Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Letter To Milton Bradley

There is a wonderful joke hidden in here. The Aladdin of jokes. A diamond in the rough. I've probably hyped it way too much now.

Milton Bradley Company
443 Shaker Road
East Longmeadow, MA 01028-3124
Attn: The President

Dear Mr. Bradley,

So many years, so many memories! I had to write and thank you for years of great family fun. None of the new games can hold a candle to Milton Bradley’s classic board games. Apples To Apples? That game makes no sense. How can the Fresh Prince of Bel Air remind someone of the word “glistening?” And don’t get me started on Mad Gab. The people that made that game can go eat Abe owners and which.

Anyway, I love your games. Especially Stratego – it’s got it all. War? Check. Landmines? Check. Spies? Check? Two bodies of water? Check! This was my favorite game growing up. My Grandma used to play it with me all the time, and I’m reasonably sure I won legitimately. In fact, I loved Stratego so much that my lady friend bought me a new copy of the game for my birthday last year. Great news, right? Wrong. I walked into that pile like an expendable Scout walking into a first tier bomb.

Let’s get started with some constructive criticism. First of all, the pieces are all plastic. I enjoyed the old metal pieces. They made me feel like a man. Please change them back, I don’t care how much it costs. Gas prices are going down, I assume metal and corn prices are falling as well. Second, the game board is folded into fourths. Why are you doing this to me? The game’s box is still the same size! I think you’re playing your own game, Mr. Bradley, and it’s called fold the box one too many times. Nobody likes the folds in a game board, but we all suffered the one down the middle because we knew it was necessary. Now you want us to suffer another fold? And a SLIT in the cardboard?! You ask too much, sir.

Also, did you switch the numbers on the soldiers? I could have sworn that a 1 used to be the best guy, but now 1 is the weakest and 10 is the strongest. This confused for me several months at first. I kept thinking I had an army of invincible Marshals, so I told my lady friend where my flag was at the beginning of every game, just to mock her. Then when she complained I was cheating I told her to go to the police if she liked. She didn’t, and I won. Bluffing is a subtle skill that all great gamers possess.

Other than that, it’s still a great game. The box itself is a little flamboyant. Does the cavalry man really need a mustache? Also, I miss the suburban family on the back of the box enjoying their weekly game night. I wonder what they’re all doing right now. I hope that kid didn’t grow up to be a goth teen. Also, the mom was kind of hot. Can you send me a picture of her? Just her, I don’ t need the rest of them.

Graciously Yours,

The Correspondent


Anonymous said...

I gave your grandmother Abe owners and which. Sincerely, M. Bradley

Anonymous said...

Stratego was my favorite growing up as well. I have a 1970s bi-fold with red and blue plastic pieces. The 1 is indeed the most powerful piece. There are no 10s. We find the father in the picture patronizing for moving the daughter's piece for her.

I disagree that Milton Bradley still rules games. I think Mayfair Games' "The Settlers of Catan," Rio Grande Games' "Powergrid," and my favorite, Hasbro's "Diplomacy" are all improvements on "Monopoly" and "Life." Apples to Apples has nothing on mafia as a party game! And while we're on the subject of games, I think that pinochle and not euchre is the game of choice among midwesterners in the know, poker being more or less universal.