Not long after the game began production at Parker Brothers in 1935, more than 20,000 games were being published each week. With that many in circulation, the remaining supply is still large enough to keep prices down.
The Value of Vintage Monopoly Games
Unfortunately, you're probably not going to be able to finance your child's education by finding an old Monopoly game in your attic and selling it on eBay. For example, a 1935 edition in decent condition sold in early 2003 for just $76. A 1937 edition with wooden pawns sold around the same time for only $61.
While you might expect that prices have since increased, just the opposite is true. It is not uncommon for eBay listings to be in the $20 range and games that have sold do not reach much above that. Only in rare instances do they sell for over $100.
The exception to these low prices are the truly rare game boards. Among those are the original 1935 Monopoly games that include either the year 1933 on the board or "patent pending" on the box. These can bring in anywhere from $300 to $900.
The most expensive Monopoly set ever made was encrusted with rubies and sapphires. It was put together by San Francisco jeweler Sidney Mobell in 1988. With solid gold houses and hotels, and diamonds in the dice for pips, this game was worth $2 million.
The Franklin Mint produced a deluxe collector's edition that's relatively valuable as well. This board is usually available for $500 to $600 retail and occasionally sells for $200 to $300 on eBay.
Collectible Editions of Monopoly
Early editions of the Monopoly games are valued by collectors. If you have one of these editions, you may be able to find a buyer willing to pay a premium price to add it to their collection.
Vintage games include:
- The white box and black box Monopoly games that were produced in 1934 before Parker Brothers began producing the game. These are extremely rare, and the ones that exist are already in collectors' hands. Only 1,000 of the white box Monopoly game were ever released. Many of the 7,500 copies of the black box Monopoly game were never released.
- The 1935 Parker Brothers original Monopoly Game—the No. 7 Black Box—is the ultimate Parker Brothers Monopoly game for collectors. It has the Parker Brothers name and the Trade Mark label on the boxes. An estimated 25,000 games were produced.
- Any game that dates between 1934 and 1954 is difficult to find and therefore fetches a higher price.
Other Collectible Editions
Any sealed-box game fetches a higher price than an open-box game. However, a rare game edition with a damaged box is still a valuable find. Some special editions are particularly popular with collectors, including:
- The Fine Edition (1946)
- The 50th Anniversary Edition (1985)
- The last official Parker Brothers Edition (1991)
- The Gold Foil 60th Anniversary Edition (1995)
- The Nostalgia Edition (2001)
Where to Find Sellable Monopoly Games
Other than your attic, eBay and estate sales are good places to look for Monopoly games. eBay has an active Monopoly game collecting audience. You're unlikely to find any hidden jewels on that website, however, because many collectors follow new entries daily. On the other hand, if you have a valuable game, the bidding at eBay can drive up the price.