Catalogs #30: Selchow & Righter Games

I enjoy playing Words with Friends and Draw Something - games you can play without ever being in the same room.  Long distance gaming via apps and Facebook has its value, I guess; however, there's no replacing the intangibles of playing together.

Physical board games have by no means gone extinct.... but with the advent of digital media, we all see the writing on the wall.  In 1978 and 79, however, if you wanted to play a game, you were stuck like it or not with actual human beings.  Here's a few Selchow & Righter Games catalog pages from those years.  Enjoy.

From Wikipedia:
Selchow and Righter was purchased by Coleco Industries in 1986 for $75 million USD in cash and notes. In 1989 Coleco declared bankruptcy and its primary assets were purchased by Hasbro for $85 million USD in cash...

I actually had the "Ginger Bread Man" game when I was little, and I remember playing "Go For Broke".  However, "What Shall I Be?" and "RSVP" elude me. 

"Crystal Climbers" was about as interesting as a wet carrot.  Yet everybody used to have a set gathering dust in their rumpus room.  This "Spider-Man Hulk Quick Draw" is intriguing as hell.  I had a monster drawing tool where you rubbed a crayon on interchangeable plastic foldouts (It's hard to explain).  However, this doesn't appear to be like that.  Anyone remember?

Not sure why, but the monster makeup thing was big in the seventies.  I would have given anything to own this Scary Faces kit.

I'm guessing "Whodunit" was a rip off of "Clue".  I don't recall "Gota Minute" but it looks sort of like Boggle, which I freakin' love.  I wonder if these alternate versions of Scrabble are still out there: Crosswords, and Sentences

This one never caught on.  No big shock there.

If these games seem a tad lame to you, you need to keep things in context.  We didn't have toy stores the size of a small country packed with expensive crap.  We had board games, action figures, and......stuff like this.


  1. S and R had true perennials like Scrabble and Parcheesi, and in the '80s the jackpot of Trivial Pursuit. It was a smart move by both Coleco and Hasbro to acquire them.

  2. Quick Draw - we used those prisms in grade school, and I finally found one at a garage sale, though without the cool branding. You put it on one side of a drawing and when you look through, you can see the image hovering over the blank page opposite. You can then trace the image. Very cool, but you have to keep your head cranked at an awkward angle.

  3. That Scary Faces seems very familiar, but I bet it was just seeing the commercial for it. I would have loved to play the Barbapapa game!

  4. I had this catalog, it came in my copy of Parchessi.

  5. I had something extremely similar to Crystal Climbers, but it was called "Whatsis". Must have been the same thing from a different company.

  6. Pop'o'matic pops the dice
    Pop a six and you move twice!!

  7. We have a Deluxe Scrabble that we bought at a garage sale. It's on a lazy-susan kind of thing so the board can rotate. And the board has a raised grid so the letters don't slide around.

    Back in the day when parents wouldn't even think for a second about paying several hundred dollars for "game system." At least, mine sure wouldn't.

  8. Wow! That story completely encompasses my childhood!My family always played board games.As the youngest member of the family,I was the proud owner of the Scrabble ABC game.Crystal Climbers,now, that had a different effect on me .I used to like to shine a light on my creations in the dark.To me it was the ultimate in Psychedelia and futuristic High Tech. In later years, I ordered the big make up kit from Famous Monsters Magazine with a Summers worth of blueberry picking money(and overpaid big-time).That Halloween, I was the Melting Man.I recently found that same Magic Kit in my attic and let my grand daughter try it.She liked the rainbow optical illusion.Lastly,I think it was Mighty Men and Monster Maker that you were describing.I have one of them in the attic too,but it's missing the pencil/crayon thingy.A black crayola works o.k. but not quite as good.

  9. GO FOR BROKE sits, even now, in our garage...

    Al Bigley

  10. I had Fashion Plates which your monster thing sounds like. You put the plates together in different ways, insert a piece of paper, and rub a crayon over them. The other side of each plate had different textures so you could give the clothing a pattern.

    I loved it so much as a child and someone in my family got rid of it. So I bought one on eBay with the expansion pack. Yeah, it's honestly still that enjoyable. Though I wish I had even more plates. LOL But I think I have all the ones Tomy made.

    1. I remember the fashion plates - probably from babysitting. I could start a cottage business making new plates for it with a 3d printer :)

  11. I gotta buy a dress for the prom?!

  12. It's not a game so you didn't discuss it, but I loved those Presto Magic Sets (below the Spidey and Hulk Quick Draw). They always had the classic "Whispering Colors", cups and balls, Chinese Bowls, etc. And always came with the Adams Magic book that was adverstised in the back of comic books. On a different note, I always wanted those make up kits, but never could afford them. For Halloween, I had to make myself up with my mom's face powder and mascara. Just looked like I was in drag.

  13. Very nice to hear these games helped create happy moments!
    - Philip Righter