Sunday, March 27, 2022

Rollin' On the River (boat)

 Well, this week let's wander through the hub and end up at the Rivers of America! The Mark Twain is waiting to take us on a voyage of adventure (and frustration). Yes, this week we look at the Riverboat Game!

The Riverboat Game was released in 1956, like the rest of the Disneyland games. Let's take a closer look, shall we?

The box, once again, has great graphics. The Mark Twain chugs down the river, past wildlife, with a bunch of fairly fancily dressed period passengers. The passengers don't matter in the game. The wildlife does.

Here's our look at the back of the gameboard. Once again, the box graphics are repeated on a sticker here. 

The open gameboard shows the Rivers of America winding in a big circle just like they really do! There's even a fort on an "island" in the middle! And a train! Uh...wait a minute. That's not right. Anyway, it's a nice board, if not terribly accurate. Notice the animals along the river. They can be your friends...or not. You see, when you land on one, the river pulls a Mississippi and overflows its banks and changes directions. How? With a special piece that we'll look at in a moment.

In the mean time, we'll look at one of the weirder aspects of the game. You see, you're not traveling in a grand riverboat at all, but, rather, in a tall ship (sans sails). And this was a good two years before the Columbia was launched! Freaky... I suspect they had these little ships laying about from another game and thought they would be close enough. I can't prove it, though.

And here is that moving river piece. It looks different from the rest of the game because it was actually missing from the game when I bought it. Thanks to the ol' interwebs, I found a good picture of it (in black and white) and was able to print it out in the correct size (after a lot of fiddling around with it). I glued it to a piece of thin cardboard, colored it with map pencils, and laminated the whole thing. works! Remember, I was buying these to play, not really to collect.

Here are the instructions! They aren't as complicated as they first seem, and playing the game is actually pretty easy.

Oh, and here are the graphics from the end of the box...just because.

So there you have it! This is a pretty fun game, but not really my favorite. The shuffling of the extra board section can be a pain, and the going this way and that can get frustrating. Still, it's an interesting concept.

Next week, we'll take a more modern mode of transportation!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Next Rocket Flight In Five Minutes!

Ok, this week we're going to continue our walk around Disneyland (games)!

I'm sorry, but Fantasyland is closed for refurbishment. Please keep moving into the future.

Ok, in reality, I never found a Fantasyland game for a good price. Now, all you can find are the re-releases, and I like original stuff. Maybe one day Fantasyland will be open, but not today. But look! Right up ahead is


The Tomorrowland game was published in 1956. The box of the Tomorrowland game features our favorite Disney rocket, the TWA Moonliner with people in their best travelling clothes strolling toward it to board...or maybe just to ride the ride... You see, the illustration was taken from the actual Disney attraction and instead of a launch gantry, you see the show building in the background. There are several other rockets (although of a different design) flying about the sky, and a porter with a decidedly un-high tech megaphone calls for the next launch.

The game board is a bit more interesting in that we actually see the Moonliner lifting off in its seldom seen "gear up" configuration. It also shows a mish-mash of actual Tomorrowland landmarks (such as the Clock of the World) and fictional structures (such as a helipad). The graphics are bright and cheerful and...optimistic. Disney was always very optimistic about the future!

The parts of the game are very simple. There are four wooden flying saucers and a spinner that was actually used on several of the Disneyland games. The instructions reveal that the game was played like a combination of a regular board game and tidily winks.

I really enjoy this game, because, as you may know, I'm a big fan of the Moonliner! Unfortunately the real Moonliner ended up in a landfill. It was, after all, a glorified steam boiler. The Moonliner I built to fly is still doing great!

All in all it is a great reminder of a time and place that was created to inspire people to dream and reach for the stars. And that is exactly what they did. Who could have foreseen that in 13 short years, men really would be riding rockets to the moon!

Be back next week for a ride on the Riverboat game!

Keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

King of the Wild Frontier!

 Well, we've spent enough time in both Adventurelands, and it's time to move on to the great frontier. That's right: Walt Disney's Frontierland Game! Here are some pics of it:

I like the artwork on the box. This game was put out in 1956 just like the last one.

Again, the box top art is repeated on the back of the gameboard.

Here we have the gameboard, and a lot more great artwork. This game was NOT rereleased with the others for Disneyland's 50th anniversary. I think the reason is that the goal of the game is rather non-PC. You see, you have to go out and capture an Indian and bring him back to the fort. Yeah, that doesn't fly today, I'm afraid.

The playing pieces are metal horse and rider guys. The blue horse took off and left his base behind.

The spinner is pretty big and specific to this game. They pulled out all the stops on this one!

If you thought I was kidding about that "catching an Indian" thing, here are the instructions.

I included this picture because I even like the art on the side of the box!

So there you go! I played this game with my daughter and it was fun. We have Indian heritage, so it's ok. ;-) All in all, this game is a winner that we probably won't see again.

So until next time, keep searching for mean treasure!

Sunday, March 6, 2022

erutnevdA fo dnaL A

 Ok, I couldn't write it upside down, so I wrote it backwards.

You see, before we mosey into the next game, we need to take a slight detour down under.  Today I have a weird duck for you (don't worry GDB readers, it's not an actual duck). May I present to you, Walt Disney's Adventureland Game- Australian edition!

Now the first thing that jumps out at me (good thing it's not a real duck) is that apparently Australians think the Mark Twain runs on the Jungle Cruise waterways. Maybe that's the only stock photo they had of a Disneyland boat? Maybe they just didn't know any different? Maybe they didn't really care? Heck, I don't know. But it kind of looks nice, I guess.

That brings me to my next observation- the type font. Although it's not marked anywhere, I think this was produced in the late 60s to early 70s based on that alone. It would not surprise me to see the Osmonds on board. 

The game board is slightly smaller than the original, and the whole game is made of that "too thin" cardboard that the Lakeside games are made of. The cards are a bit smaller too. I can't speak about the game pieces because I didn't get any with it. I tried to look up an example online, but had no luck. That means it's rare!

However "rare" doesn't always mean "valuable," and I suspect that's the case here. The game is just too cheaply made for me to think there are tons of collectors out there dying to have it. Also, it could even be a knockoff. Interestingly enough, the instructions mention the Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Frontierland games. I've never seen them in this version so they might not exist. Of course, I'd never seen this one before I stumbled across it under a ton of other games at a thrift store, so you never know.

But, when I saw it I HAD to have it, so I grabbed it, shoved a couple of kids and an old lady out of the way on my way to the register and plunked down my money! (They were ok)

So until next time, shove kids and old people out of the way for treasure!