ask zandar
If you were born in the 80s, that is. Get ready for a nostalgia overload with 31 board game (not all of them have actual boards, I KNOW) commercials from Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Pressman and more.

Noticeable trends include staving off impending doom (LOL Cold War), exterminating pests (LOL bedbug epidemic) and complex, easily breakable mechanical structures (LOL Challenger explosion?).


Grape Escape

Some of us will always associate 'Funiculì, Funiculà' with Grape Escape rather than opera.


Shark Attack

A good strategy here was to stick your finger in the shark's mouth to prevent your guy from getting eaten.


Hungry Hungry Hippos

This game is responsible for your dad's tinnitus.


Connect Four

It was tough to play this game without imagining little arms and legs on all the checkers.


Perfection

If Jay Leno ever loses his Tonight Show gig, he can always fall back on shilling board games.


Guess Who

I always felt like Guess Who encouraged people to wish they were white.


Don't Wake Daddy

There was always a weird undertone of child abuse lurking behind this game.


Kerplunk

I think my dad based his rapping style on this commercial.


Mouse Trap

It always bugged me that this song mostly didn't rhyme.


Mr. Mouth

Has anyone actually ever seen a frog sitting on a lily pad?


Bed Bugs

And everyone who lives in New York said, "Yeah, having bed bugs is a real laugh riot."


Splat!

Jimmy Durante was a big inspiration for a lot of these game mascots.


Gator Golf

What real-world scenario is the basis for all these games that feature putting balls into the mouths of animals?


Mr. Bucket

This song was an endless source of amusement for an 8-year old.


Booby Trap

A big theme in the 80s was preventing some horrible disaster, usually in the form of plastic crap rolling under the furniture.


Jenga

To this day, you will hear people chant "Jenga! Jenga!" anywhere this game is played.


Operation

I attribute my long-standing distrust of conventional medicine to this game.


Don't Panic

Squiggly lines were huge in the early 90s.


Wrestling Superstars

All the fun of wrestling without any of the fun of wrestling!


Electronic Talking Battleship

The explosion sound effects made your schadenfreude that much more delicious.


Simon

"The fun is in the challenge" is the same pitch my business calculus professor gave me in college.


Crossfire

The key to Crossfire is figuring out which gun is less broken.


Sorry!

This game encouraged generations of kids to perfect the insincere apology.


Mall Madness

Some marketing exec was all, "How can we capitalize on the whole Clueless thing? You know, where women are supposed to be shallow and stupid?"


Taboo!

What's tragic is that David Alan Grier is now at a point in his career where he could be doing ads like this again.


Clue Jr.

Was the original clue so complex that we needed a dumbed-down version or was it that we didn't want our kids to pretend to be murderers?


Monopoly Jr.

Apparently no one is too young to learn about the harsh realities of ruthless, unfettered capitalism.


Ask Zandar

We weren't allowed to ask Zandar because it was too close to Ouija-type occult activity for my mom's comfort.


Head of the Class

One more data point in the "girls are smarter than boys" argument that was so big in my 90s childhood.


Jumpin' Monkeys

This game usually devolved into flinging monkeys at the other kid's face.


Topple

I feel like I always got stuck playing this with some kid who would cry when they got Topple'd and then I'd have to clean it up all by myself.


Thin Ice

I was always more of a "Don't Break the Ice" guy myself, but this one's OK until you run out of the little membranes.