When I was a kid, my parents would play cards or board games with friends while the kids would play other games outside or inside.
I’m still a game player today. I love to try new board games or bring out old favorites, especially on holidays or during the winter.
One day when I was looking through Facebook, a post from the Someplace Safe Thrift Store in Morris got my attention. Someplace Safe is a nonprofit agency offering a myriad of services to victims and survivors of crime, families, and communities in a nine-county region in West Central Minnesota, according to its website. It has been operating a thrift store in Morris for several years.
The post was a photo of two vintage games that had been brought into the store on Aug. 22.
“We have no idea who brought it. It was in a garbage bag,” thrift store manager Dee Daly said.
The games were dropped off intact with boxes and all the pieces which included the treasures for an arcade style game called Three Keys to Treasure.
In today’s world kids get excited about the latest video game with its bright colors and realistic scenes. But I can remember being super excited about an arcade style game with the spring loaded plunger that sent marbles bouncing from slot to slot. The Three Keys to Treasure was that kind of game. The plunger propels the marbles and the player can push a flipper to direct the marble to a particular slot in order to win a prize. I don’t think I can do justice to the thrill of flipping the marble to try and direct it into the desired slot. With this Three Keys to Treasure game, the player would win a prize from within a wheel.
The flat playing surface is plastic with a plastic back that contained the prize wheel. It’s beautiful.
“It’s amazing it has the box and the instructions,” Daly said.
The second game is the Clown Ball game. The game box says “wonder balls are light and harmless as a feather.” The player tosses the wonder balls, which must be made of foam, into depressions on a tin playing board. The depressions have been assigned various point values. The bright colors on the tin are bright and bold like a carnival.
The year 1957 is stamped on the box. The Three Keys to Treasure game must be from around the same year.
The Someplace Safe thrift store receives many donations of clothes, accessories, household items and others but games such as these aren’t delivered often.
“It’s very cool when they do come,” Daly said of such vintage items. “It’s rare when they have the box and the instructions.”
Daly said it would be neat to know who donated the games and more information about them.
I wonder where they were stored all these years. Did an assortment of kids have fun playing with them? Did they cause joy when a kid unwrapped them at Christmas or for a birthday?