Vintage Board Game Commercials

I’ve written about board games before. But, today we’ll look at a few “board game” commercials that I found on some of my old VHS tapes. All these commercials aired in 1986, but the commercials could be older than that since some commercials get played for years. Look at the old Tootsie Pop “How many licks does it take” Owl commercial, it’s been playing since 1970 and still airs today.

Hungry Hungry Hippos

This is one of those games that sits on the board game shelf, but is it actually a board game? In this post we’re going to call it a board game. I would say this is one of the first “board” games I’ve ever played. Every game starts the same way, marbles are loaded into the launch areas and soon the playing field is filled with marbles. Chaos soon ensues. This is the nosiest game on the planet and no one has ever read the rulebook.

Back when I was a kid, the marbles were still the normal glass marbles. My nephew had a newer game, and all the marbles were plastic. It’s still noisy with the slamming of the Hippy tails and hippo heads. But, the marbles don’t make as much noise. Is there anyone else out there that lost one of the hippo’s heads? I did, and would still use the headless hippo to push it’s neck into the marbles.


I’ve never had this game, but I’ve played versions of this game. There was a video game called “Lights out” for the Apple IIE and later as a handheld version. It was the same basic concept, except instead of black and white chips it was lights on or off. If you turned off the lights in one room, all the connecting rooms would turn off if the lights were on and turn on if the lights were off.

Now that I think about this, “Lights Out” is totally different. In Othello, all the discs you touch turn to your color disc.

Scotland Yard

I don’t remember this game at all. But, it seems more like a modern strategy game. I remember back in the day board games were pretty simple. Collect money, pass go, get all your pieces to the base, etc. etc. This game seems like one player is the bad guy and they all try to catch him. I’ll have to play this in order to explain it better.

Go to the Head of the Class

This was a standard trivia type game. Answer these questions and advance your game piece. They put a twist on it by adding “luck” cards. If you land on one of the blue desks you had to draw a luck card. A luck card could be something like “putting a tack on the teachers chair – move back 3 spaces” or “extra credit assignment turned in – advance 5 spaces”. I don’t think they’ve made this game since 1986, so if you find a copy of this, the questions are probably really dated.


This is another game stacked with your board games, but really isn’t a “board” game. It’s a plastic mat and a spinner. This game makes you stretch in awkward positions, usually your head in someone’s crotch (unintentionally). It works best with several people. I’ve played this game several times, but never really finished a game. If you’ve never played this game, you’ve never really lived. This is also a game you probably only want to play with someone you don’t mind being close to.

My board game collection has grown exponentially over the years. Surprisingly, I don’t have a single one of these games. Thank you for stopping by to look at board game commercials from 1986.