Monday, February 4, 2013

"It's A Leaping And Laughing Frog Giggle Riot"

I remembered this game from childhood, but couldn't remember its name. After hunting around online, I discovered that, easily enough, it was called "LeapFrogs" (one word). Surprisingly, info on this old game was sort of hard to find. It seems to be one of the forgotten ones. In my searching, I discovered that it was a product of the old Schaper Toy Company, the same company that produced the childhood classic games "Cooties", "Ants In The Pants", and "Don't Break The Ice".

LeapFrogs was first manufactured in 1978 (when I was 8 years old). I have no idea how many years it was in production, but I had one of these around that time.

The game was made for up to four players, ages 5 and up, and the object of this game was, simply enough, for players to catch leaping plastic frogs into small yellow nets (they look like fisherman's nets to me).

The game came with a sheet of stickers that you had to apply yourself. I remember this being a pretty common thing back then, and the stickers rarely stayed on, eventually peeling at a corner and curling up. There was a sticker for each corner of the "board", and one for the underside of each green plastic frog (of which there were ten). The frog stickers were numbers. I don't recall how high the numbers went... maybe up to 4. I do not remember. I believe the pond sticker, on the game board's turntable, may have been applied already at the factory, but my memory is foggy on that.

The game required no batteries (a bonus for parents). It had an "on/off" switch, and with the game switched to "off", you would wind-up the turntable by turning the big red knob in the center, clockwise until it could turn no more. You would then push in the little spring-loaded platforms on the turntable. When pushed in, and with a slight turn, they would stay down, so you could place a frog in each "well" (I'm sure this is all making sense). Once all of the frogs were placed in the wells, players would pick up their nets, sit at each corner of the game board, turn the switch to "on", and watch the turntable slowly spin as, one by one, at random (maybe), the spring-loaded platforms would pop up sending frogs flying into the air. Players would catch the frogs in their nets. I remember the game being kind of noisy. It made a buzzing sound or a fast clicking sound, as it turned, much like the sound the game "Perfection" makes.

There were two ways to play. You could add up the numbers on the underside of the frogs that you caught in your net, or you could simply count up the number of frogs you caught. Either way, you played over and over, until the first player with 30 points total wins the game. Simple... probably easy for an adult... but to an 8 year old, it was a lot of fun. A leaping and laughing frog giggle riot.






A later version of LeapFrogs

In my searches I discovered a more recent version of LeapFrogs, which looks somewhat different. I have no idea when it was in production, and who produced it, as Schaper was sold to Tyco Toys (a division of Mattel) around 1986. Tyco eventually sold off four different Schaper games to The Milton Bradley Company, but I have no idea if this was one of them. It may have been sold to a different company.

Newspaper Ad from Nov. 1979



I don't know whatever happened to my own LeapFrogs game. These are not my photos. It most likely ended up in a garage sale for $2 or some-such, minus a few frogs. I recall using one of them as a mini in a Dungeons & Dragons game once. In 1978 the game went for around $12.

2 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever heard of this, looks fun though. We used to have a game called "Ladybug" or "Ladybug Fly Away Home" something like that. I like zany boardgames like that.

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