Quentin Tarantino Reservoir Dogs

You’d never guess what Quentin Tarantino collects.


You know, it makes sense that Quentin Tarantino would curate an amazingly esoteric collection.

If you’re familiar with Tarantino’s classic films like Pulp Fiction or Reservoir Dogs, you’d know this guy has a… nonlinear approach to storytelling. But the more you learn about the guy, the more you’ll scratch your head wondering if he has achieved a level of genius that our feeble ape minds cannot comprehend. For example, this is a man who adamantly advertised shooting The Hateful Eight in 70MM… despite it being a previously dead format that wouldn’t mean much to general audiences. Also, let’s not forget the time he recommended that kids as young as 12 should see the R-rated Kill Bill. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the guy knows how to make a compelling argument, but… could you imagine anyone else saying stuff like that?

With all of that said, I’ll give you one last chance to guess what Quentin Tarantino likes to collect. Does it have anything to do with what I said above? Well, does Big Kahuna Burger make a tasty burger? Does Bill die in Kill Bill? Okay, I’m already out of ways to stall while you come up with your answer. Anyway, without further adieu…

… Quentin Tarantino collects board games based on vintage TV Shows and movies. Because of course he would be into the most niche collectible possible that still pertains to film.

Terminator 2 Board Game

Believe it or not, Tarantino’s love of collecting goes back to at least the early 90s, if not earlier. The famed film director briefly discussed his passion for collecting board games in a 1994 interview with Rolling Stone, only one month after the US premiere of Pulp Fiction. During the interview, Tarantino insinuates that he was looking for something movie-related to collect, and eventually he settled on board games out of practicality.

“I’ve been collecting [movie memorabilia] for years,” Tarantino told Rolling Stone. “Then I finally decided I wanted to start collecting something new. At first I chose lunch boxes, but… they’re just too f—ing expensive. And as for dolls, well, you can’t have much fun with them! You have to keep them in the box. So, I started with board games.”

Quentin Tarantino

We don’t know if this is the first time Tarantino ever spoke about his board game collection, but it’s certainly the most well-known instance of it. Heck, the fact that an article from 1994 is our meatiest nugget of information should speak for itself. Fortunately, we can at least confirm it’s not the only time he’s spoken about his collection publicly.

During a 1996 appearance on Tom Snyder’s The Late Late Show, an astute fan called in to the show to learn more about Tarantino’s board games. Thanks to the power of the internet, we actually have access to two clips from the show that more or less capture Tarantino’s answer to the question, albeit with an awkward break in between. We’ve embedded these videos below for your viewing pleasure.

While the Rolling Stone article conveyed Tarantino’s collection as almost incidental, here we really get to see the man passionate about board games. And honestly, it’s amazing on multiple levels. Here’s a critically acclaimed director gushing about his niche collection in a time when collecting wasn’t quite as in vogue as it is now, yet he’s so confident that you can’t help but smile watching it. The talent to tell a good story truly transcends the world of T.V. and movies.

Now, normally on Celebrity Inventory, it usually turns out that celebrities use their amazing wealth to get some of the rarest collectibles you could ever imagine. This is also usually the place where I list the value of a celebrity’s rarest find and then I find a corner to go cry in if you know what I’m saying. That said, after running a couple preliminary searches on Tarantino’s T.V. and movie board games, it really does seem like he’s in a minority of collectors here. The Milton Bradley Mr. T board game – easily my favorite of the games Tarantino name dropped – can still be pretty easily found to the tune of $15 – $20 preowned. The Dawn of the Dead and Universe board games, on the other hand, are a bit harder to appraise. Both have been out of production for a long time, and it’s hard to find anyone selling them. So yes, signs definitely point towards those games being rare, but then again, perhaps no one is selling them since you can download the game boards yourself online.

Quentin Tarantino Robert Rodriguez

Yet as we often say here on Gemr, a collectible’s true value is up to the person collecting it. While I’m not going to suggest Quentin Tarantino gets teary eyed looking at the Happy Days board game, I am going to suggest that he has some sentimental value towards his collection. Say what you will about the man, but this is a guy who loves movies and loves paying homage to the classics he grew up with. Even if his collection is really niche and specific, it’s still a representation of what he loves. A small representation, perhaps, but a representation all the same.

So here’s to you, Quentin Tarantino, as… well, you know, we can’t honestly let an article about valuable collectibles and Quentin Tarantino go by without referencing the time that a 145 year old Martin guitar was accidentally destroyed on the set of The Hateful Eight.

I laughed, I cringed, I cried. Tarantino truly is the master of creating unparalleled cinema magic.

Share:
Written by TimM
Tim is a video game aficionado who is fascinated by pop culture. He built his first collection in 1999 by catching all 151 monsters in Pokemon Red, and he hasn't stopped collecting since. His work has been featured multiple times on Destructoid.com.