We were in Smyth’s toy shop yesterday. Emily had fallen over in the previous shop and bumped her head on the concrete floor so in the classic manner of paranoid parents we were walking around trying to decide if we should get her to hospital or if she would probably be ok. Smyth’s seemed a good place to distract Daniel while we quietly panicked. We decided that Emily was, on reflection, absolutely fine and turned our attention to the toys.
The board games aisle was like a flash back twenty-odd years. Daniel, being Nearly Five, is right at the age where we could start playing family games and I was looking at what was available. Now obviously there was Cluedo, Monopoly, Scrabble and junior versions of these. I mean, y’know, these are classics. I was more surprised by some of the others. Here’s a few of the games I saw yesterday that had me exclaiming “Eeh, I remember playing that!”
- Hungry Hippos. My cousins had this and it was played almost every time I went to their house. I never won but I remember shrieking and jumping while pounding the levers frantically to try and get the last little white ball. Which always rolled away to the opposite corner of the board.
- Buckaroo. Brought out in a million different versions, whether a cheap one trying to be virtually the same and just within copyright limits or special editions (like a Zingzillas one we bought for Andrew’s little cousin).
- Guess Who. Now in an “Extra” edition. What? Extra what? Sheesh. Don’t mess with a classic.
- Mousetrap. Not one I actually ever played but I remember it doing the rounds of my schoolfriends. And I vaguely remember a tv advert for it.
- Operation. Now this was fantastic. One of my primary school friends had this and I was always quite good at it. I think I took it a bit too seriously; I have a memory of trying to remove the poor patient’s heart with utter concentration while my friends were rather enjoying the buzz when they touched the side. I may have shouted at them, I’m not prepared to commit myself.
I don’t really like it when they update the games, as you might have gathered from my comment on Guess Who above. I mean, take Monopoly. Now I’m not against a regional edition as a special; we have a French edition which we love. BUT. Why do we need to make a Monopoly with credit cards? I don’t want my kids getting the credit card habit when they’re eight! Not unless they’re buying stuff for me and paying it off with their pocket money anyway. Ahem. And Game of Life – another one I didn’t actually play but it was everywhere. Now it’s Adventure edition. Like Life isn’t enough of an adventure? Pah.
Of course, that could just be me getting old. We drove on a road that we haven’t been on for a while the other day and they’re completely rejigging the layout. As we passed the sign saying “New Road Layout Ahead” I actually muttered to Andrew “What was wrong with the way it was?” He didn’t reply. He was too busy laughing.