Bowl-A-Matic Game

by Eldon



Eldon Toys, Bowl-A-Matic Game

The legendary Eldon Bowl-A-Matic

Originally selling for $16.98, this unique game received an Honorable Mention from Popular Mechanics’ “Toys Of The Year” awards in November of 1962. In January, 2010, I saw a nice one of these on ebay. It sold for $610. Brand new, it came with an instruction sheet, score sheets and a ‘Handy Order Blank’ for when you run out. This vintage bowling game measures more than four feet in length. Its base is brown simulated-wood, or blue, molded plastic. The center alley is a type of fiber wood.

Eldon Bowl-A-Matic gets an honorable emntion in Popular Mechanics.

Eldon Bowl-A-Matic gets an honorable emntion in Popular Mechanics.

Here's a front view detail of the bowler.

Here’s a front view detail of the bowler.

Rear, or the "player's" view. Note the crank used to reset the pin mechanism.

Rear, or the “player’s” view. Note the crank used to reset the pin mechanism.

The Bowl-A-Matic pin setter mechanism, top view. The clear plastic cover is removed to show detail.

The Bowl-A-Matic pin mechanism from the top. The clear plastic cover is tilted away to show detail.

Here’s what you listened to in 1962!
Here’s what you watched on TV in 1962!
Here’s what you saw at the movies in 1962!

To play, aim the bowler and his marble “bowling ball” with the handle at the near end of the “alley”, then pull it like a pinball machine and the spring-loaded arm lets ‘er rip. After your first shot, the assembly at the other end performs the following:

  • picks up the remaining pins
  • sweeps the downed pins to the back
  • resets the remaining pins into position
  • returns the ball to the player


Eldon Toys, Bowl-A-Matic Pin-Setter

The pin setter mechanism.

To accomplish this, simply turn the hand crank to move the pin-setter assembly. It’s just like being there!

Eldon Toys, Bowl-A-Matic Bowler

Bowl away!

 
Thanks to ebay member maggiedog2005 for some of these awesome pics.


17 comments

Brenda Cook - December 22, 2013 Reply

wish I could find one of these for my husband he had one as a kid

Dan - May 22, 2014 Reply

Hi Brenda,
I just happened to see your post from Dec. 22, 2013.
I have one of the Eldon Bowl-A-Matic games in the original box, and working very good.
Pretty much fun, and great to watch the mechanisms work!
Are you still looking for one?
Thanks,
Dan

Peter - May 30, 2014 Reply

Hi Dan are you still selling your Eldon Bowl-a-Matic set?

Martin Buck - December 10, 2013 Reply

Mine was red but I recall that there was a red plastic “ceiling” or “hood” over the bowling lane. I never see one like that. Have you?

Les - admin
Les - admin - December 14, 2013 Reply

Hi Martin – Very interesting. I haven’t seen one yet with a hood over the entire bowling lane. Too bad you don’t have an old picture…

Richard - August 29, 2013 Reply

I have 4. 2 blue and 2 brown. I paid 700.00 for the blue one in almost mint condition about 7 years ago. none for sale yet.

Wayne - September 4, 2012 Reply

Hi Les,Thanks for the info on this game as i still have one that i had as a kid in 1962.No box but in working order with score cards etc.Mine has a blue molded base(not brown),does this make it any more rare?

Les - admin
Les - admin - September 5, 2012 Reply

Hi Wayne.

Although the blue base is more cool looking (in my opinion), from what I’ve found, it doesn’t seem to be any more rare or valuable than the brown base bowl-a-matic. As you know, the value of the bowl-a-matic is based on its overall completeness and working order. Sales I’ve witnessed have not varied according to color, but condition.

Awesome that you still have yours from childhood!

Jeremy - November 2, 2011 Reply

If you have one NOT for sale or are very familiar with them….

I just acquired one that doesn’t work at the pin end. Would you be able to describe or take a photo of how the metal piece attached to the worm drive intersects with the metal piece attached to the turn crank? Thank you!

Les - admin
Les - November 2, 2011 Reply

Hey Jeremy.

I don’t currently have one. However, follow this link: videonus.com . The story that goes with the video tells about a guy who found a broken one and repaired it to working condition. He may just be able to send you some pics. Tell him BLiPPEE sent you! Good luck, and be sure to let us know if you get yours going!

Justus - October 22, 2011 Reply

So do you have it for sale or not,im 11

Justus - October 22, 2011 Reply

Don’t tell me you don’t have it because im obsessed with bowling.

Les - admin
Les - October 23, 2011 Reply

Sorry, my friend. No, we don’t have it.

Justus - October 16, 2011 Reply

Do you guys still have eldon bowl-o-matic,if you do is it still selling for $16.98?

If you see this text can you text back to me tonight or tommorow, thanks!

Les - admin
Les - October 21, 2011 Reply

Haha. Wouldn’t it be nice to turn back the clock to 1962 and grab a couple dozen of these for $16.98 each? Sorry, Justus, but you must have skimmed the short blurb we’ve got here about the bowl-a-matic. Nowhere on this page does it say we even have one for sale, let alone for $16.98. If you ever find one for that price though, you’ll make a nice profit if you decide to resell it.

doug williams - September 22, 2011 Reply

still have this for sale??

Les - admin
Les - September 23, 2011 Reply

Sorry Doug, but no. As of this writing there’s one on ebay with 20 hours left to go. I still see these go up online from time to time. Keep your eyes open, they’re still available!

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