I just skimmed a fabulously funny list at TV Cream that reminisces about the top 100 toys of yesteryear. It’s not only a trip down Memory Lane, because I remember many of these goofy toys, but also a hilarious look at some of these games.
Take, for example, the write-up about Mastermind:
It was always a slow Sunday at grandma’s if the Mastermind had to come out.
The politeness of the title is only a front, as this otherwise unremarkable plastic pawns ‘n’ Ludo-style board game holds an appeal to the nastier side of childhood nature. It’s gloriously mean-spirited, in fact. Kind of Lotto meets Russian Roulette. The magic ingredient– the ability of players to directly, deliberately and with malice aforethought, bugger up the game for their opponents by– in the words and typography of the instruction leaflet– BUMPING their pawns all the way down SLIDES back to the START– a hugely satisfying aspect which, short of kicking the table over and sodding off home, is sorely lacking from most other board games.
How about Perfection?
Where Perfection really scored was with the inclusion of a distractingly loud clockwork timer. If you hadn’t got all the shapes safely home before this thing wound down, the board would ping up, spewing plastic stars, circles, squares and pieces of cheese all over the shop. And that’s when the screaming would start.