Q: Consider how rare the game is
Age is not necessarily a good indicator of collectability, but rarity certainly is. A 1930s Monopoly set may have value, but might have been produced in the tens of thousands. However, a 1980’s game with a production run of hundreds and in an original box will likely have a far higher value.
Q: Always look at the condition of a game
The biggest factor by far is the completeness of a game. Imagine how difficult it is to keep every single original playing piece of a complex game like Monopoly or Scrabble intact and in good condition. Then try keeping them all together in an undamaged box, on a board that has not been drawn on. Then imagine keeping the set, especially pieces, together in that condition for 30 or 80 years!
Q: What is the source material?
In the UK, vintage board games are popular through association with TV shows. These are not necessarily UK shows, so for example a rare and popular game is Lost in Space from the US 60’s series.
Q: What retro games should I look out for?
Some of the top games to look out for are:
Fortune - a precursor to Monopoly
Dark Tower - Stephen King 1980’s classic
Milton Bradbury’s 1960’s The Game of Life
Q? Where did Jigsaw puzzles come from?
In 1762 a London cartographer called John Spilsbury commercialised the jigsaw by glueing a map to a piece of wood and then cutting around the countries. He showed this to children in a local school to help them learn Geography.
Q? Why “Jigsaw”?
In the UK, vintage jigsaws were originally known as dissections until the 1880s when fretsaws began to be used to cut them out. No one knows why they did not become known as Fretsaws!
Q? What are they made from?
Originally jigsaws were made from hardwood, although this evolved over time to become composite wood board. After WW2 as a cost-saving measure, jigsaws began to be made out to printed paperboard that was die cut. These days with the advent of laser cutting, wood has made a comeback and also now printed acrylics.
Q? What is the oldest jigsaw in existence?
Housed in the National Museum of Play in New York is an original 1766 John Spilsbury Jigsaw entitled Europe Divided into its Kingdoms.
This collection is part of our more comprehensive selection of retro toys and games, so why not come and have a look around this section of our store?