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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.

Sean Leland

Monday 16th of May 2022

Hello I have a Un opened Milton Bradley game called statergy poker I can’t find any price value information it’s from 1967

Eric Mortensen

Tuesday 17th of May 2022

I looked up sales for Strategy Poker on eBay over the last year. The game typically sells for less than $10. Those were opened copies though. If your game is the original sealing/was never opened, I would guess that it would be worth more than that. Exactly how much more I am not sure. Games that are sealed generally sell for quite a bit more than opened games. If I were to list the game on eBay I would probably list it somewhere between $20-50. It likely will take months to years to sell for that price though as I don't think the game is in high demand.

CHRISTOPHER HOLMES

Tuesday 20th of August 2019

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.

Pamela Anne

Wednesday 3rd of July 2019

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!

Tiffany D Stramel

Thursday 14th of June 2018

I came across a never opened comp IV game, factory sealed,how much are they worth,,I see some,but they are open,used

Eric Mortensen

Friday 15th of June 2018

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.

Big C

Friday 9th of March 2018

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!

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