Spin Again Sunday: The Partridge Family Game (1971)

partridge family box

This Week’s Game: The Partridge Family Game, 1971

Manufactured By: Milton Bradley

Object: Being the first to reach the bus after a concert.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 12.

Game Box: A picture of the family, with everyone looking deliriously happy, except Danny. Maybe he’s wondering why they set up to play right outside their bus. The colorful Partridge logo also appears prominently.

Game Board: The same photo appears here, surrounded by a multicolored track.

partridge family board

Game Pieces: Character photos make these much cooler than ordinary plastic pawns. They aren’t durable, though–notice the damage done to Laurie. Keith, oddly, is pristine. Someone must have liked him.

They made these from the photo on the box, so Danny has that same dazed look on his face.

They made these from the photo on the box, so Danny has that same dazed look on his face.

Game Play: The instructions explain it in this ungrammatical fashion: “As on TV, many happenings occur to the Partridge family, this game describes one of them. They have finished playing at local arena and must hurry from there to their BUS to get traveling again. On the way they may have some delays.” (I guess BUS is important, since they put it in caps.)

Players advance along the track by rolling the dice. When they land on a partridge space, they take a card. The cards send them forward or backward, according to whether a particular family member has a good or bad experience. One feature adds a little excitement: If you land on an occupied space, the person who was there has to move backward to your starting point.

Most of these cards make sense, but look at this Laurie card: "Laurie belongs to the 'now generation.' Lose 1 turn."

Most of these cards make sense, but look at this Laurie card: “Laurie belongs to the ‘now generation.’ Lose 1 turn.”

My Thoughts: I paid about 50 cents for this very damaged game. I liked the colorful game board and figured I could do something crafty with it. Five years later, I still haven’t figured out what that will be yet.

Though the game play is boring, I’m sure I would have loved this game as child, and my Partridge pawns would have ended up in even worse shape than these.

Other Spin Again Sunday Posts You Might Enjoy:

The Game of Dragnet

The Waltons

Addams Family Card Game

Spin Again Sunday: The Senior Prom Game (Circa 1950s)

senior prom box

Senior Prom–the game for girls whose parents were too cheap to spring for Barbie’s Queen of the Prom game.

In this week’s installment of Spin Again Sunday, we’re going to experience “all the thrills of a social season”–or at least as many of those thrills as a poorly made board game can provide.

This Week’s Game: The Senior Prom Game.

Copyright Date: Unknown, but the game appears to date from the 1950s.

Manufacturer: Warren Paper Products Company of Lafayette, Indiana. The company used the designation “Built-Rite” on their games (and jigsaw puzzles). If this game is any indication, they used the label ironically.

Object: To attain the status of prom queen.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 12.

Game Board: Actually, “board” is a bit of an overstatement for what is a flimsy piece of cardboard. In an unusual move, the manufacturers printed the game directions right on the board. I’m sure they did this to save money, but it does eliminate the possibility of losing the directions.

senior prom board

Game Box: The graphics are cute, with prom-goers depicted against a star-filled sky. The fact that the box brags about the “Large 15 x 18 Playing Board” may be be a hint that there’s not much here to brag about.

I can see why this would be worth a 6-space movement. Why would a "T.V. idol" be at your sock hop?

I can see why this would be worth a 6-space movement. Why would a “T.V. idol” be at your sock hop?

Game Markers: Square pieces of cardboard folded and inserted into round pieces of cardboard. These are supposed to represent crowns. Uh-huh.

Crowns? Really?

Crowns? Really?

Other Game Pieces: The colorful spinner has a metal arrow. Players try to collect cardboard circles marked with the words Date, Formal, Grades, or Dance.


The cards players must collect.

Game Play: Players move along the board and try to collect the cardboard circles mentioned above. (I give the manufacturers credit for making good grades a pre-requisite for prom queen coronation.) With those cardboard circles in hand, a player can move to the inside track and try to land on a “Selected Candidate for Prom Queen” space. Each candidate places her marker on a numbered star; the first to make it that far and spin the number that matches her star space wins.

You can see more Warren “Built-Rite” games at the very cool Board Game Geek web site.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

What Shall I Be? (1972)

Barbie Miss Lively Livin’ (1970)

The Bride Game (1971)

Spin Again Sunday: The All in the Family Game (1972)

af boxHonesty, I have mixed feelings about the TV series All in the Family, probably because my family let me watch it at much too young an age. On a regular basis, the show assaulted my sensibilities with such concepts as cross burning and attempted rape. I can’t imagine letting my 10-year-old listen as a stream of racial epithets pour forth from the TV–but, thankfully, she doesn’t live in a world where she hears those words on a regular basis from relatives, as I did. Along with my parents’ guidance, All in the Family did reinforce to me how ridiculous racism was, and for that, I’m grateful.

Though most of the show’s characters creeped me out to varying degrees, I always loved Edith. She reminded me a lot of my beloved maternal grandmother–naive, confused, but kind-hearted. As a child, I was shocked when I first heard Jean Stapleton interviewed and realized she didn’t talk like Edith. It produced an early epiphany about how convincing acting can be.

I’m featuring this game in Jean Stapleton’s honor.

af answer

This Week’s Game: The All in the Family Game, Milton Bradley

Copyright Date: 1972

Recommended Ages: 10 to Adult

Object: “Guess Archie’s Answers”

Game Play: One person acts as “the MC” and asks questions from the game booklet. Players write their answers down on slips of paper and pass them to the MC. When the responses are read aloud, players earn points by guessing which player gave each answer. The MC also reads Archie’s answer to each question (or, in some cases, Edith’s answer). Players who matched that answer get an extra point.

af question

“Clever or unexpected responses often throw the party into peals of laughter,” the game box assures us. I can imagine that might be true, but the “official” answers from Archie and Edith aren’t exactly uproarious. Some examples:

How do you feel about being a sex symbol?

Archie: If the shoe fits–why take it off?

With my background, I should be a…

Archie: Boss over something.

What’s with hips?

Archie: They should be watched.

What do you think of Bangladesh?

Edith: I never played that game.

Spin Again Sunday: What Shall I Be? (1972)

what shall i be box

Spin Again Sunday is back! After a long hiatus–for which I apologize–I return with a game that explores the full gamut of careers available to women–ballerina, airline stewardess, teacher, model, nurse, and actress.

Actually, by 1972, even the good people at Selchow and Righter (who also brought us The Bride Game and The Emily Post Popularity Game) realized that their game was slightly retrograde. They could have opted to redesign the whole the game, but that probably would have cost a lot of money. Instead, they reissued their 1966 game board but added this disclaimer to the inside lid:

what shall i be disclaimer

I suppose they figured that would keep Gloria Steinem off their backs.

This Week’s Game: What Shall I Be? The Exciting Game of Career Girls

Manufactured: 1972, Selchow & Righter

Recommended For: Girls ages 8-13

Game Board: Drawings on the board–copyright 1966–show somewhat more conservative versions of the career girls than the full color photos on the 1972 box.

what shall i be board

Game Pieces: The pawns are your basic colored plastic items. The game also involves three kinds of cards. School Cards represent the formal training needed for each career.

what shall i be cards

Players also need to collect round Subject Cards and heart-shaped Personality Cards that support their career ambitions. (As you can see, cards can also work against success in certain careers. No fat chicks need apply for stewardess!)

what shall i be cards 2Game Play: Players move around the board and collect cards according to the spaces on which they land. The first player who collects four school cards for one profession, plus two Subject Cards and two Personality Cards that support that profession wins.

My Verdict: As silly as it seems now, this game would have appealed to me when I was 8 or so. Remember those cheap toy doctor’s and nurse’s kits that you could buy anywhere? My mom was always trying to raise my consciousness by buying me the doctor one, but I always wanted the nurse version.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy

The Waltons

Barbie Miss Lively Livin’

Patty Duke Game

Spin Again Sunday: The Game of Dragnet

dragnet boxI’ve been a big fan of Dragnet since I discovered the late 1960s episodes when I was about 10. When I started listening to old-time radio, Dragnet quickly became one of my favorites in that medium, too. So this Christmas, when my husband presented me with The Game of Dragnet, I was delighted. (By the way, it’s really hard to explain gifts like this to “normal” friends who get jewelry and cookware as presents.)

This Week’s Game: The Game of Dragnet, 1955, Transogram.

The Box: Sergeant Joe Friday, in black and white, gives us a rueful smile, while uniformed officers (in color) pursue a criminal nearby. Shouldn’t Friday be helping them? The box, board, and instructions all include the label “Badge 714” as a kind of subtitle. Remember when syndicated versions of shows that were still airing in prime time ran under alternate titles? Badge 714 was Dragnet’s syndication title.

The Promotional Blurb on the Box: “Do you have the instincts of a detective? Are you adept at interrogation, clever at deduction? You are! Then you must play this drama packed game! Here it is!—a realistic and exciting game of skill, deduction, and luck for teenagers and adults, based on DRAGNET, famous on radio, TV, and in the movies.”

This is actually only about one-fourth of the copy—it is the War and Peace of promotional blurbs.

dragnet board

The Board: The box copy also refers to this a “fascinating and absolutely unique game.” The board, however, is quite generic. Transogram and other companies often produced boards that they could re-purpose for subsequent games. All they would have to do to re-use this design is to swap out the center circle.

suspects dragnet cars

Two “suspects” flanked by police cars. Doesn’t that pink suspect look threatening? The green disc below is one of the numbered, interchangeable suspect bases.

Game Pieces: Six police squad cars in various colors and seven suspects. The latter are bell-shaped pieces of colored plastic that attach to interchangeable green bases. Each base bears a number.

Crime File Cards: The most interesting thing about these is that they have random holes punched in them. This mystified me until I read that in the instructions that they “simulate authentic key-punched police file cards.”

Then, of course, I had to seek out more information about key punching.

dragnet instructions

If you want to play this game, set aside an afternoon for reading the instructions.

Game Play: It’s kind of like Clue, but much more complicated. Before the game starts, suspects are attached to bases and planted at various Suspect Hideouts around the board. Each player receives three police file cards. Each player will try to collect three police file cards that fit the same crime—a crime card, a location card, and an evidence card. Each of these cards also has a number on it. When a player adds the three numbers on their three correct cards together, they will get the number of the suspect they are seeking

dragnet card 2Players move around the board in their squad cards. When they land on a Suspect Hideout, they can look at the suspect’s number and record it on their score pad. When they land on an Interrogation Post, they can ask a yes-or-no question about a suspect (i.e., is the red suspect’s number odd?), as long as they don’t ask directly what the number is. When they land on a Precinct Station, they can take police file cards from other players.

dragnet card 1Once a player has his three cards and knows his suspect’s number, he must go to that suspect’s hideout and then return to police headquarters to win the game.

Whew! Actually becoming a police detective might be simpler than playing this game.

My Thoughts: This looks like it could be fun, as long you invest the time necessary to master all the rules.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Gomer Pyle Game

Charlie’s Angels Game

Waltons Game

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

Spin Again Sunday: TV Guide’s TV Game, 1984

Well, this be-sweatered family sure is having fun (except Grandpa, who may be having a stroke). What kind of game could cause this excitement? Read on.

Well, this be-sweatered family sure is having fun (except Grandpa, who may be having a stroke). What kind of game could cause this excitement? Read on.

This Week’s Game: TV Guide’s TV Game

Copyright Date: 1984

The week’s game offers an interesting picture of TV as it used to be.

Actually, it offers many interesting pictures. If you like TV Guide cover images, this is the game for you.

The Box: TV Guide’s logo and bold red and yellow letters leap off a black background. A cover image collage, featuring everyone from Jack Benny to John Wayne, tells you what this game is all about.

The Board: A test-pattern rainbow in the middle provides visual interest, while more TV Guide covers line the board’s perimeter. Notice the four networks at dead center on the board—ABC, NBC, PBS, and CBS. What a simple TV time—and by 1984, it was already coming to an end.

The Object: “To acquire 7 different program cards and as many points as possible by answering questions correctly.”

Recommended Ages: 10 and up.

Credits: “Created by Alan Charles for Trivia, Inc.”

Game Play: Players roll dice and move their colored pegs around the board. Based on the spot where they land, they answer trivia questions about a particular TV show category (Drama, Sports, Comedy, News, Kids, Movies, or Other TV). A player who answers correctly earns a program card representing the category. To win, you need a card from each category, plus the largest number of total points from answering questions and earning bonuses.

Program Cards: These feature cover images, too.

Question and Answer Books:  These four books are cool; they look like real issues of the magazine. I remember owning the Charles and Diana issue, which I kept with a whole stack of royal wedding clippings under my bed.

The back of each Q&A book features 9 more TV Guide cover images. (I’m thinking these might have crafting possibilities—maybe I’ll make myself a whole set of TV Guide refrigerator magnets.)

Sample Questions: Having misspent my youth in front of TV set, I can do much better at this game than I could at a TV trivia game focused on 21st century shows. I’ve picked a few tough questions—based upon my own inability to answer them—to share with you. Please chime in if you know any answers! I’ll post them all in next week’s Spin Again Sunday.

  1. Which 1955 sitcom was the story of two young women trying to make it in show business?
  2. Name Laurie’s soap opera on Love, Sidney.
  3. Name the other Pulitzer Prize winner who appeared with his friend Archibald MacLeish in a 1962 public-affairs special.
  4. When did ABC News Close-Up begin?
  5. The role of Jesus in “The Day Christ Died” (1980) was played by:
  6. A bumbling lion becomes the leader of the animals after leaving Noah’s Ark in this animated 1977 special.
  7. What newspaper did Danny Taylor work for on The Reporter?
  8. To what club did the cast of Kid Power (1972-74) belong?
  9. On The Edge of Night, what was the name of the character portrayed by Petrocelli’s Barry Newman?
  10. Name the Australian-born golfer who won the 1981 U.S. Open.

By the way, if revisiting old TV Guides interests you, I recommend Mitchell Hadley’s wonderful blog It’s About TV.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

The Waltons Game

Happy Days Game

Charlie’s Angels Game