Board Games

Q: Although I don’t consider myself a collector, I buy occasional board games and puzzles when I find good ones at flea markets or garage sales. I currently have almost 50, including “Pollyanna,” “Bomb the Navy,” “Car 54,” “Get Smart” and a 1930s edition of “Monopoly.” How can I find out if any of my games are worth keeping? — Steve, Dayton, Ohio

A: Games create a feeling of nostalgia with many collectors, which has, of course, led to an increase in values. For example, your “Car 54” game, issued in 1951, currently is worth about $300, up at least tenfold from just a decade ago. There are several factors to consider when purchasing older board games. Make certain the game is complete and in good condition. Games that were issued to promote hit TV series are always popular with collectors. Consider “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Man from UNCLE,” “Lost in Space” and “The Waltons,” all retailing in the $25-$50 range.

Bruce Whitehill is one of the foremost authorities in this field of collecting. His book, “Games: American Board Games and Their Makers 1822-1992” is considered one of the better references and it has current values. Whitehill buys, sells and appraises games; however, there is a charge for appraisals. Contact is Big Game Hunter, 11 South Angell Street, No. 116, Providence, RI 02906; games@thebiggamehunter.com; and www.thebiggamehunter.com.

Q: In 1971, my wife and I purchased some items from the RMS Queen Mary. They include a ship’s clock plaque, telescope and survival kit whistle. All have certificates of authenticity. I must sell these items and would like to know current values. — George, Sun City West, Arizona

 A: You might get a sinking feeling when I tell you what I discovered when I contacted several collectors who specialize in ocean liner collectibles. The items you purchased at the gift shop of the Queen Mary might not be worth much more than what you originally paid. To determine present values, you could monitor eBay to see if similar items are being offered for sale, or contact an expert.

Sara Conklin is a member of the International Society of Appraisers, and she is knowledgeable about ocean liner collectibles. Her address is P.O. Box 20203, Cromberg, CA 96103.

Write to Larry Cox in care of KFWS, P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853- 6475, or send e-mail to questionsforcox@aol.com. Due to the large volume of mail received, he is unable to personally answer all reader questions. Do not send any materials requiring return mail.

By Larry Cox

(c) 2015 King Features Synd., Inc.