Who doesn’t remember Candyland? The game, manufactured by Hasbro, has been around for decades. I’m sure we all remember picking a card and hoping we didn’t get stuck in molasses. The beloved children’s game isn’t a stranger to reinvention, every few years a new version comes out, something with an updated look to appeal to today’s kids.
The most recent version is hitting the shelves just in time for the 2013 holiday season. This version features some of the original characters in shiny new outfits and careers.
Mister Mint is no longer a woodcutter, now he “dances along the rainbow path to the Peppermint Forest”
Lord Licorice is still as evil as ever, just waiting for a helpless pawn to get stuck in the lagoon he guards.
Princess Frostine was apparently demoted, she used to be Queen Frostine. She is also a fashion designer.
Nana Nutt still lives in a peanut brittle house but she’s not your usual grandmother. I don’t know about you but I don’t remember the last time my grandmother pranced around in a pink tutu and blew gum bubbles the size of my head. Maybe 70 is the new 40 😉
Princess Lolly lives in the Lollipop Palace where she and her fairy friends wear impossibly short skirts and lollipop bras. True story.
And finally we have good ol’ King Kandy. King Kandy has changed a lot over the years. The current incarnation shows him as short, chubby, bald and perhaps a bit smug. I guess if I was the king of Candyland I’d be a little smug too.
Now, I don’t want you to think I’m a prude who won’t let her children play with this game because of the way the characters are represented. My kids have played with this game, in fact, it was Mister Giggles who pointed out that the girl characters don’t have noses but the boys do. I have to say, however, that I don’t think the level of sexuality shown in Princess Lolly and Princess Frostine needs to be featured in a game for preschoolers. There, I said it.
Ok, so the appearance of the characters aside, a few other things have changed in this recent update:
The game play cards have been replaced by a spinner wheel. I’m all for no game cards as it means less pieces to misplace and quicker clean up.
The game board has changed drastically. What was once a simple game board with colored squares and quaint illustrations is now an overwhelming visual assault of colors and shapes. Even the back of the game board is teeming with illustrations.
The new version of Candyland is different, and a little sad. I’m sad that Hasbro felt the need to sexualize its characters. I’m sad that Hasbro took away the simpleness of the game in favor of over-stimulation. I’m sad that this is what the company felt it had to do to compete with today’s electronic games. I’m sad that this is what the company feels our 3-7 year old children want and need.
At the end of the day, the 2013 version of Candyland is still Candyland. It’s still a game that teaches turn-taking, fair game play, and that sometimes handsome strangers are really villians in disguise. Maybe I’m reading into this too much, maybe I’m taking a child’s game too seriously?
Now it’s YOUR turn…what do you think about the newest version of Candyland?
Price: $$ ($10-20)
Number of players: 2-4
Recommended ages: 3-7
Reading level required: None
Company website: http://www.hasbro.com/
*Disclaimer: I was not asked to do this review and I was not compensated by Hasbro for doing this review. All opinions are my own. I did receive this game at no cost from Houseparty.com & Hasbro Game Night in exchange for letting my family and friends use it to get their opinions. I was not asked to review this product by Houseparty.com. There are no affiliate links in this post**
Meg Grooms is a long-time homeschooling mother of 6 children, ranging in age from preschool to married with kids of their own. Always a vagabond at heart, Meg and her family have embraced a slow travel lifestyle and currently call Southern California home. Your guess is as good as hers as to where they’ll end up next.
Meg blogs about secular homeschooling and gameschooling at Homeschool Gameschool.