1960s Board Games: Great Investments in History, What's Hiding in Your Attic?

Updated on April 21, 2018
Joel Diffendarfer profile image

Joel has a fascination with the important historical significance of games and the reflections of lifestyles that gameplay has revealed.

Board games from 1960 signified a change in our cultural history
Board games from 1960 signified a change in our cultural history | Source

Treasures in the attic

Years ago, before the internet, before video games, and before the thousands of television and cable stations, board games were a must have form of entertainment and could easily be found in most homes. Most of the games I owned as a child were “hand-me-downs” but that didn’t seem to matter to me and my friends. When we were "shooed" outside because mom was cleaning or it was a really nasty day out, we escaped into our world of play, usually with crafts and board games. I loved them then and still love them today. Nowadays, I especially love to go to garage sales and public sales and seek out these old games for my collections, the value of which seems to increase year after year. Here is a list of the most common board games from 1960 and their current values based on averages from several sources. They are well worth not only their investment value but, as far as I am concerned, an important part of preserving history. Do you have any of these board games from 1960 hiding in the attic? Don’t throw them out!

Top Board Game Investments of 1960

Although this list below is not all-inclusive, it is a great sampling and starting point that shows the range of types of board games and gives a good example of historical sentiment and their current investment values.

Source

Shotgun Slade

Shotgun Slade game was based on the American Western mystery/series starring Scott Brady that ran from 1959 to 1961. Slade was not a lawman but more of a bounty hunter and private investigator. The game followed the theme of the show by capturing criminals and uncovering mysteries. A typical find now in good to excellent condition, is worth about $250.

Dick Tracy, The Master Detective

Dick Tracy, The Master Detective Game from 1960 is a spinner type chase game with characters from the popular comic strips. The popular Dick Tracy television series began in 1961 making this an ideal version to find. This game can be acquired in fair condition for about $55 with a mint condition one going for about $225.

Barbie Queen of the Prom

Barbie Queen of the Prom Game from 1960 is great for both Barbie collections and game collection investments. Be careful when shopping around for this version, the original has been reproduced many times. Finding an original in excellent or unused condition is hard to find but it can be done. An excellent condition is valued at about $280.

The Game of Life

The Game of Life was originally created in 1860 and remained relatively the same until the first “modern” version was released in 1960, one hundred years later. If looking at the modern versions, look at the money. In 1963, the face of Art Linkletter was used along with his endorsement on the box. A 1960 version in good condition is an important find. Its value today is about $120.

Bozo the Clown Circus Game

Bozo the Clown Circus Game is a simple move along a line game based on the first television series based on Bozo the clown. Bozo later became the original mascot of McDonald's fast food chain. A Bozo the Clown board game in fair to good condition can be found for about $90 and a game in good to excellent condition is valued at $125.

Hi Ho! Cherry-O

Hi Ho! Cherry-O game for kids. 2-4 players first published in 1960 by Whitman Publishers. Spinner game where you collect cherries. The current version takes out the “competitive” aspect and has replaced the object of the game with a variant for a more“cooperative” approach. An original game in good to excellent condition is valued at about $45.

Yogi Berra Big League Baseball

Yogi Berra Big League Baseball board game is rare to find. During the late 50’s and early 60’s, baseball board games were extremely popular. A great example is The Yogi Berra boxed board game with all pieces intact in fair to good condition is estimated value at $700.

King of the Hill

King of the Hill is a race to the top of the mountain with marbles as the playing pieces with a formed plastic mountain. Rare to find an original. The original version was published by Schaper Toys in 1960. King of the Hill was re-released in 2006 but only lasted for one production run. A later version (1963) in worn condition is valued at about $55.

Hardy Boys Treasure Game

Hardy Boys Treasure Game, from 1960 is a great collectors version. The game is based on the original characters from the book series which began to be released in 1927 The various playing pieces include gold bags, coins, and other unique pieces. This year is important because of a change in characteristics because of the use of racial stereotypes. The value of a good to an excellent game is about $125.

Concentration

Concentration game with the famous and original “Rolomatic Puzzle Changer”. The home version was based on the television game show which first aired in 1959. The 1960 game is a must-have for game collectors. Finding a complete Concentration game with all of the cards and a game roll that is not torn makes is hard to do. Its current value for an original is about $140.

Peter Gunn Detective Game

Peter Gunn Detective Game based on the television series of the same name. This is a hide and seek game that uses logic and memorization to determine the winner. This is a rarer game to find but does not seem to hold the value as much as similar type games from the same time period. Peter Gunn Detective Game is currently valued at about $90.

Dennis the Menace Game

Dennis the Menace Game based on the television show by the same name. Players take turns trying to catch Dennis with the other players being different characters from the show. An original excellent condition game with all components intact is valued about $100.

Disneyland Monorail Game

Disneyland Monorail Game from 1960 has been reissued many times over the years in the form of a reproduction making it harder to determine the original. The original will not have a UPC code. In this game, players race against each other and the monorail. A true original in excellent condition can fetch about $80.

Lie Detector Game

Lie Detector game is a deductive and memory type of game which is one of the first “electronic” component introductions that gained popularity quickly. Finding a game in good working condition can be quite a challenge but it can be done. Sometimes it is easier to find several “partial” games to make one good one. A good complete game (rare) is valued at $140.

About grading and condition

Every collector has their own criteria as to the differences of grading and what determines the condition. However, the following is a good baseline to start with.

  1. Mint in Box(MIB): This is an original game still sealed and never opened.
  2. Excellent like new: Opened, complete, never played, no wear or tears.
  3. Excellent: Opened, complete, very minor wear, minor rubbing
  4. Good: Opened, complete, minor rubbing or signs of use, no writing
  5. Fair: Opened, may be missing certain components, some heavier wear or marks
  6. Poor: Good for parts or display

Where the sourcing for values come from

All values are estimated and based on an average from various sources from a combination of historic sales, from action sites such as eBay, Amazon, Boardgamegeek, and several other prominent auction house listings. The value of games included in this review is considered to be in fair to good condition with all components intact unless otherwise noted. Rarity and condition are the biggest driving factor for the increase in valuation. For investment purposes, I have found that board games kept in environmentally friendly surroundings, will increase approximately about 4 to 8 % per year.

The Quick List

(click column header to sort results)
Game  
Value  
Shotgun Slade
$250
Dick Tracy, The Master Detective
$225
Barbie Queen of the Prom
$280
The Game of Life
$120
Bozo the Clown Circus Game
$125
Hi Ho! Cherry-O
$45
Yogi Berra Big League Baseball
$700
King of the Hill
$55
Hardy Boys Treasure Game
$125
Concentration
$140
Peter Gunn Detective Game
$90
Dennis the Menace Game
$100
Disneyland Monorail Game
$80
Lie Detector Game
$140

When you were a kid

Who did you play board games with most?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Joel Diffendarfer

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • heidithorne profile image

        Heidi Thorne 3 weeks ago from Chicago Area

        Dang! Wish I would have kept the Hi-Ho Cherry-O and Concentration (also like the show on TV) games. We also had Candyland, Sorry, a Sunset Strip TV show game, Probe and more.

        One of my friends used to troll garage sales for board games to sell on eBay. She did pretty well.

        Thanks for the trip down board game lane!

      • Larry Fish profile image

        Larry W Fish 3 weeks ago from Raleigh

        A great list of board games, Joel. Many of those games I had and spent a lot of time playing. I never had the Dennis the Menace game, but I watched that show on TV every time. I also spent a lot of time putting together jigsaw puzzles. That took up hours of my time. i was born in 1948, so I know well when games, jigsaw puzzles, and playing outside was what we did. Honestly, I miss the good ole days.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 4 weeks ago from Ontario, Canada

        We still play board games when we get together in the family. That's amazing how much these board games are worth now.

      working