They Did The Mash…And This Board Game Was A Smash!

You’re searching for a monster, who’s hard to find, but here’s a hint…he’s one of a kind!

This week I had planned to continue on a topic I had started several weeks ago with a Retro Technology article about a system that incorporated VCR gaming with education, entertainment, and computers. I was going to look at a different system that offered a similar premise (sans the computer), but since this is the week of Halloween, I figured it would be a good opportunity cover something more…Halloween-esque.

And not video game-like. I combined Halloween and video games several years ago, with the Action Max “game” The Rescue of Pops Ghostly. I’m still wondering if those kids got out of the haunted house.

Anyway, I was reminded of a board game that I had as a kid, that had a certain “Halloween” charm to it, even though I got it for Christmas, and it has never really slipped my mind.

Heck, it has even been seen on this blog before!


The article was actually about cute Christmas dresses, but this game (and Cricket) were also there!

This game lived up to its name, because it was the action you took in order to win.

You can say we “did the mash!”

Upload via The Toys Channel

…It Was A “One-Of-A-Kind” Smash!

“Monster Mash” is a board game by Parker Brothers, released in 1987. The game employed the use of a “Monster Maker Machine,” which showed a monster that needed to be identified by players. In turn, monster hunters would use a “thwacker,” a plastic arm and hand with a suction cup on the hand to smash down on the monster cards, all with the goal of picking the correct monster from 27 different monsters.

Image: Board Game Geek

The first player to “thwack” five monsters has to do the mash.

Just kidding, they win. But they can dance if they so choose.

Learn Early Skills, While Thwacking Monsters!

Parker Brothers designed the game to be easy enough for young children, but fun for slightly older children. It didn’t require any reading (by children) to play, but obviously included instructions so parents could explain the game to non-readers. There also aren’t individual turns in this game – everyone gets a chance to “thwack” for the pictured monster at the same time!

Two to four Monster Hunters can play, while working on important developmental skills of color and shape recognition, as well as hand-eye coordination, and the all-important developmental skill of how hard they slap each other with the thwackers.

Ok, that’s more of a “sibling survival of the fittest” skill, but it is still important to know how hard you can hit your sibling(s) with plastic sticks and suction cups. Does it come in handy with learning how to dodge pizza disks from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Pizza Shooting Van? Well, no…but multiple skills are necessary!

Updated – And Alternative – Mashes

Monster Mash – 1994 version. Image: eBay

Mashing Monsters wasn’t just exclusive to Parker Brother’s 1987 release of the game. There have been several versions of the game, with updates to the look, without changing the concept. The first re-release was 1994, the second this year…

Image: The Toy Insider

…and even a version involving…mustaches.

Image: Wish

They did the mustache! It was a facial follicle SMASH!

The 2020 version is proof that “what is old, is new again,” as several classic games (Mall Madness and Hot Potato) have seen board game re-releases recently.

Both the 1987 and 1994 versions, as well as several “Monster Mash”-type matching games, are easy to find on the secondhand market, with varying prices based on the condition of the game and its parts. Based on the look of the current version, this would easily be just as fun as it was in the 1980s. A smash if you will.

Still with the jokes. I know, I’m not that funny.

And Now, You!

Do you remember playing “Monster Mash,” in any of its versions? Have you seen the newest version yet, or even played it? Is it as satisfying as I remember it being, thwacking monsters concocted randomly by the “Monster-Maker Machine?” I’d love to know your memories of playing the game!

Heck, I showed you mine!


Halloween Week at Allison’s Written Words goes on, four days and counting!

Have a great day!

Related Articles

I previously covered nostalgic board games in October 2019 for my “Do You Remember?”-themed articles.

“Guess Who” – October 1, 2019 – The classic game of identifying a person through questioning their features. “Did your person wear glasses?”

 “Mall Madness” – October 8, 2019 – The oh-so-1990 girly game of fake credit cards, sales at the kitchen shop, and shopping locales with it all. (I also talked about the 2020 version in the new season of the Pop Culture Retrorama podcast)

 Electronic Talking Battleship – October 15, 2019 – An updated version of the classic “sink your seafaring vessel” game, complete with a horrifying rendition of “Taps.”

“Perfection” – October 22, 2019 – The most anxiety-producing game of your childhood!

“13 Dead End Drive” – October 29, 2019 – A “Clue”-style game, where you can get rich by accident! (No seriously, accidents befalling other players can result in your victory!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s