Remember Hit the Beach? Rare board games collector offers nostalgia for sale

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Remember Hit the Beach? Rare board games collector offers nostalgia for sale

Thames man Jay Parker knows that sometimes social competitiveness isn’t that acceptable – which is why he took to board games.

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Jay discovered a group of guys that he worked with were “passionate board gamers” and joined them one night for more than just monopoly.

“I’ve played a few online games as well, but I don’t really enjoy them. Social engagement allows you to see others’ faces, and see their emotion. It can be really Shakespearean stuff – sometimes victory, sometimes deceit and sometimes betrayal.

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“Chance happens too, and you can’t do that online.”

Keeping the social life alive with face-to-face contact is not the only upside of board games, says Jay.

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While many complained about lockdown, he believes it got families around board games again, communicating and having fun.

It may not always mimic life, but a game of Risk or The Bottom Line – or even Cosmic Encounters – brings people together. Even teenagers with their parents.

The Bottom Line is touted on the box as a financial challenge for the entire family – a game created by a man named Trevor Pepperell who was a millionaire many times over and who bought, sold and traded enormous amounts of money, gold and property as one of London’s most successful bankers.

“It was during his time in prison that he developed and perfected The Bottom Line, thanks in part to some of the most devious financial minds in the world,” the game’s promotional blurb explains.

Jay has collected this and numerous rare and favourite vintage board games and sells them at the Thamesian book store in Pollen St, Thames.

He’s almost run out of games.

“I went to a friend’s place down the line and he had over 1000 board games locked up at his house,” he explains.

“I ended up buying quite a few. The first game I sold was a [Donald] Trump game.

“Some of these you will never see again in this part of the world,” he says, indicating the collection in The Thamesian.

Examples include Hit the Beach and Sub Search, the former based on WWII and the latter a submarine game that takes up to 20 minutes to set up.

Jay says Hit the Beach has simple mechanics, a roll and go.

But it’s a good game – and Jay knows the nostalgia of playing it and others like it is what draws many of his customers.

“An example of a roll-and-go game would be Monopoly, but it doesn’t have an ending. One person can dominate the game and there’s no comeback,” he says.

It’s not Jay’s favourite – but not all games that Jay loves have remained in play like Monopoly, and that might just say something about Monopoly.

“Monopoly was made in the day where you didn’t get a medal for participating.”

A perhaps less politically correct game on Jay’s shelves is Dealer’s Choice.

This one features a wheel hubcap-shaped cardholder and the aim of outselling cars as though you own a car dealership, complete with pickup cards featuring a hand holding a cigarette.

“Basically, you are all seedy car dealers. You try to win by selling the most cars but you can sabotage car lots and sell lemons.”

Kreskin’s ESP is a game that helps you improve your psychic abilities, and Risk is another favourite: “A lot of people still cut their teeth on Risk,” says Jay.

For those who collect board games to make money, Jay has a shrewd offering.

Stocks and Bonds is based on the New York Stock Exchange of the1960s and will continue to keep your mind amused while bullishly enjoying your downtime, in the company of family and friends.

But for those too tired to learn the rules, dexterity games might be the best of all.

If you feel you’ll be excited to “look out below!”, try marble game Avalanche and simply plop a marble at the top of the stand and be the first to fill your cardboard square.

It’s fun that might last all night.

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