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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Booby-Trap from Milton Bradley (1965)

Company: Milton Bradley
Release date: 1965
Ages: All ages
# of players: 1-10Ads for Booby-Trap referred to the game as “groovy.”

Pressure drives the game of Booby-Trap from Parker Brothers – both mechanically and emotionally! Released in 1965, Booby-Trap’s patented game board is a wooden box, approximately 12-inches long and 9-inches wide, with a wooden spring bar at one end. One side of the playing board has ruled markings at 1/4-inch intervals printed on it. The all-wood construction gives the game a classic, hand-made look.

Game setup is half the fun. Players must first pull back the spring bar and place a mix of multi-coloured, multi-sized wooden playing pieces in the front section of the board. The playing pieces are held in place under the pressure of the spring.

Players next assign point values to each size piece (small, medium, and large). They then take turns removing pieces from the board while trying not to make the spring bar move more than 1/4″. If the spring bar moves less than that when a piece is removed, that play is considered safe and the player is awarded the points for the piece removed. If the spring bar moves by one or more ruler markings, however, the player is penalized the value of the largest sized piece. Play continues until there are as many pieces left on the board as there are players playing. At that point, the player with the most points (value of pieces removed minus penalties) is declared the winner.

Parker included some strategy into Bobby-Trap by allowing players to assess the tension on a selected piece and pass on a turn. This allows players to gauge stress patterns on the board to determine which pieces can be removed without tripping the spring bar.

Booby-Trap has continues to be sold through a variety of resellers, including Lakeside, Fundex, and Poof-Slinky.

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.