Buying & Selling Manley Machines

What you should know




The two biggest considerations in determining the price of these machines is condition and location.  As with any item, condition might be the most important consideration.  One dimension of condition is the completeness of the machine.  In other words, are all the parts on the machine and in restorable condition.  Some parts are available or suitable replacement parts are still made.  See the restoration page for more detail on available parts.  But in other cases, a missing part can prove to be a stumbling block to restoring a machine.  Parts that can present problems are the plastic parts (with the exception of the M-Line red corners that are being reproduced) on most machines and the kettles.  These parts are not being made, and will generally have to salvaged from another machine.

The amount of rust and corrosion is another part of the condition.  Obviously the less rust and corrosion the better.  On painted surfaces, rust generally can be corrected.  It is primarily the amount of time required to overcome the rust.  On exposed frames, the corrosion can be deep enough that the frame will never appear perfect.  So, a perfect restoration is not possible.  A machine that has been stored in a barn, for example, generally will not be in very good condition and will be worth considerable less than a machine that has been inside and maintained its entire life.

The other factor is location.  In many cases these popcorn machines weigh 200-300 pounds.  For obvious reasons shipping one of these machines can be expensive.  And, the farther the machine is shipped, the higher the likelihood of it being damaged in shipping.  So, having a machine close to a perspective buyer can increase the selling price as the buyer will not have to pay for shipping.

Obviously the rarity of the machine can play a role in pricing as well.

One last consideration is that Manley popcorn machines have not seen the rise in value that Coke machines and jukeboxes have seen.  Considering how much fun you can have making your own popcorn for movie night, I don't understand why they have not increased in value.  I also think that the Manley machines are very attractive.

Based on the sales that I am aware of, a more common Manley such as an M-Line or Premier that is in complete, easily restorable condition will probably be worth between $400-$600.  The smaller machines, such as the Premier models, tend to sell for a slight premium.  Original machines that are in nearly perfect, working condition can bring $1,000 or more.  We have not seen a restored machine sell up to this point.  Non-working machines with substantial rust and corrosion and/or missing parts are primarily uses for parts and are worth considerably less.  Remember, this is based on sales that I am aware of as of January 2010.


As many of these machine weigh 200 to 300 pounds, shipping can be expensive.  Blanket wrap services are available where the moving company will pick-up the machine, place it in a truck and deliver it to your house.  Expect to pay a substantial amount for this service.  A price of over $400 would not be uncommon.  There are a handful of small companies that specialize in shipping antiques and pinball machines.  If you are located on one of their routes or located close to where they are delivering an item, you might be able to find a good price.

The one way to reduce the price is to ship the machine as freight.  This requires the seller to put the machine on a pallet and protect it by either crating it or wrapping it in cardboard.  Also, the seller will need to load the machine on the truck or drop it off at a freight depot.  On the receiving end, you will need to unload the machine or pick it up at a freight depot.  If you can't load or unload it, you can get lift gate service, but this will add to the cost.  Without lift gate service, you can probably ship the machine for $200 depending on how far and where it is going.  Obviously, this is not an option for every buyer or seller.


If you are interesting in buying a Manley popcorn machine, consider the information mentioned above regarding pricing.  In many cases, you are better off waiting and/or spending more money for a machine in good condition.  It will probably cost you less in the long run as it will need less work to restore it.  Unfortunately, I don't tend to follow my own advice and buy the basket cases.  :)

The other consideration is the model.  Look at the various models and their respective time frame and pick the one that suits your situation.  In some cases it could be the appearance of the machine that determine the model of choice.  For example, some people prefer the looks of the Aristocrat or the fine lines of the M-Line models.  Many people are fascinated by being able to see the corn pop in the Vista Pop machines.  In other cases, you may want to consider the time frame.  I exchanged e-mails with a gentleman that was constructing a 1930s era theater room in his house.  He purchased an M-Line model but was not happy because it was from the late 1940s.  As a result, he sold the M-Line to look for a Burch machine that fit his time frame.  Another factor in selection of models is the size.  The M-Line and Aristocrat models are approximately 2' deep by 3' wide and 6' tall.  The Premier models are generally smaller being about 20" deep by 30" wide and 5' tall.  Obviously the counter top machines are smaller.  Another factor is the electrical connection.  The larger machines will typically require a dedicated 220 volt circuit.  The smaller machines probably will also need a dedicated circuit, but in many cases it is a more standard 110 volt circuit.

If you are looking for a machine, please feel free to post this request in our Forum.  Also, please feel free to e-mail me with what you are looking for, if I hear of a machine in your area I am happy to e-mail you about it.

If you would like any assistance in evaluating a potential machine, I am happy to give you my evaluation.  Just send me several good photos of the machines to, and any other information that you have on the machine and I will give you my opinion.


If you have a machine you would like to sell, please consider the information on pricing above.  Also, consider how you can help on shipping.  If you can reduce the shipping cost, the buyer probably will be willing to pay more for the machine.  See the information above on shipping.

Please feel free to post your machine on the Forum.  You can do this by joining the Forum and posting the information yourself.  Or, you can send me the information and I will be happy to post the machine for sale on the Forum.  This way you do not have to join the Forum.  When you send me this information please include several good photos (good photos make it easier to sell), any information you have on the machine, your ability to help with shipping, and your asking price.  My e-mail is

As I am trying to build a collection of Manley machines, I do occasionally buy a machine.  My interest in a machine depends on whether I have that machine, its condition, its location, and its price.  Currently my collection includes an M-47, a late model Aristocrat, a 1940s model, and a 1940s Premier model.  I would like to add a 1939 model, a Vista Pop, and possible a Burch, as well as a counter top model.  Regardless of whether I am interested in your machine, I am happy to help you find a new home for your machine.  My e-mail is