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Jungle Lord was manufactured by Williams starting in January of 1981. 6,000 games were produced. Jungle Lord was the second of the four two-level System 7 games that Williams produced.
Jungle Lord was produced in two versions, a "red cabinet" version and a "blue cabinet" version. Only about 100 or so red cabinet versions were produced.
You would think that would make them somewhat valuable.... think again....
More Jungle Lord Resources from Mark's Pinball Page:
Jungle Lord Photo Gallery
Jungle Lord Story:
I'm a big fan of Black Knight, one of top 10 Pinball machines of all time in my opinion. Williams produced 4 "multi-level" games in 1980 and 1981; Black Knight, Jungle Lord, Pharaoh and Solar Fire. Since Black Knight is such a great game to play, I thought that I would attempt to collect all 4 of the System 7 multi-level games.
This game showed up on the Mr. Pinball "for sale" list and was being listed from someone with 30 minutes drive! The asking price was under the Mr. Pinball valuation of $600, and it was the red cabinet version! Yikes, did I get a find or what (at least that's what I thought at the time). The game was being offered by a local collector who had about 20 other machines. He stated the condition as good, but not great. Worth the trip at least.
The game was in the condition he had stated, probably a 7 if you're rating games. Nice condition, but a bunch of scrapes on the cabinet and head. The playfield was in good shape, just a ton of ball swirl marks, but no bare spots. He told me that he had taken it to the York show last year and was unable to sell it there. This surprised me, as I would have thought a red cabinet Jungle Lord would have been snapped up... Anyway, we sealed the deal and Jungle Lord came home with me.
What can I say... The game was a dog. The sound effects were terrible. The play was pathetic. There are no pop bumpers on the game and I'm a big fan of pop bumpers There's not much to accelerate the ball on the playfield, giving the impression of a very "slow" game. The play is focused around the drop targets on the upper level. One drop target is up at first, then when you hit that one, two others pop and you need to get those two down. Get two down and three pop up. I tried to like the game (as the seller said, "its a shooters game"), I really did. I also noticed that nobody else played the game more than once.
After about 6 months I listed the game on Mr. Pinball and got zero takers after a month of being up. I then put it up on Ebay, with a reserve set to what I paid for the game. Didn't even hit the reserve. So much for the red cabinet being worth anything.... I then received an email a few days later from somebody in Texas who said he had missed the end of the auction and the person he had told to bid on it for him forgot to. "Was it still available?"... you betcha... I did say no shipping in the listing however. "Can you put it on a pallet and I'll arrange shipping?". Anything to get rid of it. "Sure!"
Now I see why people don't ship. What a pain that was. Even though he arranged shipping, the guy showed up with a truck without a lift gate and said "can you help me get it up on the truck?". No way buddy, the Bill of Lading says a lift truck will show up, come back with a lift. He muttered a few things truck drivers are known to mutter and left. The next day another truck, this time with a lift, and another driver showed up. Evidently my driver from the previous day had gone back to the terminal and said what I wimp I was for not helping lift the palleted machine up into his truck. According to the new driver, he (yesterday's driver) was too lazy to go back to the terminal and get the right truck and tried to blame me for missing the pickup.
I never did hear from the guy who bought the machine, so I have no idea if it made it to Texas in one piece or not. He said that he wanted to collect all of the system 7 multi-level machines and was so excited to find this one (where have we heard this before!). Guess he discovered its a dog also... I'm watching Ebay to see if it shows up again!
Note on the "red" cabinet version. Supposedly about 100 were made as the initial "sample" games. Williams somehow though that they weren't getting enough play because of the color of the cabinet. (Could the fact that its a lousy game have had anything to do with that?). Williams went back and changed the cabinet color to blue, plus made subtle changes to the playfield colors and to the backglass colors. The remaining production run of 6,000 games were produced in the "blue" version.
Update 12/4/01 - There's been some activity on RGP (rec.games.pinball newsgroup) over the past few months regarding the version differences. Since I no longer own the game, I can't contribute to this topic as much as I would like. However, Jess Askey has updated his Jungle Lord page to document the differences between the two versions in depth. If you're interested in the subtleties between the versions beyond the cabinet color, you can find more info here.
These are the photos I used in the Ebay Listing:
This is a nice shot
of the machine. I have noticed that digital photos tend to
"blur" together a good deal of the paint faults on a
machine. Notice under the "Jungle Lord" on the front and
under the tiger. It looked a lot worse in person...
A shot of the backglass and the left side of the back box:
A good overall view of the playfield. The playfield was in nice shape:
Close-up of the upper playfield. The game featured 5 timed drop targets at the top (only one is up in this photo). Also notice the small "pachinko" type self-contained playfield in the upper left corner. When you shot the ball into the eject hole at the top of the right ramp, the ball would lock for a second while a small ball was ejected into the small playfield. The object was to light all the letters in "L-O-R-D".
The lower playfield. Not much down there expect for two 3-target drop target assemblies and the two slingshots. The game also featured a "tunnel" ala Black Knight that you can see on either side of the left ramp on the picture above.
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