Things are only worth what someone is willing to pay. So, I made sure to only look for items that someone had actually paid for, rather than just looking for outrageously priced listings.
You might not believe it, but I do a lot of research for these articles. And I often have a lot of ideas and references sitting on the back burner for a while before I have a chance to use them. This is certainly one of those times. However, a lot of the research I found on ‘expensive board games’ led me towards things like the Charles Hollander Royal Diamond Chess Set.
And while I’m sure Chuck makes a darn good chess set with 9900 black and white diamonds weighting a total of 186 carats, 1168.75 gram of 14-carat white gold, and 186.57 gram of silver, clocking in at up to $1,000,000 price tag, that’s not really what I was aiming for. I wanted to find real games that people might actually be able to buy. No offense Mr. Hollander, but your collection is clearly much more of an art piece than a functional game.
So instead, I set myself down for weeks of tireless research and seclusion from the outside world and I submitted myself to untold mental anguish as I labored over pages and pages of ancient scrolls and forgotten lore.
Okay, so it wasn’t hard. But, you could have done it and YOU DIDN’T! So there! Okay, I’m sorry for yelling. Let’s get started. Some of these are expensive for their quality or who made them or some just package a whole lot in with the sale. Still, if someone’s willing to pay for it, I say it counts.
#1 – Authorized World Series of Backgammon Board – $1,825.00
As stated in the title of the listing, this Backgammon board was made by Geoffrey Parker. If you don’t know who that is, welcome to the vast majority of the population. For the minority of you who are hardcore about Backgammon, Geoffrey Parker is a champion Backgammon board maker. When the World Series of Backgammon was being televised, they used Parker’s boards.
You can buy your own Geoffrey Parker luxury original direct from his website, Backgammon, Monopoly, Cluedo, Scrabble and others. Prices hover mostly about £3,000, but peak at upwards of £700,000 for the Alligator Skin Monopoly Set.
#2 – Massive Amounts of Massive Darkness – $1,424.00
Massive Darkness is a pretty recent game that, frankly, I don’t know a whole lot about. However, based on the pictures shown this game has A LOT of expansions.
So on top of getting all the expansions and Kickstarter exclusives each of the minis come professionally painted, which is certainly worth the cost if the paint job is as good as the seller describes.
Looks good to me
#3 – Deluxe Painting Alone Can Be Worth It – $1,300.00
They leave every component from the box untouched, except for the minis, obviously. If you find yourself absolutely falling in love with a game and playing it constantly, it makes perfect sense to me to have your minis painted. And as someone with no artistic capabilities, I would sooner pay someone else to do it and ruin them myself.
#4 – This Is Why People Don’t Like Kickstarter Exclusives – $999.99
This copy of Sword & Sorcery comes loaded with Kickstarter exclusives.
- Core Set
- Kickstarter special contents
- Unlocked stretch goals
- The add-on bundle “Immortal” which includes
- Vastaryous’ Lair
- Samyria & Bjorn
- Onamor & Volkor
- Doors & Chests
- Additional Dice Set
- Metal Crowns
- Additional Cloth Bag
- Enhanced Hero Figure Set
Certainly a lot in the box, which is enough to go off of. Still, as someone who likes to inject their opinions into casual top 5 list articles, I think it’s a bummer when additional gameplay components are locked to a Kickstarter. Just cosmetic changes are less disheartening but still a bummer.
#5 – Rising Sun Comes With Bells AND Whistles – $909.00
This item hits all of points we went over with the previous entries. It’s got Kickstarter exclusives, it’s got professionally painted minis AND it’s got a pretty sweet playmat to boot.
The item description boasts the neoprene playmat has 20% larger play area. Doesn’t say larger than what and there are no pictures of it. But I’m sure that’s no reason to be skeptical of a seller with only 38 reputation and does not accept returns, right?
This was clearly a somewhat limited list in that these were all collections for the most part and not single entity games. But how do you differentiate between a Monopoly set made out of alligator skin and a well painted set of minis from Rising Sun? Where do you draw the line? Are they really so different? I say, not really. Ultimately, they are collector’s versions of games people love to play with lots of things added on.
Sure, we could only have made a list of vintage board games that are so rare and hard to find that they have become expensive…. but that’s an an article for another day.
Thanks for reading!
~I’m in the wrong business. I’m gonna take a class on painting miniatures.