Licensed board games…are they good or evil? I guess it depends on your age.
A while back I was taking a leisurely stroll down the board game section of my local mega-store, when suddenly I got choked up with a paralyzing rage. What could have possibly been between Jenga and Banagrams that got me so worked up that I saw red and imagined the collateral damage that would surely make the news because of my unstoppable rampage? That’s right, it was:
I had so many questions and so much anger inside of me. Why do the jerks from The Big Bang Theory have a board game? Is this general trivia or trivia specific to the show? Because they have trivia games out there. You know, games like Trivial Pursuit and those Scene It? games.
That’s when I remembered, wait, there are all kinds of Scene It? spinoffs out there. For example, I always see the Seinfeld Scene It? on clearance everywhere. There are also Glee and, my personal favorite, Twilight Scene It? floating around out there, in board game purgatory. They’re just hoping for a bell to ring so they can become real boys, or some other mixed metaphor. So, why does The Big Bang Theory get their own game? What makes them so special that they get to cut in line before everyone else? I mean, Seinfeld was on for a lot of seasons. I’m not going to look it up, but I’m guessing there were enough seasons to justify getting their own board game.
Over the years I’ve noticed while perusing the board games aisle, that there will be sudden bumper crops of board game spinoffs. A few years back I couldn’t wade through the aisle without seeing at least 15 different types of Monopoly. There were Monopoly games specific to the town you lived in, or your favorite fictional universe. They’re still out there. Apparently you can buy Dogopoly and AC/DC Monopoly. Monopoly for every fandom!
These are all the things I told myself to be okay with a Big Bang Theory board game. Because it’s not like this is a sudden reality, these novelty board games. They’ve been around for a while. As I was talking myself down in that aisle, I suddenly remembered from my childhood a game that was probably horrible but I would have stabbed you if you tried to take it away from me. Who didn’t love:
Yes! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had a board game. More than one actually. There used to be sheets of paper in it and I’d take them out and draw the Turtles on them and scotch tape them to my bedroom wall. I also taped the cardboard turtles playing pieces to my wall. This was before I was ripping pictures of JTT out of my Tiger Beat magazines. Before teen heartthrobs I had the Turtles and since they weren’t doing full magazine spreads, I had to figure out ways to get them on my wall. Even if that meant cannibalizing a board game to do it.
Let’s be honest here- those Turtles were pretty buff.