3/31/14

Godzilla Game Instructions (Ideal, 1963)

I had a request from a reader for some detailed photos of the instructions to this classic board game, and they are worth examining here.  To make sense of these instructions, try to imagine what the thought process was in 1963.  Like I've said before, this board game and the Aurora model kit were the first Godzilla items in the United States.  Some kids who were to become fans hadn't even been born when KING OF THE MONSTERS came out, and it's understandable that they would have missed the fact that GIGANTIS was, after all, a Godzilla movie, so it's practical to look at KING KONG vs GODZILLA as a starting point for many people.  
Here's the opening paragraph:

"Reactivated freak of nature"? Hey, easy there! Them's fightin' words....Hey, wait a second...

Nevermind.  Moving on, next we have the list of "Materials":
It makes me laugh to see "1 Radioactive Missile" listed in the contents, even in the era of woodburning kits and chemistry sets.  Nice graphic of Godzilla, too.  If you'll notice, nowhere does it say "Nuclear" anywhere, not even "Atomic," but the bomb is always referred to as "Radioactive Missile."  I'm not sure if this was for a reason, but it's interesting nonetheless.
Many board games are rolling dice and moving around, but I was pleased to discover this one had a "skill" component.  If you look at the gameboard...
...you can see how this would work.  The player has to flick the wooden disc exactly right, in order to land on one of the targets.  I can only imagine a lot of frustration when playing with small children.
And if you have done so, you have "disabled" Godzilla.  Another interesting word choice, I thought.  Oh, and Godzilla has an "invisible shield," also known as the fold in every board-game-board ever, just thought we should mention that.
Overall, a very interesting part of this classic piece of Godzilla history!



5 comments:

Michael J said...

I really can't thank you enough for this. You went above and beyond! (I always enjoy your commentary as well, so thank you for that.)

I do have a couple more questions about the game - is there a way to contact you through email?

Thanks again!

Sampoerna Quatrain said...

You're very welcome! I'm glad to help. Drop me a line at samtheq@juno.com!

Sean Linkenback said...

Very nice details on the game. Believe it or not, the printed-on-the-inside-of-the-box instructions are actually a variation as when the game was first released in 1963 it just came with the instructions printed on a paper insert (no doubt as Ideal rushed to get both games out to capitalize on the movie publicity).

893c8dce-42ce-11e4-963c-5f3989cc6187 said...

I just picked one up with instructions on the box. Any idea what its worth?

Sampoerna Quatrain said...

Well, I can say that the condition is pretty important. How is the box? Does it have any split corners? Any water (or other) damage? Same goes for the board. Are all the pieces present?
If a lesser-quality game is complete, I've still seen it end for a decent sum on Ebay, usually because people are trying to complete their own games. Keep an eye on completed auctions, and you will get a good idea of current prices.