Once upon a time, there was a collector who thought collecting vintage Bingo games would be one of the easiest things to collect…
I nearly always found old Bingo games at garage sales, flea markets & thrift stores — you didn’t even need to look for real vintage versions at actual antique shops because the games were so readily available. And not just because the game’s always been popular with the gambling lucky-troll holding daubing set either.
The game’s popularity dates back before church fundraisers and Native American casinos — so long ago that the game was once a “fun for all ages” entertainment staple in ye houses of yore. So you can find vintage Bingo sets in everything from the functional for larger groups to the retro kiddie goodness varieties. All of which are spectacular to see, really.
That’s what once excited me really — the opportunity to see how many of these old charmers I could get to fill my collecting card. But then, once I opened the musty cardboard boxes, I quickly discovered the problem.
Along with the too many pieces to be saved (resulting, in most cases, in very incomplete games), there were problems with old plastics, rendering cheery bright yellow tumbling mechanisms useless because they had become unglued at the seams — and while that’s less frightening than a gambling woman who’s become unglued due to loss of her lucky troll, such damage issues render your game unplayable.
Poo on that.
When you can’t even find enough cool vintage Bingo games to get four corners on your collector’s playing card, who wants to play anymore?
You could call me a poor sport; but really, my heart was broken. Like a vintage plastic Bingo ball thingy.
So for a number of years I wouldn’t even let myself be charmed and intrigued enough by a brightly colored, vintage graphics laden, box cover enough to wander over and “just see…” No. I wouldn’t fall for that again!
But recently, at a thrift store, hubby (who apparently didn’t know of my previous heartbreak) put into my hands a Bookgames Bingo game…
This “pocket sized” Bingo game taught me a few things… One, that pockets must have been way-huge back in the 1940′s — even if the games were sold as “Perfect Gifts For the Men in Service.”
But the other thing was that there is hope for finding vintage Bingo games intact enough to play.
Sure, the spinner shows signs of wear, and I don’t know if any of the cards are lucky, but finally, a game that’s not only worthy of investing in buying a lucky troll, but one that is part of “The Game-Lovers Library.”
Bookish in looks (with the name on the “spine”), it even came with a list of all the other Bookgames in the series — too-too cool for a collector.
Even if I’m not sure I can squeeze such a thing onto my sagging bookshelves.
This post was included in the second edition of the New Vintage Reviews Carnival.
Because Becky asked, here’s a scan of the list of Metro Mfg. Co.’s list of games, as printed on part of the back of the “how to play Bingo” insert — click to enlarge!