board game commercials

Time Warp! Board Game Commercials from the Past

The 80’s and 90’s made up the heyday of cheesy board game commercials. For many of us at Blue Orange Headquarters, the jingles and catch phrases from these games are forever ingrained in our memories. Looking back on them with our 21st century, ultra-PC point of view, it’s amazing to think some of these products were successful. But others, like Operation and Candy Land are classics and will most likely survive for many years to come.

Since it’s Friday and we’re all in a light-hearted mood, we’ve collected some of our favorite commercials for reasons good and bad. Press play and take a trip down memory lane!

 

Don’t Wake Daddy

Teaching kids to sneak behind their parents’ backs after everyone has gone to bed. This sort of behavior certainly becomes troublesome after puberty hits. Fun game though! The little fabric night cap (who wears a night cap?) flying off the plastic Dad was endlessly entertaining as a kid. And what’s so wrong with getting a midnight snack anyway?

 

Operation

In some ways, this commercial perpetuates the old stereotype that all doctors are “wacky” quacks that are just out to make a buck.  Look at the face on the patient! Someone get that guy some anesthetic!

Thanks Operation for fine-tuning my fine motor skills and teaching me to appreciate idioms such as “butterflies in your stomach” and “charlie horse.”

 

Candy Land

This is the driest Candy Land commercial ever: “This is candy land. A place you pretend to visit when your play this game.” Pretend to visit! We’re just pretending??

Compare to the contemporary version. “A place that’s made of sweets and yummy treats.” Count me in! Rebranding like this is what keeps classics like Candy Land alive.

 

Socker Boppers

Okay this isn’t exactly a game per se, but aren’t all physical contests a game?

“Sock all day and bop all night!” Bop all night? Hmm…as if encouraging kids to bash each other over the head wasn’t enough. I don’t see this flying in 2013. But how funny are all those kids delightfully beating each other with inflatables?!

 

Pogs

The commercial is as ambiguous as the game.  I knew tons of kids who had pogs and collected dozens myself, but nobody really seemed to know how to play.

 

Hungry Hippo

“Hungry Hungry Hip-POS!” This jingle was even all the more appealing with its punctuation by the cartoon hippos’ bulging bottoms mid-Conga line. I remember my siblings and I used to mimic the commercial and conga around the living room while singing the diddy. Apparently this game is still around and this commercial is still used. It just goes to show how much kids like repetitive motions and banging on things.

 

Dream Phone

Basically a reworking of Guess Who? marketed to tween girls. This game was a part of a whole slew of releases that combined gender norms and electronics (the big gimmick in the 90’s, always accompanied with “batteries not included” disclaimer). Want a boy crazy girl who competes to win guys and uses the word “hunk”? Get her Dream Phone!

For a hilarious round up of the other questionable board games targeted to girls from this era, check out this BuzzFeed article. (Warning: contains strong language)

And for a game that’s clearly meant for boys, judging by the commercial we have….

 

Crossfire

Notice that the jingle is just a repetition of the game’s tagline, “Win it in the Crossfire,” which is probably the most original and descriptive tagline I’ve ever heard. He he.

, , , , ,

6 Responses to Time Warp! Board Game Commercials from the Past

  1. Kathleen November 9, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    I remember all of these except the last one, so funny! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  2. Alicia Johnson November 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    I loved singing the socker boppers song when i was a kid. Never got them for Christmas though.

  3. Deb November 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Operation was my favorite when I was a little girl! Thanks for the fun flashback!

  4. Tesstarosa November 12, 2013 at 1:35 am #

    I remember the Hungry Hippos one — but my favorite will always be Mystery Date.

  5. Barbara Mayes November 12, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I think I’ve played every one of these!

  6. Maralea December 10, 2013 at 9:40 am #

    These bring back so many memories!

Leave a Reply

1000 Illinois Street San Francisco, CA 94107 Tel: (415) 252-0372