There is a time-honored childhood tradition that often takes place at the dining table while parents have their attention focused elsewhere. For eons it seems, children have been known to catapult food from one end of the table to the next, hoping to score a three-pointer in their sibling’s mouth. And perhaps this beloved sport was the catalyst for Tomy’s Mr. Mouth game. With his jabbering jaw and revolving bald, yellow head, Mr. Mouth taunted you to fill him to overflowing.
Released in 1976, Mr. Mouth consisted of a set of four colored catapults that would each launch color-coordinated chips. As Mr. Mouth rotated around, his mouth opening and closing, players attempted to land as many of their chips within his chompers. The first person to land all of their pieces was declared the winner. Timing and aim were both necessary skills if you wanted to be the first to feed your friend with the Pac Man head. Some took their time, hoping that precision was the key. The less patient fired chips with reckless abandon, deciding that quantity outweighed quality. Whichever method you preferred, Mr. Mouth usually had more stamina than the players, who would often give up in frustration, declaring the person with the most chips successfully launched at the time the winner.
As years passed, Milton Bradley eventually gobbled up Tomy Toys and made some very noticeable alterations to the game. The yellow Pac Man creature was replaced with a green frog’s head and chips were replaced with plastic flies. This amphibious altercation did little to diminish the game’s popularity and today, Hasbro, who now own the rights, still sells plenty of copies of this masticating masterpiece. Granted, it may not be quite as fun as the covert kernel of corn launched across the dinner table, but it at least allows kids to hone in those important childhood skills for later use.
If you spent a portion of your childhood firing discs at Mr. Mouth’s revolving head, we’d love to hear your memories in our comments section, as we tip our hats to this beloved game.