Classic games become so for one reason, because no matter how many times you play them, they remain challenging and, more importantly, fun! A perfect example is a simple game where grasping at straws can make or break you and the sound of silence is most welcoming. Such is the challenge of those who choose to try their hand at KerPlunk – a test of hand/eye coordination and strategy that also requires plenty of sheer luck.
Introduced by the Ideal Toy Company in 1967, KerPlunk comes with a plastic tube, similar to a flower vase, that contains a number of small holes in the center. By inserting some 30 straws into these holes, they act as a web to keep 32 marbles suspended. The fun begins when players take turns removing these straws one at a time. Pick the right straw and bask unscathed in the sound of sweet silence. Pick the wrong straw and be treated to a potential avalanche of marbles that strike the bottom of the tube with a resounding KerPlunk (hence the name.) Each time a player causes a number of marbles to fall, they must collect them at the bottom of the base and call them their own. The player who emerges with the fewest marbles at the end of the game, wins.
One of the charms of KerPlunk is that it can be played by young and old alike and takes only a minute to learn. As a result, its popularity has remained consistent over the past forty-plus years and it can still be found on toy story shelves, courtesy of Mattel who now distributes this timeless classic. And with the exception of a few color changes (the plastic tube is now purple) it is the same simple game that continues to frustrate and challenge all who cross its path – one where anyone can lose their marbles by simply grasping at straws.
We’re confident that there are more than a few former KerPlunk players around these parts. If you would like to share your own memories of playing this game from yesteryear, we welcome them in our comments section, as we tip our hats to a classic.