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Ants in the Squarepants: $3
January 4, 2010 8:17 PM   Subscribe

"N.B.--In telling a ladies fortune, omit reading from cards that are intended to apply exclusively to men and vice versa" Instructions for over 7200 games from Hasbro (and Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley and Playskool, etc.) ranging from Venetian Fortune Teller [1909, pdf] and Hop in the Tub [1920, pdf] to the "how could I forget?" Don't Wake Daddy [1992, pdf] and Harry Potter Motion Activated Hedwig [pdf]. And don't forget Ouija [pdf]!

Also from Hasbro... replacement parts for 395 games, including
- Clue: Bag with Weapons $1.50
- Monopoly: 32 Houses and 12 Hotels and Dice $4.00
- Easy Bake Oven: Spoon/Spatula $1.00

Also T.H.I.N.G.S. (Totally Hilarious Incredible Neat Games of Skill) FLIP-O-POTAMUS because I like to say flip-o-potamus. [via]
posted by jessamyn (37 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite

 
A slight derail:

Has anyone noticed that modern games either come with exciting concepts and boring play (world conquest + cumbersome movement across hexagonal tiles) or boring concepts and exciting play (you own a colonial farm + cutthroat competition)

I believe these two schools are sometimes called ameritrash and eurogames.

I am always up for anything that involves a bag of weapons, though. Possibly because I am a nerd.
posted by poe at 8:43 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pronounced "Wee-Gee" (trademark)

Awesome.
posted by device55 at 8:50 PM on January 4, 2010


It was the best Thanksgiving ever when we discovered a thirty year old "Scruples" at my grandma's house.

Most of the questions were totally politically incorrect, and extremely dated that my brother and I spent the whole night reading the cards to each other.

It included, "You suspect the cleaning lady has been swiping sips of Cognac. Do you confront her?" and some other more offensive questions that I won't repeat here.
posted by kylej at 8:54 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


That is a classy move on Hasbro's part, however late in the web game it may be. I'm sure I'm not the only one who's been holding on to a few games waiting for this kind of resource. Not to mention it will hopefully rescue some sets from an early visit to the trash.

Side note: Paged through the S entries and now have even less respect for Lucas Inc. I was expecting dozens of Star Wars merch, and found Hundreds. Hundreds! The mind boggles at the greed. The landfill bulges at the waste.

But.. YAY! Now I get to teach my kids the old version of Stratego!
posted by Hardcore Poser at 8:55 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


$10,000 Pyramid
$20,000 Pyramid
...and those are the first two entries in a list of 7250? I will not get this tab out of my browser for a long while, thanks!

Man, Hasbro made the sucky electronic football game...
...but they did make Merlin!

This post is Flipapotamusly awesopotamous!
posted by not_on_display at 9:01 PM on January 4, 2010


Has anyone noticed that modern games either come with exciting concepts and boring play (world conquest + cumbersome movement across hexagonal tiles) or boring concepts and exciting play (you own a colonial farm + cutthroat competition)

I believe these two schools are sometimes called ameritrash and eurogames.

I am always up for anything that involves a bag of weapons, though. Possibly because I am a nerd.


Insufficiently nerdy, perhaps: Dune involves nary a hex and every game of it I have played has been pretty gripping. Maybe I am doing it wrong.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:25 PM on January 4, 2010


Side note: Paged through the S entries and now have even less respect for Lucas Inc. I was expecting dozens of Star Wars merch, and found Hundreds. Hundreds!

Also: three different sets of rules for chess, carefully catalogued year so one can see just how much the game changed between 1977 and 1979.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:27 PM on January 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


For a brief while in 1978 startling your opponent by discharging a handgun was allowable during timed matches, but the loophole was soon closed due to much complaint.
posted by Artw at 9:35 PM on January 4, 2010 [9 favorites]


What an excellent find, jessamynn, but you have inadvertently unleashed some faded nightmares for me.

I was a theatre major in college. Odd job offers often made their way to our department. My first paid theatrical gig was giving cake baking demonstrations using Hasbro Easy Bake Ovens in various stores in the pre-holiday runup. This was arguably the zenith of both my theatrical and my culinary careers. The instruction sheets brought this particular ignominy back in living color. The damn things did work but it was like cooking a cake by a lightbulb and I had to try to entertain the kids in between confections.

I next had the distinction of being Mickey Mouse for two weeks in a local mall. I was under contract not to speak and couldn't see anything from within that giant head so had to be lead around. Teenage ruffians would grab at my chest to verify if I was a girl since it was not totally obvious (alas). I had to pose for photos with kids and I can't tell you how many scores of them wet on my lap. Not all kids love Mickey.

My final gig was as Alice in Wonderland in a local parade. Part of the costume got lost in transit - the signature blond wig with headband. I had to ride around just pretty much as myself, a semi-hippie red-head in a goofy dirndl dress, I looked more like Mary Hartman than Alice. People were quite annoyed that I was a lame-ass Alice and not shy about loudly rating my attractiveness quotient in comparison to the ideal Alice. As part of that contract, I again had to pose for photos with little kids. If you live in central Mass and you have a photo of yourself as a wee one sitting on the lap of a pissed off Mary Hartman-ish sorry excuse for an Alice, that folks, is me.

Hasbro Easy Bake Ovens were pivotal in the brevity of my theatrical career.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:36 PM on January 4, 2010 [16 favorites]


Oh lord, Easy Bake Ovens. I remember loving mine until the day when, apropos of nothing, the lightbulb exploded in the middle of cooking a cake. The sight of the half-baked chocolate cake splattered among tiny glass fragments put me off baked goods (and ovens in general) for several years.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 10:12 PM on January 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Most of the questions were totally politically incorrect, and extremely dated that my brother and I spent the whole night reading the cards to each other.

While shopping at a thrift store in north-eastern Washington state, one of our group noticed an "adult" party game behind the glass at the checkout counter. Thinking it'd be a funny way to spend the hour or so driving home. Instead of a salaciously hilarious time we got a bunch of boring questions that might have been edgy 50 years ago and, worse, some oddly racist ones. There were a number of cards with questions that fit the formula (different job/situation) of this one:

"You arrive at the gynecologist's office for an appointment, but you discover the doctor is of a different race than you. What do you do?"
posted by msbrauer at 10:16 PM on January 4, 2010


sorry...north-western Washington. Between Seattle and Bellingham.
posted by msbrauer at 10:18 PM on January 4, 2010


Has anyone noticed that modern games either come with exciting concepts and boring play (world conquest + cumbersome movement across hexagonal tiles) or boring concepts and exciting play (you own a colonial farm + cutthroat competition)

I am fascinated with the idea that Dune, a thirty-year-old game, is "modern."

Besides, there are plenty of great games that have exciting concepts and fun play. Like this one or this one or especially this one.
posted by mightygodking at 11:02 PM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


They do have Mousetrap, but a couple of my other favorite games were evidently not Hasbro: Green Ghost and Poppin' Hoppies.

And the Multiway Rollway (#5 on that list) from Creative Playthings. Which isn't really a board game, but now that I'm started down this path...Hydrodynamic building sets (which I'm happy to see are once again being made), Legos, Erector sets, Lectron blocks, Heathkits, Digicomp mechanical computers...ok, must stop, derailing...
posted by foonly at 12:50 AM on January 5, 2010


You have won second prize in a beauty contest, smash Rick over the head´╗┐ with the bank.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:46 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Before I launch into The Rant, I want to say that for all of Hasbro's evil, this is an awesome resource, and I can see myself coming back to this many times for research. It is a great find.

Hasbro has devoured a good proportion, maybe even most, of the U.S. games market and has been responsible for some real travesties, like Pokemon Monopoly and new improved Clue. (I won't even get into D&D 4E dead horseTM this time.) They own Parker Bros., Milton Bradley, Avalon Hill, Wizards of the Coast and (through them) TSR, among many others. The fact that so much of U.S. gaming consists of Ameritrash is much their fault, either through negligence or design incompetence. I can't look at their "Family Game Night" promotion without imagining a legion of kids being indoctrinated into the idea that a board game has to be idiotic.

To answer device55, I think it has to do with two facts, that European board game design has progressed towards a superlative kind of depth through elegance engendered through both through cross-pollination and inspiration, but also because, despite the essentially-arbitrary nature of game rules, they still carry the pretense of being simulations, which helps the players swallow the arbitrariness of the rules.

Think about it. In Settlers of Catan, why can't you move the Robber back to the desert? Why can't you play a card on the turn you draw it? In Puerto Rico, why do buildings like Warehouses have to be manned to be useful? Why can't you move guys around except during the Mayor phase, instead of leaving them in San Juan to hang out?

The real answer is "because the game wouldn't work that way," but many casual players, thinking they know better than the game designer, would feel free to house rule away those restrictions, or even add new rules, such as with the damnable Free Parking rule that has ruined most of the games of Monopoly I have played.

If the game's premise were as arbitrary as its rules, the rules would seem less sacred. So instead, the game carries the pretense of being a simulation of harsh, inflexible reality, which helps the players to see the (usually delicately-balanced) rules as inviolate. The realistic setting also helps the players to see the game more as a hard-edged competition instead of a friendly diversion, and thus helps to inspire them to stretch themselves in order to provide more strategic play.
posted by JHarris at 2:53 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Flip-o-potamus = Hungry Hungry Hippos: Story Mode.
posted by fleacircus at 3:49 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I hate to point out that in the fourth edition of Settlers of Catan (the latest edition, with hexes that are a bit hard to differentiate and the abysmal water border), you can move the robber back to the desert. It is one of the minor rule changes.
posted by X-Himy at 4:11 AM on January 5, 2010


Now you see X-Himy that is actually a fairly major change to the way we play, where generally we try to avoid "hating" on the other players at the beginning and even mid-game so as to keep trading avenues open for as long as possible. (On the grounds that one is unlikely to want to trade with someone who has screwed him over recently.) Allow the Robber to move back to the desert and you can avoid aggression nearly indefinitely, but disallow that and there usually comes a point where every hex has some player's settlement next to it, and so a choice has to be made.
posted by JHarris at 4:29 AM on January 5, 2010


It included, "You suspect the cleaning lady has been swiping sips of Cognac. Do you confront her?" and some other more offensive questions that I won't repeat here.

Well, now we know what the Bluths play on Family Game Night.
posted by Spatch at 5:02 AM on January 5, 2010 [6 favorites]


The only Star Wars game that matters is Battle at Sarlacc's Pit.

This, originally bought as cheap entertainment for me and my brother, became a work of sheer beauty when my dad, looking at the little plastic models that were supposed to be the rebels and Jabba's crew, repainted each one with fantastic detail, right down to the little gold chains on the Gamorrean Guards.

My brother and I obsessed over that game. And when we were done playing the actual game, we'd keep playing with it, recreating the movie, making up our own version, all the things you do when you're given something that awesome.

That game is still at my dad's. I can't wait until my nephew is old enough to play it with me.
posted by Katemonkey at 5:03 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


This is an amazing resource. thanks for the post. But where are the rules for Kreskin's ESP? I found a set at a yard sale when I was about 11, but never could get anyone to play it with me. In hindsight, I don't blame them.
posted by usonian at 5:15 AM on January 5, 2010


Wifey collects boardgames -- we pick them up for a buck at garage sales, do our best to play them (most have all their parts), and then bring out the best ones for holidays. Surprisingly, the top favorite of kids and adults alike at the moment: Mall Madness. I can't explain it. The game I want to try and nobody else wants to play: Inventors. Having the scanned instructions is an awesome resource, though - thanks Jessamyn!
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:18 AM on January 5, 2010


Even just random browsing turns up interesting and disturbing results:

Open the pouch on mommy's stomach and reach inside to find your kittens.

One time around you're trying to live on a diet suited to canaries, unhappy lovers and human skeletons.
This game was based on and obstensibly endorsed by The Fat Boy, who judging from this was a weight loss celebrity from 1952. The Jared of his time! The "personal" introduction from The Fat Boy himself is nothing more than sloppily edited promotional material which veers back and forth from the first person to the third. Awesome.

The object of this very amusing game is to be the first player to reach the Club after spending the least amount of money.
"Tell It to the Judge" is billed as "Eddie Cantor's Game" and it's unclear just how exactly it is his game, but it's his nonetheless!

In this game, each player chooses to be one of "The Beatles"...
posted by Spatch at 5:46 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's a very old version of Life at my Mom's house. For one, the game is pretty shamelessly about money more than life (is it still this way?). When you get to the end of the board, you can either bet on having more money than anyone else, or try to become a "Millionaire Tycoon" (1/10 chance of winning the game immediately). Losers go to the "Poor House".

But the really fun part is the cards and descriptions. "Goat eats neighbor's petunias"? Really?
posted by aaronbeekay at 6:53 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Get your kid off my lawn. It's eating my petunias!
posted by Babblesort at 7:53 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh and usonian I was playing Kreskin ESP with you in 1983. Didn't you get my thoughts? I kept waiting for you to take your turn but finally I gave up and went back to bending spoons.
posted by Babblesort at 7:55 AM on January 5, 2010


That is a classy move on Hasbro's part, however late in the web game it may be

To Hasbro's credit, they have had this resource up for at least a couple years I believe, although initially it had fewer games on board.

I believe these two schools are sometimes called ameritrash and eurogames.

Some like to make that distinction, but like most arbitrary lines it really breaks down in a lot of border cases (some of which, also great games, are listed above).

Now you see X-Himy that is actually a fairly major change to the way we play, where generally we try to avoid "hating" on the other players at the beginning and even mid-game so as to keep trading avenues open for as long as possible. (On the grounds that one is unlikely to want to trade with someone who has screwed him over recently.) Allow the Robber to move back to the desert and you can avoid aggression nearly indefinitely, but disallow that and there usually comes a point where every hex has some player's settlement next to it, and so a choice has to be made.

A very interesting case of collective standards setting in a game. We might refuse a trade on the turn that someone robbed us, but wouldn't shun them for a whole game. The bottom line is that to refuse trades with anyone is in general going to put you behind players who trade more freely. But, whatever works for your group.

A fun post and follow-up.
posted by meinvt at 8:04 AM on January 5, 2010


Spatch - all products should have this:

If you are dissatisfi ed with this product for any reason, including the
number of kittens in this package, please call Customer Service at 1-800-
752-9755, 8am - 4:45pm EST, Monday - Friday.

posted by Artw at 8:23 AM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: dissatisfied with the number of kittens in this package
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:23 AM on January 5, 2010


I will fully read this thread tonight, but since with a quick glance it looks like no one posted it:
www.boardgamegeek.com
A HUGE database of pretty much every game ever created, and an awesome community!
Go boardgaming!
posted by JonnyRotten at 9:52 AM on January 5, 2010


Pardon my language, but this is fucking awesome.
posted by marxchivist at 10:50 AM on January 5, 2010


There's a very old version of Life at my Mom's house. For one, the game is pretty shamelessly about money more than life (is it still this way?).

The Game of Life scared the shit out of me as a kid. It should have been called The Game of Responsibility or The Game of No Contraception. Can you still end up with a crapload of kids if you end up on the wrong squares?
posted by kersplunk at 2:03 PM on January 5, 2010


meinvt: A very interesting case of collective standards setting in a game. We might refuse a trade on the turn that someone robbed us, but wouldn't shun them for a whole game. The bottom line is that to refuse trades with anyone is in general going to put you behind players who trade more freely. But, whatever works for your group.

A whole game shun does not typically happen with our group, but a short-term shun may or may not happen. We have one player who often attacks another player at the first opportunity, and he often does end up getting shunned when he does this, if he persists in doing it for some time. We tend to consider attacking someone when they're still at the two-settlement phase unseemly.
posted by JHarris at 2:53 PM on January 5, 2010


A friend of mine once bought a board game called "Why Work for a Living?" at a yard sale. It turned out to be a crazy nutjob right-wing game where if you worked, you lost money through taxes, but if you were unemployed, the government gave you free money, especially if you had lots of illegitimate babies or were (based on the pictures on the cards) nonwhite.
posted by kyrademon at 3:54 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


the MAD MAGAZINE GAME
posted by Hammond Rye at 8:42 PM on January 5, 2010


kyrademon: As a kid I found a board game stored at an aunt's house that she then gave me called Anti-Monopoly. I don't actually remember if the thrust was conservative or liberal. I was too young to get the jokes actually.
posted by JHarris at 1:11 AM on January 6, 2010


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