I make no apologies for being a "big kid" at heart. I have always loved toys of all kinds, but it was a Coke® toy that was the catalyst that sparked our interest in collecting
Sherren and I were junking at an Atlanta antiques show back in 1992, and at one booth I saw an old battery operated yellow and white 1957
After that, I began to look especially for
Many toys and games featured The
And here is a little bit of trivia about Milton Bradley, the man credited by many with launching the game industry in North America. He was born in Maine in 1836, and originally was a printer and lithographer. In 1860, he achieved success with a lithograph of Abraham Lincoln -- a clean shaven Lincoln. It sold well, until Honest Abe grew a beard, and thus rendered Bradley's lithograph out-of-date. As his lithograph business began to fail, he visited a friend who challenged him to a game. There is no record of the name of the game but it was probably a European game that featured a board and a spinner to determine how many spaces a player moves. Filled with inspiration, Bradley was moved to invent a game. He called it the Checkered Game of Life. The object was to obtain a happy old age instead of financial ruin, and used a spinner and moved game pieces over a board. By 1861, he had sold more than 45,000 copies of his game, and formed Milton Bradley and Company, which grew to become the number one maker of games in the world.
Broadsides, a book of tear off sheets. It is a game of naval strategy (a precursor of the present day Battleship).
Tic-Tac-Toe features a wooden board with wooden bottles as the playing pieces. One set of the bottles is brown representing full bottles of Coke and the other is green representing empty bottles.
15 Puzzle features 16 wooden blocks, one of which shows the Coke Trademark and is not used in playing the game. The object is to scramble the remaining 15 blocks, place them back in the box and move them around in the box without lifting them, to spell out "Ice Cold
Horse Race Game is played by rolling dice and moving plastic race horse figures toward the finish line on a rectangular playing board.
India (Parcheesi) has a beautiful board featuring the elf-like character Sprite® Boy. Dice are rolled to determine movement of the playing pieces.
Anagrams and Letters has small wooden tablets with a Coke bottle on one side and a letter on the other. Letters are drawn at random and used to form words.
Table Tennis set includes a net and brackets, ping pong balls and four ping pong paddles with "Drink
Darts - There are two different sets of darts, and each set has three darts. One set is regular darts and the other is suction cup darts. The
Tower of Hannoi is a puzzle from the celestial in which the base has three pegs. There are eight discs of various sizes on one of the pegs and must be transferred from that peg to one of the other pegs by moving one disc at a time and never putting a larger disc on a smaller disc.
Checkers contains wooden pieces that say "Drink
Dominoes where each of the wooden dominoes has a Coke bottle on the back side.
Bingo set includes bingo cards, playing pieces and wooden number counters. Each card has a "Drink
Checkers and Dice for Backgammon features a combination small scale game board with the Coke logo around the edge of the board. The playing pieces do not have the logo, but the box says "Compliments of the
Checkers/Acey-Ducey/Backgammon game set includes wooden checkers, playing pieces and game board.
Game Sets - There are two sets:
1) Dominoes with the Coke Bottle on the back; wooden checkers with "Drink
2) Wooden checkers; wooden dominoes; Cribbage board with "Drink
Jigsaw Puzzles - There are four different puzzles that also come in the "red" boxes. They are:
) Crossing the Equator
2) Halloween Party
3) Teenage Party
4) Hawaiian Beach
Winko Baseball features playing pieces and a board that resembles a baseball field.
Sprite Boy jigsaw puzzle.
Ring Toss Game where rope-like rings are thrown over upright pegs.
Wall Quoits where small round rings are thrown over hooks on a wooden playing board that features the Sprite Boy image.
These games were distributed to schools, churches, clubs, hospitals and to military both at home and overseas. These games are valuable and hard to find in good condition. I have gotten most of mine on eBay because I just could not find them at our Collectors Club conventions. A set including a dart board, table tennis set, bingo set, Chinese checker board, checker board, dominoes, playing cards, chessmen, checkers, marbles for Chinese checkers, and dice all together originally sold to the
Toys and games will always be favored by many Coke collectors. They bring back memories of our youth, but maybe they just make us feel younger. And to top it off, they are just plain fun -- ask my wife as she plays with my Tower of Hannoi game!
By Michael Lingo. Collectors since 1992, Michael and wife Sherren have been active members of the