|All About Cincinnati Board Game|
|Upon first glance this piece may seem completely unrelated to George Lucas' saga, however this game in fact contains a little vintage Kenner history with a pinch of Star Wars thrown in for good measure. First though, it's important to understand just what it is.
As the box side states, this was produced in 1983 by All About Town, a division of Windsor Publications and was just one of many the company made for cities across the U.S. in cooperation with each Chamber of Commerce in order to promote local tourism and commerce. A participating business would sponsor a location on the board for the players to land on as they traveled all about their own town. Coupons from many of the businesses were packaged within the shrinkwrap and often mentioned as a printed advertisement or sticker on the cover of the box. The All About Town games of the late 1970's were made Aladco, Inc. but in the early 1980's Windsor took over and cranked out games of various cover designs for a multitude of cities across the U.S. like Pueblo, Dallas, Lancaster, Scranton, and Minneapolis to name just a few. As stated in the instructions, Two to six players attempt to outsmart and outluck one another in a riotous race all about town. The first player to collect at total of eight travel cards and return to his/her residence is delcared the winner. There's definitely a sort of Monopoly theme going in that there is a banker and each person starts out with an amount of money and there are 2 different card stacks on a board populated by businesses.
Anyway, boring stuff aside, what makes this an oddball Star Wars collectible is that Cincinnati was headquarters to the Kenner toy company and you can see Kenner's spot on the board just below the large question mark. The Kenner Travel card states that Kenner is the home of Strawberry Shortcake, Star Wars, Play-Doh, Care Bears, Glamour Gals, Li'l Loggers, and Knight Rider. I'm not sure why Star Wars got second billing, but maybe whoever wrote the copy wanted to give the popular girl's line a little more love.
Having been produced during the glory days of the vintage Kenner era makes this a unique, albeit esoteric, collectible for a Kenner Star Wars buff however, there are other Kenner connections to take note of. On the front of the box, and a landmark spot on the gameboard and Travel card, is Cincinnati's Union Terminal Building which was once a train station but is now the home of the Cincinnati Museum Center. The grandiose Art Deco building may look familiar to many geeks as it was a design inspiration for none other than the Super Friends Hall of Justice in the popular 1970's cartoon series and in 1984 became an actual Kenner toy, the Super Powers Hall of Justice playset. And on top of that, Union Terminal is boardered to the north by none other than Kenner Street itself. Of course that was where the Cincinnati Soap Company was located when they decided to form a toy company based on their sole product, the Bubbl-matic gun in 1947. They named that company "Kenner" after the street and the rest is history.
Farther down the Kenner connection line, a local trucking company named City Haul occupies a few spaces on the board as well as on the game pieces, Travel card, and instruction sheet. This seemingly innocuous company actually moved a lot of product locally for Kenner to and from the distribution center on Highland Avenue to the morgue and local stores in the surrounding areas. Even farther down the Kenner connection is the Westin Hotel which appears to have been a major sponsor gracing the board, Travel card, Surprise cards, and the instruction sheet. Being such a large downtown hotel I'm sure the Westin hosted many Kenner events, but one in particular was a secret Star Wars summit in 1998 where Kenner invited a select group of collectors to review their upcoming products as a way to gain input from the adult market before they launched into the enormous Star Wars Episode I toy line.
These types games appear to have been sold at various local businesses and even fast food restaurants as noted in this 1979 newspaper ad. Since most of the games included local coupons which created a natural expiration date, they were generally a Limited Edition and printed as such on the box. Most of the coupons in this Cincinnati game had an expiration date of December 1983 so it was very likely only sold for that year. The number of copies that were produced and sold is unknown, but like most board games they were socked away in closets and attics and still turn up from time to time.
Box with cardboard insert
|Description by:||Chris Georgoulias|
|From the collection of:||Chris Georgoulias|
|Film:||Non Film Specific|
|Category:||Games / Board|