Puzzles have been a classic leisure activity for over a century. Puzzles vary in many ways that you may not even realize. They bear all kinds of shapes, colors, piece counts, art styles, and more. They also differ in age. Are any of the old puzzles more valuable or collectible? If so, which are they, and how much are they worth?
The most valuable vintage puzzles are those containing all of their pieces. They are iconic limited editions in excellent condition. They do not need to be particularly old to be higher in value. New-in-box vintage puzzles are typically more valuable than those that are used. Read on to learn which vintage puzzles are valuable and why.
Serious collectors can search high and low for vintage puzzles of great value. However, many people may turn to Amazon to purchase vintage puzzles of their favorite brands or popular culture icons. Amazon sellers are able to sell vintage items on the website, and puzzles are no different.
Below are eight of the most valuable vintage jigsaw puzzles on Amazon and the corresponding price point:
Millenium Falcon 3D - $199
Episode 1 R2-D2 3D - $140 on Amazon
Betty Boop Dog 1000 Piece - $115
The term “vintage” does not mean the same thing as “antique.” An item that is an “antique” is at least 100 years old. However, something that is vintage refers to any item more than 10 or 15 years old.
Therefore, it is worth noting that how old a puzzle is and when it was first released is not particularly vital when determining its worth. A vintage puzzle from 1980, for example, could be far more valuable than one from 1935. There are other factors that are more important when determining how valuable a vintage puzzle is.
When determining the value of a vintage puzzle, the following points make all the difference:
Like nearly any collectible or valuable item, a vintage item that is in “brand new” condition will be far more valuable than a similar item in the “used” condition. This is usually the case in terms of vintage puzzles as well. Many brand new and untouched puzzles can be more valuable than others. However, this is not always the case.
Occasionally, a used puzzle in “excellent condition” may be more profitable and higher in value than one that is brand new. This is highly dependent on more factors beyond just its brand new or used status, such as the puzzle’s brand name, piece count, rarity, and relevance.
The overall condition of the pieces is extremely important in determining a vintage puzzle’s value. For brand new puzzles, it is assumed that the condition of the pieces is perfect because the puzzle is likely unopened. What about the many used vintage puzzles that are on the market?
If all of the pieces and accessories are included and in pristine condition, then the value skyrockets. On the other hand, if pieces are missing or they are wrinkled, warped, or damaged in any way, then the value plummets.
The brand names of vintage puzzles matter just like they do for any kind of collectible item. The top puzzle brands are listed below:
These are the three most well-known and usually the most profitable brands in the vintage puzzle world.
That is not to say that other brand names are not relevant or highly valuable. This point is dependent on other factors, as mentioned above. It depends on if the brand or topic of the puzzle is currently relevant or outdated. However, if it is iconic, classic, and timeless, then a puzzle will have a higher worth.
Like so many other collectibles and valuable items, current relevance is an important point to consider. Whatever is popular and well-known at the time of sale and purchase will be the most valuable.
In the table above, “Star Wars” is the most valuable jigsaw puzzle on Amazon. Why would a normally more valuable brand like Waddingtons or Ravensburger not be the first on the list? It boils down to the demand for Star Wars items and the cultural relevance of the Star Wars franchise, which has been around since the 1970s.
This specific Star Wars puzzle is in new condition, so it likely is not damaged. Along with that fact, the other three key factors are the puzzle’s relevance, prestige, and rarity. Disney is producing new Star Wars film content for a new generation. That alone is a big enough reason for that specific puzzle to be so much more valuable right now.
Vintage puzzles are far more valuable if they are based on popular TV shows, movies, books, actors, music artists, and so on. Star Wars was first released in December of 1977. Since then, it has become world-famous and followed religiously by millions.
Due to Star Wars’ significance and undying popularity, its puzzles are highly sought after. This goes for other brands from the past and present. According to the table above, this value of influence is apparent in the two Waddingtons’ “Doctor Who” puzzles. Some of these popular brands and characters include:
People enjoy names and faces that they recognize. Therefore, if more people can recognize the name, face, place, or design depicted on a vintage puzzle, they are more likely to pay more for it. This is especially true if the puzzle evokes nostalgia from a past era, which most popular vintage puzzles will do.
A fact that stands true with most vintage or collectible items is that the rarer the item is, the more valuable it becomes. An item that is easily accessible and available for purchase almost anywhere will be less valuable. It is a classic case of supply and demand.
It is important to note, then, that limited edition vintage puzzles are far more sought after than those that were mass-produced. Therefore, limited edition puzzles are far more valuable than other kinds of vintage puzzles.
Not all vintage puzzles are created equal. A puzzle’s construction has a big role in determining how valuable it is. Often, older jigsaw puzzles that would qualify as vintage were not made of the same materials jigsaw puzzles are made of today. Today they are much cheaper and built to be less sturdy.
Vintage jigsaw puzzles that were made with wood are going to be much more valuable than puzzles that were not. Not every vintage puzzle will have high-quality craftsmanship and wooden pieces. The quality of the pieces determines how easy a puzzle is to put together, which in turn affects the value of the puzzle as a whole.
Determine what kind of value you are searching for. If you are searching for puzzles that are strictly valuable in the monetary sense, the above factors all have you covered. However, there are other ways a vintage collectible item can be valuable. Perhaps you are looking for a puzzle based on a TV show or a book that was important to you as a child. Strong nostalgia can cause people to buy vintage items with as much compulsion as monetary value.
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