Sunday, February 27, 2022

A Land of Adventure!

 Last week we had a game that was produced before Disneyland actually existed, and that covered the whole park. This week's game was produced in 1956, the year AFTER the park opened! This enabled the game designers to get a better idea of what they were trying to show. 

There were actually games made of all of the lands and since my family visits usually start with a left turn into Adventureland, that's where we will start today. Here is the (slightly battered) box top!

As you can see, the artist got pretty close to the real Disneyland attraction. It's amazing how having something actually exist helps! By the way, if you want to see a cleaner version of the art work, the same picture is duplicated on the back of the game board.

Let's get a look at those rules! Here ya go!

I like the gameplay because you do what people have been doing for as long as the ride has existed- take pictures of the animals! In this case, you quite literally "take" them, from a pile of white cards. If they match one of your previously handed out pink cards you keep both. Once you have all three, sail like a maniac to the dock! Maybe it will help to visualize what I'm taking about if I show you the set up board. 

By the way, you can only take a picture if you land on a picture of a camera. Makes sense. An interesting detail is that the "boat" game pieces don't look like the Jungle Cruise boats. These tiny metal boats look like this:

I suspect they were actually made for a different game and repurposed for this one. The same goes for the spinner, which features a tall sailing ship. Of course, there would eventually be that type of ship at Disneyland, but it would be a few years. Here's a closeup of the spinner:

The condition of this game is somewhere around "pretty good, but not great" (my own grading system). However, it really doesn't matter because I got these games to play with my daughter, and they served that purpose well! 

A few years ago (after I had purchased mine), Parker Brothers re-released this game with all of the original art work. I don't know if the tokens are still tiny metal ships, but I doubt it. Anyway, I'm glad I have an original. It has much more character (important in a Disney game- pun intended).

So, once again, my definition of "treasure" comes not from the condition or value of the item, but from the memories it holds and how much it was enjoyed.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, February 20, 2022

The Original Disneyland Game!

 This week we're moving west and back in time almost 20 years from last week's post! The year was 1954 and Disneyland (the place) was coming together because of Disneyland (the TV show). The funding was secured and construction would soon begin. Exciting times to say the least!

Now Walt well knew the art of marketing. He was doing "synergy" before anyone knew what it was. Therefore, he knew the more ways he could get the park into the public's mind, the better off he was. And what better way than through books, games, and tv aimed at kids?

What we have is a game by Transogram simply called "Walt Disney's Disneyland Game." I think this and a Peter Pan game were the only Disney games Transogram made. They are more famous for games like Green Ghost and Ka'bala. Still, they did it well!

The side of the box sums up what the game is all about.

The really great thing about this game is the incredible artwork. Here are examples from the box and the board.

Now some of these illustrations are pretty close to what was eventually built, but some (I'm looking at YOU Tomorrowland!) are not really close. Ok, the monorail in the Tomorrowland illustration is certainly cool, but the one that was eventually there looks little like it. Actually, in all of the lands, there is not much that made it to the park exactly like the pictures. 

Want to know what's in the box? Here ya go!

Now, this is what you do with that stuff...

Now, this is sort of like the Walt Disney World game from last week in that you travel to each part of the park, but for some reason this game is actually more fun. Of course there are more rules to this game, but that makes it interesting.

As a side note, the Disneyland Railroad is called Casey Jr. in the instructions. Of course, in some places Tomorrowland is called "Land of Tomorrow" so things were obviously not nailed down quite yet. 

Yes, I have played this game, and I enjoyed it in a simple way. For some reason it mirrors the feel of the early park very well! I would certainly consider it a "treasure!"

So, until next time, keep looking for treasure...and play with it when you find it!

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Visiting Walt Disney World!

 After I posted last week's game, Major asked about others that I might have. I realized that I have the fodder for several posts sitting on my board game shelf, so, with Sue's encouragement, I will feature them for the next few weeks!

I told the good Major that all my other games were from Disneyland. It turns out that I lied. ...Ok, actually I just forgot. Here is my final (unless I remember another one) WDW game, "A Visit to Walt Disney World" by Milton Bradley!

This game actually came out before the Lakeside games. It was released just a year after the park opened; 1972. The idea is clearly to drum up enthusiasm for visiting the park, although very few attractions are actually represented. Of course, being as the goal is to visit every attraction in the park, more would make the game go longer than a typical kid's attention span. 

The board is made up of a semi-3D parkscape, that it actually pretty fun to look at. In fact, that's by far the best thing about the game, as game play is not exactly edge of your seat stuff. Here are some pictures of it: 

There are the instructions in case you are wondering. 

A couple of points- The Haunted Mansion is called The Haunted House, which is weird as the name had been "Haunted Mansion" for at least four years at this point. It also doesn't look like the Haunted Mansion, although it's closer to the Disneyland version than the WDW one. 

That red paper thing I'm holding is supposed to be a monorail. It sits on top of the "wall" that runs around the board. It doesn't do it well, and tends to fall off, injuring many passengers. Tragic, really.

The only other attraction is the teacups...ok, and maybe the train station, although it doesn't do anything in the game. 
The backdrop of Cindy's Castle with the fireworks is a nice touch, though.

All in all, it's a fairly interesting game board and a fairly snoozer game. Still, it's a nice addition to a Disney game collection. My example, purchased for the stately sum of five dollars, is in fair condition, having some torn box corners, and slight water staining on the box as well. But it's good enough for me!

So, even if it isn't perfect, or even that fun, it can still be treasure!

So keep looking for (any condition you like) treasure!

Sunday, February 6, 2022

20,000 Leagues Under the Game

 You may not know it, but one of the things I collect are board games. Why? Well, as an only child, I didn't get to play them much, so I collected a bunch of Baby Boomer games from my childhood and played them with my daughter. Kid's are great! 

Anyway, four years after Walt Disney World opened, Lakeside released a couple of games based (loosely) on attractions. The most popular (and expensive) is The Haunted Mansion. A good example can fetch a couple hundred dollars. Much less popular (and expensive) is the one I have, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. 

I actually think the 20,000 Leagues game is the better of the two because The Haunted Mansion is a rebranded English game called Ghost Train." Also, 20,000 Leagues was the only attraction that was only found at WDW. And, finally, 20,000 Leagues doesn't exist any more. 

So, anyway, here it is...

The idea here is pretty simple. Each player controls a Nautilus and they try to get from their start to the home port first. The trick is that there are gunboats on a movable disc. When players move this disc, if a gunboat gun touches your Nautilus, you are sunk and you have to start over. 

Now what makes this game kind of nifty (in my opinion) is that the subs can move either surfaced or submerged. To submerge, you lift the top off of your sub. The gunboats can't touch you then (you are too short), but there are two problems: 1. You roll a special die which only goes up to three (instead of six, like the surfaced subs) and 2. The sub can hit "depth charge" spaces and be sunk. So, you decide how much and what kind of risks you take. Pretty cool, huh?

The actual game suffers from what I call "The Lakeside Flimsys." The whole game is made of card stock that is just a little too thin to stand up to many playings. The Haunted Mansion Game has the same problem. Still, if you're careful with it, you can play it without damaging it.

I found my copy on eBay many years ago. I just stumbled across it accidently. You don't see many of them, but like I said, they are pretty cheap (about 20-30 bucks if you can find one), so I think they are a much better bargain!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!