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Crocodile Dentist is a game made for young children, first published by Milton Bradley in 1990. A smaller travel version of the game was released in 1993. The game was the brainchild of Robert B. Fuhrer, who later created Gator Golf, and many other toys and games.
The goal of the game is to "extract" the plastic teeth from a crocodile toy's mouth by pulling them out with plastic pliers. If the "sore tooth" is pulled, the mouth will snap shut, and the person who caused the mouth to shut is the loser. The travel version of Crocodile Dentist featured slightly different gameplay, where instead of pulling the teeth out of the crocodile's mouth the players had to push the crocodile's teeth down into its mouth.
Crocodile Dentist went through several changes during its development phase. Fuhrer and his technicians were told to tweak the length and speed of the crocodile's lunging motion so that the toy would not cause eye injuries. Fuhrer also added a pair of plastic pliers to quell fears that children would hurt their fingers. However, the game testers later thought that the toy lacked excitement, and though the pliers remained in the final product, Fuhrer restored the original lunging motion.
Several commentators listed the product as one of the strangest new toys available. "What kind of mind came up with this game?" asked the York Daily Record's Mike Argento, who included it in his 1992 Bizarre Toy Awards. Twelve years later, however, Argento admitted that the game had "passed into classic status".
In Popular Culture
An episode of the The Price Is Right from 1993 featured the travel version of the game as one of the small items used in the pricing game Pathfinder. Model Janice Pennington demonstrated to host Bob Barker how the game works. After pressing a few teeth, Barker chose the bad tooth causing the crocodile to snap on Bob's hand causing him to incite a loud "Aaah!"
The main characters are seen playing the game in the Men Behaving Badly episode Ten, with Dorothy's ten-year-old nephew.
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