Joseph works as an editor in one of the magazines dedicated to video games. Here, at RecRoomPick, he’s given the opportunity to enjoy the reverse of the medal – the no less engaging world of offline games.
Ryan knows everything when it comes to gaming, both online and offline. Since his early years he’s been in love with arcades, air hockey, and foosball. Finally, he’s given the opportunity to share his knowledge and opinion on the hobby of his life (and even get paid for it!).
Last updated: July 19, 2021
Rec Room Pick is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page. Learn more about our process here
Would you like to be able to play chess with the pieces of your favorite characters? Do you want to play with Harry Potter, Frodo, or even Luke Skywalker? Well, now it is possible thanks to the wide range of themed chess games offered to fans of these popular movies.
Everyone has classic chess at home but it is a luxury to be able to enjoy chess with our favorite characters. In this article, we will review the 9 best themed chess sets for adults and kids alike. These chess sets were selected based on the affinity of the themed movies and characters with fans, as well as their material, sizes, among other criteria.
"How many times have you heard the classic “No, I am your father”? Well, now you can take it to the board with this fantastic Star Wars chess set that will allow you to recreate the best battles in the galaxy."
Characters: Night King as king, Viserion as queen, White Walkers as bishops, Horses as knights, Giants as rooks, and the Wights as pawns; Jon Snow as king, Daenerys Targaryen as queen, Tyrion Lannister and Tormund Giansbane as bishops, Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth as knights, Drogon and Rhaegal as rooks, and the Unsullied as pawns
The Game of Thrones collector’s chess set is one of the most popular thematic chess types that exist. It’s an official licensed 32-piece vinyl chess game. The pieces measure approximately 3 to 6 centimeters. The series-inspired collectible chess game tackles Westeros’ epic battle against the notorious White Walkers.
Fans of the Game of Thrones series can now get an edition of the Game of Thrones chess. It is a chess set featuring the main characters from George RR Martin’s acclaimed universe. Whether you are a Lannister or a Stark, you can simulate epic battles on the game board. It’s specified for players who are more than 18 years.
What makes it special?
Here, you'll find the Battle for the Seven Kingdoms inspired by the popular series. We have chosen this because it is the first chess game made after the Game of Thrones to be officially licensed by HBO. To claim a seat on the iron throne, fans will be tasked to capture the king.
What cons did we find?
Yes, original themed chess games are usually highly-priced due to the licensing. But this could be more price friendly. Also, the board could be made of better material. This is made of cardboard and, although it looks nice, it feels cheap, despite its high-end range.
This chess set includes a gorgeous glass board that is multi-colored. The civil war soldier-themed chess set has great details and the pieces and board are made of the highest quality materials. The multicolor, Civil War Solider-themed chess set with hand-painted craftsmanship is truly remarkable. Each piece is made with high-quality resin and well painted. The finish is also meticulously worked by hand, using markers. The result is breathtaking!
This chess set will suit all types of players and those looking for a unique piece of decoration for their home. The figurines which measure 3 inches each are indeed true works of art.
What makes it stand out?
We liked that this is has a glass board which looks decorative. The figurines are small and well-built. It's an inexpensive chessboard that buyers seem to appreciate for its value for money and excellent portability. It measures 17 x 16.9 x 3.1 inches and is artistically crafted by hand.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
It cannot be closed to take up half the space. Also, the pieces could be well built. They feel fragile.
With this board game, your kids will be able to pit their wits against each other in the field of politics and history. They can set up in two, one being the Democrat and the other being the Republican. The Republicans have Donald Trump as the President, Mike Pence as Queen, Justice Brett Cavanaugh and Chief Justice John Roberts as Bishops, Senator Mitch McConnel, and Representative Kevin Mccarthy as Knights. The Democrats have Barack Obama and Joe Biden as Rooks and Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer as Knights.
This will be a great chess set for those looking to teach their young ones some history concerning the 2020 election. It features characters such as Democrats and Republicans. The chess pieces are designed to look like politicians. It is recommended for players who are at least 10 years old. Even seniors who love politics can play.
Why are we impressed?
The best part of this themed chess set is that it is indeed inexpensive. It can be played by between two to four players. It's a board game designed for all types of players. This game can also serve as a form of keepsake. It's made from a material that ensures it can last as much as possible.
What negatives must you be aware of?
This chess set game isn't recommended for kids below three years due to the small components that can be a choking hazard. If it's meant for over 10-year-old players, then this has no downside.
Do you like chess and Hogwarts magic? You can now enjoy your two passions at the same time. Now you can enter the world of JK Rowling and enjoy the characters of this series in a battle on the chessboard. This is a chess set themed after the popular Harry Potter series. It features 32 chess pieces that are handcrafted to the smallest detail and measure from 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 inches in height. The board game features characters from the Sorcerer’s Stone. The game comes complete with an amazing square game board and is authorized officially by Warner Brothers.
The wizarding chess scene in the first Harry Potter film is awe-inspiring, chaotic, and brutal. This Harry Potter chess and chessboard set is available in one size. It is recommended for players of 7 to 14-year-olds. It’s an ideal birthday or Christmas gift for them.
Why did it make our list?
Unlike the one in the movie, the chess pieces don't move on their own, they are always in tune with the player and they don't destroy each other. It's just a simple chessboard! So, it's up to you! It is not only a game, but it is also a very nice decoration item and a great gift.
What is not ideal about it?
What we particularly didn't like about this is they are made of materials which we think could be more reliable and durable. The board is made of cardboard and the pieces are made of cheap plastic. They are light and also fall a lot.
How many times have you heard the classic “No, I am your father”? Well, now you can take it to the board with this fantastic Star Wars chess set that will allow you to recreate the best battles in the galaxy. The Star Wars chess is one of the collectible editions that are most in-demand today. And it is that, without a doubt, the universe created by Darth Vader and Boba Fett, has penetrated deep among the movie’s followers.
Hasbro Gaming recommends this game for fans of the movie who are 7 and above. If you are an unconditional fan of this acclaimed saga and you like to play chess, you can’t wait any longer to make yourself this themed chess set that can brilliantly decorate any corner of your home. The pawns are not made of metal, as many have asked, but are made of plastic that still conveys a high-quality effect.
What stands out?
The figurines include replicas of popular characters in Star Wars, such as R2 D2, Han Solo, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett. It's easy to identify each character.
What cons did we manage to find?
The pieces are too large, as noted by those who have bought the chess set. The figurines are made from plastic and seem to bend at the extreme ends.
If you are passionate about the Tolkien universe, surely this Lord of the Rings Chess cannot be missing from your collection of chess boards. The figurines are made of thick and durable plastics. They measure 2 to 4 inches each. The game features characters such as Gandalf the Grey, Galadriel, Frodo, Aragorn, Gollum, Saruman, Nazgûl, and more.
With it, users who are aged 3 and above will be able to fight in the middle of middle earth against orcs and the power of Sauron. Or if you are on the darker side, you can defeat the company of the ring through the board that simulates middle earth.
Why are we impressed?
It's a detailed chess set that comes with two storage bags made of cloth so that the pieces wouldn't be lost easily. We also liked that up to 5 players can play. So, it's a good option for the entire family.
What negatives must you be aware of?
The pieces are well built but we think the board looked too cheap for the set. Also, it's expensive for plastic figures that are used.
An employee of InGen is attacked by a dinosaur during its transfer to the Jurassic Park, an amusement park whose main attraction are dinosaurs cloned by a team of scientific geneticists. As a result, John Hammond, park manager, is pressured by the project’s investors to investigate to ensure the park’s safety before it opens to the general public. Soon after, paleontologist Alan Grant, paleobotanist Ellie Sattler, mathematician Ian Malcolm, and investor representative Donald Gennaro arrive on the island to analyze the specimens and facilities of Jurassic Park. During their visit, the dinosaurs escape and must fight for their lives. Replicating the movie, this Chess Set features 32 PVC dinosaurs and a full branded cardboard graphics board.
This game is a little gem for lovers of dinosaurs. It can be an unusual gift for fans of the Jurassic Park movie: a collector’s chessboard with 32 finely sculpted PVC dinosaur pieces and a complete cardboard graphic board with the logo of the famous dinosaur amusement park. However, The Noble Collection recommends it for players of age 14 and above. It’s a great gift for your paleontologist son.
What are its best features?
It's an officially licensed game and it consists of 32 pieces of finely carved and durable PVC dinosaurs that are mounted on a durable base. The chess set is ideal as a birthday or Christmas gift.
What could be improved?
The major downside which a few don't like here is that the board is made of cardboard, which makes it look a bit cheap. You can get boards made of glass or wood for the same money. Also, the figures are partly bent by squeezing into the packaging so much that they do not stand upright on the base.
Fallout Chess Set plays out a Tactical Battlefield in an exclusive offer from ThinkGeek and GameStop to fans and inclined chess players. The chessboard itself is in the Pip-Boy style, the figures are made of sturdy plastic (PVC) and should convey a holographic look in their transparent design that is thematically appropriate.
This game is ideal for all ages and fans. The game is not played black against white, but green against gray, or good against evil. Both 16 hero and 16 villain figures are available. On the good side, the Lonely Wanderer acts as king, Dogmeat as queen, BOS Scribes as runner, BOS Knights as a jumper, Mr. Handy as towers, and Vault dweller as farmers. As an evil king, the super mutant and deathclaw as queen, glowing ones as runners, sentry bots as jumpers, protectrons as towers, and raiders as pawns can be played.
What makes it stand out?
We liked how nicely sculpted the pieces are. The game comes in its tin box so it can be carried along for summer camping. The figurines are uniquely designed and sit well on the board.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
The board could be made of better material. Also, a few complained of some of the pieces coming damaged upon delivery.
Characters: Blue team features Jessie and Buzz Lightyear as queen and king, Trixie and Rex as rooks, Dolly and Bullseye as knights, Slinky Dog and Mr. Pricklepants as bishops, and Little Green Aliens as pawns; Gold team features Bo Peep and Woody as queen and king, Forky and Hamm as rooks, Duke and Buttercup as knights, Bunny and Ducky as bishops, and Army Men as pawns
Size: 3 x 17 x 11 inches
Weight: 2.64 lbs.
More features: comes with a rule book, full color sculptured figures
In view of the release in theaters of the fourth installment of the Disney Pixar saga, two years ago, USAopoly announced two new licensed games dedicated to Toy Story: Toy Story Collector’s Chess Set and Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures. Toy Story Collector’s Chess Set is a collectible chessboard, in which the most beloved characters of the saga animate the colorful chessboard. Instead of the canonical black and white pieces, the miniatures of the cinema’s most beloved toys are divided into two teams, Team Woody and Team Buzz.
Unlike the Toy Story: Obstacles and Adventures, which is a collaborative deck-building game for 2-5 people aged eight and over and meant to last between 45 and 90 minutes, the Toy Story Collector’s Set is intended for players of ages 7 to 100.
What are its best features?
The chessboard game includes beloved characters from the Toy Story 4 movies that kids are going to fall in love with again. Team Woody includes Woody as King, Bo Peep as Queen, Ducky & Bunny as Alfieri, Duke, and Buttercup as Horses, Hamm, and Forky as the Towers, and Sarge as Pedestrians. Team Buzz includes Buzz Lightyear as King, Jessie as Regina, Mr. Pricklepants and Slinky Dog as Alfieri, Dolly and Bullseye as Cavalli, Rex and Trixie as Torri, and the Little Green Aliens as Pedestrians.
What could be improved?
Asides from the price, nothing seems wrong with this set. It's made of more durable PVC plastics. However, it's not made for kids who are still learning chess.
Things to Consider
Chess is a pastime that has been handed down for a long time to cheer young and old. But chess is not played without chessboards, they are indispensable for each other. Standard or mini, classic or decorative, themed or stylized, there are chessboards for all tastes and any occasion, amateur or professional, as a game tool or furnishing element. Now lovers of movies, politics, and sports games can combine their interests into one in form of a chess set which can be themed after different aspects of entertainment. Without a doubt, themed chess games are the king of board games, especially for kids and movie lovers. Below, we answer the most frequently asked questions about this game, so you can learn more about it and know how to choose.
Advantages of Themed Chess Sets
Any board game has a positive influence on our minds. However, themed chess games stand out above all for the extraordinary benefits it brings to players of any age. First, they allow fans of a series, historical event, and other creations to relive the memory of the real event. These board games can also serve as a keepsake.
Although chess is not part of primary and secondary school curricula in many countries, it is promoted through extra-curricular activities. Among other things, UNESCO recommends that member countries include this game among the subjects, as one of the causes of school failure is the lack of attention and concentration, qualities that chess helps to develop in children.
The child’s short and long-term memory is greatly exercised with chess. To gain an advantage in the game, one must remember the moves made, hypothesize those of the opponent, and consequently design other future ones, all during the same game. In addition, the strategies or winning moves of previous games must be remembered to take advantage of them and obtain the coveted victory.
Chess trains children’s mathematical reasoning as well as calculations and problems. In some schools, pedagogues have come to replace some of the weekly math hours with chess lessons, aware of the benefits of this game for students.
Another major challenge that the little one’s face is the improvement of self-esteem. Anxiety to improve at play and to surpass oneself increases the child’s self-esteem. At the same time, defeats develop the capacity for self-criticism. Learning to reflect or anticipate circumstances are other qualities a child can improve by playing chess.
On the other hand, playing chess helps us to relate, reducing anxiety and stress. Diving into a match, whether it is against a computer Trusted SourceChess.com - Play Chess Online - Free GamesPlay chess online for free on Chess.com with over 50 million members from around the world. Have fun playing with friends or challenging the computer! www.chess.com or a human, helps us forget our worries for a while. When the game is over, even if we lose, we will be able to face the daily difficulties with renewed energy.
They are also helpful for seniors. Recent studies claim that chess prevents mental illnesses Trusted Source10 Benefits of Playing Chess: Plus Potential DownsidesLearn about the benefits — and downsides — of playing chess. We also look at the benefits for children and how to encourage them to play. www.healthline.com such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Brain activity during a game of chess helps prevent such diseases more than other memory-based games. Alzheimer’s primarily attacks memory and concentration, exactly the brain functions that chess helps strengthen.
Computer programs have largely replaced physical chessboards. However, the rediscovery of themed games, as well as the confirmation of the beneficial effects on the intellectual development of children, have led to the sale of themed chessboards. But how do you choose the themed chessboard to buy? Below you can find some basic purchase criteria that you need to keep in mind.
If you want more style, we suggest models with figurine parts of video game characters, fantastic legends, or even cartoons. Among the themes, here are a few: Harry Potter chess set, Zelda chess set, Simpson chess set, Star Wars chess set, and many more.
If you are a chess enthusiast and, on top of that, have a collector’s streak, you’re in luck. Today it is not necessary to spend a fortune to collect beautifully themed chessboards. From $40, you can buy chess from ancient Rome or with medieval figures. Those of Harry Potter or Star Wars are among the best sellers.
If you have a higher budget, Viking-themed chessboards are a bit over $100, while those based on the Lord of the Rings saga. There are also other models, such as those with tin pieces that recreate historical armies.
While the chessboards feature the theme of the chess, designed after popular movies, sports, and events, the figurines are crafted after cult characters in movies, politics, war, sports, and other famous events. These can be characters of politicians from the Democratic and Republican parties such as President Joe Biden, Donald Trump; characters from popular series such as the Sorcerer’s Stone characters from Harry Potter Wizard Chess Set, Darth Vader, and Boba Fett from the Star Wars chess game; Tyrannosaurus rex and Spinosaurus from the Jurassic Park Chess Set, and Galadriel and Aragorn from the Lord of the Rings Chess Set.
Today, all materials are good for making a quality chess set. You, therefore, have a wide choice in terms of material, since there are chess sets in brass, solid wood, porcelain, crystal, glass, resin, marble, stainless steel, plastic, metal, pewter, horn, bone, bronze, and even gold.
Everything is then a question of taste, but also, and above all, of budget, because everyone certainly does not want to acquire a golden chessboard of several million dollars. A plastic set will do just fine to keep the kids happy.
Indeed, we must also see the sustainability side of the game so as not to have to invest a huge amount in a fragile game, while you are going to take it on your travels.
For example, a wooden or metal model will be resistant enough for the whole family to enjoy daily. And if you want to sublimate your interior, you can choose more chic materials to make your chessboard an ornamental object. Ebony wood will be an elegant material for indoor decor.
Size of figures
The World Chess Federation (FIDE) recommends a king height of 9.5cm Trusted Source www.fide.com . The American Chess Federation (USCF) recommends a 3.75 inches (9.525 cm) high king Trusted SourceChess Board Dimensions | Basics and Guidelines - Chess.comChess board dimensions aren’t as simple as one might think. The basic geometry of the chess board isn’t difficult to grasp, but chess board dimensions also include the size of the squares on the board. One of the most important aspects of selecting a chess board and pieces is the relationship between… www.chess.com .
However, the final measurement to be discussed is the diameter of the base of the king. Moreover, FIDE and USCF give the same directive on this subject, namely that it must constitute between 40-50% of its height.
The base diameter of the pieces should be approximately 75-80% of the size of the box. This is what determines whether a combination of a chessboard and pieces works in terms of spacing.
There are indeed countless models of chess set on the market, ranging from the smallest version to grandiose chess boards, not to mention medium-sized models.
If it is a chessboard for the home, nothing prevents you from opting for a large chessboard that is 52 cm in length, or even more. Playing with a larger set is also more important for the visually impaired who will probably have a hard time telling the difference between the different pieces of the game.
On the other hand, if you plan to take your chess set on each of your trips, we advise you to choose a small size set. Easy to transport and not bulky, a folding model will be more very practical to pass the time on the plane or the train.
For travelers, there are magnetic ones, which prevent accidental movements or falls of the pieces. Other models include a roll-up chessboard in which you can store the pieces. Ensure that it is of good quality, to avoid creases or wrinkles on the surface.
The weight is also important for travelers. This criterion is mainly determined by the material. Chess sets that have chessboards made of cardboard are the most lightweight. They weigh between 2 to 3.5 lbs. Models which have resin, glass, or wooden chessboards can weigh between 5 to 10 lbs. including a glass board, the PTC Civil War Solider Themed Set is the heaviest, weighing 7.6 lbs. The Star Wars Chess Set is the lightest and it weighs just 2lbs.
Each themed chess set is made for players of different age range. While historical and politically themed sets will be great for 14 to 100-year-olds, cartoon and movie-themed sets will be great for users starting from kids to teens and adults.
However, watch out for the size of the figurines. Models smaller than 3 inches are likely going to pose choking hazards so these will not be for kids aged 3 and under.
The numerous developmental benefits of play should be reason enough to consider buying chess for your kids. However, we recommend that you do not invest too much in a children’s chessboard. They must be able to learn to play without the fear of breaking the board or the pieces: take this into account.
If, on the other hand, the chess pieces will be used by two adults, it is appreciable that the chessboard and figurines are of higher quality.
The best way to store collectible chess sets is in the cloth bag provided. A tin box like the one from the Fallout Chess Set also ensures safekeeping and portability.
Wrapping It Up
Conclusively, the USAOPOLY Game of Thrones Collector’s Chess Set is our Premium Pick. Rated 9.9/10, this officially licensed Game of Thrones collector’s chess set is one of the most popular thematic chess types that exist. It’s an official licensed 32-piece vinyl chess game. The pieces measure approximately 3 to 6 centimeters.
The PTC Civil War Solider Themed Chess Set with Glass Board doubles as our Editor’s Choice and the model we consider as the overall best themed chess set. Also rated 9.9, this chess set includes a gorgeous glass board that is multi-colored. The civil war soldier themed chess set has great details and the pieces and board are made of the highest quality materials
For those who have a low budget and want the best value for money, the Edition 2020 Battle for The White House Chess Set Board Game, rated 9.7, is very inexpensive and has great value as it can serve as a keepsake. With this board game, your kids will be able to pit their wits against each other in the field of politics and history. They can set up in two, one being the Democrat and the other being the Republican.
Chess.com - Play Chess Online - Free Games
Play chess online for free on Chess.com with over 50 million members from around the world. Have fun playing with friends or challenging the computer!
Chess Board Dimensions | Basics and Guidelines - Chess.com
Chess board dimensions aren’t as simple as one might think. The basic geometry of the chess board isn’t difficult to grasp, but chess board dimensions also include the size of the squares on the board. One of the most important aspects of selecting a chess board and pieces is the relationship between…