Hangman from Milton Bradley (1976)

Company: Milton Bradley | Release date: 1976 | Ages: 8+ | # of players: 2 | Where to purchase: eBay

“A Classic American Game for Two”

When he wasn’t endorsing¬†Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture Kits, American actor, Vincent Price, lent his visage to an iconic table-top game with an equally ominous-sounding name: Hangman.

Released in 1976 from Milton Bradley, this version of the classic word-guessing game featured Price on the box cover in an Old West setting, complete with a cowboy hat, gallows, and Hangman’s noose.


The object of Hangman is to be the first to guess your opponent’s concealed word and before you get “hanged.” While many versions of the game are paper-based, this release from Milton Bradley included two Game Cases in contrasting red and blue colours that facilitated gameplay.

Each case held 56 plastic letter tiles arranged alphabetically in built-in tray slots. Players used the tiles to create words up to eight letters long, hiding them from the opposing player’s view in the slots at the top of the board. Only words from the standard dictionary were allowed.

A turn consisted of a player calling out a letter to their opponent. If the word contained the letter, it was turned around for view. The player continued calling out letters until choosing incorrectly. Then, a dial on the back of the tray was turned one space counter-clockwise. As the dial moved, a composite character was revealed. A player could make 11 incorrect guesses until the figure on the front of the Game Case was fully formed and “hanged.”

Play continued until one of the two player’s words was correctly spelled out, guessed, or until the diagram in the window indicated that a player was “hanged.” An incorrect guess resulted in a loss.


A complete game included two game cases (one red, one blue), 112 tiles (56 red, 56 blue), a Word Sheet, and a box insert. Instructions were printed on the inside cover.

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