A 1989 dealer advertisement for Birthday Surprise from Tiger Games. Advertised as “the lights and music birthday cake game,” the board game was all about conspicuous consumption. Two to four players took turns spinning a birthday cake at the center of the game board to win presents. The first player to fill up their row on the board with presents was declared the winner. The game included 28 presents, divided into four color groups with a wagon, jack-in-the-box, roller skates, bear, tricycle, ball, and special Happy Birthday card in each group. Thanks to the use of two AA batteries the cake in Birthday Surprise included candles that lit up and a small speaker that played the Happy Birthday song throughout gameplay, much to the chagrin of parents everywhere.
Remember the toys and games of years past through vintage advertising – for better and for worse!