Pac-Man video game
Photo courtesy of Namcogames.com

The Kovels.com Top 10 list indicates the interests of collectors who visit the website. During February 2013, antique enthusiasts were busy researching:

1. Occupied Japan
2. Toy
3.
Game
4.
Capo-Di-Monte
5.
Bavaria
6.
Bottle
7.
CT-Germany
8.
Red Wing
9.
MZ-Austria
10.
Coca-Cola

This month there are two newcomers—toys at No. 2, and games at No. 3. New interest in games came from a story in Kovels Komments (July, 2012) about a collection of 7,000 video games sold as a single collection for $1.2 million. It indicates that old electronic games have resale value and are worth collecting. There was also an exhibit of 14 video games at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City this winter. The exhibit presented video games as worthy examples of a new category of art, involving interaction design and storytelling. Some of the games were actually playable; others were displayed as demonstrations. The museum plans to add more games to its collection.

Today there are stores that buy and sell old video games and collectors can search for missing titles just as record and comic book collectors do. Playing old games can be a problem since the earliest games date back to main frame computers of the 1950s and popular arcade games from the 1970s were written for old (now “vintage”) computer operating systems.

But “game” for older collectors means 19th-century board games like Checkers and the Stanley Africa Game (price $4,000) and 20th-century examples like Monopoly, Clue, or Life. Some collectors want handmade folk art boards for checkers and chess to hang on the wall as art. Others look for the complete game with its board, pieces, spinner, cards, dice, money, instructions and box. Record price for a 19th-century game is $64,625 for Snakes and Ladders. The 20th-century record is $71,500 for the original Monopoly game. All rare games and toys in top condition have been going up in value for the past 25 years.

Find more prices of toys and games in the FREE online price guide at Kovels.com and in Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles Price Guide.