The Funky Phantom Game from Milton Bradley (1971)
Release date: 1971
# of players: 2-4
Where to purchase: eBay
Released in 1971 by Milton Bradley, The Funky Phantom Game roll-and-move board game invited players to explore a spooky home. The object was to release the Funky Phantom ghost from the grandfather clock at the strike of midnight.
The board game supported the animated Hanna-Barbera series of the same name. Airing from 1971 to 1972, The Funky Phantom show followed a trio of teenaged crime solvers, their dog, and their two ghostly pals from the American Revolutionary War era traveling in their Looney Duney buggy to new destinations. The series received a mediocre welcome from audiences who tended to gravitate to the very similar Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! series released in 1969 and also produced by Hanna-Barbera. The Funky Phantom was cancelled after one season.
Two types of cards were in play during the game: cards numbered one through four (representing hours) and cards illustrated with the ghostly BOO the Cat (allowing players to move backwards on the board). Cards were placed face-down on the board.
The player who rolled the highest number on the dice started the game. With all pawns gathered at the start position, the first player rolled and moved their pawn along the path.
Black spaces illustrated with the face of the Funky Phantom allowed players to pick a card from the top of the pile. The numbered cards were collected in hopes of accumulating cards adding up to exactly 12 (representing midnight). BOO the Cat cards were saved for future plays when a move backwards might be advantageous.
Yellow spaces on the board offered protection against opponents looking to steal a card. Landing on the same white space as an opponent allowed a player to steal a card from any other player(s) who also occupied that space. Players rolled and moved along the board, collecting and stealing cards in an effort to assemble the cards necessary to produce a 12.
The first player to collect the numbered cards adding up to exactly 12 won the game.
IN THE BOX
A complete game included a game board, four plastic player pawns (red, blue, yellow, and green), and one dice. Instructions were printed on the cardboard platform inside the box.
The mediocre reception of The Funky Phantom animated series meant that the board game also enjoyed a limited publishing run. It may be easier to find a game on an online marketplace than in a garage sale or thrift shop. Collectors who prefer the thrill of the in-person hunt may have a longer wait ahead of them — but, the thrill of the reward will be greater if a game is eventually found.
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