Tabletop Thursday – Old School

And I mean, really old school.

I was helping a friend track down some item on Ebay, and I came across a listing for a vintage (i.e., old) Carrom Skittles game.  I had a sudden flashback to afternoons in my youth, spent at the local YMCA after swimming lessons playing both Pocket  Golf and Skittles.  There was no bid on the game, so I put in a lowball $10 bid and forgot about it.

Six days later, I got an e-mail telling me I was now the owner of a Skittles game for $10 (+ $17 S&H).  I quickly paid my $27 and forgot about it.  Six days later, my wife sends me an e-mail, asking me what the heck I bought now, because I just got a giant package in the mail.  Now, I was expecting a new laptop, but I couldn’t fathom that being in a giant package.  So when I got home, and dug into this giant package, there was the Skittles game I had forgotten about.


I sat down with my 6 year old, and we pulled out all of the pins, and he set them up on the scoring spots, and I got out the well worn wooden tops and the ancient strings and carefully wound the top.  He quickly sussued out the slot that the top goes into, and how you set it going.  So I helped him out with his first go with it, and he gave the string an anemic tug,  and it spun for about 15 seconds and knocked over two of the pins.

He was less than thrilled.

Well, lets try it again.  I re-wound the top, and this time he really gave it a yank.  And the top went caroming off of the walls, and soon knocked over two of the pins, and then moved into a the second chamber, and knocked over about three of those before it finally spun to a stop.  He and I counted up the points he had scored, and then he said “Your turn, Dad.”  For the next 20 minutes we spent spinning tops in this game, cheering each other on as our tops go racing about the box.  He beat me, quite handily, but I was holding back on the strength of my spins to make it an even match.

The game has quickly become a family favorite, sitting in the living room, where any of us will plop down and spend 10-20 minutes at a time and spin tops and watch pins fly.  The kids have figured out that if you remove some of the walls, you get different results, so they will try the game with multiple configurations of walls in and out.  I even watched my wife spend 15 minutes last night before bed spinning tops (but that’s not a big surprise…I’ve long known that one of her favorite games growing up was Battling Tops.)

Me?  I enjoy sitting in my living room, hearing the buzz of the top and the clatter of the pins, and not hearing Mario Kart Racing for a while.  Old school games FTW!

One Response to “Tabletop Thursday – Old School”

  1. […] a GIANT box arrived that piqued everyones attention (the aforementioned Skittles game, posted about here.)  But after we all got our spins on, I have now had a chance to digest some of the hereafter […]

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