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  • “Which Witch?” Game, 1971 – One of my favorite vintage Halloween Toys

    Posted on October 30th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 7 comments

    witchin-good-halloweenIn earlier posts, I talked about some of my favorite Halloween toys from the 60’s & 70’s…The Mystic Skull Game, Coffin Bank, Candles, etc. I saved one of the best for last…Which Witch? from 1971!which-witch-1

    This masterpiece of cardboard fun came from an era when board games were no longer relegated to the flat world, and rose up in glorious three dimensions. Games like Mousetrap, Operation and Hungry Hungry Hippos transformed the single-layer concepts into mechanical miracles of light, sound, and moving parts. And marbles. Which Witch? is an engineering marvel that must have taken the brains at Milton-Bradley many LSD-laden hours to conjure up.

    which-witch-2It starts with a typical game board, covered in 60’s style cartoon graphics of the floors of four rooms (in what is apparently a haunted-type house infected with three witches). Next, cardboard walls rise to form the four rooms: The Broom Room, Spell Cell, Witchin’ Kitchen and Bat’s Ballroom. In the center is a chimney which (witch?) doubles as the means to the demise of snoopy little children who enter the abode. (If you pick the card that says, “Ghoulish Gerty Drops It Down The Chimney”, you have to drop the ruby red marble down the top of the roof; which-witch-chimney

    the marble can go in any of four dimensions and wreak havoc on the ill-fated children). In the Bat’s Ballroom, the final room, sets a staircase. The first meddling kid to reach the top of the stairs and land on the “Charmed Circle” (without being turned into a mouse or knocked off his keister) wins the game!

    Two young-girl pieces and two young-boy pieces (made of plastic and very 50’s Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys looking) try to make it through these danger-ridden rooms, desperately attempting to avoid the hidden traps and spells. The fear which-witch-8of being hit by a broom, pushed down the stairs, crippled on loose floorboards or plain old hit-in-the-head with a giant ruby marble doesn’t seem to thwart our intrepid explorers. They roll the die and move their spaces, pick a witch card and hope for the best.which-witch-box

    I remember playing this game with my mother (something of a witch herself) when I was a young kid. Once, I spent almost the entire game as a mouse. That’s no fun, because you don’t get to move. Another time I got knocked over like eight times in a row. The worst part about this game was that since it was made of cardboard & plastic, it didn’t last. Putting the cardboard walls together meant twisting, bending, and ultimately tearing the parts. My original game died an illustrious wrecking-ball death in the 1970s; I was lucky enough to come across one cheap a few years ago to replace it. You can still find them on eBawhich-witch-ghosty for anywhere from $20 to $100, depending on condition (and the market). These are only going to get rarer and more expensive, so if you dig this sort of thing I’d recommend finding one soon!

    which-witch-ballroomwhich-witch-kitchenwhich-witch-boardwhich-witch-stairs Happy Halloween!

  • MY FAVORITE 60’s HALLOWEEN TOY: THE MYSTIC SKULL GAME

    Posted on October 6th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 10 comments

    halloween-comethHey, Bone Daddys & Halloween Kittens! Did you know the Tiki Scene was so hip in the 50’s & 60’s that Ideal Manufacturing came up with a board game with a Tiki-VooDoo Theme??? Dig it, from 1964,

    MYSTIC SKULLmystic-skull-game-box
    THE GAME OF VOODOO!
    …with the mysterious moving skull!

    Ohhhhh man! This is one of my all time favorites. The graphics on the box are kookie, a little scary, and wreak of mod-tiki art from the middle of the last century. The game itself is as krazy as it looks, too, with VooDoo dolls, pins, a couldron and of course the MYSTERIOUS MOVING SKULL.

    cimg1756 I had one of these when I was a kid back in the 70’s. Always loved the box. When I was 32 and we were moving to Florida, I decided to sell it (couldn’t take everything with me). I remember I paid $.100 for it around 1977. I sold if for $40 before moving. When I got to Florida, I missed it so much I started looking for a replacement. I found one on eBay a year later for $15, and scooped it up. That’s the one you see here.

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    The Skull hangs from a mysterious plastic branch that sticks out of the couldron. When it’s your turn, you stir the couldron with a bone, and the skull mysteriously begins to shake, rattle and roll like krazy! Old Bone Head decides your fate as you encounter snakes, spiders, shrunken heads, and of course ZOMBIES! I tell ya, just checking out the graphics of this game will transport you back to the days when life was game and games looked like they were made by the same kats who drew Mr. Magoo. So if you dig Tiki, try to get your hands on a MYSTIC SKULL Game. There’s a couple of em on eBay right now..but mine ain’t for sale, baby!

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