Cook My Dinner, Wench: The Manly Game, For Men

The other day, when idly browsing eBay, I found a listing for "POW! The Cannon Game For Boys".

I suddenly remembered it. That very game had been one of the stack we used to play when we went down the coast for the holidays.

(There was also a large pile of dog-eared 1960s comics, all of which I pored over at very great length. They included a colour reprint of the one that inspired a Mythbusters stunt.)

To be honest, we didn't actually play "POW!" very often, since it was a pretty dud game. It had little stand-up cardboard soldiers and marble-shooting spring cannons, which sound like a recipe for a diverting piece of entertainment. But the cannons had very little power, and the cardboard base was bouncy enough to make the whole exercise pretty random.

Still, y'know, it wasn't bad for 1964.

("POW!" certainly beat the heck out of the two-years-older "Squatter: The Australian Wool Game", which provided an intoxicating mix of incomprehensibility and tedium to hundreds of thousands of Australian children, possibly as a way of preparing them for the task of filling out income tax forms. If you need a lot of little plastic sheep-head tokens for some other game, though, "Squatter" can't be beat.)

The vintage also explained the "For Boys" thing. Sexism in toys is still very much alive, but I reckon the 60s was the last time it was actually made clear in big words on the box.

Until today, though, I had no idea that "POW!" had a sister game. Which was largely the same, but at the same time completely different.

I give you: "WOW! The Pillow Fight Game For Girls"!

5 Responses to “Cook My Dinner, Wench: The Manly Game, For Men”

  1. corinoco Says:

    Poleconomy ran rings around Squatter for tedium - you got to be an media magnate and / or politcian! Control the economy! Or, as I did, just dip your fingers into Treasury whenever you wanted! Just like the real thing!

    My local public primary school had some cool games in the library for rainy days - Battleship of course, but also Pow! TCGFB and one that was like a cross between the two - you had to sink ships with a steel ball bearing torpedo fired from some sort of spring launcher. Anyone remember that?

  2. boredblogtrawler Says:

    Anyone remember Test Match? That had a bit of projectile action (the bowler with the little chute to send down the ball, the mechanical batsmen, the fielders with the catcher between their legs ... ahh, nostalgia).

  3. boredblogtrawler Says:

    Heh - that's probably what the current English team have been using for practice, now that I think about it.

  4. stewpot Says:

    Corinoco, I remember the game with the ships and ball bearing torpedo. I think it was called Battleship as well. I saw it at a friend's 7th birthday party back in 1976 (strokes beard..) and it went straight onto the must-have list.
    To my 7 year old mind, it's coolest feature was the aiming system - a little turret thing with a mirror at 45 degrees. You'd peer down into the turret and line it up on one of the enemy ships, and a linkage would move the launcher accordingly.

    Has anyone seen James May's Top Toys? This show is a goldmine of toy nostalgia for thirtysomethings.

  5. Daniel Rutter Says:

    I loved Top Toys.

    I contest, however, May's straightfaced assertion that Meccano sets used to have deliberate mistakes in the instructions to challenge young builders.

    I contend that Meccano Ltd merely, in the great tradition of British Not Terribly Goodness, buggered it up.

Leave a Reply