13 wacky, forgotten board games from the 1960s

The goals of these games were feeding clowns, killing camels, opening nuts and ripping belts.

Top image: Milton Bradley via margaretwallace.com

Monopoly, Sorry, Yahtzee, Clue. Some board games are classics and have been staples of family fun time for decades. Then there are those odd games where you simply crack open a bunch of nuts, or slowly murder a large mammal with gravity. We dug through some old Sears catalogs from the 1960s to remember the forgotten board games of the decade. 

Did you play any of these?


Twister is game already full of flirtation and suggestion, so it is suprising that a younger spin on the game blantantly called LOVE existed in the midcentury. "Use your hands and feet to spell L-O-V-E," the ad proclaimed. Our parents would have put the kibosh on this scenario immediately.

2. Feeley Meeley

Here is "the game that gives you a funny feeling." Players put their hands inside a box and fondle and plastic toy, trying to guess what it is. Once you've become familiar with the 23 little objects, the game was pretty much pointless. Of course, you could also just cut a hole in a shoebox and make your own.

3. Green Ghost

This glow-in-the-dark game looks pretty fun, with its little plastic snakes, bats, keys and spooky trees. Oh, and feathers! That being said, with all the tiny parts, there's no way kids weren't losing some pieces.

4. Grab A Loop

You wear a belt with rings attached to it. You run around. Your friends try to rip off the rings. Hours of fun!

5. Bucket of Fun

Bucket of Fun combines all the fun of cleaning up your toys with… well, that's it. Plastic balls erupt out of a plastic bucket. You gather them up. This is like selling a deck of cards just to play "52-card pick up."

6. Bee Bopper

For a mind-numbingly simple game — you swat a bee — the description is rather long-winded: "Spin bee on spinning card. Watch closely where he stops. Spinner has 4 colors that correspond to Bee Launchers. If spinner stops on your color act quickly to get your bee up before he's caught on the launcher. If bee is caught before launch, catcher gets 2 points… after launch 1 point. Winner is the one with most points."

7. The Last Straw

Hey, kids! Want to rupture the spine of an ungulate? Just overburden this poor Bactrian camel with wood and watch his back snap in two! Ha! Just because "the straw that broke the camel's back" is a common idiom, that doesn't mean it makes for a good game. 

8. Mr. Spin-Head

Feed a clown marbles.

9. Oh, Nuts!

Pick open a bunch of plastic walnuts, looking for marbles. At least with real nuts, you can eat them.

10. Don't Spill the Beans

More proof that all you needed to make a game in the 1960s was some plastic food and an idiom. Though, technically, isn't the goal of the game — dumping beans into a pot — "spilling the beans"?

11. Scarney

What more could children want than a cold, ultilitarian, multi-purpose game from "gambling expert" John Scarne. Okay, maybe on second thought we'll play with that plastic camel.

12. NBC-TV News Game with Chet Huntley

Another thing kids love: the tragedy and politics of the evening news!

13. Talk to Cecil

"Cecil is a hand puppet that really talks… He directs the game." Obey the dragon!


We also used to play board games with dynamite, mouse traps, hammers and electricity. READ MORE

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Miria 24 months ago
We inherited one from my in-laws called, "Hey Pa! There's a Goat on the Roof".
AnnaRentzVandenhazel 24 months ago
The only one I've ever heard of was Green Ghost. Never played it or knew what it was about, just saw ads for it in the Sears and Wards Christmas catalogs. A 6th grade classmate tried telling me that setting up an arrangement of Dominos to be knocked over was called a "green ghost", but I've never heard anyone else say that so I suspect he was mixed up.
Amalthea 47 months ago
I loved "The Last Straw" and "Don't Spill the Beans". However, I had more fun just playing with the little ghosts in "Green Ghost" than actually playing the game.
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