Toss Across

By Ideal (later purchased by Mattel)

Published in: 1969

Ok, by even an early age, most kids know that tic-tac-toe just is too simple of a game, as it doesn't take a lot of practice before every single game ends up in a tie. You learn where to move depending on what else is on the board, and it just loses all of it's fun.

Well, the game Toss Across was created to take such a simple game, and add an element of randomness and skill to take the game and make it interesting again. What's this feature that can make tic-tac-toe interesting?

Tossing beanbags at the board!

The game was simple, consisting of a large plastic tic-tac-toe board, and where each space in the grid is that holds a letter, there's a triangular shaped object that can rotate around, showing an 'X', and 'O', or a neutral sign on the surface. There's also a number of beanbags, just the right size for a child to toss.

The game is rather simple, players take turns tossing beanbags at the board, after choosing either 'X' or 'O' as their letter, and trying to get three in a row in any direction. However, now that tossing the beanbag is necessary to affect the board, there's no guarantee which space you're going to hit, and if you'll have the desired effect - hit the triangular shape on one edge, and it rotates to show the letter you want. Hit it on the other side, and give your opponent a letter. A good shot can even take back a square marked by your opponent!

It's like mixing the skills of horseshoes with the strategy of tic-tac-toe, making a great game for kids, and keeping it difficult enough that they might even be able to challenge an adult. Note that you might want to keep the game away from kids that might start tossing the beanbags at less desirable targets.

The game was first available in 1969, but even today is available from Mattel, unchanged except for cosmetic differences.

Sources:
Toss Across - Yesterdayland Toys, http://www.yesterdayland.com/popopedia/shows/toys/ty1080.php

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