From 1972 until 1975 a daytime television quiz show called The Joker's Wild was telecast, then in 1976 until 1986 it joined the prime time line-up. It became a syndicated telecast during the 1990-1991 season. The photograph to the left is a 1973 edition of the game based upon the telecast, issued by the Milton Bradley Company and was donated to the Museum in 1991.
On the telecast, there was a large copy of a slot machine with three windows. Two competing contestants each had an opportunity to pull the slot machine lever to spin a "wheel". Each of the slot machine "wheels" listed question categories. The "emcee" would then ask the contestants a question in the category that appeared on the "wheel" - each correct answer was worth $50. If a "joker" came up on a "wheel" this gave a contestant an opportunity to select a category of choice and the prize doubled or triple.
Within the game box (28.5cm x 20cm x 4cm) pictured above is a game board with three slotted windows, each about 5.5cm x 6cm. There is also a deck of special question cards (9cm x 5.5cm), each with the graphic of the jester on the box cover also printed on the backs of the cards. The game also includes prize paper bills (10cm x 5cm) in 50, 100, 500 dollar denominations.
In 1979, a children's version of the quiz show was telecast with the title "Joker! Joker! Joker!". This version of the show was telecast in syndication until 1981.
With the advent of the children's version of the telecast, the Milton Bradley Company issued a new boxed version of the show (photograph on the right) - a version modeled for younger players. The original box game was recommended for players aged 10 through adult, while this new version was recommended for players age seven through age fourteen!
Age recommendations on mass produced box games are not based upon "scientific" research as such, but may have been "play-tested" by the manufacturer with one or more groups of players. As a consequence of this type of "testing", player age recommendations are decided upon. There are times - especially with respect to games for younger children - when a manufacturer may hire an expert consultant to assist in deciding age recommendations for a new game.
Last update May 29, 2010