Today’s topic is gimmicky games with motorized parts. Since there isn’t a whole lot to most of these, the descriptions are rather short, but I did include the commercials I remember from my childhood. Kind of bizarre to get nostalgic about the stuff I never wanted to watch in the first place, isn’t it? The commercials are all pretty much the same, too. There’s a bunch of kids who are overly excited to play the game, then one of them (usually a white boy) yells out, “I WON!” The jingles, however, will never leave your head. Ever.
Bongo Kongo – We got this as a present from our uncle. The gorilla in the middle spins around, and the players have to use their monkeys to hit his backpack and collect the marbles inside, which symbolize coconuts. The challenge is that sometimes the gorilla reverses direction and speeds up. Not much to it, but I kind of liked the design on the gorilla.
Mr. Mouth – My grandparents had this game. This time, it’s not a gorilla in the middle, but rather a frog’s head that opens and closes its mouth. The goal is to flip flies into the frog’s mouth, because I guess its tongue is broken or something.
Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur – Mostly a straightforward racing board game, where each player has to move several cavemen from the start to the finish. The gimmick comes in with the dinosaur itself, which you have to wind up every time you roll its picture on the dice. It then randomly moves all over the board, usually knocking over various pieces, which are then sent back to start.
Shark Attack – I never played this one, but Beth‘s cousin had it, and she told me that the shark was constantly running. Sounds like a lot of stress for a children’s activity. It also must have a pretty high death count.
Bed Bugs – I played this at the house of a kid I knew in fourth grade, who also showed me Ducks Ahoy and Mickey’s Space Adventure for the Commodore. It was a really noisy game, and the goal was to pick up the bed bugs from the bed using tweezers. When there were all the reports of bed bugs in New York, I wondered if this game was enjoying a resurgence. Or maybe it was the opposite, and people thought the concept was too gross to buy for their kids. They do apparently still sell it, though.