Get the feeling again!

Bowl-A-Matic Game

by Eldon





Here’s a front view detail of the bowler.

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, There was a nice one of these listed on ebay. It sold for $610.

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

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

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.

The Bowl-A-Matic pin mechanism from the top. The clear plastic cover is tilted away to show detail.
Eldon Bowl-A-Matic gets an honorable emntion in Popular Mechanics.
Eldon Bowl-A-Matic gets an honorable emntion in Popular Mechanics.
Rear, or the "player's" view. Note the crank used to reset the pin mechanism.
Here's what you listened to in 1962!
  1. Green Onions – Booker T. & the MG’s
  2. Bring It On Home To Me – Sam Cooke
  3. You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me – Miracles
  4. The Loco-Motion – Little Eva
  5. Sherry – Four Seasons
  6. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
  7. Up On The Roof – Drifters
  8. Twist And Shout – Isley Brothers
  9. These Arms Of Mine – Otis Redding
  10. Do You Love Me – Contours
  11. He’s So Fine – Chiffons
  12. Twisting The Night Away – Sam Cooke
  13. He’s A Rebel – Crystals
  14. Surfin’ Safari – Beach Boys
  15. Love Me Do – Beatles
  16. The One Who Really Loves You – Mary Wells
  17. You Belong To Me – Duprees
  18. Any Day Now – Chuck Jackson
  19. Big Girls Don’t Cry – Four Seasons
  20. Having A Party – Sam Cooke
Here's what you watched on TV in 1962!
  1. The Beverly Hillbillies – CBS
  2. Candid Camera – CBS
  3. The Red Skelton Show – CBS
  4. Bonanza – NBC
  5. The Lucy Show – CBS
  6. The Andy Griffith Show – CBS
  7. Ben Casey – ABC
  8. The Danny Thomas Show – CBS
  9. The Dick Van Dyke Show – CBS
  10. Gunsmoke – CBS
  11. Dr. Kildare – NBC
  12. The Jack Benny Show – CBS
  13. What’s My Line – CBS
  14. The Ed Sullivan Show – CBS
  15. Hazel – NBC
  16. I’ve Got a Secret – CBS
  17. The Jackie Gleason Show – CBS
  18. The Defenders – CBS
  19. The Garry Moore Show – CBS
  20. To Tell the Truth – CBS
Here's what you saw at the movies in 1962!
  1. To Kill a Mockingbird
  2. Lawrence of Arabia
  3. Dr. No
  4. Lolita
  5. The Longest Day
  6. The Manchurian Candidate
  7. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance
  8. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
  9. How the West Was Won
  10. The Miracle Worker
  11. The Music Man
  12. The Exterminating Angel
  13. Cape Fear
  14. Vivre Sa Vie
  15. Mutiny on the Bounty
  16. Jules and Jim
  17. Harakiri
  18. The 300 Spartans
  19. Sanjuro
  20. Ivan’s Childhood

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





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Comments

  1. matty k.  November 2, 2016

    I am looking for Bowl a Matic

    reply
  2. Larry  March 25, 2016

    Still looking for one…….

    reply
  3. Harold  January 20, 2016

    I had one of those Eldon Bowl a matic and would love to find one to buy with or without the box

    reply
  4. Teresa  May 9, 2015

    I am looking for an Eldon Bowling Machine for my son.

    reply
  5. max schwartzmeyer  January 22, 2015

    I have one that I would sell. It is in the box (albeit a LITTLE rough), toy works and looks great. I am not sure if it is the original bowling ball (looks like a black marble ??). Offers ??? I have researched these a little, so serious offers only please. If the offer seems “real” I will post or send pictures.

    reply
  6. Brenda Cook  December 22, 2013

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

    reply
  7. Martin Buck  December 10, 2013

    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?

    reply
    • Les - admin
      Les - admin  December 14, 2013

      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…

      reply
  8. Richard  August 29, 2013

    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.

    reply
  9. Wayne  September 4, 2012

    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?

    reply
    • Les - admin
      Les - admin  September 5, 2012

      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!

      reply
  10. Jeremy  November 2, 2011

    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!

    reply
    • Les - admin
      Les  November 2, 2011

      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!

      reply
  11. Justus  October 22, 2011

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

    reply
    • Justus  October 22, 2011

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

      reply
    • Les - admin
      Les  October 23, 2011

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

      reply
  12. Justus  October 16, 2011

    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!

    reply
    • Les - admin
      Les  October 21, 2011

      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.

      reply
  13. doug williams  September 22, 2011

    still have this for sale??

    reply
    • Les - admin
      Les  September 23, 2011

      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!

      reply

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