Uncle Wiggily (board game)
|Designer(s)||Howard R. Garis|
|Publisher(s)||Various (originally, Milton Bradley)|
|Age range||4 and up|
|Setup time||2 minutes|
|Playing time||30 minutes/random|
|Random chance||High (luck)|
Uncle Wiggily Game is a track board game based on a character in a series of children's books by American writer Howard Roger Garis. The game is of the "racing" variety in the style of the European "Goose Game". Players advance along the track from Uncle Wiggily's Bungalow to Dr. Possum's House. There is no optimal strategy involved as play entirely rests upon a random drawing of the cards. The game was first published by Milton Bradley in 1916 and has seen several editions with minor modifications over the years. Uncle Wiggily remains one of the first and favorite games of childhood, and, with Candy Land, is considered[who?] a classic juvenile American board game.
Howard R. Garis created the character "Uncle Wiggily Longears" for a children's book in 1910. The game based on the children's story was first introduced by the Milton Bradley Company in 1916. Milton Bradley modified the game in 1923, 1949, and 1955. In 1947, the game cost $.67.
Parker Brothers obtained the rights to Uncle Wiggily in 1967. However, in 1989 both Milton Bradley Company and Parker Brothers reintroduced different versions of the same game. Hasbro now owns both the Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley rights.
The number of spaces on the track, the number of decks of cards, and the number of cards have all fluctuated through the years with the various editions published. The game board has been illustrated several times. The counters have been produced in both painted wood and colored plastic figurines of Uncle Wiggly. The board game in the 50's had six painted metal (probably zinc) counters.
The folding center-seamed game board illustrated with characters and scenes from the books is opened and placed upon a flat surface. The two decks of cards are shuffled independently and both placed within reach of the players. Each player selects one of the four counters and places it on Uncle Wiggily's Bungalow in the lower left hand corner of the game board. The order of play is determined.
The first player draws a card from the yellow deck. He follows the card's directions (which are set in lines of rhyming verse) for advancing his counter along the track, or, if instructed, draws a card from the red deck and follows its instruction. In general, the yellow cards either have the player advance a number of spaces or draw a red card, (e.g., Peetie Bow Wow helps Uncle Wiggily along four hops) which can either direct the player to move a higher number of spaces forward (up to 15) or move up to five spaces backward.
Should the player's counter land upon a space that directs him to move further, he obeys its instruction. Play continues in a similar fashion until one player reaches Dr. Possum's House at the end of the track in the upper right hand corner of the game board.
- "Uncle Wiggily". BoardGameGeek. Retrieved 2008-05-04.
- Waggoner, Susan. Under the Tree: the Toys and Treats That Made Christmas Special, 1930-1970. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2007.