People have been playing board games for centuries. Even though technology has become a big part of our lives, there are still some old-fashioned pastimes, such as playing table-top games, that are hard to give up. They’re just a lot of fun to play with friends and family.
Many board games also make you feel quite nostalgic. Some classic, vintage, and special editions are becoming harder to find and have increased in value over the years.
Disney’s Haunted Mansion Game Was Released In The ’70s
One of Disney World’s most popular and classic attractions is the Haunted Mansion. The game was released just a couple of years after the ride opened in the ’70s and revolves around two to four people who play with a floor plan that frequently changes. It was actually released twice (in 1972 and 1975).
There are very few complete games still intact, so it is very in demand among Disney aficionados. Since it’s also very akin to the fun and creepy ride it’s based on, fans have been known to spend as much as $250 for it.
Dark Tower Was Pulled From Shelves Following A Lawsuit
The Dark Tower fantasy game (pictured on the bottom left) was released in 1981 by Milton Bradley. It’s intended for one to four players, and the goal is to create an army, collect the three keys to unlock the tower, and defeat the evil forces inside of it. The game is not to be confused with Stephen King’s novel of the same name.
The game is rare because Milton Bradley stole the idea from two inventors, who sued the company and won $700,000. As a result, the game was pulled from store shelves. You can find a copy for between $270 and $800.
The Elvis Presley Game Splits Up Game Play For Girls And Boys
The Elvis Presley board game was released in 1957 not long after the King of Rock and Roll released the hit song “Heartbreak Hotel.” The game has a blue side for boys and a pink side for girls. It centers on popular Elvis songs, and you must answer questions correctly to advance.
Over 100 questions are divided into cards based on love and etiquette, Elvis Presley trivia, and so on. There are also penalty cards that ask you to “walk like Marilyn Monroe” or explain how you’d cheat on an exam. Male and female players pair up at the end depending on when they finish.
Be A Manager Is A Very Rare Vintage Sports Game
If you have ever wanted to manage a baseball game, then this is the board game for you. The game is exactly what it sounds like. It allows you to manage a team in order to win games. It involves strategy but won’t help you if you want to actually manage a Major League Baseball team.
The game is very rare and hard to find online. According to Board Game Geek, “This is a rare vintage sports game that commands a high price from collectors.”
Barnabas Collins: Dark Shadows Comes With Glow-In-The-Dark Vampire Teeth
This game is based on the late ’60s Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. The game comes with glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth, a coffin to store game pieces, a spinner, wooden stakes, and glow-in-the-dark skeleton parts. The aim is to be the first person to put together a skeleton on a scaffold.
Players move the spinner to try an get the right bone. If you collect three stakes, you return a bone to the coffin. There are also options to challenge other vampires (ahem, players). The game has sold for around $300, and it’s perfect for bloodsuckers.
Boris Karloff’s Monster Game Is Exactly What It Sounds Like
Here’s another popular yet spooky game from the ’60s. The game is easy to play. You simply spin the dial and move along a set path. While traveling on the path, you encounter several monsters and detours to haunted locations. There are a total of 31 monster markers, including one of Boris Karloff himself.
This game may be quite appealing if you grew up in the sixties or if you are a fan of the horror genre. But you also need about $500 in your pocket if you want to play it.
A Handmade1933 Version Of Monopoly Is Worth Big Bucks
Engineer Charles Darrow created the famous Monopoly game that we all know and love today. He designed the pieces, typography, and icons. But before the well-known board game was launched in 1934, he created a handmade version made of oil cloth. Since the game is one of the most popular in the world, this particular version is worth a lot of money.
The 1933 original sold in 2011 for a whopping $146,500. The set is special because Darrow hand drew and typed all the components of the board. He also cut and built the hotels and houses.
The Lost In Space 3D Action Fun Game Is Three Levels High
The Lost In Space 3D Action Fun Game is based on the 1960’s TV show of the same name. The series centered on the Robinson family who get lost in space. It’s a spin and move game, and the board is three levels high (thus the “3D” aspect). Your level depends on how you spin.
As you know by now, the older a game is, the more valuable it is. A board game like this, based on a very popular TV show, is in pretty high demand by those who appreciate the fantasy/space genre.
Trivial Pursuit By Geoffrey Parker Features Gold Leaf Accents
Similar to Clue/Cluendo, Trivial Pursuit by Geoffrey Parker features an inlaid calfskin leather board that is embossed with gold. The questions in the game are also edged in gold leaf, which is a decadent detail. The boxes that hold the questions are also made of leather.
This deluxe version of the game has playing pieces that are inlaid with silver. It costs $10,831, which is much more than the $15 you would drop on a classic (yet decidedly common) version of the game.
The Landlord’s Game First Edition Was The Precursor To Monopoly
The Landlord’s Game is essentially an older version of Monopoly. The game was initially created in 1903 and is considered the precursor to the Monopoly that we all know and love today. First editions of The Landlord’s Game are worth a fortune (as much as $50,000).
Board game designer Elizabeth J. Magie created The Landlord’s Game. She wanted to demonstrate the teachings of economist Henry George and show how renting makes property owners richer and tenants poorer. If you get your hands on a first edition copy, you will definitely be poorer (but you’ll be rich in history).
Mickey Mouse Snakes & Ladders Is Based On An Ancient Game
If you’re familiar with Chutes and Ladders, then you know what Mickey Mouse Snakes and Ladders is all about. It’s actually based on an ancient Indian board game, and the goal is to move your game piece from the bottom square to the top square. Along the way, you’re either helped by ladders or hindered by snakes.
A vintage version of the game has sold for around $500, but they are hard to find. There are also some newer versions that cost quite a lot less money. If you’re a Mickey Mouse fan, you may want to hunt this one down.
Hauntingly Good Fun With The Haunted House Game
Made by Ideal, the Haunted House game was released in 1962. The Halloween-themed game features an owl spinner, a hidden jewel in the attic, and ghosts hiding behind doors. The owl spinner actually hoots at you! The game itself is in the shape of a house, not your typical board game.
The price that Haunted House games can fetch today might haunt your wallet. You can expect to pay $350+ for one of these.
The Risk 40th Anniversary Edition Came Out In 1999
In 1957, French filmmaker Albert Lamorisse created a board game called La Conquete du Monde, which loosely translated means “Conquest of the World.” Two years later, Parker Brothers published the game Risk. There are nearly a dozen different Risk-themed games on the market, such as Star Wars and The Chronicles of Narnia.
The Risk: 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition was launched in 1999, and these days it’s become quite popular among fans. Currently, you can buy a copy of the game for about $400 on Amazon, but some mint-condition versions cost as much as $500.
A Game Called Finance And Fortune Could Bring You One!
Based on The Landlord’s Game, Finance and Fortune was first released by Parker Brothers in 1932. It also had an edition called The Fascinating Game of Finance. In this board game that was a precursor to Monopoly, players move their pieces around the board and buy property to build on.
Today, people who were lucky enough to acquire this game can expect to receive upwards of $1,000 — more if it’s in great condition.
Clue/Cluedo by Geoffrey Parker Features Sterling Silver Playing Pieces
Geoffrey Parker is the leading manufacturer of luxury games. The British game aficionado has been in the business for over 60 years, creating high-end games for people who love to play them. He updated the murder-mystery game Clue with calfskin leather and playing pieces made of enamel and sterling silver.
The billiard room in the game is made of genuine billiard cloth. The game costs about $4,445, which is significantly more than the basic version of the game, which you can purchase on Amazon for about $15.
Collect ‘Em All!
A meat packaging company came up with a brilliant marketing idea in the 1950s: create a board game that comes with the product. That company was Swift Meats, and the gimmick worked to encourage kids to buy meat. There was a mail-in coupon inside each package of Swift’s Premium Franks, and if you sent in two of those and a quarter, you’d get a set of 18 cards as well as the baseball field-shaped game board.
The ad line was “All the thrills of a real game!” Today, the board game is worth about $900 and a set of all the cards will fetch around $400.
Star Wars: The Queen’s Gambit Was Based On Phantom Menace
This game is largely popular with Star Wars enthusiasts. Hasbro released Star Wars: The Queen’s Gambit in 2000, and it’s based on the film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, which hit theaters in 1999. It cost $100 to buy, but expect to pay significantly more if you want a copy today.
The game lets players control four different battles on three different game boards. The game includes 180 cards, 55 individual pieces, 16 dice, as well as a 3D Theed Palace. It costs as much as $1,000, so start saving now. (Pictured above is a different Star Wars board game.)
Swarovski Scrabble Features 30,000 Crystals
Hasbro celebrated the 60th diamond anniversary of Scrabble in 2008 by designing a Swarovski board encrusted with crystals. There are actually 30,000 crystals on the glittering board, but no matter how much you love this version of the game, you’re unlikely to get your hands on it.
This particular game was sold on eBay for about $20,000 over 10 years ago. The money was donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. It’s unclear whether more than one copy was made of the crystal Scrabble board, but we believe it’s the only one in existence.
Outrage! Deluxe Is The Most Expensive “Retail” Game On Earth
While some of the games on this list are one-offs or only marketed towards the super wealthy, Outrage! Deluxe has been designated the most expensive retail board game in the world by Guinness World Records. It’s the premium version of the official Tower of London board tame.
The goal of the game is to steal the crown jewels without getting caught. The deluxe version features solid gold jewels embedded with rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. Also, the game cards are edged in gold leaf. The retail price is $25,000.
The FAO Schwarz One-of-a-Kind Monopoly Comes With Real Money & A Board Made Of Gemstones
Only the really wealthy would pony up this much cash for a game of Monopoly. The FAO Schwarz One-of-a-Kind Monopoly game was designed by the famous New York toy store in 2000. It sold for a staggering $100,000. But once you know the details, you’ll understand a little better why it cost so much.
The game has a rosewood board with a Napolino leather case. The playing pieces, houses, and hotels are all made with 18-carat gold, and the board is inlaid with rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. The best part? The game comes with ACTUAL MONEY ($15,140 to be exact).