New Vintage Reviews #8

New Vintage Reviews Carnival

Welcome to the long overdue New Vintage Reviews Carnival, edition #8.

In this blog carnival, we review everything from classic film to vintage vinyl, from out-of-print books to games found in the basement — we hope to make the old seem shiny and new again!

If you’d like your review (or one you’ve read) to be included in the next edition, please submit it!  If you’d like to host, just contact me ( and put “New Vintage Reviews Host” in the subject line.


At A Penguin A Week, Karyn reviews The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley.

At { feuilleton }, a review of Joseph Balthazar Silvestre’s Alphabet-album, circa 1843, by John Coulthart.

My review of 1962’s Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plans For Physical Fitness, here at Kitsch Slapped.


At Immortal Ephemera, a review of 1950’s Bright Leaf, starring Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall, and Patricia Neal.

At Out Of The Past, a review of Garbo’s Ninotchka (1939).


At Steamboat Arabia, an illustrated review of The Game of Life aka Checkered Game of Life by Milton Brady — first sold in 1860.


At Scratch, Pop & Hiss, a review of James Luther Dickinson’s Dixie Fried (1972).

At Kitschy Kitschy Coo, my review of Toni Basil’s self-titled album.

At Silent Porn Star (obviously NWS), a review of the 1957 LP My Pussy Belongs To Daddy, which is silly and risque.

At The World’s Worst Records, Darryl W Bullock reviews A Soldier’s Plea by Bishop J M Smith and the Evangelist Choir.

My review of MTV’s High Priority, here at Kitsch Slapped.

And… This last one isn’t truly a review… But in the spirit of living with “old stuff,” surely the story of Phil Cirocco’s full restoration of a Novochord dating from 1940 fits in.  (Via Scratch, Pop & Hiss.)

Pan Historia

Pan Historia is:

[A] community for collaborative fiction and role play writing. Whether you just want to browse and read, or whether you want to write one or many different stories from the point of view of your characters this is the place for you. In addition to the stories there are fun discussions, games, contests, and many opportunities to make new friends. Inside you can find all your favorite genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, history, and more. You can explore over one hundred different collaborative novels, join in, create your own home pages for your characters, learn from others on how to design great homes, create fabulous graphics, or just hone your creative writing skills with others of like interests.

Pan Historia is run by librarians and researchers, rumor has it.

And Pan Historia is blowing my mind.

But Pan Historia is also a bit too intimidating for a girl like me. I’m down with the ; I’m just not a fiction writer or a gamer, so I don’t think I can . Unless my character is a Medieval fish out of water in a post apocalyptic desert. And possibly mute.

Or maybe I’ll wait for the board game version.

Whatjamacallit Wednesday: Soap Opera Challenge, Y&R Edition

young-and-the-restless-soap-opera-challenge-gameHubby grabbed this 1987 Soap Opera Challenge game for me at a rummage sale this summer for a buck or two and I’ve just now gotten around to attempting to play it.

This particular game in the series by The United States Playing Card Company is based on television’s The Young and the Restless daytime soap. There were several others in the series — and had I either the As The World Turns or Guiding Light versions, I might have fared far better… As it is, my puny knowledge of the Y&R was limited to either my high school summers (1979-1982) when my sister insisted upon watching it because she discovered that the show’s fictional Genoa City, Wisconsin, was based on the very real — and visited — Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, and a few episodes in my freshman year of college (1982-83), when the boys in the dorms insisted upon watching it. (Though most of them locked their dorm doors and pretended not to be ‘home’ whilst watching the show, Y&R had a huge male following at the University of Whitewater; mostly the same guys who watched pro-wrestling, so no surprises there, really.)

Anyway, since the Soap Opera Challenge games are, as you’ve likely surmised, trivia games, my lack of viewing of the soap itself, especially around 1987, impedes my ability to play the game with any success. If you were a fan you’ll likely do much better — though that’s not saying much, because I stink.

However, I endeavor to be fair in my reviews and my lack of knowledge isn’t the game’s fault. While pretending that can fathom just who Jack Curtzynski is/was and so make a guess as to who his first wife was won’t quit cut it, I will focus on the game’s play.

ynr-tv-soap-challenge-game-legendThe game itself consists of a game die and deck of 54 question & answer trivia cards, categorized as Love Affairs & Friendships, The Family Tree, Characters & Circumstance, Disappearing Acts, It’s A Crime, and Challenge Plus (“Outrageous questions challenge even the most devoted soap opera fan. It’s in the name of the game!”). Each of the six categories is represented by it’s own icon (Broken Heart, Tree, Theater Masks, Question Mark, Scales, and a Star, respectively) which are then repeated on the game die.

Here’s how it’s played:

Two or more players gather. Each rolls the die and the player who rolls the Star goes first.

Game play begins with a (fresh) roll of the die. The player to the right of the die-rolling player picks a card off the deck (with questions facing ‘up’) and asks the question which corresponds to the icon on the die. If the question is answered incorrectly, the card is placed at the bottom of the deck and the player on the right begins their turn. If the question is answered correctly, the roller keeps the card and rolls again until she gives an incorrect answer.

When there are no more remaining cards, each player counts the cards they ‘won’ and the player with the most cards (correct answers) wins.

There also is a Solitaire version of play. In this version, the player draws a card from the deck, rolls the die to determine the question category, and takes a stab at answering 54 questions (one question off of each card). Cards answered correctly are placed to create a ‘yes’ or ‘correct’ pile; cards answered incorrectly are placed to create a ‘no’ pile. After going through the entire deck, the player counts all the number of cards in the ‘correct’ pile:

If there are 27 or more cards in the ‘correct’ pile in front of you, you are a winner and a devoted soap opera fan.

If there are less than 27 cards in the ‘correct’ pile, don’t take it to heart, these questions are truly a ‘Soap Opera Challenge.’

Again, I can’t really experience the joy of playing, let alone winning, this game; but if you are a Y&R fan — who knows the show’s history — I can’t see why you wouldn’t dig it. A gaggle of giggling girl’s night guests who know the soap opera’s score (and who scored with whom) would have fun; and lonely girls with a half-gallon of ice cream could distract themselves well enough.

And, if all else fails, you could turn it into a drinking game by having the loser take a shot for failing. Just be sure that stinky players such as myself do not drive themselves home.


New Vintage Reviews Carnival, 7th Edition

Welcome to the seventh edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival, where we review “old stuff” — from the classics to the forgotten — that is likely new to someone…


Jaynie discusses Spencer Tracy as a father on film in Father’s Little Dividend over at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

Yours Truly reviews The Adventures of Ford Fairlane over at Kitschy Kitschy Coo.

Cliff Aliperti posted Peter Lorre stars in MGM’s Mad Love (1935) over at The Examiner.

Jaynie of Here’s Looking Like You, Kid has a review of The Goddess. (I love this film!)

Cliff Aliperti on Warren William in Arsene Lupin Returns over at (Can you tell he’s a Warren William fan?)


Kerrie reviews Why Didn’t They Ask Evans? by the Queen of the Golden Age of Mysteries, Agatha Christie, at Mysteries in Paradise.

Yours Truly reviews Mary Stewart’s Airs Above The Ground here at Kitsch Slapped.

At The Viewspaper, Surbhi Bhatia reviews the classic Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier.

Alessia (of Relationship Underarm Stick) takes a quick look at the vintage fortune-telling book, Fortune-Telling by Cards — and you can find excerpts here.

Mee reviews Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Stories, by Truman Capote, at Books of Mee.

At Collectors’ Quest, I review Magnificent Obsessions.

Surbhi Bhatia, of The Viewspaper, reviews Carl Sagan’s Cosmos.

Monte Cook reviews the three original Dungeons & Dragons books at The Escapist.


In A Board Game Fit For a Suffragette, Thursday Bram reviews Pank-A-Squith, a suffrage-themed board game posted at Science of Board Games.

Yours Truly reviews the Dark Shadows‘ game, Barnabas Collins, here at Kitsch Slapped.


Cindi Albright‘s What’s in your Vintage Cookie Jars? (at Muggsey & Mae Vintage Collectibles) is an unusual review of cookie jars.

At, Cliff Aliperti reviews the 300 Piece Uruguayan Movie Card Set.

Honorable Mentions:

My old live-Twitter account of Night of the Lepus at Kitschy Kitschy Coo might fit your Halloween mood…

Hyde and Seek doesn’t review games so much as present a visual museum of vintage Australian games, but it’s cool to see!

There’s also some “old books” in the 29th edition of the Book Review Blog Carnival I hosted — so check ’em out!

If you’d like your review to be in the next edition, please submit it (or one you’ve read) to the next edition of the blog carnival using the carnival submission form. (If you’d like to host the carnival at you blog, just let me know!)

Cheap Thrills Thursday, Retro Halloween Edition: Barnabas Collins Game

A character in the Gothic soap opera television series, Dark Shadows (1966 – 1971), Barnabas Collins was a long-suffering vampire — tormented both by his status as a blood drinker and his doomed romance with the beautiful Josette. But none of this really matters when it comes to playing the Milton Bradley Barnabas Collin’s game; it’s just a “scary” game for the kiddies.


I only paid $1.50 for the game (# 4003, copyright 1969, Dan Curtis Productions, Inc.) at a thrift store; the original store price tag was $3.99. (Ha! Take that, inflation!)

Our game is complete, save for the toy fangs which, while originally included in the game box, were “not part of the game” and ” to be used by the owner of the game when playing the role of Barnabas” (printed inside the box’s lid — twice). Of course, kids being kids, there’s also the proviso that “they should be washed before a player uses them.”

The game is rather like hangman — at least visually. Only instead of trying to spell words, you spin the spinner and try to build your glow-in-the-dark skeleton by “hanging” him, piece by piece, on the cardboard scaffolding.


Each of the 2-4 players takes a turn spinning, hoping for the chance to collect bones/parts from the coffin. In order to begin building your skeleton, you’ll need either the skull or the body piece; so the first few spins can be anti-climactic. When the spinner lands on the ring, it’s like a wild card; the player chooses any bone, skull or body piece from the coffin.

winning-move-dark-shadows-gameBut beware, you could land on the wooden spike space! When you do, you’ll need to take a wooden spike from the coffin; collect three of them and you’ll need to remove a bone from your skeleton (and then you may return the three spikes as well). There is an “advanced game” option, in which the player with the three spikes may challenge a player of his/her choosing to a “Vampire Duel.” (They take turns spinning to see who will spin the ring space first. If it’s the challenger, the s/he doesn’t lose a bone; the challenged player does. If the challenged player wins, the challenger must remove two bones from their skeleton.)

As game play is based upon the spinner, there’s very little strategy involved (other than having luckily guessed to use your wild ring spin to get an upper arm when your next turn gives you the lower arm, etc., it’s all chance), making it rather simplistic (even for the ages 6 to 14 stated on the box). But it’s certainly a cheap thrill — on any day of the week.

And it’s cool for Halloween — though it’s not anywhere as scary as indicated in the original television commercial (I doubt it was seen as scary then either).  But before you watch it, here’s an FYI: if you’re a Dark Shadows, Gothic fan, or just a Johnny Deep nut (perhaps all three?), Depp’s apparently signed to play Barnabas Collins in Tim Burton’s film adaptation of Dark Shadows.

Now for the word from our retro sponsor:

New Vintage Reviews Carnival, 6th Edition

Welcome to the sixth edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival, where we review “old stuff” — from the classics to the forgotten — that is likely new to someone…

This month’s edition is chock-full of films — so I hope you have your popcorn and Jujubes ready!


Rupert Alistair presents Black Narcissus: Technicolor Masterpiece posted at Classic Movies Digest.

Jaynie presents Lessons In Vertigo (Hitchcock’s Vertigo, That Is!) posted at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

Raquelle presents Wild River (1960) @ the Harvard Film Archive and the Walking Ethnic Stereotype posted at Out Of The Past.

Surbhi Bhatia presents FILM REVIEW: RED PSALM (Még kér a nép, 1972) posted at The Viewspaper.

Rupert Alistair presents Fury (1936): Fritz Lang Comes to America posted at Classic Movies Digest.

Surbhi Bhatia presents Onibaba: 1964 directed by Kaneto Shindo posted at The Viewspaper.

Jaynie presents Ready To Get Manhandled? posted at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.


Jeet presents Trip to Shivaganga posted at Discover Karnataka, saying, “Shivaganga is a nice adventurous destination near Bangalore city of the Indian state of Karnaraka. It has very old temples for history buffs and can be a training site for new trekkers.”

Games & Toys:

Yours Truly presents Cheap Thrills Thursday: Can He-Man Still Thrill The Uninitiated? here at Kitsch Slapped.

Yours Truly presents Are You Game To Try Tiltin’ Milton? posted at Collectors’ Quest.


Clark Bjorke presents Billie Holiday: My Man posted at Clark’s Picks.


Azrael Brown presents Lover Boy posted at Double-Breasted Dust-Jacket.

Jason Ward presents Ringworld by Larry Niven posted at The Word of Ward.

Yours Truly presents My Summer of ‘79 (A Review of Summer of ’42) posted here at Kitsch Slapped.

Surbhi Bhatia presents Simone de Beauvoir’s ‘The Second Sex’ posted at The Viewspaper.

Jason Ward presents Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev posted at The Word of Ward.

Rebecca presents 35th Bookworms Carnival: Really Old Classics posted at Rebecca Reads.

Honorable Mention:

The Dean presents The Big & Little of Collecting Western Publishing Co. posted at Collectors’ Quest.

If you’d like your review to be in the next edition, please submit it (or one you’ve read) to the next edition of the blog carnival using the carnival submission form.

New Vintage Reviews #5

new-vintage-reviews-carnival_bigReuse, recycle — rejoice!

Welcome to the fifth edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival, where we review “old stuff” that is likely new to someone… And (most of the time) it still has great entertainment value!

Please submit your blog articles to the next edition of the blog carnival using the carnival submission form.


At Collectors’ Quest, Collin David posted Batman Vs. Video Games: Part Two.

I review Q*Bert, the board game, here at Kitsch Slapped.


Cliff Aliperti reviews Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps over at NY Classic Movies Examiner.

Aero Vintage reviews the documentary Black Jack’s Last Mission.

Here at Kitsch Slapped, I wrote about Bathing Beauty (and the joys of TCM).

Jaynie, of Here’s Looking Like You, Kid, says if you love shoes, you’ll love in The Lady Eve.


At Kota Medan Guide, there’s information about & photos of Tjong A Fie Mansion.


Sarah Sammis reviews Over Sea, Under Stone from The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper over at Puss Reboots: A Book Review a Day.

Aero Vintage reviews Fly A Big Tin Bird.

Honorable Mention:

If you love vintage games, check out Slashdot’s review of Vintage Games: An Inside Look at the History of Grand Theft Auto, Super Mario, and the Most Influential Games of All Time.

I give some tips on being thrifty and looking for antique, vintage & used irons at your local thrift shop.

Cheap Thrills Thursday: It’s Q*bert, Baby!

When I spotted this authentic retro Q*Bert “a board game based on the exciting arcade game” (Parker Brothers #0142, © 1983, Gottlieb & Co.) at a rummage sale, I was excited. The box felt so light, I had no idea if there even was a game & pieces inside — but I didn’t dare to even open the box there; I just wanted to buy it and get out of there before the $5 price went up.

No, I’d never played Parker Brothers Q*bert; I was a freshman in college when this hit the market in 1983, and boardgames, especially for ages 7-14, were so not cool. In fact, boardgames weren’t especially cool then. Arcade video games were where it was at and any college bar worth visiting had them.

My college roommate, Sue, and one of our dorm-mates, Nora, were especially obsessed with Q*bert. I myself never mastered it; artist Jeff Lee’s pyramid of cubes inspired by M. C. Escher made me dizzy and I too often jumped myself (or Q*bert) off the pyramid. But when I spotted the retro board game box, I was so flooded with memories…

I told myself that if I did indeed now possess a complete game, I would probably be better at it than the old video game. And if I didn’t, it was a cool retro nostalgic piece. How could I lose?

Surprise, surprise! When I opened the box, I found every last piece was there (save for a standard 6-sided die, of which my drawers are plentiful). So I made hubby come over and play.

The game is a two-player game, with each player playing two rounds: one as Q*bert and one as the “nasty” characters, Coily, Red Ball, Ugg, Wrong Way, Green Ball, and Slick. (Don’t worry, you’ll only play one at a time, determined by the roll of the dice.)

The player being Q*bert goes first. He or she drops the 8-sided die into the “Q*bert secret die-rolling tube” and then moves, like video Q*bert, up &/or down the pyramid on the yellow spaces, taking white pegs from every space Q*bert travels. The Q*bert player does not have to move the entire number rolled (more on that in a minute).

Then player two, as the “nasty” characters, goes. He or she rolls the character die and the 6-sided die together, revealing just which “nasty” character will move how many spaces — the chart on the back of the gam’s instruction booklet tells you A) where each character starts, B) the direction of their movement, and C) how or if Q*bert can be captured by said “nasty” character.

If a “nasty” character captures Q*bert, Q*bert may be saved if the player moving/being Q*bert did not move the total number on the dropped 8-sided die — those unused moves on the pyramid may be “escape moves.” If Q*bert cannot be saved by an escape move (just moving away or by using a Flying Disc), then that round is over and the total number of pegs collected are that player’s score for the game.

The players reset the board & switch roles (and drops and rolls of the dice) and play again. Whoever collects the most pegs as Q*bert wins.

Considering the game is for ages 7 through 14, the instructions are rather complicated… (This makes me wonder what lays beneath the round blue “for Only 2 Players, Ages 7-14” stickers — do they cover up other recommended ages?)

Yeah, if you remember Q*bert at all, each character’s movement sounds familiar… But it was a hell of a lot easier when the 1’s and 0’s of the program did it. Even if the pyramid on the screen made you dizzy & end your turn/game early while your friends played for hours.

Overall, the game is fun for the sake of nostalgia; but not so much fun to play. And, as a board game lover (even of kiddie games), it pains me to say it.

New Vintage Reviews Carnival, 4th Edition

New Vintage Reviews Carnival
New Vintage Reviews Carnival
Reuse, recycle — rejoice!

Welcome to the fourth edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival, where we review “old stuff” that is likely new to someone… And (most of the time) it still has great entertainment value!


Chris presents Game of Round the World with Nellie Bly posted at Book Hunter’s Holiday.

Derek presents Game Night: Password posted at Collectors’ Quest.

I present Mall Madness (Retro Electronic Version), at Collectors’ Quest.

Cliff Aliperti presents 1939 Wizard of Oz Card Game posted at


Jaynie presents Listen To Busby Berkeley? posted at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

Books & Magazines:

Sarah Sammis presents Destination Moon posted at Puss Reboots: A Book Review a Day.

I review I Like It Here, by Kingsley Amis here at Kitsch Slapped.

Sarah Sammis presents The Postman Always Rings Twice (yes, the novel, not the film!) at Puss Reboots: A Book Review a Day.

Sarah Sammis presents The Motorman’s Coat at Puss Reboots: A Book Review a Day.

Film & Television:

Cliff Aliperti presents Louise Brooks stars in William Wellman’s Beggars of Life (1928) posted at NY Classic Movies Examiner.

Jaynie presents A Real Peach Of A Film posted at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

Jaynie presents Don Knotts As Hugh Hefner? at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

Collin David presents The State, Finally on DVD at Collectors’ Quest.

Cliff Aliperti presents Diamond Jim (1935) starring Edward Arnold as Diamond Jim Brady posted at NY Classic Movies Examiner.

Jaynie presents The Fantasy Of Star-Crossed Cursed Lovers at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

Classic Kitschy Travel Destinations:

jen from windy ridge presents Main Street Station posted at The Chronicles Of Windy Ridge, saying, “A review of our local Vintage & Retro “junk” shop. Acquire things that you absolutely love and incorporate them into your home.”

Emma Taylor presents 100 Best Curator and Museum Blogs posted at Online

Honorable Mention:

Central Kentucky Antiques & Collectibles presents Antique Jewelry – Investment and Fashion posted at Central Kentucky Antiques and Collectibles.

That’s it for this month. We hope we’ve inspired you to go into that attic, basement, or closet (maybe even the thrift store or yard sale) dust off that old stuff and let it entertain you!

Please submit your blog articles to the next edition of new vintage reviews using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts (maybe you’ll be one?!) can be found on our blog carnival index page. (For more info, read this.)

New Vintage Reviews Carnival, Third Edition

new-vintage-reviews-carnival_bigReuse, recycle — rejoice! Welcome to the third edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival, where we review “old stuff” that is likely new to someone… We hopes that it inspires you to dust off the things in your closet, mom’s basement, grandma’s attic etc. and put them to use again.


In The $1.99 Career Change?, I review Parker Brother’s Careers game, here at Kitsch Slapped.

In Vintage Game Nerd Alert: Bottoms-Up, I review the vintage Bottoms-Up game by E. S. Lowe at Collectors’ Quest.

In Let’s Play Shutbox, I review the classic Shut The Box game, here at Kitsch Slapped.

At Cal’s Board Game Musings, Calvin Daniels reviews Harry’s Grand Slam Baseball.


Kerrie presents Agatha Christie’s The Mysterious Mr. Quin at Mysteries in Paradise.

At Sharing Experiences, Andy Hayes presents Life Imitates Art: Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.


In Monday Movie Meme: Trauma In Your Drama?, Jaynie Van Roe reviews Easy Rider at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

In The Ugly Dachshund Is A Beautiful Great Dane, I review The Ugly Dachshund at Collectors’ Quest.

Classic Kitschy Travel Destinations:

In the Retro Museum of Awesome, Dave reviews the Retro Arcade Museum (at NYCResistor).

At Retro Road Map, ModBetty reviews the Trailer Park Lounge.

Honorable Mention:

Jim Murdoch presents The Truth About Lies: The Sonnets posted at The Truth About Lies. — a new (2008) novel on a very old subject.

That’s it for this month!

Please submit your blog articles to the next edition of new vintage reviews using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts (maybe you’ll be one?!) can be found on our blog carnival index page. For more info, read this!

Let’s Play Shutbox

When I was a little girl, my parents would often get together with my mom’s parents & siblings to play cards — usually Cribbage, but sometimes Sheepshead. When I was too young to play, and even when I was older & had learned to play those games but then forgot again because I preferred my nose in a book, I played games by myself. Along with the classic Solitaire, one of the games I played was Shutbox.

Shutbox was what we called it; but I guess that’s the abbreviated name for Shut The Box.


The game is simple, but because your success at the game is up to the whim of the dice, it isn’t as boring as it sounds. (Of course, like Solitaire, when you win at Shutbox, you believe it’s entirely a game of skill.)

How it’s played:

You start with all the numbers visible, or in the case my retro black & white plastic game, all the numbers “up” (or “down,” if that’s your preference).

You roll both dice, and then shut, flip or slide, the numbered tiles that add up to the total sum of the numbers rolled. For example, I rolled a 12, so I slid the 9 & 3.


You roll again, and do the same — but once a number is slid or flipped, it cannot be used again.


Over & over again you continue until either:

* the remaining tiles total less than 6, and only 1 die is rolled (this rule varies by household/location)

* you reach the point where no tiles can be slid/flipped for the rolled numbers

* you’ve flipped/slid all the numbers and “shut the box”

When you shut the box, you win; but when you have numbers left over (numbers that cannot be slid/flipped), you add them up and that’s your total to beat next time.

Shutbox can be played alone, or you can play with an unlimited number of people, each trying to best the other at “shutting the box.” When you play against others, the person with the lowest score wins — and if more than one person shuts the box, then those people compete again (sort of championship round).


There are also other versions too. For example, players may agree to go many rounds, keeping a running score, and the winner is the one with the lowest cumulative score. Another example, is to play in teams, combining teams scores to see which team has the lowest cumulative score.

And, I guess, in some schools (and Mensa gatherings), the game is played based on multiplication, etc.


My game is a cheap old plastic one, but when I spotted a nice newer wooden one a week ago at a rummage sale (for a whopping 50 cents!), I got it for my 20 year old daughter. Not only do I love the mod style digits on my plastic Shutbox game, but this one, with it’s electrical taped sides, was from my grandparents. They gave it to me when I moved out and I can’t tell you the number of memories it has for me…

Not only do I fondly remember my grandparents teaching me to play, family members playing with me, and my afternoons & evenings playing Shutbox at grandma’s house while the adults laughed and played cards, but that game was my sole companion as a single parent to a baby who sometimes had to cry herself to sleep.

And then there were the times Shutbox was the center of Girls’ Night Out and turned into a drinking game or a gambling game (hey, IRS, we played for, uh, pretzels – yeah, pretzels). We didn’t pervert the family friendly game; Shut The Box has a long history as a bar or pub game — and before that as a game sailors played to pass the time on long voyages. There are even Shut The Box bar leagues in some places.

So, the next time you’re at a garage sale, flea market or thrift shop & you spot a Shutbox (with or without dice), grab it and give it a go. It’s a very versatile game.


The $1.99 Career Change?

As usual, I spotted a retro game at the thrift store and had to spend a whopping $1.99 — and make someone play it. This time the game was Parker Brothers’ Careers and the victim was the husband, Derek. Fortunately, the only pieces missing were two dice — and, after lengthy searching, I was able to remedy that so we could play. (No one escaped playing games with me that easily!)


Unlike the What Shall I Be? games by Selchow & Righter Co., this game isn’t so much about the rah-rah-sis-boom-bah “you can be anything you want to be” as it is about the “success formula.”

Instead of exploring career options and considering the education and work involved in landing that dream job, Parker Brothers Career Game reminds game players that success not only is about the games we play, but that one can actually define their success. I’m not just waxing poetic; it’s right there on the game’s box: “Fame… Fortune… Happiness… The Choice is yours in Parker Brothers game of Careers.” (Parker Brothers even registered it’s board game and equipment trademark under the “Fame, Fortune and Happiness.”)

Game play seems a bit complicated (there’s not only a set of instructions, but what we’d now call an FAQ printed inside the game box) and might be a bit intimidating at the start (hubby & I were awfully glad we hadn’t opened any wine coolers to drink while playing), but once you set up the board & roll the dice, it’s much easier than all the type implies.


Like Monopoly, you begin at start and get paid every time you pass it; unlike Monopoly, this game doesn’t need to be all about money, for before you roll the dice, each player sets their own goals.

Each player must define their own idea of success by designating their individual Success Formula — and actual equation by which they will win. While each player must get 60 points, they may divide their points up, in any way, between the three categories of Fame (stars), Fortune (money – each $1,000 being 1 point) & Happiness (hearts). Since we were a bit bewildered at first, we just guessed numbers to fill in the blanks. Hubby went for the mathematical “divided by three” and gave himself a goal of of 20 each. I went for $30,000 (30 points), and 15 each for Fame & Happiness.


The you move around the board, based on the number of spaces the dice rolls tell you & the information based on the cards you get, and the directions on the spaces themselves. Along the way you have options to pay for publicity (earning Fame Stars), gamble in the stock market & at Las Vegas (earning money), and spend time in Paris and Hawaii (earning Happiness Hearts) — again, if you have the money to spend on such things. Of course, just as with real life, you may also fall prey to hospital stays, unemployment, taxes & rent.

You earn college degrees & work experience by following the individual career paths (using only one die for those areas). Some of the career paths offer more money to earn, raises in salary (what you earn each time you pass “start”), Fame & Happiness points, as well as “Opportunity Knocks” and “Experience” cards.


In this game, your specific career paths are limited to Big Business, Politics, Show Biz, Sports and Space; which sort of parallels the pop culture ideas of careers in the late 70’s. (More on that here.) Navigating the side trip career paths which offer the best possibilities for your self-created Success Formula is how you attempt to control your destiny. Want more money in your pocket? Try Sports (it apparently brings lots of Happiness too). Want pay raises? Try Big Business. Politics and Space bring the most Fame; Show Biz is one of the shortest career paths, but you can find some Money and Happiness there too. But it won’t be easy…

Not only must you rely on the roll of the dice to bring you to your hopeful career path, the luck of Opportunity Knocks cards, and avoid the treachery of not only spaces but other player’s actions “bumping” you into Unemployment, but you will need to pay your way into each career, have the proper college degree &/or work experience to get into each career. Since Derek had some poor luck of the dice early on, he was unable enter any careers for quite awhile, forcing him to stay on the outside tack and pay taxes etc., prompting hit to comment that this game was a lesson in “no matter how hard you try, if you don’t start with enough money, you’re doomed.”

Real life? Meh. I’m more of an optimist.

But then, I did win.

We think.

Seems Derek, the one reading the instructions, misunderstood the difference between “Money” and “Pay” on the score pads, resulting in the mistaken notion that your Pay needed to reach the same amount of Money in your equation (it doesn’t; Money equals cash you have in hand). So at that time, since I had gobs of money, I was declared the winner.

The irony of two Bohemian “creative types” screwing up the money component of the equation was not lost on us.

Overall, I think it’s a very cool game. But then, maybe my standards are low; I just love board games & when they are “old” I’m twice as happy to play them.

The game has many variations (you know I looked ’em all up!), some of which are very cool; others nauseating. The worst of which came in 1990 when Parker Brothers thought a hot pink pandering Careers for Girls board game would profit big time.


The career paths girls could travel in this game were schoolteacher, rock star, fashion designer, college graduate, supermom, and animal doctor. And the game’s strategy was greatly simplified — because females can’t be bothered by adhering to strategy; we’re restricted to the whims of our biology, emotional whims, and itty-bitty brains. (Heck, we don’t even know what a veterinarian is; we use “animal doctor.”) So, to keep us entertained and flushed as pink as the game’s box, players were asked to perform dopey things like “Describe your dream husband” & “Show us how you dance with your main squeeze.”

When Susan Engeleiter, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, caught wind of this game, she knew it was more than hot air — it came from Parker Brother’s derrière. This is how she responded:

Engeleiter said she was amazed the game didn’t include such careers as business executives, government leaders, astronauts, scientists or moms without the prefix “super.” “Parker Brothers is sending the wrong message to young girls,” she said. “Even Barbie dolls come with business suits these days.” Then she added, “I am raising my daughter to believe there are no limits on career choices for women. If the Parker ‘Brothers’ were the Parker ‘Sisters’ this game would never have passed ‘Go.'”

In response, Parker Brothers’ spokeswoman (note: that’s not company “super spokeswoman”) Patricia McGovern stressed the game is purely for entertainment and “is certainly not to communicate that only certain careers are limited to women,” adding that the game was designed by a woman, art was managed by a woman and the product manager was a
woman. (No word on how many of those women threw-up Pepto-Bismol, hence the game’s profuse pinkosity.)

But you know what? I want them all the versions of this game — including the nauseating “girls version,” because it’s part of our history. Let’s hope I can find the other versions of this game at my local thrift stores.

New Vintage Reviews Carnival, Second Edition

new-vintage-reviews-carnival_bigWelcome to the second edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival, where we review “old stuff” that is likely new to someone… In the hopes that it inspires you to dust off the things in the closet, basement, attic etc. and put them to use. (Maybe even head to the thrift store rather than the mall?)

Reuse, recycle — rejoice!

Books & Reading:

The Dean presents Old Time Modern Priscilla posted at Collectors’ Quest.

Sarah Sammis presents Don Quixote: Sancho’s Big Score posted at Puss Reboots: A Book Review a Day, saying, “Don Quixote was my first series of reviews that use pop culture to review the book. I posted the final one in the series which has links to the previous posts.”

Azrael Brown presents Book vs Film: Immortality Inc / Freejack posted at The Double-Breasted Dust Jacket.


Jaynie presents The Knack (And How To Get It) In Romance & Fashion posted at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

I present Does Sparkle Shine? here at Kitsch-Slapped.


Collin presents Vintage Board Gaming : Mr. Know-It-All posted at Collectors’ Quest.

I present Bingo, Anyone? (a word of caution — and hope! — about old Bingo games) posted at Collectors’ Quest.


Collin presents Tag Sale Finds : Sounds of Terror LP posted at Collectors’ Quest.

Collin presents Tag Sale Finds : Armand Schaubroeck Steals posted at Collectors’ Quest.

Things To Do & See:

Sheila Scarborough presents Classic kid movies in classic theaters – yay! posted at Family Travel Guide, saying, “Why the Austin, Texas Paramount Theater rocks my household with its annual summer Film Series of classic movies.”

NAOMI presents Laurel and Hardy Statue Unveiled in Ulverston posted at Diary From England.

Honorable Mentions:

Kyle Boyd-Robertson presents “The Rialto” or “If That Old Theater Could Talk” posted at his TEN blog — it’s a nostalgic post about old movie theaters (with plenty of comments & photos!) Maybe it will inspire you to visit &/or support your old downtown theatres this summer?

Sam presents Famous Baseball Players and Their Teams posted at Surfer Sam and Friends — it’s certainly interesting to note this time of year. (Maybe it will inspire kids to collect & learn as well as play!)

I present What A Collection Can Do: A Love Of Vintage Inspires Designer Of Hot Trendy Fashions posted at Collector’s Quest — to inspire you to take a look at “old clothes” as “a pile of fabric possibilities!”

This concludes this second edition. Please submit your blog articles to the next edition of new vintage reviews using the carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts (maybe you’ll be one?!) can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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25 Ghosts At 35 Cents A Minute

I spotted 25 ghosts at the thrift store this weekend — the puzzle game was designated a “vintage collectible & therefore placed behind the glass, protected from kids and collectors alike.

vintage 25 ghosts puzzle game

I had no idea of the price until I made the clerk bring it out. So when I found out it was just $3.50, I felt I had to make it worth the clerk’s attention on a busy Saturday and buy it. That, and I’d never seen such a puzzle game before… The lack of any real directions intrigued me too, so I thought I’d better take it home and have a better look-see.

Lakeside’s 25 Ghosts Puzzle Game is a plastic figural jigsaw puzzle of “25 different ghostly shapes that fit together in a mysterious maze!” inside a black plastic frame. That’s what one gleans from the box and opening it. There are no instructions printed on the box, and if any such instruction sheet had been included, it was long gone. Or maybe the manufacturer figured the word “puzzle” was self-explanatory.

Anyway, it was dump the pieces out & put them together again inside the frame.

vintage 25 ghosts puzzle pieces

That took just under 10 minutes. If that sounds lame, A) I bet you’ve never done it, and B) old pieces with fading black painted eyes easily fool these old tired eyes so I had several pieces upside-down. (Next time I’ll know to look carefully that the ghost is facing the right way before I try to fit it in.)

I don’t know if they just didn’t put age suggestions/limits on puzzles back then, or if it was just “understood” that only kids would should be interested in killing some time doing puzzles, but as an adult who spent just under 10 minutes putting the puzzle together, I’d say it’s one of those “all ages” brain teasers — I know I’d like another go at it to see if I can get any faster. It certainly could be one of those timed family competitions too, where the person to assemble it the fastest wins.

At $3.50, that’s like 35 cents a minute; but if you divide the price by the number of pieces, I’m even further ahead. In any case, it’s OK as a puzzle game — but even cooler as a collectible because of the way it looks and the box’s graphics. Another thrift store super score!

25 Ghosts Puzzle Game, Copyright 1969, Lakeside Toys, Division of Lakeside Industries Inc., Minneapolis, Minn. Series No. 8309, Made in Hong Kong. Pieces marked “copyright 1967 LII Made In Hong Kong.”

New Vintage Reviews Carnival, First Edition

new-vintage-reviews-carnival_bigWelcome to the premier edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival.


jason presents 4 Reasons Why I Will Never Forget Alex the Kid posted at frieeend!. “Talking about the 1986 SEGA Master System game Alex Kidd in Miracle World.”

Collin presents Vintage Board Gaming : The Game of Life posted at Collectors’ Quest.

At Collectors’ Quest I review (with the help of my daughter) What Shall I Be? The Exciting Game of Career Girls, © 1976.

Also at CQ, my son and I review NFL All-Pro Football, an official National Football League game, made by Ideal, 1967.

And my family reviews the 1976 board game, Happy Days, “Fonzie’s Real Cool Game By Parker Brothers.”


Jaynie Van Roe presents Safe In Hell posted at Here’s Looking Like You, Kid.

Raquelle presents Harper (1966) posted at Out of the Past ~ A Classic Film Blog.


Jennifer Wohletz reviews Vazkor, Son of Vazkor by Tanith Lee.

Also, my review of The Homicidal Virgin, a Mike Shayne Mystery, by Brett Halliday.

Collin presents Judging More Sci-Fi Books By Their Covers at Collectors’ Quest.

Classic Books:

switch2life presents Book Review: “Comedy of Errors” posted at Book Reviews.

Classic Travels: presents Trip to Tawang: Part 2: Cherrapunji posted at

Honorable Mentions:

This isn’t really a review — but it’s so clever, I had to include it! Wendy Piersall presents Recycled Crafts: Microwave Dinner Tray to Flower Pillbox Hat posted at Craft Jr.

And hubby’s review of Herbert’s Freaks, by Gregory Gibson, while not technically a review of a vintage book, is about Diane Arbus photos and ephemera from Hubert’s, a ‘freak show’ museum in New York during the ’50s and ’60s.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of new vintage reviews using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts (maybe you’ll be one?!) can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Has Fonzie’s Real Cool Happy Days Game Jumped The Shark?

For a decade, from 1974 through 1984, Happy Days was one of the most popular sitcoms on television. While the show was supposed to be centered on Richie Cunningham (Ron Howard) and his family, quickly the star of the show became Arthur “Fonzie” Fonzarelli (Henry Winkler). So much so, that in 1980, the Smithsonian honored the Fonz and the series for it’s role in American pop culture history by putting one of the Fonz’s leather jackets on display — and there’s even a Bronz Fonz in Wisconsin memoralizing the TV series. But when I brought home the Happy Days game from the thrift store (a paltry $1.75), neither of our girls (age 19 and 12) even knew what or who the heck we were talking about.

I guess our rigid TV limits prevented them from mindless hours of channel surfing & the discovery of reruns.

But I never let stuff like that, be it the ignorance or the distaste of others, stop me from enjoying a new-to-me find.

I cleared the table and invited them all to play Happy Days, “Fonzie’s Real Cool Game By Parker Brothers”, © 1976 Paramount Pictures Corporation.


The instructions sheet states the goal of this retro board game as follows: “Heeeeey… the Fonz is hangin’ out at your house. Show him how cool you really are by being the first player to collect 16 cool points and light up Arnold’s juke box.” Which doesn’t tell you much — other than you’ve somehow appropriated Arnold’s juke box and are keeping it at your house. Or maybe the Fonz did the liberating? I don’t know.

In reality the game is based on collecting cool points; but you don’t spend time at your house or anyone elses (with or without the Fonz). In fact, landing on your home space or another home space can cost you in cool points. But I guess I’m expecting too much story from a story-based board game.


The game is pretty simple. In theory. I’m not saying the ages 7 – 13 thing is off; I’m just saying that it’s more complicated to explain without typing the entire instruction sheet.

But I’ll try.

OK, picture playing Monopoly. You start with some money (in this case, a $3 allowance) and your playing piece starts at your own color-coordinated home rather than “Go”. Unlike Monopoly, you also get a Somethin’ To To card, have a peg in the juke box “cool meter” (with one cool point granted to you), and you only have one die to roll.


You roll the die, move that number of spaces, and where ever you land on the board, take the action directed — should you be able to. Because you might not have enough allowance to go on the date or activity listed on your Somethin’ To Do card — or you might have used-up your Somethin’ To Do card supply.

Round & round the board you go, going on dates, hanging out with pals, earning allowance & money for odd jobs (so you can hang out and go on dates) — plus earning and losing cool points.


The game is not monotonous. Along the way, you or another player may draw a Crusin’ card, which will direct you all to “stuff a telephone booth” or “play the pinball machine” — the winner of which, selected by being the high roller, gets two cool points. Of course, you can loose cool points whimsically too. Like when another player draws a Crusin’ card which says “knocked over Fonzie’s bike” or “the Fonz catches you wearing colored socks”. The penalty point loss isn’t given to the player who drew the card; they get to play it against an opponent.

But by far, the most fun are the Drag spaces on the board.

When you land on one of these two spaces, you get to challenge any other player to a drag race. Should anyone chicken out, the chicken loses a cool point and the other gains a cool point. Ah, but if you race, the action moves to the center of the game board, where you roll the die to see who reaches the finish line first — be careful, because you could spin-out or have an engine stall! The winner of the race gets two cool points and the loser is moved to the “Hey, Nerd!” space of the winner’s choosing, where he or she loses a point. Plus the winner of the drag race gets to place themselves anywhere they’d like on the board.

So while the game play is pretty simple, the game action is rather varied — and we all had a blast.

I know what you’re thinking — I’m a silly board game geek and a lover of retro chic, so of course I liked it, and therefore I’m probably imagining that everyone else did too. Plus, I won the first game. But honestly, the kids insisted on playing three more games (Des, the 12 year old, won twice) — and both girls whined when hubby & I had to call it quits for dinner.

And the rest of the night, “Hey, Nerd!” was shouted and giggled at one another for any old thing. Not just by the kids either.

It almost became annoying. Almost.

So I totes recommend the retro Happy Days board game; it has not jumped the shark. It’s even fun if you don’t know the show.


Bridal Madness: Vintage Bridal & Baby Shower Party Plans

(Thursday Thirteen header by Jenn.)

Are a lot of your friends announcing engagements, getting married and having the stork visit — so many, that you’re running out of party ideas and ways to celebrate? Here are 13 vintage ideas, loaded with kitsch and just begging you to use them, maybe even update them a bit…

Remember — all the images get much much larger when you click them — so read away!

1. How To Tell The Secret, aka bridal announcement ideas, from The Bride’s Party Book, published by Dennison. Some of these may be tweaked to fit other announcements — or even used to invite guests to the next event.

2. The next few bits come from Bridal Shower Party Games, “For As Many As 20 Guests” (presumably because it originally had 20 copies of each of the game sheets), Leister Game Company, Toledo, Ohio, (N-1400). The company is still around (but the site isn’t working — or they did just perish — so some links are to Goggle cache).

Inside the front cover, ads for baby & bridal party games and products. The company has gotten racier since then; now they have “Naughty Bingo” and “Condom Blow Jobs”. So you may prefer the quaint & corny vintage Leister games.


One of the party games is Card Pass — “a relay race that’s a little daisy!”

Totally believe you should open a brand new pack of playing cards for this; you don’t know where the hands of previous card holders have been and you’ll be sticking them in your mouth. :shudder:

3. A game called Lucky Pairs:

4. Want-Ad Marriage (which, by the way, is also a fun game to play on girls’ night — having you write each other’s ads):

5. Variation Mystery Feelers

(Don’t know about you, but I don’t want any of the objects back — they’ll be covered in toe-jam!)

6. A Game Of Pairs

(I could be crazy, but didn’t we just do that?)

7. This next one is a fill-in-the-blank game — but don’t get excited thinking it’s a Mad-Lib; it’s a geography quiz. You fill in the blanks of the Honeymoon Trip.

Sadly, the answers were on the back cover which has been cut; so you’ll have to figure out some of these by yourself. (Treat it like a test — like you have to be this smart to get married.)

8. This next one, Wedding Spell, is some twisted spelling bingo thing. Too complicated for me these instructions are. May Yoda help me.

9. Back to the Dennison’s book again…

This time, it’s the bride who gives a party (and isn’t it about time!)

I love the sweet-kitschy-goodness of making these little dolls with faces cut from magazines — I totally want to do this for other parties (but that could be another list of 13…)

And the legal team wants me to tell you not to stuff the cuff party favor with cigs; totally not healthy or PC, you know.

I’m totally skipping the wedding day stuff; I’m certain your bride is not going to let you make crepe paper couple centerpieces. Or crepe paper anything. That doesn’t make her Bridezilla either; she just doesn’t want the kitsch enshrined forever in photos on the in-laws mantle.

(If, for some reason, you need these crepe paper frights delights, let me know.)

10. “There Went The Bride” is “A Mock Wedding for Your Anniversary Celebration” — complete with kitsch skit.

Highlights include:

The bride “as seen by her future mother-in-law — carries rolling pin decorated with flowers”.

The clergyman begins the ceremony with, “Dear Friends, we are gathered here before this congregation of fellow sufferers to join this headstrong couple with the shackles of matrimony. If anyone present can show just cause why this painful ceremony should never take place — for heaven’s sake — speak up — tomorrow may be too late!”

The groom, repeating after the clergyman, vows: “I ____ take thee ____ for my duly wedded wife, to hold, if I have to, from this day forward, in spite of your ceaseless conversation, your unappetizing cooking, your nagging and complaining, your silly girl friends and willful spending — until death do us liberate.”

The bride, repeating after the clergyman, vows: “I ____ take thee ____ for my duly wedded husband, to hold if I have to, to tolerate your black cigars, to laugh at your corny jokes, to clean up after your poker parties, to balance on your budget, until death do us liberate!”

It’s not just me who sees the bitter irony in these two sets of vows… Is it?

Well, at least the ceremony ends with handcuffs… :wink:

11-13 First comes love, then comes marriage — and if you make it through the mock wedding anniversary celebration — next comes your friend with a baby carriage. Some announcements for the new arrival:

Upon My Sole! Announcements with a shoe theme
Non-Stop Flight Announcement has a flying stork theme
The Family Tree is an announcement stretching things — using a hat rack?
Ship’s Log has a nautical theme.

All the patterns for these baby announcements are found on page 24 and the scan is here:

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here