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5 Very Rare Board Games That Are Worth a Small Fortune

Updated on November 6, 2015

Whether it's a family game night or a chance to get some friends together to see who the Monopoly champion of the group really is, board games allow us to engage our competitive nature and lay a friendly can of whup-butt on our friends and family. Chances are, you've spent at most, $40 on a single board game, but would you ever consider spending $100? $200? or $500 on a single game? Here's a list of games that may make you consider opening up your wallet (and maybe taking out a bank loan) to add to your collection.

5. Fireball Island

Released by Milton Bradley in 1986, Fireball Island is a game of skill and luck. The object of the game is to claim a treasured jewel, dodge treacherous fireballs and escape from the island alive. Players make their way across the huge 3D board and when a fireball card is collected, that player gets to choose the direction the red marble rolls down the board, hopefully taking out the other players in the process. Much of the fun comes from the satisfaction of knocking out other players by using the fireballs and sending them to the smoldering pits to recover, as well as the excitement of capturing the jewel and trying to make it to safety without encountering another player, who can steal the jewel from you, while also trying to avoid being pulverized by a fireball.

Fireball Island has long been out of print. The game came in a huge box with many pieces. Since the game is over 20 years old and was largely played by children and teenagers who misplaced or destroyed parts of the game, coming across a fully complete box is rare. Fireball Island has sold on Ebay for over $300.

4. Tornado Rex

Tornado Rex is an action board game released by Parker Brothers in 1991. The object of the game is to get your hikers up Tornado Mountain to the lookout point before the other players, while avoiding Tornado Rex as he spins down the trail, knocking out players that are unfortunate enough to be in his path. Players draw cards to see how many spaces they are allowed to move, but when the Tornado Rex card is drawn, that player must wind Tornado Rex up, and release him at the top of the mountain to spin all the way down to the bottom. Every player on the trail is vulnerable to the whirling beast. You never know when Rex will be unleashed.

Small plastic pieces and a winding mechanism that could be easily broken if winded too many times, make finding a complete Tornado Rex a rarity. Complete boxes in good condition sell for between $175-$300.

3. Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit

Released in 2000 by Hasbro, Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit is a strategy board game with over 155 plastic miniatures, 3 separate boards and 2 decks of cards. Battles are resolved using attack and defense dice.

Despite being complicated, the game is highly coveted for it's fun factor and collectibility. Complete versions of this game sell for between $300-700.

2. Dark Tower

Released in 1981 by Milton Bradley, the game went out of print rather quickly due to a lawsuit filed by Alan Coleman and Roger Burten, the makers of a similar game called Triumph. The object of the game is to build an army, collect 3 keys to unlock the tower and then defeat the evil within the tower.

Every action made in the game would be monitored by a computer inside the tower, that would decide the outcome of battles and would even play music at key parts of the game. Complete versions of the game have sold for over $500.

1. War of the Ring

Released in 2010 by Fantasy Flight Games, War of the Ring is a Lord of the Rings based strategy war game. 1 or 2 players play as the fellowship and face off against 1 or 2 players playing as Sauron and his shadow armies. Rolling action dice dictates the different types of actions that can be performed during your turn, from personal actions to military strategies.

The game includes 246 hand-painted miniatures, specially molded marbled dice, and an 80 page leather bound rule book. This may sound tedious, but collectors and strategy game enthusiasts alike have praised the game for it's fun and addicting game-play. The collector's edition of this game, which includes special Gollum and Nazgul figures and a 25% larger board, sells for $1200 and up.

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