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Bally Alley, 1974

Produced in: 1974 / 4


Theme: Sports – Bowling

Additional Features:

Type: Solid State Electronic (SS) 

MPU: , Model Number: 966

#Produced: in 1974

Manufacturer: Bally Manufacturing Corporation (1931-1983) [Trade Name: Bally]

Design by: Art by: Dave Christensen Music By: Sound By: Software by: Animation by:

Marketing Slogans:
Notes: This is Not A Pinball. It is a wall game with wireless radio remote control. It awards replays, has match, and has score-to-beat features. The novelty version is Bally Lane and does not have those features. Bally’s Numerical List of Machines shows that Model 966 had a release (to production) date of 11-1-72 as a “4 player wall game”. There is no wiring part number listed. The manufacturer’s flyer shows three different styles of cabinets for this game: Cabinet Style, Wall Style, and Pedestal Style. We asked Allan Reizman, Engineering Lab Supervisor at Bally from 1977 to 1983, if all three cabinet styles were produced. He provided us the following information: In the flyer there are different cabinet designs that I never saw. They were proposed but the only option I am aware of that exists is the Wall Style. Same goes for the chime unit. We made a prototype but I do not believe we ever shipped any. [Editor’s note: the video link in this listing shows a wall game where a chime unit can be heard. Allan believes either someone did order one, or that game is the only prototype that had one.] A brief history: Bally Alley was a wall-mounted Bowling light game. You could sit at your table and play bowling with flashing lights. Midway had done a few of these type of games as electromechanical in the 1960s and early 70s. We decided to tackle this type of game as a demonstration project to show the potential of using a microprocessor driven game. The game utilized the Intel 4-bit 4004 chip and was probably the first use of a microprocessor in an amusement device. We sold maybe half of them, mostly the Alley version which was identical to the Lane version except the latter has no replay awarding. As a summer intern at Bally, I briefly assisted with the circuit boards and the RC radio transmitter that was used to remotely play the game from your table in a bar. We made about 100 of them, a 50/50 split between the replay awarding Alley version and the Lane version which is what I had. The Alley sold better and it was an unsold stash of 25 or so Lane versions that was discovered in the warehouse around 1982 that was given away to employees.

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