We commissioned a toy expert to compile a list of the most valuable Antique Board Games that exist and could be owned by members of the public. Along with the list, our expert has offered some helpful tips to prospective toy/game investors, on what to look out for when buying or investing.
Top 15 most valuable Board Games – and some you should snag now….
The list has been compiled in the format of: game, further information and price.
- Bejewelled Chess Set – with gold, platinum, diamonds and rubies - £7.8 million
- Charles Hollander Backgammon Set – 10,000 hours to create this masterpiece - £3.8 million
- Monopoly Atlantic City - 1933, 5,000 made, few survive – sold for £90,000
- Fox and Geese - Around in about 1830, a simple game - £14,000 plus
- 19th Century Coromandel Games Compendium – £2,200
- Monopoly French Edition – 1957 edition will set you back – over £2,000
- Go – masame wood and slate pieces - £1500
- Star Wars Imperial Assault – The entire set with all accessories - £800
- Gioco dell’Oca – 1930’s Italian version of The Game of Goose - £500 plus
- Fireball Island – a 1986 3D masterpiece (full set) - £180 plus
- Vintage LUDO board - 1930’s, a work of art for the wall – over £100
- Planet of the Apes – a gem of a find, worth a punt - £100
Escape from Colditz – An absolute classic, great artwork and a bit eerie - £100
- Day of the Dalek’s – A trip down nostalgia lane with the Doctors adversaries - £60
- Buccaneer – a 1958 version that is complete – £50
- Keyword – From the makers of Monopoly before it became Scrabble - £40 plus
Bejewelled Chess Set
Monopoly Atlantic City
Investor information and guidelines
- If you could find a copy of Senet, images of which were found in frescos in first dynasty burials of Egypt, c. 3500 you're on to a winner. It is the oldest board game known to have existed or a Backgammon set from its Persian origins over 5,000 years ago that’d be a decent retirement fund indeed.
- Chess, Checkers and Go are all games which originated in Asia between 3,000 B.C. and the 6th century, those sets are antiquities now but more recent complete sets from the 19th century are available at various auctions and highly collectible. Commanding prices up to a few thousand pounds they make great pieces for display and play purposes.
- The past few years has seen a phenomenal rise in the popularity of board games, largely fueled by millennials looking for social activity away from screens. The collaborative nature and social aspect of play has seen hundreds of board game cafes open and 20% year on year growth in the market for the past two years.
- Collecting and investing in board games is also on the rise with specialist auctions popping up across the country but you can find some real classics through eBay, Etsy and trudging around old-fashioned boot sales. What you are looking for are boxes that have avoided becoming dog-eared and have all their pieces in place.
- Buy two, keep one – you've got to test it and have a play! And even if not, keeping hold of it for several more years will only increase the value.
- Condition is key! It is imperative that you keep any future collectable games in its box. They’re worth more with original packaging and with all parts of the game included. If any pieces are missing you are going to lose out on quite a sum of money.
- To keep them in the best condition, keep the games in a safe place, away from dust, sunlight and moisture.
- As well as seeking out Victorian era sets like LUDO, Snakes and Ladders and Game of Goose look toward classic manufacturers from the mid-20th century through to the 1980’s that are now defunct or have been taken over by bigger toy companies. Original titles from the likes of Waddington’s, Palitoy and Parkers are great to have in a collection, early Monopoly sets like the pre-patent version are rare and pre-WWII titles are highly sought after.
- As for buying the more modern titles there’s no value in any of the largely plastic and highly disposable titles but it is well worth keeping a close eye on Kickstarter. Titles from smaller publishers can reach funding in a matter of hours and these first edition runs are very desirable with many having additional stretch target additions that’ll not be seen again.