I happened to pull off another sticker from my box lid and noticed that underneath there was an original "JAMESWAY" sticker with the price of $9.99. When I saw that sticker, it got the wheels churning so I did a little research and here is what I came up with:
It's a second-hand copy so I have no idea of it's state's origin but the median household income in 1971 was $9,028.00. So this game cost approx. 1/1000th (.001106...) of the MHI in '71. In comparison, a tabletop stereo component system from the early 70's, which played 45 RPM singles with a 4 speed automatic changer and two "large" 5 inch speakers cost about $50.00.
Fast forward 45 years and the median level for 2015 was $55,775 according to the census bureau, so that would equate to a game's retail price of $61.72 in 2015. Here are some similar price comparisons of games from 2015:
•XCOM: The Board Game- $59.99
•Pandemic Legacy- $69.99
•Star Wars: Armada- $78.38
•Blood Rage- $79.99
It's not really a fair exercise to compare one era's game to another especially since the gaming industry has developed exponentially over the last 20 years. However, I thought that a fair comparison between two games based on the technology of the time would be of some interest:
XCOM: The Board Game
- slightly higher rating
- ownership 1470% higher
- core mechanic utilizes electronic application from a digital device
- game could be updated or expanded with additional physical components or through the application's source
- game is currently dependent upon lifespan of application and/or publisher of the application
Voice of the Mummy
- slightly lower rating (but it's 44 years older)
- ownership miniscule in comparison (although 10's of thousands must have been produced from MB, this number is most likely due to the high amount of inoperable record players)
- core mechanic utilizes a small record player that's battery operated.
- game is no longer in print so expansions are non-existing unless they would be "fan-made"
- game is dependent on the mechanical nature of the player and it's components. The parts are still currently available and there are outlets that can still restore them to their original state.
Conclusion: Since XCOM doesn't have the longevity of "The Voice of the Mummy" it's too early to make a direct comparison in it's impact on the gaming community. Yet there is no denying that the opportunities of customized gameplay is seemingly endless with a device/application...whereas the record player mechanic fizzled out after the "Mummy", "Name that Tune" and "Seance". The "Mummy" should be commended and appreciated since it has certainly weathered the test of time in both ratings and viability. Should XCOM continue to be supported over the next few decades in whatever means necessary perhaps we will be comparing that to the next generation of hybrid board games?