============================================================ BOARD GAME OF THE MONTH: THE MUMMY MYSTERY GAME


Each Month, I will try to highlight a particularly neat game, and provide as many photos, and as much info, as I can.



THE MUMMY MYSTERY GAME- by Hasbro, 1963. With THE ELVIS PRESLEY GAME and THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON MYSTERY GAME, probably one of the top 10 rarest games of the Baby Boomer era. I knew there was a THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON MYSTERY GAME, and a THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA MYSTERY GAME, so I figured there was a third game in the series (since an earlier Hasbro monster series consisted of FRANKENSTEIN, DRACULA and WOLFMAN MYSTERY GAMES), but I had never seen anything else in 20 years of collecting games. Eventually I determined that the third game was THE MUMMY, but I couldn't find anyone who had heard of it, let alone anyone who had one in their collection...I still wasn't even sure it existed. But then... I found it!

What a beautiful cover! The cool "blue" of the tomb perfectly complements the "green" of the murky depths, or the "red" of the harsh klieg lights of it's companion games.

Game play of all 6 games is relatively similar, with 4 die-cut pawns of the monster in question used to move around the short path of the gameboard. Players try to accumulate "Crypt Cards", and the first player to collect 10 wins the game. One spinner determines moves, and a second spinner determines whether you are "captured" or "escaped" when you land on a red square.

The gameboard art is a little strange... There are images of hands coming out of crypts, reaching out of the sand, and coming up through grates in the ground, but there is also a bunch of people, who are depicted as tiny as ants. In relation to the size of the objects they're next to (Pyramids, Temples, etc), they're the right proportions, but the Mummy looks like a giant in relation. And because of this odd aerial view, of the three later games, I think The Creature and The Phantom have better gameboards. But still... It's THE MUMMY!

As you can see from the examples above and to the left, it's pretty obvious that Hasbro was "influenced" by the artwork of the Aurora Monster Models of the time... The Mummy moving pieces are identical to the Aurora artwork, and the gameboard art is identical down to the stone pillars and cobra! The Creature game is almost a carbon copy of the model artwork, while The Phantom game is mostly a copy of the kit's pose. Universal had licensed the monsters to Aurora... what's unclear to me is whether Aurora licensed the artwork or artwork concept to Hasbro, or whether Hasbro was just ripping them off.

The original series of "Mystery" games used a very moody, impressionistic style of art, which seemed to reflect the monsters as they appeared in the movies, not model kits. Perhaps as the "kit craze" of the 1960's took off, Hasbro felt that in order to exploit the market, they had to position their product more closely with what kids were buying.

One thing is for certain... there are lots of FRANKENSTEIN, WOLFMAN, and DRACULA MYSTERY GAMES out there. But there are VERY few CREATURE, PHANTOM and MUMMY MYSTERY GAMES. I assume that as the fad fizzled out, the 2nd series of Mystery games didn't sell as well, which resulted in a lot less games surviving. It's a tremendous game, at the top in desirability and rarity. I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I do!

Value: $2000 and UP

For further information, or to order, contact me through my "Questions?" link, or E-Mail me at Desis2@Juno.com