Hangman

Hangman

A children's game centered around a virtual public execution might not seem the most politically-correct idea, but that hasn't stopped millions of youngsters from playing Hangman over the years. Much like the game of Battleship, generations of kids only needed paper and a pencil to play, but eventually a board game would follow to enhance the experience. Continue reading...

Aggravation

Aggravation

It's always been hard to find that "family game" balance. Make it too hard, the little tykes wouldn't get it. Make it too easy, and nobody else would want to play with the little tykes. But sometimes, that rare game got it right. Take, for example, the case of Aggravation, a board game marketed by Lakeside that bore a striking resemblance to the ancient game of Parcheesi. Continue reading...

Chutes and Ladders

Chutes and Ladders

Parents tend to spend countless hours striving to impart ethics and morality upon their children. But lecturing isn't always effective and, hey, you can only make them watch so much Davey and Goliath. Thankfully, Milton Bradley introduced a board game that offered a little assistance in this department, yet was still fun for kids to play. They took an ancient Indian board game, made it a little less scary sounding, and the result was Chutes and Ladders, one of the most popular board games ever devised for the younger set. Continue reading...

Othello

Othello

When Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder were singing “Ebony and ivory, live together in perfect harmony…” they weren’t singing about Othello, but it might have seemed that way. When this board game’s black and white pieces were laid out, things appeared peaceful at first. But fortunes changed quickly, luck ran out, and come to think of it, there wasn’t any perfect harmony to be found at all. It was every man for himself. Continue reading...

Hacky Sack

Hacky Sack

Over the years, kids have come up with many creative ways to alleviate boredom at school: some play paper football, some trade notes back and forth, and some just tune out the world with their iPods. One of the coolest ways to kill scholastic downtime is to play with a Hacky Sack footbag. This easily-learned activity became a hit with sports enthusiasts of all ages during the 70s and 80s by providing a fun activity that developed dexterity at the same time. As a result, it became a hit of international proportions. Continue reading...

Jem

Jem

Many a doll maker have attempted to take a swipe at the iconic Barbie over the years. Most have failed, but in the case of Jem, she proved she had a few tricks up her sleeve and managed to hold her own, thanks to a revolution that was changing the entertainment world, a force known as MTV. Continue reading...

Payday

Payday

It's no secret that kids often wish they were adults. They yearn to do all those fun grownup things like drive the family car, see racy R-rated movies and plan the monthly financial budget. Okay, maybe that last item is less popular, but for those that wanted to try their hand at the bill-juggling madness that keeps their parents awake at night, Parker Brothers had just the solution - a fun little board game called Payday. Released in 1975, Payday offered a preview of the financial fun that would rear its ugly head later in life. Continue reading...

KISS Dolls

KISS Dolls

While many kids may hold certain pop stars and rock bands in awe, few, if any, ever spent hours at a time saving the world with their John, Paul, George, and Ringo dolls. Few, if any, Elvis action figures ever hip-swayed before rocking the imaginary enemy to a pulp. There was no remote control REO Speedwagon and Flock of Seagulls never had a cuddly plush. No girls looked forward to the Sunday paper containing all new fashionable cutouts to dress up their Boy George paper doll. The rock band, KISS, on the other hand, was a different story. Continue reading...