Board games were a huge part of my childhood. Anytime the weather was bad, or we needed something to do, board games were our go-to. So many fond memories of my two siblings and I hunched over Candyland or Monopoly. My youngest daughter LOVES board games too and we play them often. When I go thrifting, I can’t leave without hitting the game section. Buying second hand games is a gamble, but when I come across one that is unique and have never seen before, it is hard to pass up. For fear of losing pieces or ruining the game board it has always been a rule of mine, when I found one of these unusual games, I wasn’t allowed to play it, even if it has been opened. Silly rule right? I now regret that a lot of really unique and rare vintage games have passed through my hands unplayed. Games I will probably not see again in my lifetime (tear..sniff…sniff).
Here in MN, as mother nature dumped about a foot of snow on us last week, my daughter and I were restless looking for something to do. She suggested we play a game. When we went to the game closet, it was hard to decide. We had played them all several times over. When she told me we needed a new game to play, I showed her my bins of vintage board games. Seeing how excited she was, I decided to throw the rule out the window and we sat down to play Mary Poppins.
This game is really unique. It requires 2-4 players and reading ability. The assembly was pretty simple and there are only a few pieces. What we liked about it was the spinner. Instead of the basic “flick your finger and move” spinner it had a carousel with Mary Poppins on one side and Bert on the other.
Here are the instructions that came with the game.
Object: To be the first player to race from Cherry Tree Lane to the Park.
First assemble the merry go round selector.
Insert pole through figure holder and tighten into the base. Make sure the cutout figures are secure on the holder — Mary on one side, Bert on the other. Place selector on space provided on playing board.
To operate the selector, pick up the figure holder and let the pole slide all the way through. Place the base back on the circle and release the figure holder. It will spin to the bottom of the pole and spin to a stop. One pointer will point to one of the instructions surrounding the merry-go-round, the other will indicate a different instruction.
To determine order of play, each player picks a playing piece and puts it on one of the instructions around the merry-go-round. The figure holder is lifted and released and the player which Mary points to (or is nearest) goes first. Order of play is then clockwise from the playing piece of the first player.
All players now place their playing pieces on Cherry Tree Lane ready to start.
PLAY: Each player “asks Mary” for his instructions by using the merry-go-round selector as described earlier. The instructions Mary points to are then followed.
In moving around the board players follow any instructions given on the square where their playing piece lands.
If a player’s piece lands on a sidewalk picture the selector is operated again by that player and he now “asks Bert.”
If a playing piece lands on a carpet bag the player may, at his next turn, decide whether to advance directly to the next carpet bag or whether to “ask Mary.” This choice exists for any player at any time his piece is on a carpet bag.
If a player lands on an umbrella he immediately “asks Mary” again.
The countryside counts as three squares if a player is passing through it. However, if a player chooses to be sent there by Mary or Bert he must miss his next two turns. (If a player waiting in the countryside trades places with a player in front or in back of him, he is free and the traded player must wait whatever turns remain.)
Winner is the first player to reach the park.
This game was fun and easy to play. My daughter loved the merry go round spinner and we played about 6 games before we moved on.