Entertainment from another world


2015-06-26 11:38:41


Entertainment from another world

The market for board and card games from a time when the family played together is surprisingly strong...

Nostalgia can be a powerful force in collecting, and nowhere is this more true than in the classic indoor games market.

With modern games consoles dominating the market for up-to-date purchases, there is a yearning for games accessible to the whole family.

Sometimes the wish is for a particular game, or association...

For example, The Archers Board Game was not a big hit originally, but thanks to wild-eyed Radio 4 listeners, one in decent condition could now be worth 100.

In some cases the classic value of the games goes beyond this: for example games played with teetotum or teetota will be worth more than those played with dice if the original is still included.

Perhaps this is because you feel like you're lifting the lid on history.

A teetotum is a spinner with sides to fall on to determine the chance aspect of a game. The main reason to use them instead of their cubic cousins was the dice were associated with gambling and hence frowned upon.

Frowning upon things was a key theme for early board games.

The Victorians revolutionised board games, expanding them greatly in range and number, but it's actually the pre-Victorian games of the early C19th which are worst for the moralising.

The 'new game of Virtue Rewarded and Vice Punished for the amusement of the youth of both sexes' presented in 1818 seems unlikely to succeed in its supposed goal.

It consists of a spiral to move a counter inwards with rewards if you land on eg Faith and a set back if you land on Envy. Nevertheless, a good example could be worth several hundred pounds.

The cluster of such games pre-dated America discovering board games, with the first one an import in 1823: a version of Travelers' Tours, introduced as 'the latest novelty from London'.

Modern classics which are becoming valuable include Buccaneer, Totopoly and Escape from Colditz (up to 70), Escalado (up to 95 for an early version) and of course the king of modern board games: Monopoly.

Monopoly was created in 1935 by Charles Darrow, and editions from its first few years are worth 100+, with the value decreasing steadily for post-war editions.

However, a hand-made example made by Darrow himself sold for 40,218 in 1992, and copies of the 1903 Landlord's Game, regarded as a pre-cursor to Monopoly,can sell for similar amounts.

As Candy Lovegrove of 'nostalgiagames' puts it: "Although there is no guarantee prices will rise over time, it is unlikely they will fall. And if well looked after - and played with carefully - you have a fun investment others can enjoy."

The number of collectors in this market is growing as nostalgia becomes more of a buzzword. The most famous collector of classic board games is probably the Hollywood film director Quentin Tarantino.

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