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I just picked up Boss Monster and I'm a little confused about items.
The rules say:

If you kill a Hero with an attached item, you may place the face-up item in your score-keeping area. However, you may only have one face-up item at a time. (You may choose which item to keep face-up)

The All About Item Cards guide also says:

Before you claim the new Item, you have a choice: A) immediately use your existing Item, B) turn your existing Item face-down, or C) leave the existing Item face-up and turn the new Item face-down.

To show that an Item is used, flip it face-down. There are also some other effects in Tools of Hero-Kind that can flip an Item face-down, but these do not trigger the ability

From what I can tell, the only cards in the Tools of Hero-Kind expansion that can flip cards face-up are Excavation and Burial Mound. Which only amounts to three cards.

Am I missing something? Does this mean that if you don't control one of those three cards that you can never flip up a face-down item?

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    Seems to me that you answered your own question... only three cards can put an item card face-up. If you think about it, this seems kind of balanced; without a more common way to turn up items that have already been used, you prevent overuse. Apr 10 '15 at 13:07
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You are not missing something. Acquiring a second item if you have a faceup one is generally only helpful if the second item is better than the first, or you can use the first immediately. But at least you're keeping it away from your opponents!

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