Jumanji Board Game
I am a huge fan of the movie, and always dream about actually owning a replica of the board game featured in the movie. Unfortunately no such replica ever got made even during the hype of the movie back in the mid 90’s. All us 90’s kids got was a basic board game inspired by the one from the movie. When I say “basic”, I’m saying that it’s ordinary and doesn’t look as unique as the one from the movie. I remember the commercial for the game would play constantly though out the same year the movie was in theaters and up till it came on video. The commercial was very short and consists of brief clips of the movie itself including the animals that appeared from the game and clips of the board game featured in the movie. I couldn’t help but notice that they spent more time showing footage of the movie board game and only a couple of seconds of the retail board game. It’s like the company that made the board game acknowledges the movie’s board game to be superior towards their own version.
While there’s not much to say about the commercial, let’s just talk about the product itself and discuss how it could have been better. The board game is made of cardboard and is decorated in the same design as the one from the movie. It’s gameplay is intended for ages 6 and up, requires at least two players to play but no more than four. Each player uses a colored pawn to go around on the board with the roll of a triangular dice. It includes a couple additional pieces not included in the movie version such as a rhino figurine, an hourglass, and additional dices. With the product looking 60% different from the movie version it appear to please the board game community according to some reviews on Amazon.com. Though I for one, didn’t dare buy it cause it just look like an imitation of the game from the movie. Which why I’m going to list what could have made this product better.
1. The board game not being made of wood or look wooden. I can understand it would be an environment issue if we cut down so many trees to make so many Jumanji board games. But plastic would have worked fine, at least it would have been a better material than cardboard cause it just makes the product look more cheap and less fancy.
2. The absence of the animal pawns. In the movie it was an elephant, crocodile, rhino, & a monkey I think, used as the pawn pieces for the game. However for this product it’s just multi colored pawns straight from the game “Sorry”. There’s no excuse for not making the pawns look like the ones from the movie. Those pieces are what make the game so memorable in the first place.
3. The center orb not being green or crystal like. Since it’s obvious that the words can’t appear magically inside the center orb, I’ll excuse the product for using cards for a substitute. But could they at least make the orb green like in the movie? Today we can make the green orb illuminate words magically thanks to the wonders of the digital age.
4. The product not looking like it’s a relic. The game is meant to look aged and appear to have been around for centuries. That’s one of the characteristics that make the game recognizable is the aged appearance of the game itself instead this product polishes it and makes it look clean loosing it’s old like look that gave it a mysterious presence.
5. Last but not least the un attention to make the game look like the real deal. If a board game designer couldn’t make a Jumanji game look like a folded crate then all hope is lost. It’s like making a replica of Mouse Trap without making it look like a trap.
The game has become scarce for some time and prices for the game goes as high as $177 on Amazon.com. Totally not worth anyone’s money, and as of today no attempt was ever made in making a true replica of the game from the movie. I’ve seen die-hard fans actually make a replica that is so genuine that it would pass as the actual prop from the movie. It’s been almost 20 years since the movie came out, isn’t time for that replica to get made so that way fans can truly own their own Jumanji board game? Until that day comes enjoy the brief commercial below.