The Game of JAWS from Ideal (1975)

Company: Ideal | Release date: 1975 | Ages: 6+ | # of players: 2 to 4 | Where to purchase: eBay

“One wrong move…and the JAWS go snap!”

Released in 1975 by Ideal, The Game of JAWS capitalized on the success of the blockbuster Steven Spielberg film that hit theatres on June 20 of that year.

The concept of the game is reminiscent of the scene from the movie where Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) and Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) open the digestive tract of a deceased shark to discover fish (as expected), a Louisiana license plate, and a tin can.


The object of the game was to be the first player to remove 4 pieces of junk from the shark’s mouth in the case of 3 or 4 players, or 5 pieces of junk in the case of a 2-player game.

Players first loaded the 13 pieces of plastic junk into the shark’s mouth. At the beginning of their turn, each player named the piece of junk they were attempting to remove. A plastic gaff hook was used to extract the target. If the player successfully removed it, the piece was kept aside and the next player took their turn.

As the junk pieces were removed, the weight distribution in the shark’s mouth became unpredictable and could trigger a sudden snap! of its jaws. If the jaw snapped shut during a turn, that player was out of the game and had to return their junk back into the shark’s mouth. The remaining players then resumed the game.

The first player to successfully retrieve the required number of junk pieces won.


A complete game included the shark body, fins, lower jaw, set of teeth, stickers representing the shark’s eyes, gaff hook, rubber bands, and junk. The 13 junk pieces that came with the game were a tire, camera, walkie talkie, baseball glove, jug, pistol, wagon wheel, anchor, lantern, boot, bone, skull, and fish bone. Printed instructions were included.

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