see all cities »


Taking a chance with games

There is a special place in my heart for vintage board games. Not only are they often a charming reminder of my youth, but there is something special about old game pieces and board game design that tends to catch my eye too.

There is an inherent risk however, in buying someone else’s old board game. Odds are good that pieces might be missing, which is always disappointing. It is for this reason that I haven’t been brave enough to buy puzzles. Just thinking about sorting and painstakingly placing 999 pieces only to find one has been AWOL the whole time is torture for me. Leaving a sad hole in a near-completed masterpiece would leave a hole in my heart as well. (Which leads me to my shopping philosophy: Shopping is supposed to be fun, not disappointing or annoying.)

The best game I’ve ever bought was a 1980s edition of Rebound. Finding this game was a particular thrill because it was one I had always wanted when I was a kid, but never received.

I finally found my Rebound at Value Village.

It is a pretty simple game. It’s kind of like shuffleboard. You roll a special game piece in such a way that it rebounds off a pair of elastics at the top of the board and ends up on the high-value area at the other site at the end of the board. Push too hard and it will wind up in the gutter, too softly and you don’t get any points at all.

It is a lot of fun, although I wouldn’t quite agree with the marketing department execs who deemed it to be a “sizzling action game.”

This was a risky purchase. The box was taped shut, and I am not the kind of person who tears open the packaging to investigate the contents within. In a very unscientific fashion, I gave the box a good shake instead, to try to determine whether it sounded like there were eight pieces inside. It was hard to tell. The fellow at the cash was unable to tell me if ValVill checks to see if the games are complete before putting them out on the shelf. Dare I? As it turned out, it was a $4.99 chance I was willing to take.

We took it home, where I tore it open (carefully) and to my relief discovered that all the pieces were there! Woot!

But this time it was already past the girls’ bedtime but we were all itching to play a game. My husband however, deflated my excitement by complaining about the lack of slidyness of the game pieces. He fussed and spritzed it all with Fantastic and gave it a good clean while we waited patiently. (Lesson learned! It actually worked better after a layer of grime was cleaned off the board.)

It’s probably the best secondhand game we’ve ever bought.

We’ve had fun playing with it ever since. Every once in awhile we pull it out for a Rebound tournament on Family Game Night. I’m so glad I took that chance in the store that day.

Mother of two imps and wife of one. Writer, photographer, pro blogger, adventure-seeker, Ottawaholic, social media evangelist and lover of STUFF. Also known as @missfish on Twitter.

10 Responses to “Taking a chance with games”

[…] It’s Tuesday, and on Tuesdays I am blogging over at the UsedEverywhere blog. Today I’m writing about a vintage board game we like to play. […]



We had Rebound – loved it! Also Trouble, Mastermind, Yahtzee, Boggle, crokinole, chinese checkers, Snakes & Ladders, PayDay. Ahhh… the good old days.



    Those are great games! I especially love Trouble. Sorry is a good game too!

Mary @ Parenthood

You can buy replacement pieces for a LOT of old board games… Some of my favourites still exist but are very different now. Life, for instance, is more fun when you get to sell off your kids at the end 😉



    We have a big jar of replacement pieces for games. It has come in handy MANY times!


You are not alone in your love of old games. I have been clearing out our huge board game collection on Used Ottawa and have talked to so many people who see the games as a way of reconnecting with their childhood and making new connections with family and friends. As I have listed my games for sale, I have carefully inventoried each one and described its condition in great detail. As you say, no one want to be disappointed in a purchase. When I resell an item, I make there are no surprises for the buyer. I am always delighted to hear how happy playing one of these games makes people and their families.



    I think that’s a great idea!


That looks fun!! And Value Village is awesome 🙂

I don’t know how “vintage” this game is (because you can buy it new) but it’s old… Double Series. It’s so much fun!



    I will have to check that out… thanks!

[…] Awhile back I posted about a cool board game I found in a secondhand store. […]


Leave a Reply