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What I Learned This Week – 12/28/14

This week I learned that the children’s game Candy Land has changed a lot in the last 35 years.

My mom bought my son, M, the game Candy Land for Christmas. I realized it has changed a lot since I played it as a child. I still had my childhood version, sans box and directions, which have been gone for years. My classic Candy Land board and pieces live in my Chutes & Ladders box. I brought it downstairs and laid the two side by side.

Candy Land: Early 1980's vs. 2014 boards

Candy Land: Early 1980’s vs. 2014 boards

The new board is smaller. And definitely not as sturdy. The first time I opened it and tried to lay it flat, I ripped it into two pieces. I had to tape it back together (don’t tell my mother). I understand why Hasbro makes it that way. So they can package it in a smaller box, and sell it at a lower price. I still liked it when game boards for every game were all the same standard size (Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly, etc.).

Classic Candy Land of my youth

Classic Candy Land of my youth

The new game features a spinner instead of cards to tell you where to move your piece to. I get this too. Half the kids out there probably don’t know how to shuffle cards. The other half probably lose the cards, then cannot play the game. Although I did notice on the Hasbro website where they sell a refill you can buy to replace your missing cards. I always liked the cards, because then I could study the candy ones and imagine how delicious they would be to eat.

Candy Land circa 2014

Candy Land circa 2014

I think that the 2014 Candy Land has been girlie-fied. The game board, but also the game pieces, suddenly look very feminine. Candy is a generic thing that kids love. The old game board even featured a picture of both a girl AND A BOY happily setting off on their sweet adventure.  I wonder how many little boys are turned off by this makeover.

I think I am saddest that they got rid of the classic game pieces, that looked very much like gingerbread men. I am thinking my son and I might have to play on the old game board now and then. I really hate change.

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3 responses

  1. I bought this game for my kids about 6 or so years ago, and it still had the cards and the gingerbread men tokens. The board still folded in half, but looked diff than your old one. I never played this game as a kid, though. (I’d snap a photo, but I recently gave it away) I used to love the game of Life as a kid, and bought that for my kids. But they added extra spaces to the game that makes it far more complicated to play. It’s a full time job just to be the banker now, without even playing along yourself, and everyone seems to have a hard time with it, which means I get stuck being the banker everytime we play. It’s just not fun anymore, ya know, kinda similar to real life.

    • There is now a version of Monopoly that uses a debit card instead of cash. It makes the game easier and faster, but, well, I’m not sure that the point of Monopoly is to be fast or easy…

  2. Maybe there are different versions. The one we have isn’t so terribly old and it’s one of the sturdiest board games ever. The boy hasn’t destroyed it yet and… you know… you’ve met him. I do like the old graphics better. The ice cream bars still make me hungry!

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