This Website is dedicated to aficionados of Rock-Ola Pinball Machines - In Memory Of Hal O'Rourke

Packaging And Shipping

So you’ve bought or sold an early Rock-ola Worlds Series, Jigsaw, or similar size game. I’ve shipped quite a few and here are some tips from my experience. You probably have your own thoughts about packing, but maybe the following will give you a couple of ideas you can use.

How To Ship?

It’s tempting to just take it to your local “UPS Store” of “FedEx Kinkos” and have them do the whole job as well as ship. This is certainly easy, but expect the total cost to be about $200. If this doesn’t bother you, go for it, but I strongly recommend you read the part below about dealing with the glass and at least do that much yourself. There are some real horror stories about glass breaking in shipment and severely damaging games.

I much prefer packing the game myself. I do a much better packing job and it’s a lot cheaper. I’ve used UPS and FedEx. I’ve had better luck with FedEx as far as damage goes (but maybe that’s just me, so you decide). The box with legs and glass will weigh between 50 and 55 pounds, and the shipping cost to anywhere in the 48 states should be $40 or less IF you follow the instructions below.

Log in to UPS or FedEx web site and open an online account. You can charge shipments to a credit card and print out your prepaid label. You will need to know the approximate weight and you can used a bathroom scale for this. If you can’t get the exact weight don’t worry it will be weighed in transit and you will be charged the proper amount.

Be sure to insure the game for full value.

IMPORTANT: Print out your own label and then do one of the following:
a. Request a driver pickup at your home. There may be an additional charge, but it will be nominal.

b. Drop the box off at one of the carrier’s terminals.

c. Drop the box off at one of the “stores” in the strip malls (UPS Store, or FedEx KINKOS). With you prepaid printed label you will just drop it off and they will give you a receipt. DO NOT take an unlabeled box to one of these locations and pay them when you drop off. The shipping charges will be SIGNIFICANTLY higher.

Second choice: If you really don’t want to open a UPS or FedEx account pack the box and call UPS or FedEx, give them the size and weight information, and schedule a home pickup. They will tell you the charges and you have a check ready for the driver. This will cost more than the above, but is still far cheaper than paying at the store.

Preparing the Game

Remove all loose items and wrap them separately of put them in a small box including:


Legs (if it’s a Jigsaw with two hanger bolts screwed into each corner, remove them)

Remove the levelers from the legs

Cash box


Any other loose items

If you and your buyer/seller are capable and willing to do a small amount of disassembly/assembly I recommend you remove the following:

Shooter assembly (casting and shooter rod, on WS and some JS games you will have to remove a cotter pin connection to the tilt mechanism under the board). If you do this remove the tilt ball.

Ball lift rod (another cotter pin to be removed).

Coin slide (remove three machine screws from inside the cabinet).

If you do not remove the slide, insert a coin and push it in just enough so it locks on the first click of the ratchet. This will help prevent bending.


This is the MOST IMPORTANT thing you can do. Do either one of the following:

Remove the glass for packing separately (more about this later). Cut cardboard the size of the glass and slide it into the game to protect the playfield.


Cut cardboard slightly smaller than the glass and slide it into the game under the glass (between the playboard and the glass). You don’t want broken glass sliding around on the play surface. If the game is JS it will destroy the puzzle.


In either case put several strips of duct tape on the glass. One big “X” and a couple of long strips along the long edges are enough.

Packing Material

Most self-storage places sell moving boxes. U-Haul is an obvious choice but some of the local independents are cheaper. Buy two “dish packs” (sometimes called “dish barrels”). They are made of double weight cardboard and are about 18 inches square by 28 inches tall. My local “no name” self-storage sells these boxes for 5 bucks each, and U-Haul stores charge a few bucks more. You friendly UPS Store and Kinkos (if they have them) charge about three times that price.

If you happen to have a source of large flat Styrofoam or big sheets of cardboard you may not need the following. If not, go to a big box home center like Home Depot or Lowes and buy a 4 by 8 foot sheet of foam insulation. It’s usually pink and looks like dense Styrofoam. You’ll find it with the plywood and drywall. If they have more than one thickness the thinner/cheaper one is okay.

You will also need 3-inch packing tape.

Preparing to Pack

Close the bottom flaps on one dish packs and tape securely. Tape along the edges in addition to the middle seam.

While it’s still flat cut the other dish pack in half across the 28-inch dimension. This will leave you with two boxes 18 inches square by 14 inches tall with no closing flaps on one end of each.

Fold the flaps in one of these and tape securely (hint: it’s eventually going to be slid over the open top if the larger box).

Save the other half box for future use shipping you next game.

Cut 5 slices of foam 17 1/2 inches wide off the long end of your 4x8 sheet (you will end up with 5 pieces 17.5 inches by 4 feet plus some scrap).

Cut one of the above into two 17.5 squares plus some scrap left over.

Cut the other four into pieces 17.5 by the length of the game you are shipping. In the case of Worlds series about 34 inches. Ignore anything like the shooter or coin slide that may be sticking out of the front.

How to pack

Put one of the foam squares in the bottom of the whole dish pack.

Slide the game into the box standing up with the front door end up.

If you are shipping glass and are packing it outside the game place it between two of the 17x34 sheets of foam and tape it all together.

Slide this sandwich in the box between the bottom of the game and one side of the box. If not shipping glass separately just slide one 17x34 foam in this position.

Tip the box on its side so the bottom of the game slides tight against the foam.

Put two 17x34 foam pieces in the box against the glass (or cardboard in the glass slot).

Slide the legs, thin end down, into the box between these two pieces of foam. Separate the legs with strips of foam cut from your scrap.

Fill in the remaining space it the box with your box(s) containing spare parts, scrap foam, or whatever you have. Fill only to the level of the cabinet. Ignore coin slide, etc. Don’t forget to fill in the space along the sides of the game so it doesn’t flop around.

If the front of the game is flat put the second foam square on top of everything and you’re ready to close.

If not, cut holes in scraps of foam and build it up so you have a flat surface at the top of the box and the slide, etc. is protected.

Close the box by sliding the half dish pack over the top until it’s tight against all the stuff. This is a tight fit, but if you smash the corners of the large box a bit it will slide on and complete the job.

Tape around the joint so they will not slide apart.

Put your shipping label on top of the box. Hopefully there will be a better chance of keeping it upright in shipment.

Good Luck