Sunday, September 16, 2012

Gambling on an old game

1969 Vegas board gameAlthough I don't play them much anymore, I love old games like Monopoly, Sorry, and Trouble. The primary-colored boards and cartoon images make me think of my childhood (and my tendency to pitch a fit if my parents didn't let me win). I've turned this nostalgia into upcycled blank books and bracelets. So every visit to a thrift store includes a tour of the toy aisle.

On a recent outing, I was applying my new shopping "criteria" by looking only for items that were 1) retro, 2) cool and/or 3) humorous. I scanned the game shelves, passing by Candyland, Parcheesi, Trouble. Then, a green box caught my eye. Nothing says "retro" like avocado green, right?

It was "Vegas" from 1969, the love child of Hasbro and NBC. I'd never heard of it. I pulled open the case and discovered a box full of retro.
1969 Vegas board game
I saw enough to know the game was worth buying. When I got it home, I read the brochure that came with the game. 
old NBC logo"A new concept in home entertainment...The handsomely bound bookcase packages contain concepts which appeal to all tastes and all ages. They range in form from traditional board games to thought provoking topics which can be studied independently, discussed with a group, or, played as exciting games."

Gosh, I can't understand why the "new concept" didn't catch on! In addition to Vegas, there was "Mating Game," "Dream Analysis," "Mob Strategy," and "Rhyme Time." It's a time capsule -- maybe people buried them in their back yards.

Back to the game pieces. Possibly the strangest are the plastic silos embossed with the old NBC logo.

1969 Vegas board game
I'm guessing these are supposed to be knobs from console TVs (from the Ur-time before remotes!) One set of cards showcases another piece of old-timey technology:
Old fashioned phone logo
Will people in the future have any idea what this is? An albino crab creature? A hair helmet? 

Another set of Vegas cards shout retro not in design, but color. Bright, retina-burning, fluorescent color. Where's my black light?
1969 Vegas board game
Last but not least is the board itself. Shaped like an oblong craps table, the board comes with 2 spinners and spaces for real and imagined casinos.
1969 Vegas board game
1969 Vegas board game
Although the buildings all look the same (high rise and space age), each casino's name and font tell you they have their own vibe. The Starlight is for the older set, while the Vegas Motel is more hip.

poker chips
My husband wanted to break in the game by playing it. I, of course, wanted to break the game and upcycle it into other things. But what? I could turn the board into a couple of cool blank books. But that doesn't take advantage of their oblong shape. The small plastic poker chips might make a kitschy necklace or pair of earrings.

It would be fun to include some of the cards as extras when I package my orders to send to customers. Especially the $1 million cashier checks. (I guess they were computer-generated, so says the font.)
Alternatively, I could keep the game intact and sell it online. Or start a collection (that's my husband's vote). I think I'd rather repurpose the game and spread the "love." Speaking of which, what's going on with those gamblers on the box?
1969 Vegas board game