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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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