Buyers Guide to Board Games

Why do collectors buy board games?

Firstly, most buyers love to play them. Board games, much like toys, are associated with the nostalgic collector – one who retains fond memories of their childhood gaming experiences. This nostalgia equates to a collecting fervour which is further fuelled by the intricacies of what makes board games valuable.

Board games are timeless social activities that will continue to be passed down through generations. Whether used for relaxation or to ease some of that competitive tension, collectors understand that board games are designed for players to have fun.

Buyers have an appreciation for game design and may sometimes seek diversity in their collection by selecting games of different themes and mechanics Some collectors even increase the flexibility of the collection to take account the game when played amongst a variety of players. Further changes to game artwork, component quality or rulebook corrections are other reasons for buyers to expand their games collection. For instance, some may collect an entire line from a single publisher and others may look to expand their collection with different game designers and titles.

What indicates value?

Having a protected, untarnished box is likely to equate to a higher value. The same goes for the quality of the board game, if pieces are lost or broken, the value is likely to decrease. Other factors to consider are its edition, publisher and publishing date, its rarity and whether the game has developed a cult status.

Here are some categories of board games and examples of games on the market.

Abstract Strategy games

Example: Chess

There are many different categories of board games. Chess falls under the Abstract Strategy category, while the first chest board was published in 1475. In May 2012, Bonhams hosted its Chess Sets, Playing Cards and Games auction of which an Indian ivory figural chest set from Rajasthan dated 1870, sold for $16,154 USD.

Chess is one of the most popular games in the world, with its auction price varying depending on its edition, sales date and rarity.

Traditional Card Games

These are primarily games played with a standard deck of cards. A pack of German tarock cards, designed by Daniel Chodowiezk around 1785, sold for over $5,000 USD in May 2012 at Bonhams. Similarly at the same Chess, Playing Cards and Games sale in September 2011, a 1885 pack of German cards by T.O. Weigal Leipzig, designed by Ludwig Burger for the silver wedding anniversary of Prince Friedrich- Wilhelm, sold for $2,625 USD.

Family Games –

Example: Monopoly

Family games are to be enjoyed by many players, with an element of luck necessary to progress to advance stages. This differs to more difficult strategy games that rely little on luck and more on the player’s planning and tactics to meet the demands of the game’s higher levels.

Key Tips

1) Keep the original box! Avoid scratches and bends also.

2) Make sure to keep all components safe and protected

3) Most importantly, always buy something you like!

To learn more about the market and to get your own vintage board game valued, why not submit your board game appraisal today? For just £10, our experts in Chess, Playing Cards and Boardgames can value your item within 48 hours, or 24 hours if you choose our express service!

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