When we were children, my brother and I spent our summers with our aunt and uncle in Virginia. Coming from our small Queens home, their four-bedroom Colonial in Hopewell seemed very grand, and we always had a good time with our cousins there. We whiled away our lazy summer days: splashing in the town pool, playing endless rounds of table tennis in the garage, poring through my cousin’s collection of Calvin and Hobbes, and playing board games late into the night.
My cousins had a massive board game collection, and my absolute favorite was a Parker Bros. game called Payday, which we’d play almost every evening. It’s like a cross between Monopoly and the Game of Life, and Wikipedia tells me that it was more successful than Monopoly in its first year. Since then, Payday has all but dropped out of the board game scene, going through several redesigns and even a name change at one point. I’d completely forgotten it’d even existed…
Until I saw it at Target recently, in a retro “classic” design that looked exactly like the version I played as a kid. The nostalgia was overwhelming. I immediately scooped it up, dropped it in my cart, and gave it to my kids for no occasion at all that evening. We started playing it, and despite the fact that they almost never take to the games and toys I’d enjoyed as a child, they loved this one. We’ve been playing for a week straight.
Now I’m thinking that for Christmas I’ll give them some of my other favorite games from childhood — Battleship, Clue, Domino Rally. Some of the newer board games out there are definitely neat (Peaceable Kingdom makes great cooperative play ones, if your kid is going through a major sore loser phase, as mine both did), but sometimes the classics are the classics for a reason. I’m so happy I found this one again. What are some of your favorite games or toys from childhood?