How many times have you wished your favorite board game could become a new and different board game with the simple slide of a dial? Never? Me neither. Until, that is, I saw this awesome 1981 comic book advertisement for Triple-Flips by Takara:

From that moment on, I could want nothing else. Imagine, three games packed inside one pocket-sized case. Three games I could easily select and have instantly opened to me. Three games I could take anywhere. Three games that featured such thrilling elements as monsters, sharks, and aliens. Three games that took place in such exotic locales as the deep ocean, the dark jungle, and outer space. There was not just fun but adventure and excitement inside those hard Triple-Flips shells, and I wanted in.

Eventually, I got in. I got a Triple-Flips of my own. And as you can probably guess, it wasn’t nearly as awesome as advertised. The games did not actually bring me face to face with any sharks nor transport me to the farthest regions of the universe. They were just board games, just roll-the-dice-and-move games such as I had played before.

But I couldn’t be that disappointed. Despite the standard game play, they were still a triple dose of all the stuff I liked; they put sharks, aliens, and monsters all in my hand at the same time. Not only so, but they smashed those things into a completely-contained compact case, a case that closed and locked and could be compactly stowed away. I’ve always been intrigued by completely-contained compact things like this (see my post on Strolling Bowling for another example), and you didn’t get any more completely-contained or compact than Triple-Flips. And the metallic “boards” (really more like pages), the magnetic pieces, and the game selection slider were all fun to mess around with.

So Triple-Flips weren’t great games. But they were things you could take under the covers (much like the fellow in the middle panel who is afraid of the sharks) or into a corner, things that could take a little kid into a different place for a little while. So they weren’t that good, but they weren’t that bad, either.


Doug is a child of the 80s who was raised in Ohio and is now living the life of oblivion in the bay area of California.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. I’m thinking Monsters was the right Triple Flips for me! Sadly I was never able to get my hands on one of them…I could see playing this at work though. ;)

  2. I used to love those – or at least, a variation of those type of travel games.

  3. Wow, I had completely forgotten about these games. I used to have one of them (though I don’t begin to remember which). I think I might have actually had more than one. Beyond that, I think I still have the dice from them. Does anyone remember if it was these games or some other mini/travel game where the dice had a huge red dot for the # 1?

  4. I just found my Triple-Flips game I had when I was a little girl in a box. It has the games: Kidnap and Rescue, Spy Against Spy, and Runaway School Bus. The die does have a big red dot for the number 1. Does anyone know if this game is of any value? It is in great shape with all of its pieces including the instructions. The springs still work!

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