“The feed-the-frog game!”
A famished frog demanded feeding in Milton Bradley’s now-classic Mr. Mouth game. Released in 1987, the reflex game relied on timing, velocity, and luck to fling tiny plastic flies into the mouth of the frog.
Parental assistance was helpful when assembling the frog head, inserting the batteries, and affixing the labels to the arms that formed the game’s base.
Once assembled, the fun could begin.
Players chose their preferred colour of flies and positioned themselves behind the corresponding coloured hand. With the switch flipped to the on position, the head of the frog began to rotate as its mouth snapped open and shut, powered by one C-cell battery. Players placed a fly on their spring-loaded hand and flipped it towards the frog’s head in hopes of landing the fly in its mouth.
The deceivingly simple game challenged the dexterity of young players (and some adults). The frog’s motion was frenetic, resulting in missed opportunities that caused players to scramble to reclaim errant flies and relaunch them.
The first player to get all 10 of their flies into the frog’s mouth won the game.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included a plastic game base with four arms, a plastic frog head with large googly eyes, 40 plastic flies (10 each in yellow, red, blue, and green), and a sheet of adhesive “Mr. Mouth” labels (one label for each arm). Printed instructions were included in the box; the C-cell battery was not.
Mr. Mouth from Milton Bradly was an iteration of a TOMY game by the same name published in 1976. TOMY formed a partnership with Hasbro — parent company of Milton Bradley from 1984 to 2009 — to license TOMY toys for new markets. Milton Bradley adapted the overall look of the game. The updates included changing the colour of the base from pink to orange, replacing the plastic chips with tokens in the shape of flies, and redesigning the bright yellow head to a green head representing that of a frog.