Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Fabulous & Fun: Game On!

The other day while walking by NBC studios at Rockefeller Center I was reminded of all the fun I had as a kid with my mom and sister rummaging through heaps of games and puzzles piled high on spindly card tables in the garage sales that dot Independence, Missouri during the months of summer.

Right there in NBC's retro-themed windows were boxed games based on the network's beloved games. And if we had found these while sorting through boxes and bins during our summer break, we most certainly would have snapped them right up!

Our garage sale adventures were true treasure hunts, as we checked meticulously to see that all the game essentials were in tact and got assurance from the owner that all the puzzle pieces were, in fact, all there. Sometimes a tear of masking tape might say, "All Pieces Here," or we'd just open up the find and try to eye it ourselves. The biggest prize was a box that was unopened, especially when it came to puzzles, virtually assuring that there would be no gaping holes in a diorama of Mount Rushmore or a cartoon drawing of H.R. Pufnstuf.

These boxed games remind me of the day when there were really only three networks. Our old black and white TV barely got the three, so some of the early shows are hazy in my memory. Of course, I remember "Bonanza" and "Jeopardy", and then the later shows like "LA Law" and "Cheers." But "The Mating Game?" Never heard of it, but it sounds fun, even though I'm most certain that my mom would have frowned upon our watching it.

Even so, I found this little window display a pleasing walk down memory lane, reminding me of the days before a gazillion cable channels and video games. In those days, we were quite thrilled watching Batman in black and white, or on a snow day, piecing together our gigantic Jolly Green Giant jigsaw puzzle that my mom most certainly redeemed from the label on a can of vegetables.

For more vintage memories, pick up The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details at Borders, Barnes & Noble,Amazon or Powell's.

Always Frugal, Always Fabulous

The Elegant Thrifter


  1. Hi and thank you for your lovely comment on my blog... Im so glad that you liked the canvas wallpaper plates.

    Wish you a lovely day...
    Many warm hugs

  2. The Mating Game? Oh my gosh I'm dieing laughing!
    What a gem! Just look at the couples on the box!
    Hahahaaahahaha! Thanks, Stan. :+D

  3. Just two days ago we found a wonderful old game of scribble and have been playing since then already three times. There is so much fun in playing such games together.
    We love games and have enjoyed them for years.
    With so much c%#@p on TV it's like then, when only three channels were available!!!

  4. Am absolutely loving your book Stan---the photography is stunning and I am learning lots even though I thought I knew everything about thrift store shopping!!!

  5. Having grown up in the '60s/'70s, I thought I knew every TV show on the the three networks, but I never heard of "The Mating Game." I couldn't believe that I would have missed a show with such a titillating title, so I did a little internet search to learn more. It turns out it was never a show. Here's the explanation:

    "In the late 1960s and early 1970s NBC, the television network, produced a series of games in cooperation with Hasbro. These games covered a variety of topics, from business and sports simulations to word and trivia games... The quality of this line varied greatly, both in rules and in components. Some are quite well done ( Mob Strategy, Vegas, Wall Street) while others barely qualify as more than overpackaged pencil and paper games ( Chain Letters, Rhyme Time). One or two barely qualify as games at all (Interpretation of Dreams, The Mating Game)."

    See for more info.

    I'm sorry it wasn't a real show... I'm sure I would have sneaked into my mother's bedroom to watch it on the sly on her little black-and-white TV. (That's how I had to watch "Love American Style" too.)


  6. Being an only child, I never got into board games much, but my grandparents did have Life. I loved driving my Hot Wheels cars all over the three dimensional board!

    Funny about The Mating Game not being a show, but them marketing the game like it was.



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