] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Board Game by Hasbro - 1968


One of the real treasures of the collection, I didn't even know--or would dream--that this existed until I saw it on ebay just a few days into signing up for an account way back in 1999 (The Day The Wallet Died). I was so determined not to be outbid that I tracked the auction from my desk at Koen Book Distributors, where I worked as a graphic designer. Everytime head-poobah Bob Koen walked by I had to minimize my window and pull up whatever catalog I was working on at the time.

At the same time, I had an Aquaman wing (or should that be "fin"?) on my illustration site, namtab.com, and this was one of the items I had up there. At the time, I said:

It [the game] came complete, but even if it hadn't, I would've bought it--look at that box art! Aquaman, punching what's supposed to be one of his finny friends! With the heads of the Justice League on it!! To hell with this month's car payment, this guppy's mine!

So when I opened it, I was of course a little underwhelmed. How could I not be, after the lid? The game is a big "A" on a board, and you spin the wheel and move around the board. Color-coded squares tell you which kind of playing card to pick up, and then you move according to the card's direction.

The problem is, that's it. That's all you do. Spin, pick a card, move, spin again. There's no discernible skill or tension to the game. You just move around for a while; you get to the end, then you're done. I guess kids were easier to enterain during the 60s, or maybe Ideal just wanted to distract kids from The Beatles, drugs, The Vietnam War, and other real-world events that awaited them outside their door...

Not too long after I posted that, my pal Tony "The Tiger" Isabella posted his theory on the game:

I am thinking that 1968 Aquaman board game might have been intended for use by...hippies. Those simple and repetitive moves would have been within the abilities of those players under the influence of pot and other drugs. And with their minds expanded, the game could be far more than it would seem to mundane players. 'Oh, wow, man, I'm a fish.'

Not that I speak from personal experience, mind you.

Many years later, I have yet to come up with any better theory, so I say Tony is right.
Thanks (again) for clearing that up for me. Now that I look at the box a little more closely, I see that while Aquaman is busy punching the ink out of an octopus, the scuba-diver is about to be eaten by a shark. Way to look alive, Arthur!


Scurvy said...

Hey! I just happend upon your site yesterday thanks to the link that Tegan posted regarding your 'sketches'. Great site!! I am a huge Aquaman fan myself and always thought I had a good sized collection of merchandise, but you are making me look like an amateur here. :) I am really looking forward to the release of the Kingdom Come figure, as I have been waiting over 10 years for one! (I had hoped for a deluxe package with the throne, but I guess I'll just have to take what I can get, eh?
I'm glad to have found your site, and I will be checking it everyday. Can't wait to see what you post next!

rob! said...


thanks for writing! i too am eagely awaiting the Aquaman Kingdom Come figure! thanks for checking in and i hope you enjoy all the stuff to come.


Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!