I've always collected things, whether it be Board Games or Monster Models or
As I was growing up, my parents kept my Brothers and Sister and I well supplied with games. We'd have Game Night several times a week, where we'd play whatever was our current favorite, from SKITTLE-BOWL and MASTERPIECE, to DEALER'S CHOICE, and MONOPOLY. Whenever we weren't playing together, we were playing games with our friends. I remember my friends having TIP-IT, and TIGER ISLAND, and many other games I enjoyed. My older Brother had lots of games, but they were more adult-oriented, like DOGFIGHT, and RISK. I remember he had THE PHANTOM, RULER OF THE JUNGLE game. I loved that "Skull" ring. My Sister had girly games, like CAT AND MOUSE, and BLASTOFF. Unfortunately, I don't remember my little Brother having any particular games. Mostly I remember his aerial assault technique when we played SKITTLE-BOWL, which usually resulted in us picking the pins up off the floor. My personal favorite game was VOICE OF THE MUMMY. I would play that by myself for hours. I also loved BARNABAS COLLINS DARK SHADOWS GAME, SWACK!, SUPER SPY, WHICH WITCH?, FANTASTIC VOYAGE, THE IPCRESS FILE, GREEN GHOST, and many others. I had them all. I stored them at our house in our shed, and moved to California to go to Film School at UCLA. Towards the end of my time there, my Mother said I'd have to pick up all these things or she'd have to throw them out. Where's a poor student going to keep all this stuff? So, reluctantly, I agreed to let her throw them out.
Years later, after I was married, I was filming on location in Mendicino for a show called MURDER, SHE WROTE. I happened to be in a store, and I wandered to the toy department. I saw a game called TIP-IT. It was brand new and shiny. I remembered playing the game when I was younger, so I bought it to bring home and play. My wife and I enjoyed it, and it brought back lots of memories. Still later, I happened to be at a flea market. In rummaging through the junk, I stumbled upon an original game of TIP-IT. I was amazed at how different it looked. The artwork and graphics, and even the way the pieces were stored in the box were all so different, and yet, familiar. It called to me. And, being that it called to me for only a dollar, I bought it. After that, I became obsessed with finding all those other games from my childhood, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Flash Forward, years later. I no longer have a wife, but I do have lots of games (wonder if there's a relation?). Rick Polizzi's book, SPIN AGAIN, had just come out and I thought it was the best thing I had ever seen. The only problem was, there wasn't ENOUGH games in the book. Later, I happened to buy a book by Schiffer Publishing, and in the front was a note saying they were always interested in hearing from authors about related subjects. I'm no author, but I thought, why not, and sent him a letter outlining my idea for a book about board games. He sent back a letter saying they were not interested in doing "mindless coffee table books", and no thanks. I sent a rather terse reply to this letter, and to my surprise he called me. He was flying out to Los Angeles and wanted to meet with me. I met with him and discussed my idea for the book with him at length. He was very nice, and let me pursue my dream of creating a book that I would want to have with me "on a desert island". The only concession was that it would have to be a price guide, too. I never liked price guides, because the values are outdated so quickly, and sometimes they are not very accurate. And, sure enough, as the book came out, I received lots of criticism over the prices. All I can say, is the prices reflected my experiences at the time. Unfortunately, everyone believes their possessions are priceless, and sometimes they don't want to let reality intrude upon their fantasies.
I needed photographs for the book, and because I don't have ALL the games in the world, I got additional photographs from Jeff Lowe (who DOES have all the games in the world), Bill Bruegman from TOY SCOUTS, and Rick Polizzi, who helped me a lot. I got to return the favor and contributed photographs to his next book, BABY BOOMER GAMES.
I've finished my second book (called MORE BOARD GAMES), and it's on sale now at your local bookstore. The first book BOARD GAMES has also been re-released with a new cover and updated prices. In doing books like these, you're doing them as a labor of love, and not to get rich. Doing the first book was exactly like giving birth. It took 9 months and was just as painful. As the years went by, I forgot about the pain, and did the second book. Ai Yi Yi! If I decide to do a third book, please stop me! Seriously, although the whole process is very difficult, I think the results are well worth it.
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