Axis & Allies: Europe, 1940.

Axis & Allies: Europe, 1940.

The current stay-at-home orders might lead to a resurgence in board games, but the days of families and friends sitting down to play Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit mostly seem to be behind us. 

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the board game itself has become extinct. They are still entertaining and a way for people to bond. You might also discover that there is some monetary value in those vintage games.

The earliest commercial board games played by children date back to the Victorian era. They were made of wood, such as pine, and hand-painted. The beautifully designed boxes are avidly sought today and often garner more attention than the games inside.

For years, collectors and antique dealers have acquired such treasures. Many of the older hand-crafted games recently sold for as much as $1,800. Later board games, such as the 1940 Axis and Allies Europe, sold for $250. Another hit on the board game list is Clue. Numerous reproductions may not be worth great value right now, but in five years, The Simpsons-Clue game you bought for $30 may be worth hundreds to a Simpson’s collector.

McLoughlin games dating back to the late 1800s may sell for thousands with the right buyer. Don’t be surprised to see a Bulls and Bears game selling for more than $10,000.

While finding antique games are rare, you can find more modern board games produced between 1942 and 1999 featuring licensed characters from comic strips, movies, television and old radio shows. Little Orphan Annie and Dick Tracy found their way into games, as did many comic book superheroes such as Superman and Batman. Most games in perfect condition from the 40s and 50s sell for several hundred dollars in today’s market.

Since most families tend to hold on to board games, you might have a rare one hiding atop your bookshelf. Maybe it’s time to rummage around and see what types of playful pastimes wait to be rediscovered. Search your attics and closets – you never know if that Trivial Pursuit Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Special Edition you were playing could be your golden ticket.

— Contact Jeff Pearson at or A-Z Appraisal & Estate Consultants, 5525 N. 12th St., Phoenix, Arizona 85014.