Pachinko Palace info flyer
Pachinko Palace info flyer

How to Value a Vintage Pachinko Machine:

When pachinko parlors decommissioned the machines after about a year of use, they were sold cheap to make room for newer models.  Servicemen and businessmen started to bring them back in the late 1940’s.  There were hundreds of thousands of pachinko machines imported in the 1960’s and 1970’s, and sold by Sears, Montgomery Wards, Target Abroad, Woolwort, Pachinko Palace, Spiegal, Pachinko Imports, The Pachinko Factory, Sutra Import, K-Mart, Meshulam’s, Pier 1 Imports, Osco and others.  The newer pachinko machines are still imported today.  They are sold around the country and online. 

When video games became popular or when enough of the balls were lost to make the game unplayable, the pachinko machines were put into storage and forgotten.  On any given day, there are about 300 to 400 for sale on Craigslist/eBay and other sites in the US so they typically aren’t rare.  Generally, most are valued about $20 to $100 and some of the rarer or more desirable ones can go for over $1,000.00.  The key words here are “rare:” and/or “desirable.”  The price all depends on many factors that can influence how much you can get if you want to sell your pachinko machine, or how much you should pay if you are looking to purchase a pachinko machine.

 I would like to say when pricing a pachinko machine to sell, or budgeting while planning to buy one, remember the 4 C’s:  Condition, Completeness, Cleanliness and Commonality.  People don’t pay for sentimental value, and a machine is only worth what someone will pay for it, and sometimes it is best to just walk away.  Here are some other websites that talk about the value of pachinko machines.

Dan’s Pachinko          Pachinko Planet         Slots Direct         Pachinko Boy

Age of a Pachinko Machine

Date them is not easy, there are a few other websites out there to help find the age of vintage pachinko machines, this is the information we have.

Machines manufactured in the 1940’s are rare and very hard to find.

Machines manufactured in the 1950’s are not as rare but are still hard to find.

Machines manufactured in the early 1960’s are not as common and can be found with a little effort.

Machines manufactured in the late 1960’s are common and can be easily found.

Machines manufactured in the early 1970’s are very common and can be found in a lot of places.

Machines manufactured in the mid-1970’s are the most common and can be found everywhere.

Machines manufactured in the late 1970’s are common and can also be found in a lot of places.


year of manufacture on  pachinko machines

About 90% of vintage pachinko machines are from the 1970s.  About 8% are from the 1960s and the rest are from the 1950s or earlier.  Percentages are approximate based on our research, eBay auctions and Craigslist postings. Vintage pachinko machines were not stamped with a year of manufacture. There are several ways you can estimate the age of your pachinko machine.

  • Major Pachinko Machine Designs can help you quickly identify a rare 1940s or 1950s, an uncommon 1960s or a common 1970s or later modern pachinko machines.
  • Pachinko Machine ExpirationDates shows you how to determine the year the machine expired.  It was likely manufactured in the year prior to expiration.
  • Playfield Numbers lists numbers/letters printed on a playfield and what year that playfield was made.  The machine was likely manufactured the same year.
  • Vintage Pachinko Museum has pictures of hundreds of pachinko machines with year of manufacture.  Browse for a machine that looks similar to yours.


Vintage Pachinko to Modern pachinko machines

1980 is the year that most consider the cross over point from Vintage to modern pachinko, this is when most pachinkos went from a flipper lever to shoot the balls to a control knob for firing the balls on the the playing field.

More electronics, lights, motors and sounds are used on the machines, as well as video screens. Makes for more exciting play and higher payouts.

These machines that are produce now are more video game then the mechanical machine they started as.

Draw backs on modern Pachinkos

They require electricity and more care in storage of the machine. More balls are needed for continuous play, also a higher level of maintenance is needed for the machine to continually work properly.

It is hard to find somebody to work on them as there is no technical information or parts available. This makes the resell value low, when a break down happens most likely they are only good for part to repair other machines.


Other Factors in valuing machines


Playing Field Features

Most machines have a main attraction and one or more tulips, as well as pay pockets and spinners.  The different combinations of these can set the value of the machine:  Does the main attraction have a theme, move and/or light up?  Also, how many tulips will open as a ball passes through it?  The more a main attraction does, the more desirable it is.  How many tulips and/or pay pockets are there and what do they do?  Some pay pockets will open tulips, but most will just give you a jackpot.  Tulips, however, will open and close as balls enter them, they may also open other tulips.  Are  there side pockets on the playing field that open and close?  There are also unique machines:  these are machines that are uncommon, such as two main attractions or no main attraction, some will have 9 or 10 tulips on the playing field, other may have 10 or more pay pockets on the playing field.  Also, there are machines with a power shooter knob and a flipper, and there are electric-mechanical vintage machines that came with motors, solenoids and simple circuit boards. Some machines came with extra playing fields so you can replace the playing field, these are called Exchanger.  The more unique the machines are, the more desirable they are to collectors.


Condition of the machine

Is the machine clean or dirty?  This has a lot to do with where it was stored.  Machines stored in a closet are cleaner than the machines stored in an attic, shed or barn where insects and rodents made it their home.  You may get less for a dirty machine because cleaning it takes a lot of time, and a dirty machines sometimes means the mechanical parts and levers may stick and not move property, or balls may not flow smoothly through the machine.  Is the chrome on the front nice and shiny, or rusty?  Rust on the front of the machines isn’t attractive and rust or corrosion on the metal mechanical parts of the machine can cause the machine to not always function property.  Too much rust or damage and it is a parts machine.

Is it operational, can put balls in it and start playing, not that it was working 25 years ago before it was put in the barn for storage!  Workability is a key factor in the price of the machine, as most buyers don’t want to buy something to work on. Nonworking machines can be fixed if you know what you are doing. More severe damage nonworking machines are considered “parts machines.”  Buyers may buy these just for the parts to get another machine working.  Parts machines are only worth what can be salvaged off of them, and a nonworking, high end machine with a lot of usable parts can bring more than a low end common working machine.