Rocks & Bugs & Things

My Mom used to give me toys in my Easter basket. I’m not sure how that tradition got started, but why question a good thing? One year, hidden in the plastic grass with the malt balls, Peeps, and chocolate rabbits, there were a couple Go-Bots (Cop-tur and Tank, I believe) and this:

I had not seen this before, neither in real life or on TV. It was one of the figures from Ideal’s Rocks & Bugs & Things line. The concept of the line was that carnivorous monsters disguised themselves as rocks and insects in order to surprise and eat their prey.

There were ten figures (at least in the first wave; I’m not sure if there was a second) total. Five were rocks and five were insects. Of those five, I thought my rock and the tarantula were the best.

The best thing about the one I got was that his hand popped his prey into his mouth. Not only so, but when his prey was in his mouth, he could then go back into his rock form. So you could store the prey inside. As Retroist readers might know, I’ve always been fascinated when things disappear entirely into other things (like NES games into the NES), so this was a big plus for me.

The prey in question were little bipeds called Mordles. They looked a little like an angry Q*Bert.

But while the Rocks & Bugs & Things preferred Mordles, they could eat other things. MUSCLES would fit easily into Gravelguts’ maw, as would Space Creatures. Plastic men of various kinds could also be eaten, and so could Kenner’s Yoda. I’m pretty sure Gravelguts even tried to eat Cop-Tur.

As far as I know, I was the only kid in my neighborhood to have and enjoy a Rocks & Bugs & Things figure. They disappeared as quickly as the Manglords did. And I haven’t been able to get one off of Ebay (though I have seen a few). For all intents and purposes, they have disappeared. But you know, there’s a lot of rocks my house, and on some evenings I will look at them and be thankful I’m not a Mordle.

Block the Clock the Family Action Game

When I was young, a game could capture my peer groups’ attention and be all consuming. Then as quickly as it grabbed us, it would get discarded. Such was the fate of Block the Clock, the Family Action Game. It is a cool game, as you will see from the commercial, you need to shuffle a movable board to keep the moving clock going. Knock it over and you are out.

We played this game for a solid month or so and even had small tournaments to see who was the best, but at the end of the month, something new came along, I cannot remember what and we moved onto that. I wish I still owned the game, I would like to give it a spin. Maybe get a tourney going. You know this concept would probably work well as a video game as well.

The Game is Nirtz. So what else is Nirtz?

I have never played The Game is Nirtz by Ideal, I have never even seen the game in person. Instead I have only seen pictures and read about it online. I do like abstract games though and The Game is Nirtz seems pretty straightforward. In the game two opposing players move numbered pieces around a board trying to line up 7 tokens across the board. The twist is you can only move each piece the number of spaces that are indicated on the piece. So a # 2 piece can move 2 spaces. Seems pretty straightforward.

A photo of the game box recently appeared in the Retroist Image Pool, where it was added by Christian Montone.

Okay the real reason I wanted to bring this game up is because I think the word Nirtz needs to be brought into common use and I was wondering if it should mean good? bad? weird? I think it sounds bad or weird, but that’s why I think it should mean awesome as in “This deep fried macaroni and cheese with hot dog pieces in it is nirtz!”