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ABOUT THE GAME: Ker Plunk is a game that has been around since 1967 and was first marketed by the Ideal Toy Company. I knew it had been around for quite a while as I remember having this game as a child. Many of you are probably very familiar with this game and may also have played it at some point in your life. Since the game was first launched it has had many make-overs, which has changed the look of the game very slightly to make it look more modern and attractive to children. The game contains various different pieces which need to be slotted and clipped together in order to be able to actually play the game. This game is now made by Hasbro who make a huge range of children’s games. This game is described as a nerve-racking game that keeps you on the edge of your seat and tests your skill and judgement. If you pick the wrong stick and all the marbles fall down then the game is over and you lose. This game has been described as classic which is great for the whole family to keep you entertained for hours.
PRICE/AVAILABILITY: The game can be purchased from Argos for £14.99 and other places such as Amazon.
SETTING UP THE GAME: In the box there are some instructions, marbles and some plastic sticks in the box as well. To set up the game you need to clip all the parts together. The top part of the game which will holds the marbles look the same and once clipped together there should be a large hole in the top and the bottom. This also has lots of little holes around it which later enables you to put the sticks through them. The two parts which make up the tube also slot together easily and this fits into the base and then the top part goes securely on top. I have to admit that compared to the Ker-Plunk version I had when I was a child I was very surprised at how flimsy the plastic was and the colours were no-where near as bright as they were in my version of the game. The next job is to put all the coloured sticks through the holes in the top so that they go into one side and out the other. This is easy to do but does take a few good minutes doing this. The sticks can go in one side and straight out the other side or you can put them in at an angle. My nephew enjoys putting the sticks in ready to play the game. Once all the sticks are in place you then need to carefully put the marbles into the top. These should balance on the sticks, but if any do fall out straight away we normally just pop them back in the top again ready to play.
PLAYING THE GAME: To play the game you need to gently turn the tube/middle part of the game so that the hole at the bottom faces you and then that player must carefully remove a stick from the top. This can be a little stiff to move so I have to help my younger nephew out with this, otherwise he tends to knock it over. Once the player has touched a stick they have to take that particular one and can't change their mind. Some of the sticks are easy to remove than others. My older nephew seemed to do quite a good job at removing sticks that ensured that no marbles dropped down. Once they have had their go, it's then the next person's turn. They have to repeat the process by turning the tube part of the game and removing a stick. You have to turn the tube as it means that it any marbles fall out they will go into your section rather than anyone else's. Keep taking it in turns removing the straws until there are no more marbles left in the top. The winner is the person at the end of the game with the least amount of marbles. We found that the marbles kept getting stuck at the bottom of the tube when they were falling down which was rather annoying. With this game it can last just a few minutes or longer, depending on what sticks the players take out. If you happen to move a stick which is supporting a lot of the marbles and they all drop than they game can be over so quickly. The game is played exactly the same way as it was when I had the game, although it just didn't seem as fun to me as it was when I had it, but maybe that's because I'm no longer a child.
This is a game from my childhood. We used to play it on a Sunday afternoon when my grandparents came to visit, me and my 3 siblings would play for the last piece of cake!!
This game is a simple context there is a tube the centre is covered with holes in where you poke loads of plastic straws, you then drop a load of marbles on top of them. The players then take it in turns to remove the coloured straws trying to prevent the marbles dropping. The player with the least marbles at the end is the winner.
The game takes about 5 minutes to set up as poking the straws through can be quite fiddly. The game takes about 15 minutes to play once set up.
There are small bits to this game so if you have children under 3 you maybe best to keep them away. The game is recommend for children over 5 years old which I think a very good age as It is a fiddly game and any younger they may become frustrated.
This is a very simple game no electronics, battery or TV's needed. It fun for all the family and not too time consuming.
This game can be brought for £14.25 on amazon.
I had bought my daughter this a few months ago on Amazon as a chirstmas present but when she was off school bored and poorly with a sickness bug recently I gave her this early to cheer her up and give us something to do whilst she was off school.
I never owned KerPlunk myself as a child but I remember playing it many times around friends houses - always thought of it as really fun, exciting and a bit relaxed even though there is a bit of strategy involved. To me it was one of them classic family games that everyone should have in their households.
The KerPlunk game comes in 6 pieces made out of coloured semi transparent plastic. You have the base where the marbles roll into and also has four sections (one for each player) to store the dispensed marbles - two green twisted sections and one stick to go in between which creates the sprial tube for the marbles to travel down - and then you have the two half domes which click together to make the top. Through the bottom of the dome you will see little holes in which you need to take the provided straws and push them through to the other end. When all the straws are in use you then pour in the marbles over the top and the aim of the game is for each player to take turns at removing the straws and the person who causes the least amount of marbles to drop through the spiral tube to the base wins.
As per title I wasn't too impressed when playing this again as I do remember the game being generally better and I also thought the older KerPlunk sets were much better made than the current ones we see being sold today.
I have no issues with the marbles or the straws but what gripes me (and my 6 year old daughter) is that because the spiral tubes do not sit properly the marbles get stuck in between the base and the top... and the only way to dislodge is to poke with a straw from the top which often makes other marbles fall as a result... and ruins the mood of the game.
Game play in my opinion also doesn't last any longer than 3-4 minutes with two players so I imagine with a family of four it will not take very long at all to complete.
Kerplunk is a game made by Hasbro. It has been around for years and I have fond memories of playing it with my friends as family as a child (as I'm sure most people in my age group do), so when my daughter recently received it as a gift I was very pleased indeed!
The game comes packaged in a cardboard box and the instructions are printed on the box (instead of paper instructions). The box also states the game is recommended for ages 5+, suitable for 2-4 players and each game lasts 15 minutes (which is a lie!).
You have to assemble the game each time you wish to play it. Assembling the game is a fairly simple process for adults (a little more confusing for young children) but actually setting up the game is very tedious. There are 6 separate pieces of plastic and assembling it basically involves clipping the 'slide' together, fixing it to the base and putting the 'bowl' on top. Setting up the game involves poking a large number of small coloured sticks (like thin straws) through the bowl (through one side and out the other side, so the straws make a trap inside the bowl), which takes absolutely ages. My daughter tries to help but it's too fiddly and she tends to be more of a hindrance, therefore it's better if I set it up by myself. However by the time I've finished setting it up, she (and I) has usually lost interest! The plastic parts of the game seem quite tough and durable, however the sticks aren't the best quality and bend easily. If the sticks get bent, they don't go straight again and this makes getting the sticks through the holes become even more tricky and tiresome!
Once all of the straws are inserted (there are about 30 of them) you then place the marbles in the bowl (there are about 20 marbles) - if any marbles fall through the trap and down the slide, just put them back in the bowl until they stay in there. You also need to be careful when playing the game that you don't knock it, otherwise the marbles can fall through the trap and down the slide. Also beware, this game has lots of bits and pieces to get lost!
The aim of the game is to take turns removing sticks from the bowl without letting any marbles drop through the trap and down the slide. When you do drop marbles, you must put them in the plastic tray nearest to you. The game ends when all of the marbles have dropped and the winner is the player with the least amount of marbles in their tray. The rules are pretty simple and the game is easy enough for my 5 year old to grasp. If you have older children you can use the 'special' golden (yellow actually!) marble to add or subtract 5 points to whomever gets the golden marble in their tray - we currently use the golden marble as a normal marble as the adding and subtracting is a bit advanced for my daughter. Sometimes we change the game rules by getting each player to choose a colour stick and they can only remove those colour sticks, this makes the game a little more tricky. The front of the box describes the game as 'a nerve wracking game of skill' which is slightly true but slightly untrue also! You can peek in to the bowl and then make a decision as to which stick will be the best to pull (I usually go for the bottom ones first), but most of the time you can't tell which stick will cause the marbles to drop, so it becomes a game of luck rather than skill.
Well, my daughter likes the game and we have enjoyed playing it as a family. I love the way it's completely silent as we take turns pulling out sticks and then there's a big noise (and groan!) as the marbles drop through and come spiralling down the slide and shooting out the bottom. It's fun and tense. However it's not quite as exciting as I remember it being and I feel like the game just isn't long enough (we are usually finished in a minute or so), especially for the long amount of time it takes to set up. It comes out of the cupboard every now and again, but a game which takes less time to set up and offers more exciting playing time is usually favoured. I am split in the middle when it comes to this game - I wouldn't say avoid it but I can't honestly recommend it either...
You can buy Kerplunk from almost all toy shops and it generally costs around the £10.00 mark.
We have a wide range of games in our games cupboard, we have a range of educational Orchard Games and then we have loads of games from my childhood that are still going strong and I'm 30. One of the games we have is Kerplunk which is a really fun yet nerve racking game.
The game comes packaged in a strong cardboard box, the box is really sturdy and even though we have had this game for about a year now and it does get played with the box is still pretty much in one piece and suitable for holding all the pieces. The box is nice and bright and shows the game from above, it displays the MB logo and states that the game is for ages 5 plus and 2-4 players.
Inside the box you find, 30 plastic sticks in red, blue, green and yellow, there are 30 marbles, a base plate which has 4 sections to it one for each player and then there is the main playing tower which comes in 2 sections and has a range of small holes in the middle of it.
To play the game you have to connect the 2 pieces together and then stand it into the base on a flat surface, this game is best played on a table rather than on a floor unless you have wooden flooring. You then place the sticks into a hole on one side through the middle and then out of another hole on the other side, the sticks create a mesh bad in the middle of the tube where the marbles will sit. Finally you have to place the marbles in the hole at the top of the tube and if any fall through to the bottom you have to place them in the top again until all the marbles happily sit in the mesh.
To play the game you have to take it in turns to remove a stick from the tube and hope that no marbles fall, once you have selected a stick you have to remove it which my daughter doesn't like as she tends to move a stick a little see that a marble is going to fall and change her mind, the tantrum which follows has resulted in the game being put away on more than one occasion. You keep taking it in turn to remove the sticks until they are all removed and all the marbles have fallen, the winner is the person who has dislodged the least amount of marbles.
When we first started playing this with our daughter it caused a lot of tantrums, she doesn't like the fact she cannot change her mind and would get quite bad tempered when marbles fell on her go. The more we have played the game the more she has come to terms with these are the rules of the game and come to accept them. I find the game quite fun to play but prefer to play it against my husband as he is a little less likely to spit his dummy out at losing. The game is quite nerve racking but aslong as everyone doesn't take ages analysing every go the game is pretty quick to play.
I would say the games from my childhood are loads more entertaining than games that are around now I have children, this is yet another game that has lasted the test of time and is loads of fun to play, selling at around £10 it is a decent price too.
This review is for the Kerplunk game as a whole and not just this particular version because I feel the consumer needs to be able to compare the other versions against this version of the game. My aim is to to show how this version stands up against the other versions thus giving the consumer a valued opinion of whether or not to purchase it.
I was born in nineteen sixty-seven, which was the same year as the, soon to be popular, game 'Kerplunk' entered the toys and games market. I was given Kerplunk by my parents for Christmas in nineteen seventy-five when I was eight years old. So I will always remember this game, not just because I had it myself many years ago but because it came out in the same year as I was born, so I feel there is a link there, however tenuous it may seem.
The word 'Kerplunk' drives from the sound that the marbles in the game make when they hit a plastic tray at the bottom of the tower they fall from.
The game contents
Kerplunk was manufactured by 'Ideal' games, as I said, in nineteen sixty-seven and, in terms of sales figures, veritably took the games world by storm.
The game consisted of a plastic cylinder, measuring about 30 inches, when stood vertically, known as the 'Kerplunk Tower'. Twenty-five narrow sticks, known as 'Skinny' sticks. Thirty-two marbles and a tower base. The game was easy to put together so didn't use up too much of Grandfather's sweat and tears come Christmas morning.
Everything came in a sturdy, robust box and was easy to store away after use.
Setting up the game
The tower was placed in the tower base and placed in the middle of the playing area. The good thing about Kerplunk is that children enjoy putting it together and setting up the game. The tower has a middle section that is perforated; the small holes are made for the skinny sticks to pass through.
Once the tower is standing, the skinny sticks are placed at random through the holes in the middle section. Each stick is pushed into a hole and thread through the tower to eventually find its way out of the opposite side through another hole. This creates a web of sticks and once all twenty-five sticks are in place they provide a sturdy cradle or nest when viewed from above.
The thirty-two marbles are then placed into the top of the tower and rest on top of the sticks. The marbles become lodged in the tower as there is no way for them to drop with all twenty-five sticks in place.
The base of the tower contains four trays in which to catch falling marbles. These trays are numbered one to four to denote the corresponding players. Before the game starts the tower is rotated so that tray number one is open and the other three trays are blocked.
The game is now ready to play.
Playing the game
Kerplunk is made for two to four players.
To start the game, player one (or nineteen sixty-seven me) pulls out any of the skinny sticks. The tower is then rotated so that the opening in the base is now set for tray number two and player number two (only mildly sweaty Grandad). Player two pulls a stick out and rotates the tower to tray three and player three chooses a stick and so on.
As the sticks begin to dwindle and gaps start to appear in the web, marbles will start to fall. So if a player chooses a stick that dislodges three or four marbles, the marbles drop and fall into their tray. The aim of the game is to remove a stick that you think will dislodge the least number of marbles and try to keep you tray marble free. The winner is the person who has least marbles in their tray when the sticks have all been removed (not usually, starting to sweat profusely from the effort, Grandad).
Kerplunk could be a really fun game for kids and I have often took joy from watching them play as I've grown older. My two daughters loved it and the concentration on their little faces and the trepidation as they slowly removed a stick was priceless. The game can be very noisy, with screams of delight, moans of despair and marbles crashing into the base, or Kerplunking, reverberating about the house.
Kerplunk over the years
There have been many variations of the game since nineteen sixty-seven and sadly the manufacturers have changed a number of times and tried to cash in on the name, which has sadly resulted in some shoddy versions hitting the shops quality-wise.
The original Ideal version was a solidly made game and all the parts and pieces were well made. It was a dream to put together and children found it easy to do so. 'Mattel' picked up the game in the late seventies and also did a relatively good job of making a game that stood up to the battering that young children dish out when in 'destroy everything' mode.
The problems started in nineteen ninety-one when 'Tyco' picked it up. For some reason the tower was made of weaker plastic and the sticks were no longer sturdy, but bendy, and snapped easily. There are many review sites and forums where people have complained of this and a handful of people have actually complained to Tyco, saying that their children became frustrated putting the game together and that it didn't set up properly.
Hasbro have also manufactured a version of Kerplunk that does not stand up to the original version at all in the way of quality or craftsmanship and they really had to delve deep and research in order to create a better model. The outcome was the game on show here and they really haven't done so bad a job. They've combined many of the games better aspects and have seemigly come up with the goods.
Many other companies have since tried to remake Kerplunk.
In 2002 Mattel brought out a version called 'Super Kerplunk' or '
Kerplunk 2' to try and restore some of the games reputation. They have gone some way to doing this as the quality is a lot better than it has been for a while. The game however is a little harder to set up for children and a bit more complex to play but still fun and probably a lot more appealing as the game involves coloured marbles and a spiral tower with a helter skelter slide for the marbles to run down. The game is also lengthened by the fact that you have to drop the marbles from one level to another instead of straight the way to the bottom in one go.
Mattel still make the game for the US market today and it has been taken up in England by the very dignified company of Milton and Bradley and you can be assured there will be no shoddy parts or pieces in their game.
One of the most popular versions or 'cash-ins', whichever way you want to look at it was the 'Toy Story' version, also known as 'Alien Freefall Kerplunk'. The marbles are replaced by the little green aliens from the movie Toy Story and the tower is emblazoned with the Toy Story brand and its characters.
A rather cute version was the 'Honey Bee Tree', which, funnily enough, was shaped like a tree and used bees and honeycombs as the playing parts.
'Tumble' and 'Tumbling' are other well known names for Kerplunk.
The game has become known as Mikado across certain parts of Europe and also called Kosmakado, Mika-Bille and Mirmelmikado.
The game is popular the world over and even Japan and China have picked up on its popularity. France, Italy and other European countries have made versions of the game with many different names including Bolitas que Caen and Cai-Nao-Cai.
There are new rules such as the ones in Mattel's Super Kerplunk and in some games there are other variations such as keeping all the trays open so the marbles can drop to anyone. Nothing more satisfying than pulling a stick that releases eight marbles into someone elses tray....mmmuuwwwahhhh!
There has even been a giant sized adult version made for parties or barbecues in back gardens or beer gardens. It's called 'Cannonball Drop' and uses a giant tower, twenty-four huge sticks or straws and thirty cannon balls. The person who unleashes the most giant cannon balls is the loser!
My Final Thoughts
I'm glad to say that Hasbro have sorted themselves out and this game is now better quality and much more like the original, even if they have really taken Mattel's idea for Super Kerplunk and used that in some ways. I suppose no one can really blame them, after the poor attempts first time round they needed a fim base to build on and I feel they just about got it right
Kerplunk will always hold a special place in my heart and it is really good to see that it still holds appeal for children today after almost forty-five years on the market.
I would recommend it to anyone with children as it is fun, exciting and good for hand eye coordination and problem solving. It is easy to play and very involving, without being too serious.
It can be put together easily (providing you buy the right one) and all goes back into the box in a neat fashion. The box isn't too big and can be stored with other games or placed on a shelf without looking untidy.
Only one thing left to say really...........KERPLUNK!
Kerplunk is another trusted game that has stood the test of time first coming onto the market in the late 60's and still quite a popular game today. It is for two to four players.
What's in the box?
A four section plastic collection tray that is the base of the game. A two section plastic tube one with a large hole at the top and it also has small holes in the middle part. There are roughly 30 plastic sticks and 30 marbles. An instruction leaflet.
Place the base on a flat surface. Put the two sectioned plastic tube together and place it on top of the base. The tube rotates according to which players turn it is. Put all the plastic sticks through the holes in the side of the tube which forms a mesh inside on which the marbles rest after they are dropped through the top hole.
Aim of the game.
The aim of the game is to remove the sticks that form the supporting mesh inside the tube on which the marbles are balancing without the marbles dropping. The name of the game Kerplunk is supposed to represent the sound made when the marbles drop from the mesh down the tube and then rolling into the sectioned player's collection tray. The person with the least marbles at the end of the game is the winner.
How to play Kerplunk.
Each player takes a turn at removing the sticks from the side of the tube. Once the person has touched one of the sticks then they must continue to remove the stick even if they can then see that the marbles are going to fall. As each stick is removed the mesh of sticks inside the tube leaves some marbles balancing precariously on the sticks. Removing the sticks too quickly can cause the marbles to come crashing down inside the tube. As the sticks are removed it becomes more likely that the balls will drop into the player's collection tray. As more and more are removed the marbles drop more frequently as there are now gaps in the tube on which the marbles are balancing.
What does it teach the person playing the game.
Skills enhanced are fine manual dexterity, observational skills. Logic and analytical skills by removing certain sticks the likely hood of the balls dropping becomes higher. Counting, sharing and taking turns patience good eye hand co ordination.
This game is quite a fun game anticipating which sticks to remove and the gasps and patience involved in the game. Sometimes the silence and concentration is immense whilst the player is gingerly removing each stick which is suddenly broken by shouts or screams as the marbles come crashing down. I think it is a good game especially where fine manual dexterity is concerned. I think the game is quite reasonably priced and will last for ages. The game can be bought for £13.99 from Argos or Amazon around about £10. It can even be had on E bay for £7.99 but then you have to add postage to this price. Overall I think this is a good and fun game for children albeit a bit noisy at times.
There are some games that have been around since boredom was first invented, with many of those games having stood the test of time and being as popular in some houses now than they ever were. Such games as chess, monopoly, cluedo and this strange looking game with the stranger sounding name that is Ker plunk, (I'm guessing the name derives from the sound the marbles make when they fall through the tube???)
Anyway, for those people that have never heard of Ker plunk then I will give you a brief description of the game.
The pieces to the game itself consists of a tube, with a base, some marbles and a selection of different coloured straws. You stack the marbles onto a 'flimsy' bed of straws and hope that as the straws are removed the marbles don't fall. The aim of the game to finish with as few marbles in your tray as possible, so the player with the least marbles in their tray is the winner.
Playing the game...
Firstly you have to set it up, which is pretty straight forwards, although a little time consuming due to the fact that you have to push all the straws through the holes, and there is around 30 of them, making sure that the straws are pushed out of the other side of the tube.
The straws are slid into the many holes and in turn criss cross over each other making a sort of web which the marbles will rest upon.
Then, once the straws are in place, and not before as they would just fall right through, you pour the marbles in through the hole in the top of the tube.
Then you're ready to play.
On the base of the tube there is a sort of platform/tray, with the numbers one to four written on it. This doubles as a stand and also as the players number.
As each player takes a turn they must first rotate the tube until the hole at the bottom of the tube is directly onto their number, this is so that if any marbles fall then they will land in that players spot.
As each straw is pulled out of the 'web' the marbles become more and more unstable until eventually the marbles find a gap and fall into the players tray, either one by one or, if you're really unlucky and pull out the backbone spine, the entire lot cascade into your tray with a Ker plunk....
The game is over when there are no more marbles left in the tube.
That's it, that's how you play this simple game that has a rather strange name.
As I said this is a simple game to play and can be played by people of most ages, although as there are choking hazards and possible poking hazards as well I would advise constant supervision if the younger children decide to have game. But as long as a person can grab a straw then they can play this game.
It is a bit tiresome to set up but once it's done then it is fun to play, especially if the marbles fall into someone else's tray and not yours.
You can take your time picking a straw to pull out, checking out where the straw actually goes through the transparent tube, making sure that once you pull it out the marbles won't tumble through any gaps. But once you touch a straw you're committed to pulling that one out, according to the official rules.
And even though it can be easy to play it can also have that frustrating side as the straw you pull out, the one you thought would lead to no marbles falling, actually causes most of the marbles to drop into your tray.
As the game progresses, and there are fewer straws in the tube, the marbles have less to rest upon and the game gets a lot more difficult as you have to then decide which straw will , when removed, drop the least marbles.
Each game can take a matter of seconds or several minutes, it all depends on how strategically you play, but each game has got that 'thrill' factor as no one really knows when they're going to lose their marbles with a Ker Plunk.
There are a few version of this game, with some new funky looking designs and even a travel version, but the old original version is, for me, still the best, easy to understand and so simple to play.
As for the actual construction of the tube, well, it may feel a bit flimsy but it can certainly take many knocks from the falling marbles without any damage what so ever, especially the base/stand, which does take a bit of a battering from the falling mass of solid balls but still won't break or crack.
The straws are quite flexibly which allows you to be able to manoeuvre them a little easier when dragging them out of the tube and the marbles are, well marbles.
So for what can be hours of fun and a dollop of frustration you can't go wrong with a good game of Ker Plunk, and for the asking price of around a tenner you can't go wrong really.
Kerplunk is a great game to have out when you have the kids around as long as you haven't got a screaming headache at the time.
The game is quite simple, you have this plastic container which has holes punched through it. You get a load of long thin straw like pieces of plastic in all different colours which you thread through the holes in one side and out the other to make a sort of spiders web effect across the centre of the container. This acts as a sort of temporary floor. You then tip a load of marbles in the top and they catch on the straws which stops them from falling right through to the bottom.
At the bottom of the container is a little chute which allows the marbles that finally fall down to come out. You turn the container round so that the chute is facing the person who's go is next and this person pulls out a straw trying not to let any marbles fall down. Then the container is turned to the next person and so on the winner being the one with the least marbles when they have all fallen through.
The game can get really noisy when playing as the marbles make such a noise that it is impossible to play the game quietly, hence me saying not to try it if you already have a headache as it will definitely make it worse. The kids find it really funny when the marbles come down and you usually get screams from them too.
One of the rules of the game is that if you touch a straw when its your go you have to have this straw as the one you pull out. You are not allowed to change your mind. This rule tends to get lots of arguments especially when you have two grandson's playing and the sibling rivalry is getting quite heated. Still it is fine for them to play for an hour or so before I finally give in and find another game for them.
The equipment is quite sturdy and as long as you look after the marbles and dont let them go and play with them outside the game and lose them all then the game should last for a while. The straws shouldn't get broken although you have to watch they don't brake them. Also its a good idea to make sure they are seated properly when playing so you don't get one of them falling onto the straws and having an accident.
You can buy this game on Amazon at the moment at the reduced price of £9.59 (from £12.99) which I think is quite a good price for a kids game. It would make a good present for a family too.
Kerplunk is a game that I played as a child, as well as a game I have played several times with my children over recent years. In an age where our children are becoming more and more immersed and reliant on high-tech gadgetry, I sometimes feel the need to go back to basics and show my children that actually interacting with each other without the use of a commuter screen or iPhone can actually be quite fun. Certainly, my children seemed to have enjoyed my occasional insistence that we sit down together and play a game - and Kerplunk is one of those gsmes that have randomly been selected.
The game itself takes a few minutes to set up and involves clicking two vaguely cylindrical plastic shapes together and then standing this contraption in a plastic tray. Although the main body's components are made from seemingly flimsy and brittle plastic, we have never managed to damage any of these main components, although are always careful to put it together accurately. Once the tower is constructed, plastic straws have to be threaded through the holes in the central part of the tower. My children tend to enjoy doing this bit and so in leave them to it! Once all of the straws have been poked through the holes, there is s lattice network formed in the centre of the tower. To complete the set up, the glass marbles need to be gently dropped from the hole in the centre of the tower, and with any luck, the latticed straws should prevent the marbles from dropping through to the bottom.
So....now you're ready to begin! Basically, the premise of the game is for each player to take it in turns to remove a straw at a time, but to try to opt to remove the straw which is going to cause the least number of marbles to drop through to the bottom. When a player removes a straw, the marbles that fall through to the tray at the bottom then claim those marbles as their own - and at the end of the game, the player with the least marbles is declared the winner.
My children understood the concept of this game from about three years old - although to be honest, at this age they simply wanted to get the marbles to fall in order to create ass much noise as possible! What is it about toddlers that are happy as long as they are creating noise and chaos?! However, from about age five, my children became more interested in playing tactically in order to win - and as all of my children are fairly competitive, they took their tactics very seriously!
Each game tends to last approximately 15 minutes and so its a short enough time for even young children to be able to concentrate. Because of some of the objects that are used in the game (sharp pointed sticks that children may think are fun weapons, glass marbles which young children may think are fun to try to inhale or consume etc.!) with young children at least, there does need to be a degree of adult supervision.
One of the benefits of this game, besides it being fun, is the fact that it allows children to practice hand - eye coordination when they are threading the straws through, as well as improving their fine motor skills when removing the straws during the game. For younger children, it is also a useful way in which to get them to practice counting since they have to count the number of marbles which fall through to the bottom tray in order to ascertain the winner.
However, like all games of this type, where I think the real benefit lies is in the simple fact that it provides the opportunity for s family to sit down and spend some time interacting with each other. Like most parents, I'm a busy person and sometimes I don't feel like I spend enough time talking with my children and spending quality time with them. When we are all sat around the table playing Kerplunk, we do talk together and it provides us with some structure to our social time together. In addition to this, it helps children to learn vital socks, skills, such as turn-taking, patience, competition, being s good sport etc.
I bought my most recent version of this game at ToysRus for £11.50 which seems fairly reasonable and about the standard cost of a game of this type. Its been around a long time and its a tried and tested formula that has been enjoyed by many adults and children over the years. I would recommend this game for any family with children.
~*~ Ker Plunk! ~*~
I remember being a huge fan of this game when I was younger so when I got the opportunity to own the game again (I found it in a charity shop for the bargain price of £2.50!) I decided it had to be done. I was originally looking for another one of my old school classics, Jenga, but I just couldn't resist!
~*~ The aim of the game and how to play ~*~
The game consists of a large plastic circle which is filled with holes, plastic sticks and lots of marbles. To set up, each of the sticks have to be fed as evenly as possible through each of the holes in the base circle. The marbles are then poured on top of the sticks, and automatically balance on the sticks.
The aim of the game is to then go round in a circle removing sticks without also removing marbles. The player with the least amount of marbles in their pile at the end is the winner!
~*~ The good ~*~
This is a very easy game to play and can therefore be played with children of all ages. It is a visual game and its fun watching the marbles fall down (if they fall on someone elses turn, of course!) The rules are also very simple which again makes it perfect when playing with young children.
~*~ The bad ~*~
The game does take a long time to set up - each of the sticks have to be individually inserted, and it can be quite a pain if you are playing a few times. Also, I have found that if left to their own devices, children can be extremely noisy playing this game!! A final disadvantage is, with all the parts, pieces can easily go missing.
~*~ The specifics ~*~
For 2 -4 players, if you have more people than this consider playing in teams.
Manufacturers recommend for ages 5+
Average game time: 15 minutes apparently but in my experience a lot less!
~*~ The price ~*~
A new version of the game is currently being sold on Amazon for £13.49 new, or from £5.49 used. The original version is being sold for an astonishing £39.99 on the same site from new (maybe I'll sell my one now!) However, I have seen old versions floating around on ebay, and you might even be able to grab a bargain like me if you look around charity shops!
Definitely worth a go!
When I was a child, we were allowed on the last day of school before the summer holidays to take in toys and have a day of unadulterated fun. Most of my toys at home were things like scrabble and art materials neither of which went down well in the maelstrom of hyped up under tens on a last day adrenalin rush. One game which always gathered a crowd was Kerplunk (believe it or not).. another was spinning tops. I asked for Kerplunk every Christmas for about 5 years but it always seemed to be one of the things left off the list.
So when buying little Christmas extras for my kids (little treats they hadn't specifically asked for) Kerplunk was bound to find its way in there. The thing I noticed about the game my children had was that it wasn't half as well made as the one from my childhood (there may be a touch of the rose tinted glasses going on there).
The game comes in several bits which you have to clip together yourself and can take ages. The plastic seems of the cheap brittle variety that can crack easily, and send the little 'clippy bits' flying across the room, leaving you to hold your tower together with sellotape.
Once your Kerplunk tower, marble 'reservoir'', and the curved almost bowl like base in which the tower sits is constructed you then have to poke the many straws through the ready made holes from one side to the other, forming an internal lattice on and in which the marbles sit. This looks like a cross between a magicians 'stick the swords in the box and don't kill the lady' trick and some kind of medieval torture device (like the iron lady)... I don't think this thought occurred to my children though, and they quite enjoyed the set up process... Well one of them did, the other kind of jumped around repeating "is it done yet" until my head was fit to explode.
Once the marbles were dribbled into the tower - not too fast or some of them will barrel through the straws and fall straight through, you can start the game. The premise is very simple. You take it in turns to remove straws, and the person that allows least marbles to whoosh down into the waiting 'bowl/base' wins. For such a relatively simple game this was always popular, as it is suitable for a wide range of ages to play. It is recommended for over 5s, but younger children can join in with close adult supervision and assistance. I feel it also helps a great deal with co-ordination, especially when the slightly older children are trying to help thread through the 'straws', Ooo the frustration when they can't get it to go through the second hole is a sight to behold.
The game also helps (as do most social 'more than one player' games) to teach patience, and the necessity of waiting to take your turn. I think games like Kerplunk provide a good opportunity to learn social skills, and are a good alternative to often more solitary electronic and computer games (although I think the Wii has given computer games a new interactive and physically active aspect which can be quite healthy).
Patently this game is not suitable for young children to play with unsupervised as it is pretty much everything a toddler needs to cause some serious damage to themselves or someone else (sorry puss). With pointy thin spears of plastic - there goes an eye, or an ear drum (or worse) and marbles that look perfect to put in mouths, noses and ears children (even over 5s ideally) really do need to be kept an eye on with this game.
Kerplunk is now available in bright colours which makes it a visual feast for children - I'm sure the tower was clear or very subtly tinted blue (like old glass) when I was a child (although again the old memory may be foggy on this point), ours is a lurid yellow, red and green.
When I looked up Kerplunk to check the current price I noticed that it seems to have had a revamp since we bought ours. The marbles and sticks being contained in a large reservoir with a spiral helter skelter type chute winding around the outside of the tube for the released marbles to travel down. The premise and method of playing the game is still the same, but the chute I'm sure adds visual stimulation and avoids the clatter of bouncing marbles that the old style had.. Thinking about that isn't that why Kerplunk is called Kerplunk?.. it mimics the sound of the marbles crashing down, maybe they should change the name.
As mentioned above the game needs a lot of putting together and the different versions of the game are no exception. From brief feedback left by purchasers on the new generation Kerplunk it is even more rickety and difficult to put and keep together than the old. The general consensus seems to say that the sticks are too short and liable to fall into the reservoir. If a manufacturer is going to fiddle with a tried and tested well loved game then they should make sure the replacement is better not worse than the original. I hope MB Games who make Kerplunk will take criticisms on board and address these issues. Various (earlier) incarnations of Kerplunk are still available to purchase too.
My most recent experience with Kerplunk was at a friends barbecue recently. We got out the game to amuse the six year old, who was over excited and bored at the same time, (a mental state that only the under 14s seem to be able to achieve). A que of adolescents quickly built up jostling for a turn, (as it can only be played by between 2 and 4 players at a time). It was enjoyed by all and although a simple game its social nature was very apparent, bringing people together in a way which most computer based games can't.
Once the adolescents had drifted off to their own homes, and the ones that belonged to our friends had gone upstairs, the six year old was picked up by Nana and Gramps for a night at their house. Which left the adults to watch the last episode of the recent series of Dr Who on the new posh telly, and have a game of Kerdrunk, a shot of Corky's or Tequila for every whoosh of marbles you drop... I suspect people were playing to lose by this stage. A fun day/night for all concerned.
Kerplunk costs around the £10 - £13 mark and is easy to find online or at places like 'Toys R Us. There is also a travel version available for about £5.00
Kerplunk is an old child's classic that seems very dated given the current range of games and electronic devices available to kids these days, however it is good fun for younger kids, not so much for adults.
The premise is simple, you poke a host of multicoloured straws through a tube (the holes are already cut into the tube) and pour a load of marbles in the top. Then players take it in turn to remove their colour straws and if a marble falls to the bottom on your turn, you have to take it - the player with the least marbles at the end wins.
Everyone is stating in their reviews that this takes ages to set up, and this is true - it is also not a game that will be quicker to set up the more you play it - it will take you a good ten minutes every time. Given it takes only about 5-10 minutes to play a game, this is not a great return in my book.
I suppose this could be considered educational from the perspective that counting is required - but only to small numbers. I suppose it can also be considered to teach balance and support, but only on a basic level.
This is the sort of game you could leave the kids to play provided that you can trust them to not eat any parts of poke people with the straws - they may not mind setting it up, you probably will!
What is it?
This is a bit like a modern version of pick-up sticks I suppose. You initally set up the tube by threading bits of plastic sticks through the various holes to make a mesh, which you then place the marbles on top of. Players take it in turns to remove a stick trying to prevent marbles falling out of the tube.
Who can play?
I would say four players of ages 4+ can play.. just be careful as the sticks do have points (although not sharp) and the marbles are swallowable size.
Ker-plunk for the lenght of the game I think takes a very long time to set up.. purhaps too long for the amount of enjoyment? However, it does get some laughs and requires skill as well as a bit of luck and if all the players contribute by sticking in a few plastic sticks you soon get the setting up out of the way. It is a fun game, but all too often when we play it does the dog knock it over and ruin it, or the cat jump on it and start chewing the sticks - so perhaps this is just our family but the fact the game, once started, really has to be kept completly still is a bit of a non-starter. Otherwise great!
There comes a time in your life when you reflect upon your childhood with fondness and remember all the weird and wonderful things you did. Those who are a bit younger than you, look at you with bemused pity when you try to describe how wonderful Knightrider was and what great fun it was to make a go cart out of old pram wheels and a crate.
I had one of those moments recently when I looked back at my experiences with kerplunk.
It is quite possibly one of the simplest and easiest concepts for a game ever invented but gave children endless hours of fun in the 70's and 80's. Up to 4 players can take part and it consists of a plastic tube which you spear with multi-coloured straws, upon which you drop marbles. Each person takes a turn to remove their coloured straw and if a marble falls to the tray at the bottom when they remove a straw, they must keep the marble. The person with the lowest number of marbles at the end wins. Simple! Well you would think...
One of the rules of the game is, once you have touched a straw, that's the one you have to pull out, and I remember endless arguments with my friends screeching "you touched that one!"..."No, I didn't touch it, I wasn't near it!"...
For such a simple game, it really did give us a great deal of fun, and feeling very nostalgic one day, one of my friends dusted off and old box and produced her kerplunk game she played as a child. It is when you try to play it as a grown up that you realise some strategic foresight is required to be good at this game, as well as steady hand that wont commit to a straw until you really want it to. Plus, it takes a good bit of time to set up, each straw needing to be individually inserted, and you wonder how on earth you had the patience and attention span as a child to set the thing up!
Granted, as an adult, the game didn't seem quite as captivating and after a few minutes we were reaching for the wine and a DVD, but I must admit the little trip down memory lane was great.
The game is still available from all your usual stockists so if you are feeling a little nostalgic then give it a go. You never know your kids might love it!