All games would like you to believe that they are oodles of fun to play, but only one can boast that it is as fun as a barrel of monkeys? In fact, it is a Barrel of Monkeys! And for over four decades, kids have played with these interlocking primates for hours on end in this endearing and enduring game that tests one’s patience and coordination like no other.
Barrel of Monkeys made landfall in 1966, courtesy of Lakeside Toys. The rules were so simple that they could be explained and grasped with hardly more than a sentence of explanation—but the challenge could engage a child for hours. A plastic barrel containing twelve monkeys was emptied onto the floor. Each monkey possessed arms that curved, creating an S-shape whereon one monkey could suspend from another and so on. The game began by simply picking up one critter at a time and concluded when every monkey had been successfully linked to the others in one, long, marsupial chain. It sounds easy, but Barrel of Monkeys taxed the hand/eye coordination of most every kid.
Throughout the years, Barrel of Monkeys has maintained its modest popularity and, thanks to Milton Bradley (the game’s current distributor), still sits proudly on toy store shelves everywhere, ready to drive the little ones bananas for hours on end.
If you have fond memories of creating chains of plastic primates with your friends, share your thoughts on this classic game in our comments section, as we fondly tip our hats to Barrel of Monkeys.