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Ten Valuable Milton Bradley Games You Might Have In Your Attic

Do you have a bunch of board games lying around the house collecting dust? Do you think those games are worthless and that you should just throw them away? You may want to reconsider since older board games can be worth more than you would expect. Some board games can be even worth thousands of dollars to the right collector.

Today I am looking at ten Milton Bradley games that you may actually own that are worth a lot more than you would expect. Instead of focusing on extremely rare games that few people actually own, I am focusing on games that while rare are games that you may actually own since they were made by Milton Bradley and didn’t cost hundreds of dollars when they were initially released.

Dark Tower

In 1981 Milton Bradley released the game Dark Tower. For its’ time Dark Tower was an innovative game. It was one of the first board games to handle most of the gameplay through an electronic device. The Dark Tower would keep track of player pieces, handle battle calculations, as well as many of the other tedious elements of adventure board games.

The goal in Dark Tower is to take back a magic scepter from the evil king. Players would search the four areas of the gameboard for the keys to open the tower while amassing an army to challenge the king. Players would encounter battles with various creatures and encounter other things found in most adventure games. Players could even purchase various goods and hire soldiers to help them in their journey. Players would eventually siege the tower to try and overthrow the evil king.

Dark Tower is probably the most valuable game on this list usually selling for $300-$400 if complete and with the tower still working. The game is valuable for a couple reasons.

First the game has quite a few pieces and relies on a electronic component for gameplay. Pieces can easily be lost or break and thus finding a complete copy is not that easy. The electronic component also wears out and stops working and since you can’t play the game without it you need a copy with a working tower in order to play the game.

Another reason why the game is valuable is that it is a well liked game. A lot of people remember the game from their childhood and want to play the game again. The game has developed a cult following among board game collectors which has driven up the demand and thus the price of the game.

The biggest reason Dark Tower is so valuable is that manufacturing was stopped quickly after production began due to a lawsuit by the game’s creators (Wikipedia). The creators of the game submitted the idea of the game to Milton Bradley which initially had no interest in it. Milton Bradley later released the game and was thus sued by the creators. Due to the court case the game’s production was halted and the game was never re-released.

While the game is quite rare, it is possible to find outside of websites like Amazon or eBay even though it is very rare. I have actually found parts of the game (including the tower) at a rummage sale for around $1. Unfortunately the game was missing some of the parts. One day I would like to try and find a way to play the game even without having all of the pieces.

Fireball Island

Fireball Island may look like your typical roll and move game but there is more to the game. In Fireball Island players play as an explorer who is trying to retrieve a valuable jewel from the top of the mountain and return it to their boat at the bottom. Fireball Island was different from most roll and move games since it included a 3D board and fireballs (marbles) that would occasionally be dropped down the mountain and would follow paths that would knock over explorers sending them down the mountain.

Fireball Island’s value mostly comes from the game not being popular when it was first released. The game sold so poorly that the game was never reprinted. I heard a story from a couple years ago about someone who found a whole storage container filled with copies of the game that were never sold. Milton Bradley has had a lot of flops over the years and Fireball Island is probably one of their more famous flops. Even though it sold so poorly when it was first introduced the game has developed a cult following which has increased demand for the game.

Fireball Island also has a problem with lost pieces since it was a children’s game. A lot of the copies of the game are missing some of the pieces. The fireball marbles in particular are regularly missing. Since pieces are usually missing, even incomplete copies of the game can sell for quite a bit of money. I actually found pieces from the game at a thrift store once for $0.50. Unfortunately the game was missing the board so I was never able to actually play the game. I was able to sell off individual pieces of the game for $20 each though.

HeroQuest

HeroQuest was created in 1989 as Milton Bradley’s (with the help of Games Workshop) answer to Dungeons and Dragons which was becoming really popular. In HeroQuest one player played as the dungeon master/villain while one to four players would play as heroes going out on quests. Each game would use a different quest which involved different board setups. The game plays similar to a typical tabletop RPG where characters have different abilities and fight using various dice.

While not as valuable as some of the other games on this list, HeroQuest still has quite a bit of value. HeroQuest was sold in a base game and also had quite a few expansion sets. The expansion sets came with additional quests, cards, plastic figures and other components which expanded upon the base game. Some of these expansion sets are just as valuable as the base game. I think HeroQuest is valuable for a couple reasons.

First the game was probably not that cheap to begin with. For a Milton Bradley game it was probably quite expensive. Since it was more of a niche game there probably weren’t a lot of copies of the game made.  The game included quite a few miniature figures among other components. Over time the figures for many copies of the game have probably been lost or damaged which means there are less complete copies available and people who are missing part of their copy may be looking for a new copy of the game.

I actually think the value of the game comes more from the fact that it is a highly rated game which has driven demand for the game. Over on Board Game Geek it is rated as one of the top 600 board games of all time which is very good (there are hundreds of games made each year). Being a good game drives demand for people who didn’t own the game when it came out. The game is so popular among fans that many people have created their own quests and alternate rules in order to extend their playtime with the game.

Electronic Mall Madness

A spinoff/sequel of a mostly forgotten Flipsiders game, Electronic Mall Madness was a popular board game among girls during the late 1980s and early 1990s. The goal of the game is to move around the mall purchasing items from your shopping list. The first person to purchase six items would win the game. The game included an electronic component that keeps track of the players’ money and handles other gameplay mechanics like choosing where sales would occur. Despite teaching poor personal spending habits (spent too much money, just get more money from the bank), the game was quite popular and there are a lot of people that still fondly remember the game.

There are actually a couple caveats regarding Electronic Mall Madness’ value.

First unlike most of the other games on this list, Electronic Mall Madness has been reprinted several times. The newest versions of the game aren’t worth much and the mid 1990s version has a some value but not a lot. The only version of the game that has quite a bit of value is the original 1989 version of the game.

Second, the price of the original version of the game can vary pretty significantly. The game sells for a lot more near Christmas time than it does during the rest of the year. This makes sense because the people who are going to buy the original version of the game are going to be people that remember the original from their childhoods. A lot of people are going to buy the game as a Christmas present for a friend or family member. In addition to the time of the year, the value of the game can vary significantly based on what site the item is sold on. The game generally sells for less on eBay than it does on Amazon.

Star Wars Epic Duels

Star Wars Epic Duels is the Star Wars game that some people have always wanted. In the game players have head to head duels with various heroes and villains from the Star Wars films. Each character has their own unique deck of cards which are used for attacks, defense and special abilities. Star Wars Epic Duels is considered a simpler version of the game Queen’s Gambit which is very expensive. I actually own a copy of this game and have played it and enjoyed it (even though that was quite a few years ago).

I will be honest and admit that I don’t know exactly why Star Wars Epic Duels is as valuable as it is since the game was made in the 2000s. Most games from the 2000s to the present aren’t particularly valuable. The best guess I have is that the game is a miniatures game and that it is Star Wars themed. It also doesn’t appear to have ever been reprinted so there aren’t as many copies of the game than you would typically expect of a 2000s Star Wars board game. With how many Star Wars fans that there are, there seems to be more demand than supply for the game. It doesn’t hurt that Epic Duels is actually one of the better Star Wars themed board games.

Crossfire

In Crossfire two players face off. Each player gets a plastic gun attached to their side of the gameboard. Players use their gun to shoot metal balls at two pucks placed in the gameboard. Players would try to shoot their puck into their opponent’s goal while keeping the other player’s puck out of their own goal. Growing up in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I definitely remember the advertisements for Crossfire. The game always looked interesting to me but I never had the game.

Two years are listed for Crossfire because the game has had two major releases. Back in 1971 the game was released by the Ideal Company and was later released by Milton Bradley in 1987. In most cases the original version of a game is worth more than the reissue. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Crossfire though. While the 1971 Ideal version of the game still has some value, the 1987 version of the game is generally more valuable which I think can be attributed to a couple things.

The main thing is that the Milton Bradley version of the game is much more recognizable since it was heavy promoted and thus most people have childhood memories of the 1987 version of the game. With older board games nostalgia usually determines value so more people are going to want to buy the version that they remember from their childhood.

The other reason I think the newer version of Crossfire is worth more than the older version is that the Milton Bradley version of the game is just a better game since it refined the 1971 version and thus was a more enjoyable game. In particular the later Milton Bradley copies of the game allowed players to shoot multiple balls at the same time which allowed players not to have to keep pressing the trigger over and over again to shoot a lot of balls.

Other than being a game that people remember from their childhoods, I attribute Crossfire’s value to the fact that I doubt many children kept their copy of the game in great condition. Most children probably lost some of the little metal balls at some point and ended up getting rid of their copy of the game since it was no longer complete. Being a game from the late 1980s a lot of people are starting to rebuy the game to share it with their children.

Electronic Dream Phone

In Electronic Dream Phone up to four players would try to figure out which of 24 guys had a crush on them. Players would call different boys to learn clues about the boy that was their secret admirer. Like Clue and other deduction games, players would use these clues to eliminate potential secret admirers. When a player discovered the boy’s identity they would call them to confirm their suspicions.

While the game was clearly marketed towards girls in the 1990s, this game is more popular than you would expect. Many people that grew up with the game have fond memories of the game that they want to relive or share with their children. I am guessing that a lot of people got rid of the game as they grew up since they outgrew it.

The other reason I think the game has value is that it relies on an electronic component. Every game that relies on a electronic component wears out over time and will eventually stop working. The older versions of Dream Phone are over twenty years old at this point so even if people kept the game from their childhood there is a good chance that the phone no longer works. Since the phone is key to gameplay it is impossible to play the game without the phone which drives people to buy the game online.

Hotels

Hotels is for the most part a Monopoly-style game. Basically you buy hotels, build them up and try to make money from people landing on the hotel’s spaces on the gameboard. As players get more money they can expand their hotels and thus increase their odds of other players landing on one of their hotel spaces. The goal of the game is to bankrupt your opponents just like in Monopoly.

While still pretty valuable, Hotels isn’t worth as much as it used to be. While the game has been released a few times over the years, the original 1970s and 1980s versions of the game were always worth quite a bit of money. Back in 2013 the game was re-released under the name Hotel Tycoon which has dropped the price quite a bit. The game is still worth money though and I am guessing the value will go back up a little after Hotel Tycoon has been out for a while.

The main reason I think Hotels has maintained value is because the 3D components are cool. I know when I was a child I always thought the 3D buildings were really cool. Even though I have played the game a couple times, I don’t remember a lot about the gameplay but I still remember the 3D cardboard hotels to this day. Board game collectors generally like games with cool components which is part of the reason for the game’s value. The components were also made out of cardboard which means that the buildings could be damaged pretty quickly which makes finding a complete copy of the game much harder to find.

Forbidden Bridge

Forbidden Bridge is your typical roll and move game with a twist. The goal of the game is to climb the mountain, cross the bridge, gather a jewel, and return it to your boat. The one unique mechanic in the game is that whenever you roll the idol icon you are forced to press down on the idol’s head which will shake the bridge for a few seconds. This can knock players off the bridge and force them to make their way back to the idol to get a new jewel. Check out my review for more details on how the game is played.

I attribute Forbidden Bridge’s value to a couple factors. First the game was never reprinted. The game was only made in 1992 so there are less copies available than there are for most Milton Bradley games. Second while not super popular, Forbidden Bridge is the type of game that people would remember from their childhood. I never had the game as a kid but I recently played the game and it is better than I would have thought. The game has some interesting ideas and I doubt there have been many games made that play similar to Forbidden Bridge.

Finally the game has a lot of small components and the game relies on a mechanical component as well. Being a children’s game it is likely that most copies of the game are missing some of the components. While you don’t need all of the components to play the game, most people want a complete version of the game. Also with any game that uses a mechanical component there are always chances of it breaking which requires a new copy of the game.

Omega Virus

In the Omega Virus you and the other players are tasked with stopping an evil virus from taking over a space station. The goal of the game is to move around the gameboard collecting key cards and weapons in order to destroy the virus. The game has a time limit and the virus taunts you throughout the game. Players compete to be the first player to acquire all of the weapons and key cards and then find the room that contains the virus before time runs out.

Omega Virus’ value comes from a couple factors in my opinion. First it is one of those games that were only printed once. A limited printing run will always increase the value of a game. Second it has a sci-fi theme which will appeal to sci-fi collectors. The artwork is really cool and the theme of a virus taking over a space station is an interesting idea for a game. Finally the game relies on an electronic component. Being a game from the 1990s I am guessing quite a few of the electronic components no longer work since a lot of them have probably suffered from battery corrosion or other issues.

 

 

For more information on finding valuable board games, check out my post How to Spot Valuable Board Games.

Do you own or have any memories of these games? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

18 thoughts on “Ten Valuable Milton Bradley Games You Might Have In Your Attic

  • October 15, 2016 at 2:35 am
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    I came across oil exploration by Milton Bradley 1983 Philippines. Can’t find any information about it at all.

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    • October 15, 2016 at 10:30 am
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      Hello.

      I really couldn’t find any information about the game either. The only oil exploration game that I could find that was made by Milton Bradley was King Oil in 1974. There is a chance that your game could be a renamed version of that game since board game names do sometimes get changed when introduced in other countries. Otherwise I really couldn’t find any other information about the game since Board Game Geek which has a pretty complete list of board games doesn’t have a page for “Oil Exploration”. Being a game from the Philippines it just might not be that common and thus there really isn’t any information about it online.

      Eric

      Reply
  • August 29, 2017 at 10:15 pm
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    I have heroquest and it has never been open can you tell me about how much it is woryh?

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    • August 30, 2017 at 1:04 pm
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      Well I have good news for you. Heroquest is a valuable board game and with it being factory sealed it will be worth even more money. Hereoquest is one of those games that a lot of people really enjoy and yet is pretty rare so it is worth quite a bit of money. Looking on Amazon used copies of the game seem to sell for around $180-200. On eBay the game seems to sell for closer to $100 used. With it being a sought after game though I think you could get more than that.

      With it being factory sealed though the value will likely go up significantly. Collectors usually pay a premium to purchase sealed copies as they know the contents will be in good condition (as long as the outer box is in good condition). Currently there is only one new copy of Heroquest listed on Amazon and they are selling it for $500. On eBay most people are asking about the same amount. I have never sold a Heroquest game but I would list a sealed copy of the game for around $500 going down a little bit if it didn’t sell. While it might sell for $500 I would be surprised if you couldn’t get at least $300-400 for it. I will tell you though it would probably take quite a while to sell. To get the maximum value for the game you would need to find the right buyer that is willing to pay a premium for the game being sealed.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Eric

      Reply
  • September 24, 2017 at 3:48 pm
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    I came across 1989 Mall Madness in my garage. How do I find out if all the pieces are there? Also I do I sell it?

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    • September 25, 2017 at 11:13 am
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      Hello.

      To see if the game is complete you usually can find what originally came with the game by looking on the bottom of the box or in the instructions. For a game like Electronic Mall Madness it might even be helpful assembling the board to see if everything is there. I don’t currently have a copy of the 1989 version of the game so I can’t give you details for that game. I did find instructions for the 1996 version of the game though. The 1996 version apparently had the electronic speaker unit, 6 plastic walls, 4 shopping list cards, 4 credit cards, 4 playing pieces, 42 pegs, the gameboard, play money (does not specify how much), 3 sign stands, 3 signs, 12 store fronts, 4 fountains, 2 elevators, second floor pathway, 4 entrance arches, and 2 windows. I am not sure if the 1989 version had exactly the same components.

      As far as selling the game you have a couple options. First you could try to find a local vintage toy/resale shop that does consignments.

      As far as online I would recommend one of three different options. The first would probably be Amazon. Amazon would probably get you the most money but it also will likely take the longest to sell (it could take months or even a year). For Amazon you will only be able to sell it if it has all of the contents. To sell on Amazon you will have to create a seller’s account (which is free) and then you will have to list your copy of the game detailing any damage to the box or components. I will warn you though that during Christmas season (sometime in November until after Christmas) only sellers that have sold for a while on Amazon are able to sell toys/games on the site.

      Your second option is eBay. On eBay you can sell the game even if it is missing pieces but make sure you list what is missing along with any damage to the game. For eBay you will also have to sign up for a free account and create a listing for your item. The positives with eBay is that you will likely be able to sell the game quicker but you probably won’t get as much since eBay buyers don’t tend to pay as much for board games as Amazon buyers.

      Your third online option is BoardGameGeek.com. Board Game Geek has their own marketplace where you can list board games for sale. I personally have never sold a game on the site before so I can’t really help you with how the process works. The benefit to selling on Board Game Geek is that the site is filled with a lot of board game collectors so you can probably attract some interest in the game.

      If you would like to sell the game I would recommend trying to start selling in late October/November as I think you will get the most for the game. Being a childhood memory type game, the value of these type of games go up as family and friends buy it for loved ones for Christmas as items based on childhood memories make good gifts.

      I hope this helps.

      Eric

      Reply
  • January 22, 2018 at 8:32 pm
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    I came across GOLDEN STARS game by Milton Bradley that refers it as being from the maker of the Checkered Game of Life. I have game instructions and game pieces but do not have the game board.. I can’t find any info on this game! Any info would be helpful ( guessing it’s pre 1960)

    Reply
    • January 23, 2018 at 11:15 am
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      I have to admit that I didn’t find a lot about the game either. Based on the tagline “from the maker of the Checkered Game of Life” I would assume that the game was created by Milton Bradley (the founder of the board game company of the same name) as he is credited as the creator of the Checkered Game of Life. I also found some information leading to the game being created before 1920. If Milton Bradley actually created the game it would have predated his death in 1911.

      Unfortunately I couldn’t find much else about the game. This is not that surprising though as games from the early 1900s or earlier are pretty hard to find these days. Unless it was a really popular game from that time period it is going to be hard to find out more about the game. The game doesn’t even have a page on Board Game Geek which has the largest database of board games on the internet. My best guess to get more information about the game would be to ask a question on Board Game Geek as there are some people that are really knowledgeable about older board games.

      If you were wondering about value that is also going to be hard to estimate. If the game is truly from the pre-1920s it generally would be worth quite a bit of money if it was in good condition. Missing the gameboard will probably impact the value quite a bit though. Depending on what type of pieces the game has though (are they standard pieces or unique pieces) there could still be some value. If you want to sell the game though you will probably have to be patient to find a buyer because it likely will take time to sell as there is probably not a lot of demand for the game as a lot of people probably don’t even know that the game exists. There are board game collectors though that might be interested in the piece though especially if they could find the board or find a way to reproduce the board.

      I hope this helps at least a little.

      Reply
  • February 3, 2018 at 5:32 am
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    I recently came across a game call Over There. A military – WWI boardgames that I was unable to find any information on. I have it listed on eBay (ending today) with no activity but several watchers. The only information I could find on the game was a patent date that I took a screen shot of and added to the listing which seemed to date it 1918. It was an attic find and the condition is not great but it is interesting to find a rather unknown piece. I thought you might have information or be interested in seeing this game and also see if any bidding happens or it is a dud!

    Reply
    • February 3, 2018 at 9:51 am
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      I looked up your game on Board Game Geek and I found this page. According to Board Game Geek they believe the game was made in 1950. Basically it sounds like the concept of the game is trying to land on the same space as another player’s piece in order to capture them.

      As far as value I have to say that I am a little surprised that there hasn’t been more interest in the game. The game could still sell for a decent amount as the watchers might be waiting to bid on the game at the last minute thinking that they will get a better deal on the game. If the game doesn’t sell I wouldn’t give up on it yet. The game is pretty old and thus there are probably not a lot of people actively looking for the game. To get a good price for the game you might have to relist it a couple times to find someone that is actively looking for the game.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Reply
      • February 3, 2018 at 10:21 am
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        Wow! Thank you for finding that. I googled it many times over and looked at so many sites/posts but never found it. I am surprised by the date since it looks so old and has the WWI soldiers on it. I couldn’t find a date on the box anywhere, only a patent that was 1918.

        I will see in a couple of hours if there are any takers on the game. I know that some bidders like to wait until the end of the auction so I might get a surprise. If not I will just hit the relist button and try again!

        Thanks again!

        Reply
  • February 19, 2018 at 9:19 pm
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    I have the opportunity to purchase the 1947 Milton Bradley “The Captain & the Kids” board game of the Katzenjammer kids. Looks like a complete set in good condition- it’s pretty simple game. I can’t find ANY information on approximate value. I found a listing on Board Game Geek about the history. Any help with value or rarity would be appreciated, thanks!

    Reply
    • February 20, 2018 at 11:57 am
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      Hello.

      Personally I had never heard of the game before reading your comment. Therefore I can only make an educated guess on the game’s value.

      One thing that works in the game’s favor is that the game is from the 1940s. Being form the 1940s helps the value in a couple ways. First older games generally weren’t produced in the same quantities of newer games. The game also appears to have never been reprinted so there should only be as many copies as were originally produced. The other good thing about the age is that being over 70 years old I would assume quite a few of the copies were destroyed in one way or another at this point. The game being in good shape should also be a pretty big positive for a game that is so old.

      The real question about the game’s value though will come down to demand. As I don’t know a lot of information about the game I don’t know how much demand there would be for the game. The game kind of looks like a generic roll and move game which will probably hurt the value some as most of the games from this era were roll and move games. The age itself will bring some demand as some people collect old board games. The one thing I am not sure about is how popular “The Captain & the Kids” comic is. If the comic has a devoted audience I could see it driving up the price quite a bit. If there aren’t many people that are interested in the theme, it will probably hurt the value some.

      With the limited amount of information I could find about the game I can only make an educated guess on the game’s value. Due to the age and the theme of it being based off of a cartoon I would guess the game would be worth at least $50 (if it has all of the pieces). The final price you could get is going to depend on the demand though. I could see it going for a lot more if there are a lot of people interested in the game. If there aren’t a lot of people interested in the game I could see it selling for a little less. Either way I would say that the game will take some time to sell. Outside of really popular or really recent board games, it takes time to find a buyer for board games. If you would want top value for The Captain & the Kids I would recommend being patient because it likely will take some time to find the buyer that will pay the most.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Reply
  • March 9, 2018 at 9:10 pm
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    Crossfire is the only game on this list that I even remember! I played it many times. I’d consider it a classic, no doubt about it!

    Reply
  • June 14, 2018 at 8:59 am
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    I came across a never opened comp IV game, factory sealed,how much are they worth,,I see some,but they are open,used

    Reply
    • June 15, 2018 at 2:20 pm
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      Before reading your comment I will say that I had never heard of Comp IV. Therefore all I know about the game is what I could find from a little research. On Amazon and eBay Comp IV seems to sell for around $10-15 if they are opened. As far as the value for a sealed copy all I am going to be able to give you is an estimate as I don’t see any sealed copies that have sold recently and I have never had or sold the game before.

      Generally I would say the fact that it is factory sealed should add quite a bit of value to the game. For most games people are willing to pay quite a bit more for a sealed copy as they know it will have all of the contents and it generally means that the game will be in good condition. This is assuming that your copy of the game doesn’t have a seriously damaged outer box. It also makes the game more desirable for a gift as some people don’t like to purchase used games for gifts. Based on my experience a sealed copy of a game generally sells for around two to three times as much as an opened copy. This is all going to depend on how popular the game is though. Particularly rare games can sell for a lot more while some sealed games are barely worth more than opened copies. If I personally was going to try to sell the game I would probably list it for around $50 if it was sealed and the box is not severely damaged.

      I hope this was helpful.

      Reply
  • July 3, 2019 at 12:13 pm
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    What to look for when buying factory sealed Hero Quest. The plastic will have small holes 5-7 throughout the outside wrap. Period. I just got one. Actually I got 2 1 wrapped and one mint condition opened. Selling soon!
    Got Axis and Allies Europe,Pacific, and American.
    Pamela Arden Facebook. Happy lady here!

    Reply
  • August 20, 2019 at 2:18 am
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    Just today I pulled out my Dark Tower to see if it still plays; it does. Told my grandson about it and he will be over to play. For some reason Duracell alkaline batteries did not work but Energizers did. Happy it is still going after all these years of being put away. Hind sight: wish I’d bought 20 copies.

    Reply

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