ago (who is a pinball guy and grew up with a Incredible Hulk in his parents hotel) and all he wanted to play was bowling.

We have one of the newer Williams DMD versions and I'm about to put a color DMD in it - that is how much I like it.

#27 2 years ago

I would pay the extra $ and buy from TNT if a SS shuffle alley is the decision.They really go through them from the bottom up and are as close to new you will find. Reliability would be key for me; especially with a game of that size.

#28 2 years ago
Quoted from acebathound:

Personally I have a Black Beauty Shuffle Alley, the only shuffle alley that Stern Electronics made

That’s not the only one... there was at least one other, titled “Genesis”.

#29 2 years ago
Quoted from ForceFlow:

I was just talking about the head portion of the larger, more complicated EM games. Something like this, for example:

Is that a rat in the cab at the bottom??!!

#30 2 years ago

I have a goldmine 1986 William's it's fun I like it kids prefer it over the pins

#31 2 years ago
Quoted from KozMckPinball:

Is that a rat in the cab at the bottom??!!

It just looks like some spare pins to me.

#32 2 years ago
Quoted from drsfmd:

That’s not the only one... there was at least one other, titled “Genesis”.

Ah cool.. I didn't realize there was another one. Never heard of Genesis, but just pulled up the flyer on an eBay listing. Thanks for letting me know!

#33 2 years ago
Quoted from Mopar:

This United bowler was the first machine I owned. Went through it back in the
early 90s, and never had a problem. Most of the time it doesn't get played for
months (maybe a full year), but always fires up and plays well wish is kinda unusual.
It's not uncommon for the score reels to get a little sticky if not played now and then..
Surely ball bowlers are the hot set up, but a shuffle can be just as good of a time when
playing with competition, and if you can land a Target Shuffle such as the Playboy, that is
also at least as much fun..
I'm into the vintage stuff. Like that oak and hard maple..

I started with em’s in the 1990’s. Now only have one EM pin. They operate better the more they are played. The relays/switch edges get dirty and sitting around gets them dust covered.

11 months later
#34 1 year ago
Quoted from Budman:

I would pay the extra $ and buy from TNT if a SS shuffle alley is the decision.They really go through them from the bottom up and are as close to new you will find. Reliability would be key for me; especially with a game of that size.

That's good to know,my brother just bought a Williams Strike Master from them two days ago.I'll be playing it next week at my brothers birthday party.

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