You probably think you know Happy Families. You may even have a pack.
But these are not just any old Happy Families.
I simply whooped for joy when I saw that Gibsons have re-released Racey Helps oh-so-charmingly illustrated Vintage Woodland Happy Families.
I just ADORE this set of cards – the illustrations step straight out of my magical childhood imaginings of real animal families (so much nicer than the uber-scary-weird-looking Jaques people variety). The game is one of our top family card games at Christmas, and has been since the boys were tiny. It’s a great leveller – even a 5yr old can beat a grown up. A deceptively simply trading game, you simply attempt to collect a complete ‘family’. I never fail to be surprised at how quickly young children pick up the complex logic behind the simple rules, working out that if Granny is asking for Mrs Robin, and I saw her already get Mr Robin, and I myself have Miss Robin, then she must hold Master Robin too (you have to hold one of a family to ask for others y’see).
But any game of Happy Families will give you that. This set is just that little bit more special. Having fallen in love with my Mother-in-Laws 1950’s original set which comes out every Christmas, I searched eBay a few years after my first son was born, and happily found a whole heap of the original version. I picked one up in like-new condition for a mere £3.50. But one of the boys tore the box a little, and the new puppy just last weekend nabbed one of the cards and tore poor Mr Rabbits ear. So I returned confidently to eBay… only to find them not only scarce but three times the price!
But what was this? A new, sealed one? How can that be?
And then I understood. My favourite vintage Woodland Happy Families card game all shiny and new but with original Racey Helps illustrations beautifully intact. Like I said – “whoop, whoop!”.
At under £5, this one isn’t a suggestion, it’s a command. Go. Purchase a pack. Shed a little magical beauty on your family games night, and enjoy the sweet silly fun of Woodland Happy Families.