Collectors are Scrabbling to buy rare classic board games, says ParcelHero
If you are old enough to remember rainy summer holiday afternoons before Super Mario or Minecraft existed, then some of the old board games you played with might be worth Monopoly money, says marketplace expert ParcelHero.
ParcelHero’s Head of Publications, David Jinks, says: ‘Right now it doesn’t take a Mastermind to see that old board games can be a winner. Sales of new board games have increased by 40% as today’s children fall for the charms of games that don’t rely on staring at screens. To avoid Frustration, though, if you are giving them your old favourites to play with, check what items you actually have before you hand them over.’
David reveals: ‘Monopoly is perhaps the classic board game. The first version was produced by Charles Darrow in 1933-4; a very early original has just sold for £90,000 and the White Box edition sells for £5000. Darrow sold the Monopoly patent to Parker Brothers in 1935, and they first sold it widely, introducing the much-loved metal tokens. The key to the value of these early sets – called black box sets by collectors – is down to details as small as the patent wording on the box. For more information see eBay’s guide to collecting vintage Monopoly editions.’
Says David: ‘The game reached the UK after the director of Waddington’s liked the idea so much he made one of the first ever transatlantic ‘trunk calls’ to ask for the licence. The first version with London street names (instead of Atlantic City’s) was introduced in the UK in 1936. Pre-war editions can raise prices up to £1000, depending on condition. Even a 1961 set is currently on eBay for £500.’
Continues David: ‘The collectability and value of other board games is, well, a bit of a game of Snakes and Ladders, with values going up and down. Talking of which, an early Mickey Mouse Snakes and Ladders game sold for $480 recently.’
David concludes: ‘For many of us, the 1970s and 1980s were the golden age. Mousetrap sells from £40-£60, early Frustrations for around £100, Mastermind at around £35-£50, with Kerplunk the poorer cousin at £15-£20. Remember these were mass produced, but not so many have survived intact. My own favourite, an elaborate game called Haunted House, is also worth a spooky amount: an early 1962 example sold recently for $800.’
If you are buying and selling old board games remember to pack them well and use a quality courier. For example, ParcelHero is approved by Trading Standards and gives £50 free cover on all items sent.