(Topic ID: 143654)

Which 3 woodrails out of this group would you pick to own? Now FOR SALE


By Tuna_Delight

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 42 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by oldcarz
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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#1 4 years ago

Assume all are in equally good condition. I'd appreciate hearing your reasoning for selections. Thanks.

1949 Pin-Bowler
1950 Spot Bowler
1952 Queen of Hearts
1953 Grand Slam
1954 Hawaiian Beauty
1954 Diamond Lill
1955 Frontiersman
1956 Harbor Lites
1956 Derby Day
1956 Classy Bowler
1956 Auto Race
1957 Ace High
1957 World Champ
1958 Criss Cross
1959 Straight Shooter

#2 4 years ago

Spot Bowler hands down!

#3 4 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Assume all are in equally good condition. I'd appreciate hearing your reasoning for selections. Thanks.
1949 Pin-Bowler
1950 Spot Bowler
1952 Queen of Hearts
1953 Grand Slam
1954 Hawaiian Beauty
1954 Diamond Lill
1955 Frontiersman
1956 Harbor Lites
1956 Derby Day
1956 Classy Bowler
1956 Auto Race
1957 Ace High
1957 World Champ
1958 Criss Cross
1959 Straight Shooter

You'll hear this from many people, but YOU really have to put some quality time on a game to know if it's going to resonate with you. Most collectors told me for instance that Sittin Pretty isn't a great player, but I just can't get enough of it. Same with Universe. Then I've put time on other titles that are considered the holy grail best players and they weren't my cup of tea - I imagine you've had similar experiences thus far. On the other hand, opinions sometime opened my eyes to awesome games I would have otherwise missed.

Having said all that, you have some top titles in there - hard to go wrong with most of those quite honestly. The only people who can answer this comparatively are those who've put time on all of them, so maybe ask people to list which they've played for a point of reference. For me I've only put time on QoH, GS, HB, DD, CB and WC. Out of those (and I honestly enjoyed them all), the game I chose to own is Grand Slam - it's actually my #1 game.

So my assessment (and ymmv of course):

- HB is super fun - great game. If I had more room, I'd own one. The nudge fest in the pop area below the flippers is like no other!
- WC: People swear by this game it's very collectible and highly regarded as a player - I personally just didn't connect with it.
- CB: I really wanted to like because the art is stunning, but there was too much randomness for me in those lower targets.
- QoH: Players game where you actually shoot for the gobbles rather than always trying to avoid them which is much more fun haha
- DD: Beautiful BG with a very unique PF - I almost bought one but just didn't quite make the cut with only 8 EM slots

I cannot speak about the others since I've not played them. Keep us posted what direction you go - the hunt for top woodrails is a fun one

#4 4 years ago

I like Auto Race - The theme is desirable to me and you can score up to 9 replays in the gobble hole but you really gotta work for it.

#5 4 years ago

I played an Ace High at the old Pinball Hall of Fame, and really liked it, so much so, that I had one shipped half way across the country. Excellent player, great artwork, a classic in my book. I haven't had enough time on any of the others on the list to really give fair comment.

#6 4 years ago

Queen of Hearts because Wayne Neyens once told me that was his favorite game. He should know, right? Lol....Straight Shooter and Criss Cross simply because I like the art.

#7 4 years ago

Nice group.

Some random thoughts on some of the games.

Spot Bowler - seems one that is super hard to find and very popular.

Hawaiian Beauty - lovely looking pin, unique layout and a rebound special which is pretty cool.

Diamond Lill. A tough game to beat, unique layout, reverse flippers, very little luck, more skill based and probably the best light show in any em ( just my opinion ).

Ace High. Hard to find, great artwork, and possibly best game from 1955 - 1960. I grabbed one while I could but not shopped yet so can't comment on gameplay but the rules and layout look pretty darn good.

Auto Race seems hard to find and is very popular with those who collect cars due to the great artwork.

Tough to choose 3. It's usually availability and condition/price that determines.

#8 4 years ago

From those I'd focus on the '50-'54 era games.

But let me know which ones are left over, please.

#9 4 years ago

No 1951 games?

Bruce

#10 4 years ago

Queen of Hearts, Hawaiian Beauty and Aces High. Great playing games, and nice to look at!

#11 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballFever:

No 1951 games?
Bruce

Rose-Bowl 1951 looks a very different kind of game

And of course Niagara - another very tough find!

rosebow2.jpg

#12 4 years ago
Quoted from cpiel:

You'll hear this from many people, but YOU really have to put some quality time on a game to know if it's going to resonate with you. Most collectors told me for instance that Sittin Pretty isn't a great player, but I just can't get enough of it. Same with Universe. Then I've put time on other titles that are considered the holy grail best players and they weren't my cup of tea - I imagine you've had similar experiences thus far. On the other hand, opinions sometime opened my eyes to awesome games I would have otherwise missed.
Having said all that, you have some top titles in there - hard to go wrong with most of those quite honestly. The only people who can answer this comparatively are those who've put time on all of them, so maybe ask people to list which they've played for a point of reference. For me I've only put time on QoH, GS, HB, DD, CB and WC. Out of those (and I honestly enjoyed them all), the game I chose to own is Grand Slam - it's actually my #1 game.
So my assessment (and ymmv of course):
- HB is super fun - great game. If I had more room, I'd own one. The nudge fest in the pop area below the flippers is like no other!
- WC: People swear by this game it's very collectible and highly regarded as a player - I personally just didn't connect with it.
- CB: I really wanted to like because the art is stunning, but there was too much randomness for me in those lower targets.
- QoH: Players game where you actually shoot for the gobbles rather than always trying to avoid them which is much more fun haha
- DD: Beautiful BG with a very unique PF - I almost bought one but just didn't quite make the cut with only 8 EM slots
I cannot speak about the others since I've not played them. Keep us posted what direction you go - the hunt for top woodrails is a fun one

I agree with the above that you can pursue a holy grail machine because some list rates a given machine highly, and it turns out that the game is not all it's cracked up to be. When I have these discussions with friends, I usually state that Mermaid, as example, commands big dollars, but I have played one and can not understand why the game is so special. But, I've played many, bought/traded many and there are games that I have yet to see (or play). Regardless, it's hard to go strictly on someone else's opinion. How many times have you gone to a restaurant on someone's recommendation only to be disappointed?

Of the list provided, I have, or had, HB, HL, DD, Frontiersman, Auto Race, World Champ, Criss Cross.

Derby Day was one of the first woodrails that I got, still in my collection and a game that everyone who plays it likes. Big pop bumper below the flippers helps to bring the ball back into play. A nudger's delight. Can win 12 games, although that has only happened once with me...
HB, similarly, has the fun area below the flippers to help bring it back into play. Also has the unique slingshots that will award specials without having to lose the ball down a gobble or drain.
Frontiersman - one of my all time favorites, multiple specials, carry overs, fabulous artwork.
I have the Auto Race as a companion to my Flying Turns...as my avatar suggests, I am into old cars and like car themed games.
World Champ is one of my all time favorites - my game has a NOS playfield and plays excellently. (It's a companion to my other boxing themed woodies, not mentioned on your list, Gottlieb Knock Out and Gottlieb Madison Square Gardens)
I've owned two Criss Cross machines and currently have a framed art glass on my wall. Really cool art. Neat, but hard to hit, roto target.
Harbor Lites is a great game. This game has bulls eye targets that scores different values depending upon a direct hit or one that is off center a little. Really comical and "busy" Parker art glass.

#13 4 years ago

Thanks to all for your feedback! To clarify, I'm actually not looking to buy any of these - rather, I'm considering selling and deciding on which I'll keep. This list represents my current woodrail collection; none are currently set up and nearly all need work to varying degrees, but they all also either have good original or repro backglasses and plastics.

I'm anticipating that I'll sell a number of them this winter as part of an in-progress overall reduction and modernizing of my pinball collection. Stay tuned if interested.

#14 4 years ago

Interested and tuned.

#15 4 years ago

If you sell your Spot Bowler,let me know it

#16 4 years ago

I don't need to own three of them although it would be nice, but if I had to pick only one it would be Frontiersman. So I did.

#17 4 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

I don't need to own three of them although it would be nice, but if I had to pick only one it would be Frontiersman. So I did.

For me, the only thing more beautiful in the world of pinball than a nice condition woodrail is a lineup of them. Attending PPE and seeing all of the beautiful woodrails there is what originally gave me the fever for collecting them.

Although Frontiersman originally was not high on my wish list, my appreciation of it has grown tremendously with time. Several EM pinball aficionados have told me how much they have enjoyed playing theirs.

#18 4 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Although Frontiersman originally was not high on my wish list, my appreciation of it has grown tremendously with time. Several EM pinball aficionados have told me how much they have enjoyed playing theirs.

It is the gameplay, not just the artwork that puts this one on top for me. It gets played and played and played and more played. It is not my only woodrail, but it is the one I have from the list you provided. I have a friend with many more so I have had good exposure to them and I know what I like.

#19 4 years ago

I hope with this upcoming LA visit the merits of this game will be revealed. I don't quite see the magic from the geometry alone but of course you can't evaluate everything from a photo.

#20 4 years ago

My opinion but Queen of hearts next to kings & queens flanked by King of Diamonds just screams CLASSIC Gottlieb card themed games . I like lineups with themes. Putting my dimension next to Astro is on my realignment list .

#21 4 years ago
Quoted from 1974DeltaQueen:

My opinion but Queen of hearts next to kings & queens flanked by King of Diamonds just screams CLASSIC Gottlieb card themed games . I like lineups with themes. Putting my dimension next to Astro is on my realignment list .

I tend to group my lineups by themes and change it around periodically. My main row currently has two Genco machines ('52 Springtime and '57 Show Boat), next to the nautical themes ('40 Bally Fleet and '48 Barnacle Bill). I have 3 boxing themed games ('50 Madison Square Gardens, '57 World Champ and '50 Knock Out) separated by '51 Minstrel Man (another gate game like the Knock Out)
Have two auto games together ('65 Flying Turns and '56 Auto Race)
Have two horse racing themes ('56 Derby Day, '60 Skill Derby next to a Bally Grandstand Glass)

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#22 4 years ago
Quoted from oldcarz:

Have two horse racing themes ('56 Derby Day, '60 Skill Derby next to a Bally Grandstand Glass)

Is that a Howdy Doody bobblehead?

Bruce

#23 4 years ago

yes sir

#24 4 years ago

I know you said 3, but since you have the games, I'll suggest 6 games here I wouldn't do without if I didn't have to.

Grand Slam, Queen of Hearts, Hawaiian Beauty, Diamond Lill, Auto Race, Ace High.

I'd render my personal opinions on each, but many have already been mentioned here. Seems this thread brought out the hobby's fore-front in experience and compassion for the woodrails.

My sentiments on World Champ parallel Cliff's. I'm not a big fan of the spread-apart flipper config like this one, (it begs for a post in the middle), and the top half of the playfield is kind of trivial unless you totally re-build the pops, but I love the, "Jackpot Special" Drop Hole, (as Shapeshifter calls them), offering a possible several replays for a drain here at the right time. Several of my selections already have this, it's this feature in the '60's games I miss the most.

I will mention 2 games here I just flat out didn't like: Harbor Lites, (ugly score card apron, never liked kickers behind the flippers), Straight Shooter, (outlane drain fest, maybe I didn't have this one dialed in), YMMV.

#25 4 years ago

I find that I hit the start button on the pre 1955 Gottliebs more than any other era of games. In 1955 the coin mech was a dime and wow, these games must have been massive earners.

I just finished shopping my Sluggin Champ and it is one of the easier woodrails to beat. Because of this, I can play 15 games in a flash and be not quite winning but I always feel close!. A buck in a half in 15 minutes back in 1955 must have been a fair bit to spend that quickly!

Love getting all the teams on both sides and then hearing the pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop as ball disappears in a gobble hole

Typical GTB as I didn't realize RBI'S increase per ball so on ball 5, can score 5 RBI each time target is hit so a poor game can end up being awesome on the last ball.

These designs are just genius and continues to amaze me the lack of love there is for them.

#26 4 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

These designs are just genius and continues to amaze me the lack of love there is for them.

I see no lack of love, just lack of production numbers, actual survivors, and collectors willing to part with the ones they own.

#27 4 years ago
Quoted from Boatcat:

I see no lack of love, just lack of production numbers, actual survivors, and collectors willing to part with the ones they own.

I guess then I still would expect overall demand to be higher. That said certain titles are extremely hard to find!

Games like this one for example?

ebay.com link » 1955 Gottlieb Twin Bill Pinball Classic Wood Rail Plays Great

#28 4 years ago
Quoted from Boatcat:

I see no lack of love, just lack of production numbers, actual survivors, and collectors willing to part with the ones they own.

It gets even harder when you start looking into the more desirable Williams titles of this era that rarely if ever come up for sale.

#29 4 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

It gets even harder when you start looking into the more desirable Williams titles of this era that rarely if ever come up for sale.

In your opinion, what are the more desirable Williams titles of this era? Just curious.

#30 4 years ago
Quoted from vanilla:

In your opinion, what are the more desirable Williams titles of this era? Just curious.

They never made as many as Gottlieb, both in the amount of different games and production runs of those games and didn't keep a record on many so how many are or were out there remains a mystery. But there are still quite a few gems like Nags, Sea Wolf, Gusher, and Rocket to name a few. But those don't come up very often and usually command a high price if in nice condition.

#31 4 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

They never made as many as Gottlieb, both in the amount of different games and production runs of those games and didn't keep a record on many so how many are or were out there remains a mystery. But there are still quite a few gems like Nags, Sea Wolf, Gusher, and Rocket to name a few. But those don't come up very often and usually command a high price if in nice condition.

I played Hot Diggity many years ago, it was fun. I *almost* bought it. It looks like a widebody in the pictures but I can't remember. I liked how they used surface-level wireforms at the top left and right to guide the ball in any of three directions. I shoulda bought it at the time. Haven't seen one since. IPDB has low-res pics so no one has sent in any new ones lately. The pinballcollectorswebsite has no owners. IPSND has two old numbers.

#32 4 years ago

Through a fellow Pinsider I touched base with a homeowner that had a Hot Diggity for sale earlier this year. I didn't end up going to look at but it still crosses my mind from time to time. It's certainly interesting looking and I like the odd cabinet with P&B style legs.

#33 4 years ago
Quoted from vanilla:

The pinballcollectorswebsite has no owners. IPSND has two old numbers.

Besides that and the few pics on ipdb, there really isn't much info out there about it so chances are not many have heard of it let alone played it. I noticed the same thing when I picked up Rocket and Pinky but this one seems even scarcer than that. It has a neat layout and looks fun to play but won't make too many peoples lists because they may have never come across one.

#34 4 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

They never made as many as Gottlieb, both in the amount of different games and production runs of those games and didn't keep a record on many so how many are or were out there remains a mystery. But there are still quite a few gems like Nags, Sea Wolf, Gusher, and Rocket to name a few. But those don't come up very often and usually command a high price if in nice condition.

What about 1955 Wonderland? Art is fantastic. Anyone played one? Worth buying?

#35 4 years ago

Definitely worth finding. Who's got one of those?

#36 4 years ago

1949 Williams Freshie
Here's an interesting game I picked up recently at the York show. Hadn't seen one before, and fits in nicely with the other oldies.
It needed some tweaking to get it running, but a real nice playfield and cabinet meant it wasn't going to be a major resto.
A fun player

Williams_Freshie_1.jpg

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Williams_Freshie_3a.jpg

Williams_Freshie_4.jpg

#37 4 years ago

A guy I know has a Freshie and offered to bring it to me but never showed up, so I bought something else at the time. I think it is a neat looking game. I ended up with another impulse flipper game instead, Pinky and really enjoy it.

#38 4 years ago

That's a real fresh "Freshie"!

#39 4 years ago
Quoted from jrpinball:

That's a real fresh "Freshie"!

No doubt you saw it at the show. It was on the next row near your machine.

The seller had LEDs in it. Normally, I'm not a big fan of them, but have to admit it looks good on it, but will swap out if it becomes tiresome.

Here's one of my fun videos of it. As I usually do, the videos I make have a shout out to Russ Snyder for all his assistance with helping me with the technical stuff.

3 months later
#40 3 years ago

3/13/16 Update:

I think I've decided which three I'm keeping and the first (Spot Bowler) of the rest is currently up for sale to high bidder at no reserve.

https://pinside.com/pinball/market/ad/32089

Ignore (or not ) the Pinside listing price. As noted, this will sell for high bid on eBay. Not to worry - I will be honoring the additional sale fee to Pinside nonetheless when it closes.

Photos of my games for sale can be viewed at:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/tims_pinball_pics/albums

More to be added as I get them prepped and photographed (a slow process). I plan to make all sales available to high bidder - some with reserves, some not.

Stay tuned and feel free to PM me with any questions in meantime. Thanks.

#41 3 years ago

Hi oldcarz
I jump into this topic - because of FRESHIE. Do You have a schema ?
I could buy a Freshie - not in a good shape - it was used for "donating spare parts" - Coin-mechanism is gone - wires cut - how to wire to imitate "old coin-slot" ? The Backglass - well, look at "old" - I want to draw a paper -> taking a picture -> foil -> behind a glass (like in SS-Pins).
The whole thing shall be MY BIG restauration. (Also: wooden legs are also missing - size ?)
Please write where I can buy a schema - maybe You take pictures of Your schema (JPG-Format) -> I put these snippets together to a continuous schema ...

Would be nice to hear from You. Greetings Rolf

Freshie-Old-A-2_(resized).jpg

Freshie-new-A-2_(resized).jpg

#42 3 years ago

Hi Rolf,
I sent you a PM with info about the schematic.

This is a great game when dialed in. Has tilt forgiveness (game will continue on next ball if you tilt) and also has special handicap scoring, which means the game has a counter in it and if you make it to the 6th game without lighting up a Special, an additional rollover lights up for Special. Make it to the 7th game and two more Specials light...etc. Make it to the 10th game, and all bottom rollovers will light up so no matter what lane you lose the ball in, you'll finally get a reward. In reality, the game is relatively easy to win, so it's pretty rare to go that many games without hitting a special.

The legs are 34" which places it at the same height as other machines of that era. (Gottlieb and Gencos included).

A closeup of the glass is enclosed if you need more detail.

Good luck with the resto.

Joel

freshie_leg_(resized).jpg

Williams_Freshie_(resized).jpg

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