I Vant to Bite Your Finger is a board game designed by Charles Phillips and Charlie Leicht for Ideal Toys in collaboration with Hasbro in 1979. The waking Count Dracula, represented as a standee on the game board, obligated the player to place his or her finger in the vampire’s mouth, where it would be bitten by “fangs” that were actually small, soft foam “teeth” containing washable ink.
The centrepiece of this fondly remembered board-game is, of course, the large, plastic representation of a vampire who overlooks the players throughout the game, peaking above his cape. This is a fortunate distraction, as the game itself is a dull as ditchwater traipse around a board with a counter, occasionally rolling a dice to see how many turns of the vampire’s clock you had earned. But, BEWARE! At random, an unlucky turn of the hands may prompt the vampire to awake, fling open his cape, in a completely non-sexual way, I might add, and demand you place your finger in his mouth (again, non-sexual).
Sometimes the vampire would bite, which, apart from sending you back to the start of the game, would also leave red felt tip pen marks all over your fingers. As this was something of an anti-climax, your fellow players may apply a Chinese Burn or flick your ear. Neither of these were in the rules, I checked.
The writing on the box declares:
‘Morning, noon, or night,
Anytime, the Count may strike
If you’re caught, you have to linger,
Cause Dracula may bite your finger!’
As with many games of this era, the reality was never as good as the promise, the novelty wore off almost instantly and the game was usually to be found covered in dust atop wardrobes nationwide.
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