Mickey’s Poppin’ Magic Game by Parker Brothers

This is a variation of the game Trouble even sporting that little plastic dice bubble that we all loved so much as kids. However this game is much simpler and aimed at the younger 4 to 8 age market.

Here is the box:

The Fab Five play together

The rules are a bit vague. To play each player pops the dice bubble and moves ahead the number of spaces indicated on the die. But if the die shows this:

Oh-oh!

Then you slide the red lever and one or more players may be popped off the board. No one is safe! But here is where it gets confusing. The box says ‘Will you get popped off? And where will you land when you pop back on – ahead of where you were, or behind?’ There is no explanation as to how you can ‘pop back on’.

Fairly generic character art

This game is by Parker Brothers and was released in 1991. You can play as either Pluto, Goofy, Minnie, or Donald but not Mickey as he is the one hosting the poppin’ party:

Is that much butter healthy? Ah, the 1990’s!

I’m constantly surprised, shocked, and dismayed when I realize that a game from 1991 is now 25 years old. The 90’s seem like yesterday to me!

I picked this game up for just $7.50 CAN in a deal of two games for $15.00 together.

The Muppet Show Game by Parker Bros.

It’s time to play the music, It’s time to light the lights!

It’s time to meet the Muppets, on The Muppet Show Game tonight!

OK, that was a slight variation on the original opening to the television show that had us all wondering how felt puppets could put on make-up and just what ‘dressing up right’ meant to a bunch of performers who walked around nude most of the time.

Of course, I’m talking about Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show which aired from 1976 to 1981. But the remainder of this post will deal with The Muppet Show Game that Parker Brothers produced in 1977:

Look for Jim Henson as a Muppet on the cover

Box Side

Muppet Show Game 004

Box End

This game is set up as a theatrical production directed by Kermit the Frog, produced by Parker Brothers, and starring Jim Henson’s Muppets. Even the rule book is actually a working script.

Back of Box

At the end of the post I will include pictures of the complete rules/script so you can get the sense of the play for yourself. Also, if you have the game but have lost the rules, this will make it possible for you to play the game properly.

First, let’s look more closely at the game board by itself, and set up for play:

    

“It’s time to raise the curtain on The Muppet Show Game tonight!”

Just for fun, look again for Jim Henson as a Muppet in the gallery of Muppets at the bottom of the board. Now let’s have a look at the spinner and rule book/script:

Muppet Show Game 007

So there are eight characters who play in teams of two and four set pieces, all of which must move around the board to win the game. To win, each player must get his two characters in place for the curtain call, and their set into position as well.

Let’s have a look at the character pieces first. A nice feature of this game is that the playing pieces are double-sided:

   Muppet Show Game 018

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In a commercial world where game manufacturers seem to create generic artwork, it’s refreshing to go back in time (to 1977) and see this nice detail of front and back views for the character pieces!

And we can’t forget the sets. Can you match the sets to the characters?

Muppet Show Game 026

Now as promised, to conclude, here is the entire rule book/script reproduced for you page by page:

Muppet Show Game 012

  Muppet Show Game 010

 

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  Muppet Show Game 016

Don’t forget to read Kermit’s directions!

Donald Duck Presents the Wacky Wigwam Game

Disney has often gone to the well of stereotypes! Today we visit the year 1972, a time before the world had learned to be considerate of the heritage and customs of others.

Native Americans (or First Nations, being the preferred term in Canada) have been the target of outlandish stereotypical depictions in many Disney productions. Peter Pan comes to mind with the beet-red warriors doing little more than dancing and spouting in-depth dialogue like ‘Ugh’ and ‘How!’

The game I am featuring today does play on the typical stereotype, but not to the same degree as other Disney properties. Let’s have a look:

Wigwam: An Algonquian domed or conical dwelling prevalent in the eastern half of North America. The circular framework of poles was covered with bark or reed mats. A hole in the roof allowed the smoke from the fire to escape.

It looked like this, and not the pointed tipi design used in the game:

Tipi: Also ‘tepee’ or ‘teepee’ is a conical tent, traditionally made of animal skins upon wooden poles. A tipi is distinguished from other conical tents by the smoke flaps at the top of the structure.

Here is how a tipi looks in the real world, and in this game:

    

I suppose Wacky Tipi didn’t have the same marketing potential

So we have identified the main problems with the game, now let’s look at the remaining elements:

Back and Sides of the box

This game was part of a three-game series marketed under ‘A Walt Disney World Game From Parker Brothers’ promotion. This version was manufactured in Canada, so it came with a set of French instructions in the box as well as the English ones on the box:

If you enlarge and read the instructions you will see the game is easy to play. You start by setting up the play surface like this:

You then use the spinner to determine how many of your ducks you can cover with the wigwams. Once the ten wigwams are used, you must uncover ducks to then cover more of your ducks. But as you are doing this, other players are uncovering your ducks to cover their ducks!

Land the spinner on the ‘Mix Up’ space and every wigwam and playing piece gets shuffled. At this point everyone loses track of which ducks are under what wigwams! So on your next turn, you could uncover one of your own ducks. This has the same vibe as the game Sorry with the added dimension of messing yourself up too!

Donald is ready to play with Huey, Dewey, and Louie

Overall, this is an entertaining game that would work without the Native American theme. But the tipis are cute and the addition of Donald and his nephews would definitely appeal to younger players.