To tie-in with the release of Dino de Laurentiis’ unloved 1976 remake of King Kong, all expense was spared to release as much as possible to try to recoup some of the $24 million budget. Step forward, Ideal Toys, makers of everything from Evel Knievel toys to Gaylord the Bassett Hound.
Ideal’s format was to unleash a King Kong board game upon the world, featuring one of the largest (i.e. impractical) playing surfaces ever conceived, approaching 3 feet – the box was huge enough as it was but the board itself still had to be created from two separate pieces.
The print on the front of the box reproduces the excellent artwork used to promote the film and sports the legend, “The game that pits you against the most terrifying monster of all time!”. You’d be correct in thinking that this is as good as it gets. A quite pleasingly printed card effigy of Kong aims to climb to the top of the World Trade Center twin towers, the aim of 2-6 players is to knock him off before he does by hitting him 5 times or risk being catapulted off yourself and starting again from the bottom. Kong achieves this by spinning round rather ridiculously on a plastic sprocket.
The number of moves a player takes in determined by a ‘Kong Spinner’; players collect cards along the way, some offering assistance – ‘Attack Right Foot”, some less so (miss a turn type affairs).
Here are the rules as described in the pamphlet within:
“King Kong is climbing the World Trade Center. Can you stop him? As a member of a special attack team, you go up the building after him. If you can successfully attack him five times, you’ll win. But make one false move and the giant beast will twist and turn to knock you off the board. Then you must start again. Suspense mounts as he nears the top. Who will win?
You…another player or the Mighty King Kong!?”
My personal recollection is sadly massive disappointment, the thrilling box in no way contains anything approaching fun for either 2 or 6 people. Currently on sale on eBay for as little as £4.99 or as much as $150 (!)
Daz Lawrence, moviesandmania
Related: King Kong (2005)