10 Valuable And Rare Board Games You Need To Look Out For
Board games have always been popular and even today almost every family have some in their home. This has been true for many generations. However, what happens to board games when they are no longer wanted? Mainly they either get thrown away, given to other family members or charity and some eventually end up in garage sales.
In fact, garage sales are a great place to start if you want to find hard to find and rare board games either to add to your collection or to sell back for a profit. Obviously most board games are common and not worth picking up unless you want to play with your kids but many board games from the late 60’s to early 2000’s have real value to collectors.
Years ago (around 2002) I picked up a copy of “Aliens This Time It’s War” board game. I am a big fan of the Alien franchise and had no idea there was a board game about the second movie. I managed to buy the game for $2 and after doing my own research I realized that it was extremely rare and valuable. I ended up selling it on eBay for close to $200 even though it wasn’t actually in the best condition. It is still a valuable game although the price have gone done since the time I sold mine.
This is when I started paying attention to board games in garage sales, charity sales and thrift stores. And so should you!
If you are going hunting for rare board games then here are 10 games that you should definitely watch out for. There are many more games out there that are valuable, but the ones below are not that old and you may have a chance of finding them especially if you visit garage sales, charity shops or thrift stores on a regular basis.
10 Rare Board Games:
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Walt Disney Haunted Mansion Board Game
This game is from Lakeside and dates from 1975. I had one when I was younger but my mom gave it to my cousins when I got older. I wish she didn’t.
This game sells well even if it is in really bad shape. If you find one with the raven that stays up and isn’t loose then it’s even better. This game features some of the coolest and wicked art on any board game. Seriously I want mine back to use the Backsplash as a poster.
I blogged about this game last year: Haunted Mansion game by Lakeside
Star Wars The Queen’s Gambit
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This game came out in 2000 and was developed by Avalon Hill. The game appeals to both general board game enthusiasts and also the Star Wars fan base. Its value depends on the condition and how complete it is is in regards to all the pieces being present but one that is in good shape can fetch many hundreds dollars.
New in box can sell much higher. Furthermore, this is quite a rare game and price is unlikely to drop; in fact, it may even rise as the years go by.
(Update: since I wrote this page back in 2013, the price has increased, the new Star Wars franchised movies have bring more collectors). Check sold prices on ebay
Star Wars Epic Duels
Another Milton Bradley game (I have a few MB games on this “must buy” list). This Star Wars game is not as expensive as The Queen’s Gambit, but it’s still a good one to pick up.
Tornado Rex 3D Adventure Board Game
A 1991 Parker Brothers game. Never heard of Tornado Red 3D??!! Don’t worry, me neither. But it’s another little known game that usually sells quite easily. You won’t get rich but you’ll make a profit especially if you pick a near mint copy.
Expect anywhere from 150 to 250$ for a complete game in good condition. Pieces also sell, so even an incomplete game with missing pieces is not a total waste of money. An easy sell.
Aliens This Time It’s War Board Game
This game came out in 1989. It’s made by Leading Edge. This is a very rare and hard to get game. Expansion packs and miniatures are also available although you don’t need them to play the original. Everything is hard to find, so keep an eye open for the board game and miniatures!
The Legend of Zelda Board Game
A 1988 game by Milton Bradley. Zelda is a cult video game and the board game, although not as rare as others on this list, can still sell if you come across the right buyer. In this case look for a near mint condition copy, otherwise don’t expect much in the way of profit.
It can sell for anywhere from $60 to $200. You can also sell the pieces (tiles and dices sell well) if the box and board are damaged, however make sure you get a heavily discounted rate if this is the case. Brand new sealed will fetch much more.
Dark Tower Board Game
This 1981 Milton Bradly epic fantasy quest board game is another hot seller for enthusiasts. Spare parts also sell well, so even if you pick an incomplete game you can still make money.
If the electronic/computerized tower is in working order it can sell almost as high as a complete game in itself.
Outer Limits Board Game
Another MB game this time from 1964 based on the hit TV show. Prices for this particular game are all over the place right now but expect around $75 for a complete game in decent condition, although I have seen them selling for as high as $200. It has very cool graphics as well.
Less likely to be found in yard/garage sales as it is a much older game, but who knows!
Wild Wild West The Frontier Agent Board Game
The Holy Grail of the list. This is extremely rare (let’s be honest, if you find one you should run and buy a lottery ticket on that day). It’s another oldies, from 1966
THE classic cult family game. It’s a 3D game by Milton Bradley from 1986. It does sell like hot cakes and even the parts and pieces sell extremely well. I found one in my mother-in-laws attic last year (it is missing the explorers but otherwise it’s complete) and my son LOVED that game so much that I’ll hit eBay soon and buy the missing explorers.
The game looks cool and it is also fun to play; no wonder it is selling so well these days. If you see one in a garage sale TAKE IT and fight for it (ok maybe not, but be quick).
How about you, do you have some favorite and rare board games from your childhood that you would like to have back, whatever the price? I know I do!