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: Mork & Mindy Game, 1979

morkmindybox

The world lost one its most beloved entertainers in 2014. The role that first brought Robin Williams into the national spotlight also catapulted him onto toy-store shelves in 1979. Mork & Mindy spawned a card game, as well as a board game. I was in fourth grade when Mork & Mindy hit the airwaves, and it wasn’t long before my classmates were wearing rainbow suspenders and trying to speak Orkan. I’m sure many of us had this game; I remember playing it, but I’m not sure whether I owned it or a friend did.

This Week’s Game: Mork & Mindy Game.

Copyright Date: 1979.

Manufacturer: Parker Brothers.

Box: A full-color photo of the title characters spreads across the whole lid. It’s strange, though, that Parker Brothers chose a shot that provides a better view of Mindy’s face than Mork’s. He was unquestionably the show’s main draw, especially for young viewers.

The back of the box provides and black-and-white photo of the game board and an explanation of the game. And this game does require quite a bit of explaining.

The back of the box features a black-and-white photo of the game board and an explanation of the game. And this game does require quite a bit of explaining.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 14.

Object: Collecting more “grebbles” than other players. These, apparently, are Orkan coins.

morkmindyboard

Board: Against a green background, we have an oval game track in vivid shades of pink, purple, red, and orange. These spaces prominently feature Orkan words like “wump,” “splink,” and “nimnul.”

morkmindyboardcloseup2

Illustrations of Mork and Mindy surround the track, and Mork does dominate here–he shows up twice as often as Mindy. (These illustrations are pretty good as game-board art goes and much better than those on the card game I linked above.)

morkmindyboardcloseup

A large egg labeled “Orson’s Nest Egg” fills up one corner, while the opposite corner shows six small egg-shaped spaces and a “Gleek Space.”

morkmindypieces

Game Pieces: The game includes 50 Grebble coins, which players try to collect. As pawns, they use colored cardboard markers that slide into a plastic base. One cardboard marker has the word Gleek on it; a player who rolls a six slides it into his or her plastic base along with the regular marker.

The game also includes Mork's splinkblinker, which I'll try to explain below.

The game also includes Mork’s splinkblinker, which I’ll try to explain below.

Game Play: The grebbles start the game in Orson’s Nest Egg. Players move around the track and do a lot of splinking, which is apparently Orkan for bluffing. The player who lands on an “Everybody Splink” space drops both dice into the splinkblinker. He or she looks at the numbers showing, turns to the player on the left and announces any two numbers. The player on the left says “Kayo” if he or she believes the original player and “Shazbot” if he or she thinks the original player is lying. If the second player has guessed correctly, he or she wins two grebbles. Otherwise, the original player wins the grebbles. The splinking process repeats around the table until everyone has had a chance to guess.

Other spaces give players a chance to take grebbles from other players, to win grebbles by “making contact” with Orson, and to place a grebble in the “Grebble Up” row of eggs. A player who completes a row of at least three grebbles in the “Grebble Up” row wins them all.

morkmindyboardcloseup3

The player who roles a six and possesses the “gleek” (until another player roles a six) has his or her grebble-earning power doubled and can’t lose grebbles to other players.

When Orson’s Nest Egg is empty, the player with the most grebbles wins.

“Sound confusing? Sound exciting? Sound like daffy fun?” the box asks. Well…confusing, certainly.

My Thoughts: It seems a bit over-complicated. I’m not sure my friends and I would have made it through a whole game, but we would have had fun spouting Orkan words at each other.

Bonus Feature: If reading about the game has made you want to revisit Mork & Mindy, this Season 1 gag reel is lots of fun. Be forewarned however: There’s strong language here, and it’s not Orkan.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Happy Days

Laverne & Shirley

Charlie’s Angels

 

 

 

 

 

Spin Again Sunday: The Bionic Woman (1976)

Last week, we explored the game inspired by that 1970s icon, the Six Million Dollar Man. This week, we turn to the fairer electromechanical sex.

bionic woman box

This Week’s Game: The Bionic Woman.

Manufactured by: Parker Brothers.

Copyright Date: 1976.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 12. (Curious that Parker Brothers recommended the Six Million Dollar Man game for ages 7 to 14. Perhaps they figured that girls mature earlier and set aside toys like this at a younger age.)

Box: My copy is a bit faded, but the color scheme is vivid greed and hot pink. We get a pretty close-up illustration of Jaime Sommers, along with her “autograph.” The action scene seems to show her trying to capture a mountain lion with a wispy net. I wonder what that mountain lion ever did to her.

bionic woman board

Game Board: It’s disappointingly generic–trails of white dots and pink lines across some forested terrain. Looking closer, you can see some situations crying out for bionic attention, including a power plant inferno.

There's also this train derailment.

There’s also this train derailment.

Object: “Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman, needs your help. She must travel by airplane, helicopter, and automobile to carry out many dangerous adventures. Your job is to help Jaime through these adventures and assist her whenever you can. If you cover a lot of territory and complete the Top Secret Assignment…you may win the game.”

Game Play: I’ll try to make this as simple as possible, which is more than I can say for Parker Brothers.

That's a lot of words.

That’s a lot of words.

All players start at “H.Q.,” and receive an Adventure Card telling them where to go and how many points they will earn.

These cards make you understand how tough Jaime's life must be. She not only does standard superhero stuff like stopping runaway school buses, but must also be on call to repair faulty hospital equipment.

These cards make you understand how tough Jaime’s life must be. She not only does standard superhero stuff like stopping runaway school buses, but must also be on call to repair faulty hospital equipment.

Players head to the space on the board that corresponds to their adventure number. They can either travel by “automobile”–following the white circles; by “helicopter”–sliding up or down the pink lines; or by “airplane,” which requires landing on an Airport space by exact count and then moving to any other Airport space.

When you complete your adventure, you can accept your points or take a double-or-nothing gamble that requires rolling 7 or higher. Then you start a new adventure. When a player rolls double ones or sixes, their mission becomes a Special Assignment, which earns 50 bonus points. After players have completed four Special Assignments, the next double ones or sixes trigger a Top Secret Assignment. That carries 100 bonus points, and its completion ends the game. Since the player with the most points wins, getting the Top Secret Assignment is usually the deciding factor.

Six Million Dollar Shout-Out: Sometimes, instead of an adventure card, players receive a “Steve Austin Assists” card. The idea that Jaime requires this assistance seems a little sexist. And since Steve only lets you double-roll one die, his help isn’t worth much.

Game Pieces: Regular plastic pawns. There are also white plastic clips players attach to their cards–one clip designates a Special Assignment; two clips indicate a Top Secret Assignment.

My Thoughts: I would have been thrilled to receive this game in 1976. I don’t think I would have played it much, though, after scanning those intimidating instructions. If anything, my friends and I might have come up with our own simplified scenario.

Bonus Feature: For a show that only lasted two years, The Bionic Woman inspired many toys. Kenner’s Jaime doll was surprisingly ugly, but it was fun to open her leg panels to see her bionic parts. And, as you can see here, her bionic side and her feminine side co-existed happily.

She had many cool accessories (the dome house!), documented on the fun site Retrojunk.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

S.W.A.T.

The Muppet Show

Patty Duke

 

Spin Again Sunday: The Six Million Dollar Man (1975)

6 million man box

Today’s Game: The Six Million Dollar Man.

Copyright Date: 1975.

Manufactured by: Parker Brothers.

Recommended Ages: 7 to 14.

6 million man box closeup

Game Box: In shades of blue, we see Steve Austin’s face, with circles radiating out from his zoom-lens left eye. The bold red game name makes a nice contrast with the background blue. Four inset drawings show Steve rescuing a stranded astronaut, preventing a nuclear background attempt, knocking out an international crime ring, and locating an underwater missile network. All in a day’s work when you’re part cyborg.

6 million man board

Game Board: The same four assignment drawings are featured here, along with some bright 1970s green and orange graphics. I like the “futuristic” font on the Power squares.

Computer spinner

Computer spinner

Game Pieces: I love the “computer spinner.” The pawns show Steve running (in slow motion, no doubt).

6 million man pawns

Nice track suit, Steve.

Object: “Each player controls a bionic man–but only one is the real Six Million Dollar Man. The first player to complete his 4 assignments wins the game, proving that he’s the Six Million Dollar Man.

Game Play: It’s basically a race through the four assignments on the board, with a few elements added to make it more interesting. Players get and lose Power cards throughout the game. Without at least one of these cards in their possession, players lose a turn. At the end of each assignment, you have to roll a certain number, or higher, to move forward. Each failure to move forward costs a player a Power card.

Random Oddity: At the bottom of the instructions are these words: “We will be glad to answer inquiries concerning these rules.” A mailing address in Salem, Massachusetts, is listed. In a game with a high-tech theme, it’s funny to see this reminder of how far we’ve come since the 1970s. Can you imagine using snail mail to ask a question about a game and having to wait days or weeks for a response?

My Thoughts: If you were going to a boy’s birthday party in the mid-1970s, this would have been an ideal gift. Personally, I was more of a Bionic Woman fan. I’ll review that show’s game next week.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

Charlie’s Angels

Dragnet

The Waltons

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

Spin Again Sunday: Wow Pillow Fight Game for Girls, 1964

After a brief hiatus, Spin Again Sunday is back with a game that’s absolutely adorable. It’s also simple and safe, according to the box. Since one sort of expects a board game to be safe, perhaps its manufacturers are comparing it to a real pillow fight–we all know what bloodbaths those are.

wow box

This Week’s Game: Wow Pillow Fight Game for Girls. (It wouldn’t be proper to expose a boy to this game–the game pieces are wearing their PJs.)

Manufacturer: Milton Bradley.

Copyright Date: 1964. With unusual specificity, Milton Bradley notes that it holds the copyright “under Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions.”

Recommended Ages: 5 to 12.

 wow board

Game Board: The board itself is simple, with pink stripes on one side and blue stripes on the other. Each side includes four rows of circles and a single circle near the center of the board.

Players erect a divider, styled like a bedroom wall, between the board’s two sides.

I love all the cute room decor details.

I love all the cute room decor details.

Game Pieces: Each player gets a set of six slumber party guests as pawns.

wow girls

Each player also gets one “house mother.”

House mother? So these girls are in boarding school or something? I guess it's better than calling her Grandma, since we'll be hurling pillows at her.

House mother? So these girls are in boarding school or something? I guess it’s better than calling her Grandma, since we’ll be hurling pillows at her.

Game pieces also include little pink and blue beds. Each player uses the bed that matches her side of the board.

wow bedsThe beds are actually little catapults for propelling pillows across the divider.

See how pushing down on the lever makes the mattress spring up? Unfortunately, my game came without a key game piece--the actual pillows. My daughter and I substituted cotton balls when we played the game.

See how pushing down on the lever makes the mattress spring up? Unfortunately, my game came without a key element–the actual pillows.

Game Play: Players assemble their girls in the row at the board’s edge. The house mothers stand on the central circles near the divider.

Each player gets a spinner. On her turn, it tells her how many pillows she can hurl across the wall. It also offers chances to move her girls forward or backward on the board, or to steal an opponent's girl.

Each player gets a spinner. On her turn, it tells her how many pillows she can hurl across the wall. It also offers chances to move her girls forward or backward on the board, or to steal an opponent’s girl.

The game object, of course, is to wipe out the other player’s entire team. The house mother has to be the last one standing–even if she is hit, she stays in the game until all the girls are gone. Then it’s open season on old ladies.

My Thoughts: This game is such a great mixture of cuteness and aggressiveness that it seems perfect for tween-age girls. I’m surprised that it didn’t become a girl-game classic. A better name might have helped.

Since my daughter is in the game’s target age range, I asked her to offer a review, too:

“Wow Pillow Fight is a very good and cute game. It is very detailed. Sometimes it can be kind of hard to hit the girls with the ‘pillows.’ The game company it is made by is Milton Bradley. We got ours off of Ebay. We used cotton balls as the pillows because ours did not come with pillows. I was the winner of the game–yay, me. I would give it 3 stars.”

Spin Again Sunday Extra: Bewitched (1965)

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

(Note: I meant to post this yesterday because Bewitched was celebrating an anniversary–it premiered September 17, 1964. Alas, I was too busy packing for the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention. I’ll be tweeting from there over the next few days.)

Today’s Game: Bewitched

bewitched game boxCopyright Date: 1965.

Manufacturer: T. Cohn, Inc.

Recommended Ages: 6-12.

Subtitle: The Samantha and Endora Game. Don’t worry, though–the manufacturers certainly didn’t forget about Darrin.

As in the show, however, Darrin doesn't escape with much dignity intact.

As in the show, Darrin doesn’t escape with much dignity intact.

Oddities: Besides the obscure manufacturer and the unusual subtitle, the strangest thing about this game is a blurb on the inner box lid that describes the show’s premise. This description varies significantly from the premise of Bewitched as it appeared on screen:

Samantha and Darrin loved each other very much. So they married and thought they would live happily ever after. But one day Samantha disclosed that she was really a WITCH. Although that confession created some minor problems, they still were confident that everything would turn out just fine especially since Samantha would become a human after one year of marriage to a mortal. However, during that year Darrin Stevens finds himself somehow subjected to witchcraft.

If the show had used that premise, seasons 2 through 8 sure would have been boring!

Object: Be the first to enter Vacation Land.

bewitched game board

Game Board: Darrin is everywhere. Little Darrin heads line the path players navigate, and each Bewitched Space displays Darrin in an awkward Endora-spawned situation.

bewitched game spinner 1bewitched spinner 2

Game Pieces: The game has two spinners. The regular spinner features a cartoony Samantha figure in witch garb. The Witchcraft spinner intersperses Samantha and Endora heads with those Darrin pictures from the game board. The game also includes 4 witch cards–two of Endora and two of Samantha–and five Bewitched cards featuring those Darrin scenes again.

Game Pieces: You get to play as your favorite character, as long as your favorite character is Darrin.

The four Darrin game pawns, plus two witch cards.

The four Darrin game pawns, plus two witch cards.

Game Play: On his turn, a player can spin the numbered spinner and move as indicated. His other choice is to take a witch card. He then takes a Bewitched card and sends the opponent of his choice to the matching Bewitched space on the board. The opponent can accept this or draw her own witch card. The two players then reveal their witch cards. If one person has Endora and one has Samantha, the person with Samantha has to retreat to the next matching Bewitched space. If they have the same witch, the original player moves back six spaces. Once on a Bewitched space, a player cannot leave it until he spins either Endora, Samantha, or the picture matching the Bewitched space on the witchcraft spinner.

Strategy: The idea is to use witchcraft to slow opponents who are approaching Vacation Land.

My Thoughts: This has been one of my “holy grail” games for a while because Bewitched has always been one of my favorite classic TV shows. It’s not especially hard to find, but it’s hard to find at a reasonable price. Box wear made this one fairly affordable, and box condition is not my highest priority when buying vintage games. I look for completeness and a colorful, aesthetically pleasing board.

Other Spin Again Sunday posts you might enjoy:

The Bride Game

What Shall I Be?

Happy Days Game