Did you know that NBC (National Broadcasting Company) once made games?
Don Weed
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Well, at least they endorsed them. In conjunction with HASBRO (known as HASBORG to many) brought out a myriad of games in 1969. I owned a few myself back in that era as they were as close to strategy games as one could find with any consistency or barring mail order.

Some were good (the sports games) some were bad (everything else) and some were WTF material. They should have stuck to sports.

HOWEVER, many of the games could have served as inspirations prior to huge sellers later on. See if you can get glimmers of other classics that came on these game's heels.

Below is a summary listing.
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1. Board Game: Game of the Week: Sports Action in Baseball [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Don Weed
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Baseball in 1969 had four division with east and west in both the AL and NL. My team was the Pirates who were mired in a four way race in the NL east. The Mets ended up taking it all that year a mere 7 years after formation.

NBC had a series of four sports games that were well thought of at the time. They were one of the big sports purveyors on television and ESPN wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eye yet.
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2. Board Game: Pro Playoff: Professional Football [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
Don Weed
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Capitalizing on the AFL/NFL controversy and recently started Superbowls came this game. Again NBC was one of the leading suppliers of football to the masses. This was about the time that Joe Namath made his brass declaration of victory over Unitas and Baltimore.

Just try to tell me that the picture isn't just a re-colorized picture of Johnny U. trying to throw over a Jet's defender.
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3. Board Game: Straightaway [Average Rating:6.40 Unranked]
Don Weed
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A 1970 entry, but not NASCAR of course, that was a 'southern sport'. One of the early attempts at a strategic racing game.
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4. Board Game: The Home Stretch [Average Rating:6.84 Unranked]
Don Weed
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Rounding out the sports games was Home Stretch. All of these games get a 6.00 or better rating so they weren't just roll and moves foisted on the market. Who knows what else may have come out in time?
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5. Board Game: The World of Wall Street [Average Rating:4.77 Unranked]
Don Weed
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Some of their games were more worldly wise and modeled life situations. Wall Street World was one. One of many stock market games of the time.

The sports games came in the traditional flat boxes. All of NBCs other games came in sturdy bookcase slipcase formats, including this one and all of the below
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6. Board Game: Trivia [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Don Weed
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The brochures touted a trivia game called 'Trivia'. No frills trivia before Trivial pursuit!

There got the picture fixed!

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7. Board Game: Vegas [Average Rating:5.09 Unranked]
Don Weed
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The first of the Vegas games. Many games have been called Vegas or Las Vegas but this may be the first (please comment if there are exceptions). Vegas had not been around for all that many years before this.
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8. Board Game: Mob Strategy: The Takeover Game [Average Rating:4.41 Unranked]
Don Weed
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A very poor chess variant abstract. The pieces were clumsy to handle and games usually generated into repetitive moves where nobody would win.
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9. Board Game: It Takes Two [Average Rating:6.61 Unranked]
Don Weed
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A 1970 release.

Now we enter into the word/game abstract entries into the line.

It Takes Two was a TV trivia show knock-off where all the answers were numbers. Possibly an inspiration for Wits and Wagers? I wonder.....
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10. Board Game: Rhyme Time [Average Rating:3.17 Unranked]
Don Weed
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Another one that I used to own. I remember it came with a small rhyming dictionary that was used to justify answers to the rhyming words. Otherwise it was just betting that you could come up with more rhymes than the competition.

There were no entries for orange or purple.
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11. Board Game: Chain Letters [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Don Weed
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A variant on the Facts-in-five game where you have a category that the first letter in each word must fit the category and begin with the ending letter of the word above it.
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12. Board Game: The Mating Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Don Weed
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And in the WTF category, first up is the Mating Game. I'm sure this was the inspiration for things like eHarmony. "Players" punched cards showing their likes and dislikes and then compared numbers of matches. I had this one and got one of my female friends to punch a set of cards. I must have spent hours wishing the matches had been better. Ah, well....

This and the next weren't so much games as they were social mixers.
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13. Board Game: Interpretation of Dreams [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Don Weed
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And lastly, how is this one a game???? Everyone anonymously writes down their dream and then everyone takes a stab at guessing who wrote them. How many went into psychology because of this game?
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14. Board Game: The Merry Game of Fibber McGee and the Wistful Vista Mystery [Average Rating:3.67 Unranked]
Don Weed
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I guess this should count too. My grandmother gave me this one when I was young and it was like a huge MadLib. When a blank would come up in the story (usually nouns) you'd pull a card from the box to complete it. The only game aspect was that a few of the cards would have a point score on them and you totaled it at the end, This was not a Hasbro issue and it originated in the 1930s.

Based on an old NBC radio show.
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15. Board Game: Radio Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Ted Torgerson
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This one was also published by Milton Bradley about NBC, in 1925. NBC had two networks, ostensibly in competition, NBC Blue and NBC Red. The goal of this game is to make a national chain of stations. The FCC forced NBC to spin off the Blue Chain in 1943. It was renamed ABC.
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