The Collectible 1997 Wind in the Willows Board Game
The Wind in the Willows board game is a simple child’s race game. However, the beautiful artwork and the unforgettable characters of Kenneth Grahame’s story, makes for a most exciting time. The 1997 game was published by Readers Digest and was given as a complimentary gift to customers who had purchased The Complete Wind in the Willows video. It is a collectible today.
The colorful and eventful path of the board brings the action of the story (and video) to the game table. Children adore playing with the tiny life-like game pieces on or off the board. Ratty seems to be the favorite. I display this game with the four player’s pieces standing in front of the board on a shelf in my library. Whenever younger children come, they go right for Ratty and leave Mr. Toad, Badger, and Mole behind. I am not sure if it is Ratty’s debonair dress style or his lean figure that attracts the little hands. Maybe it is more the green and wide-eyed face of Mr. Toad, the sharp nose of Mole, and the silly striped nighttime pajamas of Badger which turns them toward Ratty.
Of all the characters in Kenneth Grahame’s tale, Ratty actually may match a child best. He is a little mischievous in a friendly and curious way. Grahame published the classic children’s story of The Wind in the Willows in 1908 and created such a wonderful group showing the joy in camaraderie. The delightful journey they took is one to muse upon and is enjoyed in playing the game.
The game path basically follows the charming tale. From the initial spaces of Mole cleaning his home to battling the evil stoats and weasels who have taken over Town Hall, the board highlights favored sections of the story. There is an image of Ratty taking Mole to explore the river, Mr. Toad with his motor car, and meeting Badger in the wild wood.
Players move along the 7×7 spaced board (1-49) by the throw of a die. Landing on certain spaces may provide further instructions for a player. The winner of the game is the first to reach space 49. The spaces with Mr. Toad may be the most comical. If players haven’t read the story, they quickly become aware of Mr. Toad’s impulsive personality. Landing on space 28 reveals Toad has stolen a car and a player must move ahead to space 31, which happens to be the Jail. Space 33 displays an image of Toad making his escape and space 25 depicts Toad scooting down a sheet; “running away from wise friends.”
All the images on the board demonstrate the magical world created by the words which are found within Grahame’s book. The game, like the book, are treasured by families today.
Play a game today!