Game & Watch

Game & Watch

For close to a century, the Japanese company Nintendo busied itself making playing cards for the popular game Hanafuda. Off and on, they would dabble in other toy and business interests, but it wasn’t until the dawn of the video game age that the erstwhile humble company would make international history. One of Nintendo’s contributions to the gaming world was the Game & Watch, a handheld electronic game that put the power of video games into the very portable palm of the hand. Continue reading...

Memory

Memory

Every once in a while, a game manages to teach a few valuable skills to unsuspecting players and make them smarter without them ever realizing it. Candyland snuck in some color recognition mentoring. Hi Ho! Cherry-O stealthily gave kids the ability to count, and Hot Potato … well, that taught the valuable lesson that if you holding something that is hot, you should hand it to someone else immediately. But in terms of developing concentration and matching skills, the name of the game was Memory – a simple card game that taxed those brain cells to no end. Continue reading...

Connect Four

Connect Four

Commercials come and go, but catch phrases live forever. The final quarter of the twentieth century heard just such a phrase moaned from the lips of one young boy after having lost a game to his sister. While no boy in his right mind wants to lose to a younger sibling, losing at Connect Four ranks with Sorry! and Risk in the pantheon of crushing defeats. Perhaps that’s why before Milton Bradley marketed the game in 1974 under the goal-oriented name “Connect Four,” it was simply and somewhat quietly known as The Captain’s Mistress. Continue reading...

Sorry!

Sorry!

The ancient game of strategy called Parcheesi got a modern makeover in the early 20th century, emerging as Sorry! the game that apologized for your woeful lack of skill and/or good fortune. First seen in England, it was imported to America in 1934 by Parker Brothers and a new family institution was born. Hearing your mom saying "Sorry!" in a saccharine, condescending voice as she denied you victory was enough to make you wonder if the notion of motherly love wasn't just a big crock. Continue reading...

Doug

Doug

As any kid who’s had to move around once, twice, or even countless times throughout their childhood can attest, it just isn’t easy to be the new kid. Sure, with time things settle in, but it was never the cakewalk everyone assured it would be. Add to the mix the physical changes and emotional trauma that is junior high school, and you’ve got Douglas Yancey Funnie, star of his very own 90s Nickelodeon series, Doug. Continue reading...

B-52s

The B-52’s

There are plenty of party bands, but no other band can party quite like the B-52's. These leaders of the new wave movement took joy in being different, blazing their own trail with a unique combination of kitsch-culture and old-fashioned party music. In the process, they notched up a series of hit albums and influenced countless alternative-rock acts of the future. Continue reading...

Levi's

Levi’s

They are as much a part of American culture as Coca-Cola, probably the most iconic clothing item ever created. And just about every American in the last hundred years has, at one time or another, zipped or buttoned up a pair of the comfortable and highly durable jeans that have come to be known simply as “Levi's.” Continue reading...

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

While life has existed for millions of years on planet Earth, it wasn’t until the mid-nineteenth century that a game was invented to mirror it. Back in 1860, it was considered "America's Favorite Parlor Game" and when it was reintroduced by the Milton Bradley Company a hundred years later, it proved just as popular and remains so to this day. Continue reading...