Saturday, February 10, 2007

So-o-o-oh Let's Go To The Fire...

.. with Ed. Wynn - The Fire Chief! This 1935 Selchow and Righter board game is one of the prizes of my collection. As far as I know, the only other radio comic from this period to get his own board game was Eddie Cantor, and Parker Brothers kept his Tell It to the Judge game in print through the fifties. I did once come across an early 30s Baron Munchausen dice game from Milton Bradley on Ebay that was clearly intended to cash in on Jack Pearl's popularity but wasn't a legit tie-in. And considering Joe Penner's unprecedented early 30s fame, I find it hard to believe that there isn't a Wanna Buy a Duck? board game out there somewhere.

The Fire Chief game's engagingly nutty artwork is by William Longyear, designer of Mr. Ree, the 1937 board game that Clue ripped off, and eventual professor and chairman at the Pratt Institute. I've included the instructions so, arguably, you could print out the board and play this game yourself. You'll otherwise need a pair of dice and you'll have to improvise the pawns and bells. I suggest paper clips and air horns.

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