Hungry Hungry Hippos
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|Playing time||10 minutes|
Hungry Hungry Hippos is a tabletop game made for 2-4 players, produced by Hasbro, under the brand of its subsidiary, Milton Bradley. The idea for the game was published in 1967 by toy inventor Fred Kroll and it was introduced in 1978. The purpose of the game is for each player to collect as many marbles as possible with his or her 'hippo' (a toy hippo model). The game is marketed under the "Elefun and Friends" banner, along with Elefun and Gator Golf.
The gameboard is surrounded with mechanical, colorful, plastic hippopotami operated by players through repetitive smacking on the back (of the hippo). White plastic marbles are poured over the board, and the players repeatedly slap down on their controllers, thus lengthening their necks in order to snag more marbles, which roll through the hollow interior of each hippopotamus and into a moat enveloping the gameboard. The game continues until all marbles have been devoured, and it is then that a winner is decided depending on the player with the largest quantity of marbles.
Television ads for the game memorably featured a series of brightly colored cartoon hippos dancing in a conga line and singing, "Hungry Hungry Hip-pos!" to the beat. The older theme offered a mini song:
- "It's a race, it's a chase, hurry up and feed their face!
- Who will win? No one knows! Feed the hungry hip-ip-pos!
- Hungry hungry hippos! (open up and there it goes!)"
The 1980s-era advertisement featured a different song:
- If you wanna win the game you've gotta take good aim
- And get the most marbles with your hippo
- Playin' Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Hungry Hungry Hippos
As of 2009, the song in the commercial is now the Elefun and Friends theme song that appears in the first five commercials.
There were four hippos in the original version of the game: Lizzie Hippo (purple), Henry Hippo (orange), Homer Hippo (green), and Harry Hippo (yellow). In some versions of Hungry Hungry Hippos, Henry is replaced by a blue hippo of the same name. A later edition of the game replaces the purple hippo, Lizzie, with a pink one named Happy. The most recent edition of the game (in Fall 2009) has a lighter blue base with pastel colored versions of the Hippos: Sweetie Potamus (pink), Bottomless Potamus (yellow), Picky Potamus (orange), and Veggie Potamus (green).
In 1991, ICE created a redemption arcade version of the game, a supersized resemblance of the board game version. The amount of marbles consumed was displayed at the top of the dome for each player. The more marbles a hippo consumed, the more tickets that hippo's player received.
- Hungry Hungry Hippos, Action Man, Monopoly headed to big screen at the Los Angeles Times; by Ben Fritz; published October 4, 2012; retrieved November 24, 2013
- 15-second television ad for Hungry Hungry Hippos, from YouTube.
- The Frantic Marble Munching Game!, a detailed set of game-playing instructions from Hasbro.
- Hungry Hungry Hippos at BoardGameGeek
- Arcade version of Hungry Hungry Hippos
- Elefun and Friends page at Hasbro website