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Plainfield auction packs in board game enthusiasts

PLAINFIELD – More than 50 people packed into The Wandering Dragon Game Shoppe for an auction Saturday that promised opportunities to buy hours of fun for as little as $1.

Attendees were surrounded by shelves stacked with board games. The first item up for auction was Bomb, a jigsaw puzzle game that went to a bidder for only $1. But the room of bidders loved it.

“It looks like a 1980s PC game,” one bidder said.

The Wandering Dragon, 15032 S. Des Plaines St. in Plainfield, held its annual fall board game auction Saturday, moving more than 500 board games from owner to owner during a nonstop, 5-hour period.

People tired of their board games had the opportunity to list them in the auction. Bidders bought the games and the original owners received an equivalent amount of store credit.

The Wandering Dragon set up shop in 2012 and has a spring and fall board game auction every year.

“It’s a neat way for people trading games that they don’t care for or use anymore,” owner Kevin Martin said.

Games received bids from $1 to more than $50. Some games were rare finds, while others were valuable expansions to existing games.

The auction attracted board game collectors and enthusiasts, as well as parents looking for unique games to play with their kids.

Romeoville resident Bob LePera remembers bidding against another person for a game up to $30, when another person threw out a $50 bid. He lost that one, but did get other games, such as “Mystery of the Abbey” and “Ikusa.”

“It’s fun to bid on the games, and I got some pretty good value buys,” LePera said, adding that he got about 20 games from $15 to $20 each. “These games can go for $50 to $60 on the shelf.”

Paul Bachleda traveled to Plainfield from Oak Lawn after checking out photos of the games that The Wandering Dragon posted on its Facebook page.

Bachleda said he has collected board games for more than 20 years and has been to board game auctions at The Wandering Dragon and several other game shops in Illinois.

He ended up spending $93 on seven board games.

“These auctions can get people to play a broader spectrum of board games,” he said, adding that it allows people to easily resell their games. “It’s good for all types of people and you get to meet other people who like board games, too.”

Shorewood resident Leah McLurkin came to the auction after work, during the final stretch. She stayed in the hallway outside the room and discussed auction strategy with her boyfriend over the phone.

“I’m starting to get into collecting board games, but he’s very into it,” McLurkin said. “Some of these games are gently used and sell for much higher than what you get here.”

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