There’s a reason why they don’t let kids into Toy Fair. They’d touch everything, knock things over and make a mess. Fortunately for me, they don’t discriminate against clumsy adults with similar tendencies. I arrived at the Blue Orange booth this morning, fresh as a daisy. The first thing I saw was Chickyboom, a new game. If I had been paying attention, I would have noticed that Chickyboom is a balancing game, and that the beam bearing neatly stacked discs and chickens was perched precariously on a small platform. But I was not paying attention (it’s very distracting in there), so I just reached out and grabbed a chicken. Boom. The whole thing toppled over, sending chickens and disks scattering for yards around. What a way to start the day.
Fortunately, my friends at Blue Orange were gracious, and they were still happy to show me how to play the game. You start by stacking all the pieces evenly onto the beam, then you lift it onto the platform, finding the balancing point. Then everyone takes turns removing pieces. Different pieces are worth different point values. The one who eventually causes the whole thing to tip must subtract 5 points, and then everyone adds up his or her points and the one with the most wins. With very steady hands, we were able to play until the beam had just a couple of pieces left on each side, so kids won’t be easily frustrated. Plus, the purple chickens are pretty irresistable.