Sharing my collection

I have been a gamer for over 50 years, collecting for over 30, and designing games for 20 or so years. My collection started out with just the usual family standards, and started adding thrift store/yard sale finds to that. Then I got seriously interested in game history and game theory, and started adding antiques and collectibles. THEN I started playing with a local game group and added new releases and Kickstarters to the list. The collection has grown to fill two rooms, and numbers well over 1600 games at this point. "I'm not a hoarder - it's a collection!"  The photo is just one view of the many full shelves of games of every type and age, plus a few shelves of books on the subject. There are a few rare antiques that I wish I could afford to buy - but I also make reproductions of historic games as well. I have a dozen or so original game designs on the market now, and hoping to add more by the end of the year. The latest collaboration is with a toy company with whom I've done a successful Kickstarter, and soon to launch another, bringing out sets of "historic games from around the world." Yep - I'm a gamer.

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4 months ago

That's a phenomenal collection. What is the specific appeal of antique games for you? Do you enjoy playing them? Do you like learning from them how games have developed over the years? Is it just the act of collecting/having a collection that spans that breadth of games? or something else?

4 months ago

I'm a history guy anyhow (on the board at the local historical museum), and the "parlor games" give some great insights into the culture and lifestyles of the past.  And, being a graphic artist, I enjoy the old artwork and printing technology, too.  BUT most 19th century board games are not at all fun!  Until about 1900, when Chesterton and Wells started developing war games, the challenges were few. (The old card games are generally better.) I've not had much luck finding anyone to play them with - more than once, anyhow. Ancient classics like chess, backgammon, pachisi, mancala, alquerques, hnaftafl, go, mills, etc. are still great games, of course, and antique sets are very collectible.

4 months ago

That's cool, have their been any really surprising things you have learned from exploring the older games?

And yes, I have seen some games from 18th/19th century (went to a LOT of national trust sites growing up) and they were mostly either abstract or on a level of snakes and ladders (with maybe less nuance than snakes and ladders)

4 months ago

Mainly I'm amazed that many of today's new games are innovative combinations of really old mechanics. Lots of older games (I'm talking early 20th century) were single mechanics - like Contak and Scarney, for example - whereas today's hobby games are combinations or nested mechanics. There are a few modern innovations that I haven't seen in history, but most can be found in games 100 years old or more. 

4 months ago

And yes, I think you fall just about into the definition of gamer :D

Supporter4 months ago

I love the picture. I'd really like to explore that room to see what wondrous treasures it holds!

4 months ago

For sure! It's like an Aladdin's cave but for gamers! 

4 months ago

Great Collection.  

4 months ago

That is a dang lot of games!  What is the game you are most proud of having produced and why?

4 months ago

Interesting question. I've got some oddballs and rarities, but no single game really stands out as a source of pride. The oldest game in the collection is a spinner from a steeplechase game that has a patent number on it dating back to 1866. I have a few McLoughlin Brothers games from the 1880s, and an 1886 Milton Bradley catalog.

4 months ago

WOW This looks like a board game store warehouse! Impressive.

You said you design games? Have you published any?

4 months ago

Aside from a handful of prototypes at The Game Crafter, I presently have six original games available from https://store.redhentoys.com/new-venture-games-c66.aspx . I've got several being playtested right now, and Red Hen is on deck to publish those later this year.

4 months ago

That is exciting! Are your games fairly tactile like the games on that site?

4 months ago

Mostly cards-and-dice games at this point - plus another batch of the peg games coming soon. We're working on a process for doing game boards, too, but it's not in place yet.

4 months ago

Excellent! Keep us updated as those come out!

Supporter4 months ago

That's a lot of games, do you have a favorite? 

4 months ago

It depends on (A) who I'm playing with, and (B) what mood we're in at the time. When my grandson (age 6) comes over, he loves to play Robot Turtles and The White Unicorn, so that becomes my favorite, too. If I was to choose any game from the collection with any opponent... I like 7 Wonders, Lords of Waterdeep, Sky Traders, Dominion ... it's really hard to say. Scrabble, Code Names, Red Dragon Inn, Formula D, Splendor, Balderdash, Word on the Street... they're all great with the right opponents. So I guess the short answer is "no."

4 months ago

'Robot Turtles and The White Unicorn' I so want that to be the name of a single game, a game I would definitely want to pay!

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