Spin Again Sunday: Family Affair Game (1968)

FA Remco Box

Readers of my Family Affair series should enjoy this Spin Again Sunday entry. I have already blogged about the relatively common Whitman Family Affair board game from 1971. Today, I’ll show you a much harder-to-find treasure.

Today’s Game: Family Affair Game.

Copyright Date: 1968.

Manufacturer: Remco.

Game Box: Its copy tells us this is “an exciting game for 2, 3, or 4 people” that is “based on the exciting CBS TV series.” Remco didn’t need to lay the excitement on so thick–the color photos make this box exciting enough for any Family Affair fan. We see nine cast photos, arranged scrapbook-style around the game’s title.

This image of French is my favorite.

This image of French is my favorite.

Other highlights:

A nice photo of Uncle Bill.

A nice photo of Uncle Bill.

And this one of Buffy and Jody.

And this one of Buffy and Jody.

The edges of the box also feature a photo.

The edges of the box also feature a photo.

With such a great box, it almost doesn’t matter what’s inside…but let’s take a look anyway.

FA Remco BoardGame Board: It’s minimalist depiction of Central Park is a bit of a let down. The bright colors and the drawing style are very 1960s, however.

FA Remco Board Detail 1FA Remco Board Detail 2The game’s cardboard insert is actually more interesting.

These caricatures are pretty well done, although Buffy looks a little generic.

These caricatures are cute, although Buffy looks a little generic.

And Buffy’s doll is completely unrecognizable. Maybe depicting Mrs. Beasley would have brought Remco into conflict with companies licensed to market her?

Game Pieces: The pawns depict the same caricatures that appear on the box insert.

Only Uncle Bill is missing, for reasons that will soon become clear.

Only Uncle Bill is missing, for reasons that will soon become clear.

(Incidentally, I think this artist nailed Jody’s essential derpiness.)

The cardboard caricatures slide into these plastic bases.

The cardboard caricatures slide into these plastic bases.

It’s nice that you don’t have to choose which Davis family member you want to be–each player gets to be all four characters!

Game Play: Players make a simple circuit around the board, and the first “Davis family” to reach home wins.

Uncle Bill is waiting at home for them. Don't you just love his mid-century modern chair?

Uncle Bill is waiting at home. Don’t you just love his mid-century modern chair?

When players come to a Roll Dice square on the board, they must stop and do just that. What happens next depends on the number they roll and where they are in the park. Instructions on the game’s cardboard insert spell things out:

FA Remco InstructionsBesides the “Roll Dice” squares, the board includes a few other spaces that can slow players down or speed them up on their journey to Uncle Bill.

Box Blooper: The instructions on the inside of the lid refer to Cissy as “Sissy.”

My Thoughts: The game play is not very exciting at all, box copy notwithstanding. The photos must have been quite a draw for young Family Affair fans in 1968, though–and Ebay prices show that it is still a draw for fans today.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Batman Game

Mork & Mindy Game

Dating Game

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Spin Again Sunday: Batman Game, 1966

batman box

 

 

Today’s Game: Batman Game.

Copyright Date: 1966.

Manufacturer: Milton Bradley.

Recommended Ages: 8 to 15.

Game Box: Bold primary colors predominate, with Batman front and center. He’s looking ripped and, based on his body posture, feeling a bit cocky. Below the big red title, we see Batman and Robin in action against a Gotham City skyline. (I like the Joker-faced jack-in-the-box jumping out at Robin.) Above the title, we see spaceships, Saturn, and other cosmic orbs. I’m sure space-age imagery appealed to boys, but is space really in Batman’s purview?

batman board

Game Board: The central portrait shows Batman and Robin, um…leaping off a building into the path of the Joker’s car? That seems risky, but I’m sure they have a reasonable plan. Except for the Batman lettering, the colors seem washed-out on the board compared to the box lid. In the four corners of the playing grid, we see some Gotham City locales.

bat control board 2

Game Pieces: Each player gets a Bat Control Board, which shows the six villains who need to be captured. My husband is something of a comic book expert (at least based on the square footage that his collection takes up in our house), so I ran these villains by him to double-check my sense that they seemed strange. Besides commenting that “they look like they were drawn by a fifth grader,” he said The Blockbuster and The Calendar Man never appeared on the 1966-68 TV series, and the Penguin and the Riddler look very different from their TV counterparts. That’s not surprising, I suppose, because this game was probably in the works before the show debuted. But he didn’t think any of the characters looked much like their 1960s comic-book counterparts, either.

batman game pieces

Game Play: Players move a plastic “pedestrian” around the board’s outside track. Their goal is to land on a corner space that contains a Batmobile piece. If they do so, they roll again and move into the board’s circular track. On their next turn, they can finally move into the 36-square grid, onto which villain tiles have been placed. (These match the pictures on the Bat Control Board.) Players capture the villain tiles they land on. There are also Super Crime Lab tiles that act as wild cards, substituting for any villain on a player’s Bat Control Board.

Winning the Game: The first player to capture all six different villain tiles wins.

My Thoughts: Game play is simple and some of the art work is questionable, but I think target-age superhero fans would have enjoyed this one.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Gomer Pyle

Planet of the Apes Game

Dragnet

Spin Again Sunday: The Muppet Show Game (1977)

muppet show 1977 box

Almost two years ago,  I featured a 1979 Muppet Show game. Today’s version, from 1977, is special to me because I actually owned it as a child. (I probably received it as a gift for my ninth birthday.)

Today’s Game: The Muppet Show Game

Copyright Date: 1977.

Manufacturer: Parker Brothers.

Box: A colorful photographic array of Muppets and a large Muppet Show logo must have made this eye-catching in the toy aisle.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 14.

muppet show 1977 board

Board: It is meant to resemble a stage, with dressing rooms at the bottom and footlights at the top. Most squares are blank floor spaces, but others identify starting and stopping points for various “sets.”

This is a "set" for Veterinarian Hospital.

This is a “set” for Veterinarian Hospital.

Various Muppets (including my daughter’s favorite, Janice)  show up in illustrated form at the very top of the game board. This illustration is similar to the one on the 1979 game box.

muppet show 1977 pawns

Pawns: These feature double-sided photographs of eight characters. They make up color-coded teams, and each player manipulates both members of his or her team.

Object: Getting your two pawns, plus the color-coded set associated with them, from their starting spots on the board to their ending spots near the footlights.

muppet show 1977 board closeup

Here you can see dressing rooms, where characters start the game, as well as two starting points for sets.

This close-up shows ending spots for several characters and sets.

The photo above shows ending points for several characters and sets.

Game Play: A Muppet Show “script” guides players on their journey.

muppet show 1977 spinner

First, they use this double spinner to determine their act and scene numbers.

muppet show 1977 script

Then, they look that combination up in this script, which tells them how many spaces they can move either their set or one of their Muppets. They can move forward, backwards, sideways, and–if specifically told to do so–diagonally. Occasionally, they get a chance to move another player’s Muppet. They can also try to block other players with their own Muppets.

My Thoughts: This is a simple game, but the character pawns and unique way of moving them makes it fun to play.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Bewitched

Family Affair

The Bride Game

Spin Again Sunday: The Dating Game (1968)

dating game box

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but this game is very much in the holiday spirit.

Today’s Game: The Dating Game, 2nd Edition.

Copyright Date: 1968.

Manufactured by: Hasbro. The box also describes the company by its original name, Hassenfeld Brothers.

Recommended Ages: The box doesn’t give any. Presumably, Hasbro intended it for teens and adults–it requires two male-female couples to play.

dating game board

Game Board: The TV show logo takes center stage on a board with a groovy lavender, orange, and mustard color scheme.

Game Play: Players roll the dice and move around the track, trying to prepare for a date along the way. “Guys” and “Gals” have separate appointment cards which list the date requirements they must fulfill.

The guys get off pretty easy compared to the gals, who have to buy fur coats!

The guys get off pretty easy compared to the gals, who have to buy fur coats!

When a player lands on a Question square, he or she takes a question card and reads it aloud. The two opposite-sex players then draw Answer cards and read them aloud. The questioning player decides which answer best matches the question.

The question and answer cards definitely offer the most potential for fun in this game.

The question and answer cards definitely offer the most potential for fun in this game.

A player must match five cards with an opposite-sex player and check off all the date requirements before heading to the Make a Date square. Then, he or she can wait for an opposite-sex player to arrive. The first couple to meet at the Make a Date square wins the game.

My Thoughts: This game seems like it could be fun under the right circumstances. I’m not sure how often those circumstances–two couples sitting around with nothing better to do–would arise, however. My game is almost pristine condition, which tells me its owner didn’t play it much.

My husband thinks the "gal" on the box looks frumpy. The "guy" doesn't look like any great prize either.

My husband thinks the “gal” on the box looks frumpy. Of course, the “guy” doesn’t look like any great prize either.

Bonus Materials: My game included this flyer for “12 Reading Treats in One Big Volume.”

The Lassie cover story might qualify, but I'm not sure about some of the other titles, like "Peanuts are Not Nuts" and "The Sounds We Hear."

The Lassie cover story might qualify, but I’m not sure about some of the other titles, like “Peanuts are Not Nuts” and “The Sounds We Hear.”

And, just for fun, here is a Dating Game segment from 1968 that includes both Richard Dawson and Bill Bixby among the bachelors. A bachelorette couldn’t go wrong here–even the unknown third guy is cute!

Other Spin Again Sunday Posts you might enjoy:

The Waltons

The Flying Nun

Laverne & Shirley

Assorted Ephemera: My Three Sons Coloring Book (1971)

This month, I am honoring the premiere anniversaries of many classic TV shows. Check back frequently for TV collectibles, fan magazine articles, special editions of Spin Again Sunday, and more. I will also be posting unique content on Facebook and Instagram.

This month, I am honoring the premiere anniversaries of many classic TV shows. Check back frequently for TV collectibles, fan magazine articles, special editions of Spin Again Sunday, and more. I will also be posting unique content on Facebook and Instagram.

My Three Sons premiered on September 29, 1960, and ran for 12 years. The latter half of the show saw many changes for widower Steve Douglas and his family–the show changed networks, switched from black and white to color, and re-located its setting from the Midwest to Southern California (a change prompted by a real-life change in production facilities).

One son married and departed, a new son joined the family through adoption, grandfather Bub left, and salty Uncle Charley took over as caretaker. In its last few years, the all-male cast got an estrogen infusion: Second son Rob married Katie and moved her into the family home; third son Chip eloped with Polly; and Steve married widow Barbara, who had a young daughter.

my three sons coloring book cover

The coloring book barely mentions Polly, though she was part of the show by 1971. I can’t blame Saalfield. The Chip-Polly marriage was an unfortunate development, mainly because the actors playing the newlyweds looked like 12-year-olds.

It’s not hard to imagine what Executive Producer Don Fedderson was thinking when he introduced Barbara’s daughter, Dodie. Family Affair‘s Buffy and her doll Mrs. Beasley were a merchandising gold mine. Collectibles like this coloring book and Dodie paper dolls–both printed by Saalfield–represented attempts to recapture the Buffy magic. Producers even gave Dodie a companion doll, Myrtle.

Abnormally short girl with unlikely name + strange-looking doll = cha-ching!

Unusually short girl with unlikely name + strange-looking doll = cha-ching!

Dodie merchandising didn’t come close to matching the success of Buffy and Mrs. Beasley, though.

This coloring book features “Dodie’s Favorite Things to Do,” a theme that enabled Saalfield to use random toy and teddy bear pictures for about half the content.

The other pages feature the Douglas family. The illustrator does a pretty good job making Steve look recognizable.

The other pages feature the Douglas family. The illustrator does a decent job with the likenesses, especially Fred MacMurray’s.

Rob and Katie’s triplets are in almost as many pictures as Dodie.

Fun fact: The episode featuring the triplets' birth aired on the day I was born.

Fun fact: The episode featuring the triplets’ birth aired on the day I was born.

The coloring book includes paper dolls of the triplets and Dodie.

It also includes this creepiness--kids are supposed to transform it into a picture of what they want to be when they grow up.

It also includes this creepiness. Kids are supposed to transform it into a picture of what they want to be when they grow up.

One of Dodie's own career aspirations is stewardess.

One of Dodie’s own career aspirations is stewardess.

Uncle Charley gets some ink in the coloring book (although it spells his name wrong).

my three sons coloring book uncle charlie

What a fascinating revelation.

The image below is the only one that comes directly from the show.

I take back what I said about the decent likenesses. I think they borrowed this face from a Planet of the Apes coloring book.

I take back what I said about the decent likenesses. I think they borrowed this face from a Planet of the Apes coloring book.

Family Affair Friday(ish): Season 1, Episode 27, “The Prize,” 4/10/1967

Welcome to this delayed edition of Family Affair Friday. The delivery of my new laptop has been delayed indefinitely, so I’m writing this post under difficult conditions. I hope I don’t do a ba-a-a-a-a-a-d job.

Season 1, Episode 27, “The Prize,” 4/10/1967

Written by: Henry Garson and Edmund Beloin. Directed by: William D. Russell.

Synopsis

The real Mr. French is back!

At first glanc,

At first glance, he seems to have gotten a little sloppy, leaving the Crispy Flakes box on the table like that. Don’t worry–the box is actually there to inspire Buffy and Jody.

The twins are entering a Crispy Flakes contest because they want to win a houseboat (nice prize!) They have to describe why they like the cereal in 10 worlds.

Jody's

Jody’s idea: “I like Crispy Flakes because they’re good, good, good, good.”

Uncle Bill leaves to spend a couple of days working in Tampa, and that Crispy Flakes is must be one efficient outlet because they name their winners before he gets back!

The hairi

The hairiest man alive calls the Davis household to announce that Buffy and Jody won a prize. (Seriously, check out that arm. Ewwww.)

Unfortunately, they didn’t win the houseboat. Actually, they have the choice of two prizes–an encyclopedia set or a baby lamb. Now, no adult would choose the baby lamb, and no child would choose the encyclopedia set. I’m sure the Crispy Flakes people will insist on talking to a parent about this choice.

Well,

Or not.

Next thing you know, there’s a delivery man at the door.

Oh

Oh, how I missed those Cabotian reactions.

Jody and Buffy fall in love with the lamb, of course. I don’t blame them–it’s adorable!

i

Poor French is left to consider practical matters, like where and how to keep the lamb.

Uncle Bill, reached by phone, doesn’t offer French much guidance. It’s easy to take things like lambs in stride when you’re hundreds of miles away.

By the way, his

By the way, his Tampa work space looks a lot like every other out-of-town work site he’s visited.

Buffy and Jody name the lamb Snowball and do their best to take care of it. An old-school wooden playpen, borrowed from Miss Faversham, becomes its new home.

When Uncle Bill returns to New York, he tells French that he plans to donate the lamb to the Children’s Zoo. His first attempt at breaking the news to Buffy and Jody fails, however.

Bu

“We’re going to take care of him forever and ever,” Buffy says. “Just like you take care of us,” Jody adds.

Well, it would take a strong man to overcome such cuteness.

A slight

May I digress from the plot for a second? Would it be so difficult for Uncle Bill to carry his own suitcase to his room when he returns from Tampa? French has been up to his neck with kids and lambs, for God’s sake.

That night, it becomes apparent that the Snowball situation is unworkable. Left on the terrace, a lonely Snowball engages in some pitiful bleating.

Poor Snowball.

Poor Snowball.

The

Uncle Bill’s neighbors are not exactly sympathetic to the lamb’s plight–or the Davises’.

The only thing that quiets Snowball is the reassuring presence of Mr. French. Guess who has to sleep on the terrace?

Here's

Here’s French, questioning his life choices. Bill couldn’t have brought him a pillow and blanket? He’s going to wake up with wicker marks on his face.

The next morning, Buffy and Jody take Snowball for a walk before anyone else gets up. I did wonder where Snowball was, um, relieving himself. But I also wonder whether two six-year-olds should be wandering the streets of Manhattan with only a lamb for protection.

They

They don’t even have the lamb for long. “Snowball runned away,” as Buffy says during one of her stupider moments.

Uncle Bill becomes concerned when the kids are still gone after two hours. He gets a call from the Humane Society, which picked up Snowball in the park. The dejected twins return to the apartment a few minutes later, but they are glad to hear that Snowball has been found.

Uncl

Uncle Bill takes the kids to see Snowball at the very Family-Affair-green Humane Society. Now, how and why the Humane Society has that little farmyard set-up in the middle of their floor, I can’t imagine.

Uncle Bill tells the kids how lonely Snowball has been for other lambs, and he gently guides them into embracing the Children’s Zoo ideas as their own. His parenting skills are really growing!

Commentary

I love the lamb and the tender way Buffy and Jody care for it. Buffy even gives Snowball Mrs. Beasley’s blanket to sleep with. It’s also fun to see Sebastian Cabot again.

He

He’s barely accepted his role as a nanny–he’s far from ready to be a “lamb nanny.”

Guest Cast

George: William Kendis. Mrs. Mayfield: Jenifer Lea. Mr. Fisk: Olan Soule. Mr. Smith: Paul Kent. Messenger Boy: Robert Broyles. Secretary: Annette Cabot. Kent had a recurring role as Carter on TJ Hooker and appeared in many TV movies, including Helter Skelter. He also had a part in Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn.

olan soule

In the world of television, Olan Soule appeared in everything…absolutely everything. Trust me.

He also voiced Batman in several animated series, including Superfriends; recurring Family Affair guest star Sherry Alberoni voiced Wendy in that series.

Annette Cabot is the daughter of Sebastian Cabot.

Annette Cabot, playing the Wolfman’s secretary, is the daughter of Sebastian Cabot.

Continuity Notes

Cissy refers to the Velvet Vultures. (She calls them “the epitome of folk jazz.”)

Spin Again Sunday: Allan Sherman’s Camp Granada Game, 1965

I’d like to wish a happy Chanukah to everyone who is celebrating it. I’m part of an interfaith family; my husband gives me presents at Christmas, and I give him presents for Chanukah. Last night, he opened this vintage board game.

My husband’s a big fan of Allan Sherman’s song parodies, so as soon I learned that this game existed I knew I would get it for him someday. It’s based on Sherman’s biggest hit, “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh,” and, like the song, it explores the perils of summer camp.

This Week’s Game: Allan Sherman’s Camp Granada Game, 1965, Milton Bradley.

The Box: Large and lime green, the box features cute cartoon illustrations and crayon-style lettering.

The Board: The board introduces you to all of Camp Granada’s “attractions,” from Cruddy Creek to Quicksand Beach to the Bawl Park.

Each player sets up a bunk house near the board.

The Object: “To be the first player to collect 3 icky animals and go home by driving the bus out the exit gate.”

Game Play: For once, I have someone to help me explain:

Players set up the game by placing an icky animal on each red space. You start the game with 3 icky animal cards. Bus cards direct you where to go on the board, and you collect whatever icky animal is waiting for you. You can only drive the bus home after you’ve collected the specific animals on your cards. You hide your cards and your animals in your bunk house, so other players don’t know what you’re looking for. In certain situations, players can steal each other’s animals. If the bus’ radiator falls out during a player’s turn, that turn is over.

Fatal Flaw: My daughter loved the sticky rubber animals in this game, and she couldn’t wait play. We had fun, but the bus is a huge pain—it’s almost impossible to keep the radiator from popping out every two seconds. The manufacturers knew this was a problem: The rules include “Special Advice from Allan Sherman” about keeping the wheels straight. The rules also allow for beginning players to have 2 or 3 “free” breakdowns in each turn.

My Thoughts: This is a clever game with lots of cute details. It’s too bad the bus doesn’t work well, but we found ways to work around the problem.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Barbie Miss Lively Livin’, 1970

Addams Family Card Game, 1965

Dr. Kildare Game, 1962