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The “New” and “Improved” Hungry, Hungry Hippos Is Crap

When I was growing up, I desperately wanted my very own Hungry, Hungry Hippos game. Despite having a wide selection of games in our game closet, I never got my lusted after, multi-colored, marble-munching hippo game. I got to play it at friends’ and family members’ houses, but I never had my very own version to snap, munch and crunch marbles as much as I wanted.

So when Christmas time came around last year and the Grandparents started asking what the boys wanted, I happily replied, “Hungry, Hungry Hippos!” I even convinced LittleBrother that he wanted the game on a trip to the store. (May I add that I love the Power of Suggestion that parents still have over young children?) When he opened the game, I was so excited to add it to our game library. My very own Hungry, Hungry Hippos! Er, uh, LittleBrother’s very own. You know.

When we finally got around to our first round of family game night after Christmas, we made a horrific discovery: They changed Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

Now, granted, I expected a few changes. As an example, the “board” is now a bright turquoise blue as opposed to the original red. And the original was sturdier than the crazy, cheap, nearly fragile plastic of today’s version. And? The original? Fit in the box. That’s right. To put the new version away in the box in which it came, you have to take it apart. And it never really fits back in the box the right way, so you not only have to take it apart but you kind of have to shove it back in the box at odd angles to get the dang thing to close and fit on the shelf. Know what that creates?

Broken hippos.

Broken Freaking Hippo

To be fair, this was our first broken hippo in just under a month. I expected these awful, cheap excuses for hippos to break within days of our first game. Nope. We made it almost a month. To be fair, FireDad was able to fix the hippo.

Time to Play!

But, let’s be honest, it shouldn’t come apart in less than a month… even when you’re playing a, uh, heated game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos.

By the way, guess whose hippo broke?

Fixing My Hippo

Yeah. Me. Figures.

And, by the way, the boys both love the game. I mean, it is still a fun game. So they want to play it. Constantly. Which means FireDad and I have to put it together. Constantly. And take it apart. Constantly. I think I’ve had my fair share of hippos despite my earlier denied years.

It’s probably because I’m so grumpy that the game I so longed for is now nothing more than a piece of crap. That’s right, I said piece of crap. How do you go from this awesome:

To this awful:

Then again, I guess the end of the 2009 Hungry, Hungry Hippos commercial does say, “Adult assembly required.” What it should say is this: “Adult assembly required because we changed the old version and this one sucks. In fact, you’re likely going to break this one and have to buy a new one. Which is our Grand Master Plan: Sell more hippos.”

The old commercial is better. The old game is better. In fact, like the kid in the original commercial, I win! Or I will. There are a few original versions on eBay, and I’m gonna win me one. So there, “Elefun and Friends.” Pfft.

Have you experienced the Hungry, Hungry Hippos disaster? Or do you have another old favorite that has been so drastically changed that it surely is a National Tragedy? Warn us. Now.