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20 Classic Board Game Commercials

Board Game Commercials
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With new technology and video games, kids today are turning to small screens for their entertainment. But not so long ago you’ll recall a time when board games were all the rage.

With just a catchy jingle and footage of some kids enjoying some healthy competition, commercials would entice thousands of youngsters to bug their parents for the latest board game. Relive the fun of the most memorable (and most irritating) songs from board game commercials that had us running for the nearest toystore:

Crossfire

A favorite among kids who grew up during the ’90s, this game came with plastic gun-like shooters that sent the metal sphere careening around the board. The advertisement above, however, pushed the level of competition and strategy to an over-the-top level.

Perfection

A modern version of the classic match games that young children would use to hone their fine-motor skills, Perfection delivered a sense of hysteria and urgency. It also likely contributed to bouts of anxiety and attention problems.

Operation

Picking out pieces with great skill and dexterity as part of a game dates back to pickup sticks. But Operation had the dual purposes of teaching young medically-minded students about surgery. As an added bonus, this ad covers the increasing costs of medical procedures.

Mouse Trap

An intense Rube Goldberg-like concoction, this game had a great deal of setup with an inevitable dramatic disappointment to follow. Still, it remained a favorite among American kids as they hoped to keep those plastic rodents at bay.

Shark Attack

Looking to instill kids with an unnecessary fear of going into the ocean? Look no further than Shark Attack which featured a giant shark chasing after tiny boats. Escape being eaten alive and you win!

Twister

Everyone knows this party game that looks and sounds like it was marketed to wholesome kids a generation late. The game gave young ones the excuse to rub up against each other, a tween-age pastime in any era.

Dream Phone

Routine discussions among teenage girls about which hunk was crushing on them hit new heights thanks to the Dream Phone that informed them of their most suitable mates. The “Dan’s my man” catchphrase will surely leave you dreaming of another era.

Guess Who?

The warning at the end of the ad that the cards do not actually talk lets some steam out of this exciting game of detective work. It didn’t stop kids from spending hours of their afternoons memorizing the looks of the usual suspects.

Trouble

Once you hear the popping, it will instantly bring you back to a time of plastic bubbles determining how far you advance. What the name of the game has to do with the concept or strategy remains unclear; nonetheless, it gave kids a good reason to want to get into trouble.

Thin Ice

Don’t be the one to add too much weight to the ice or else you’ll regret it once the bottom collapses. Move quickly and stealthily and you will stay alive. Act like the kids in this ad and you’ll just make a mess.

Crocodile Dentist

The Australian tour guide featured in this ad looks to be anything but a responsible dentist who should be pulling teeth. But the crocodile patient that comes in for the procedure doesn’t seem to be the least bit worried. Grab hold of his molars and hope for the best.

Eat at Ralph’s

America’s fast-food obsession is best represented by this game that culminates with a morbidly obese man spitting out his lunch. If he digests what you feed him, you stay in the game. But when Ralph’s tummy is too overstuffed, beware.

Don’t Wake Daddy

Kids sneak around making sure to keep quiet lest their father will suddenly wake up and spring up from his bed. If too much noise stirs inside the house then the sleeping bear will interrupt all of the fun.

KnockOut

Break out a brick at a time with a hammer and the structure stays intact. But when someone pushes too hard the whole wall comes crashing down. The ad is highlighted by the classic ’90s caricature complete with a plethora of wild colors and trademark sunglasses.

KerPlunk

Don’t let the marbles fall beneath the rods holding them up or else you’ll face the fate of the nerd among his cooler friends in this commercial. Rap music adds a nice, inexplicable cameo here.

Life

This ad actually attempts to write a full song with complete narrative about what’s possible when you play the game of Life. Follow the instructions on the spaces you randomly land on and reap the rewards. Even if that means inheriting a skunk farm.

Dizzy Dizzy Dinosaur

This dinosaur’s destruction stands in the way of your victory, so he must be avoided. What the commercial doesn’t convey is how the game is played, instead emphasizing the biggest obstacle that spins around in the middle of the board posing resistance. For easily frustrated kids, that’s a recipe for disaster. And then crying.

Grape Escape

This Italian-themed tune delivers a mood of culinary exquisiteness for a game that requires the crushing of clay-like grapes. Kids who love to mash and morph found a great fit in Grape Escape. All in the context of winning the game.

Splat!

The concept is simple: take care of the gross bugs pervading the board. This game could have helped young children get over their fears of seeing the occasional real bug around the house. Of course, it could also have led them to want to step on the smallest of insects, as they were wont to do with these fake ones.

Loopin’ Louie

This pilot is out of control and should probably have his license revoked. However, in the meantime he’s scared away all of the chickens that are innocent bystanders that sit beneath Louie’s theatrics. How can terrorizing farm animals go bad?

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