Friends, in my youth I grew up and still live in what many would consider a sort of rural town. One that got it’s start as a farming community – in fact while apartments, and even some condos have sprung up over the many years I’ve lived in this town – I can still walk down the street and see groups of cows behind barbed wire fences. In fact I’m also quick to point out from my submission on the second Retroist Halloween Special podcast – around my neck of the woods the ghost stories were a little different. So when one Saturday morning in 1986 when I caught the commercial for Milton Bradley’s new game entitled Pig Pong – well – it didn’t seem like the craziest idea for a game I had ever heard. After all we had 1978’s Hungry Hungry Hippos and 1963’s Mouse Trap – was it really that bizarre to feature pigs playing a form of ping pong?
The commercial gives us all the the backstory we could possibly need for Pig Pong – namely that when the farmer calls it a day and goes home, his pigs decide to get together and play. And judging by the animated ad below these pigs are having one heck of a good time… which is more than I was able to do when I had a chance to play this game at a birthday party – and no one would let me join!
I desparately wish I could find out who was responsible for the animation on that commercial – if you happen to know drop a line in the comments. To me it has a similiar style to Savage Steve Holland and Bill Kopp’s Eek! The Cat from the 90’s. As you could tell from the ad the object was for one to four players – squeezing their plastic colored pig to blast the ‘ball’ with air over the trough net and score a point if it hits the ground/table. Thanks to BoardGameGeek however we at least know to win the game a Player must score eleven points. In addition as shown in the commercial – the pong ball is replaced with a puff ball… that kind of looks like it’s made of dryer sheets.
As I mentioned already, I acted as a witness to what appeared to be a rousing game of Pig Pong at that birthday party. When I came across this commercial I got the idea that maybe I should pick up a copy for the arcade – something to play after we close for the night… they are available and the prices are surprisingly all over the place. From under twenty bucks and up to seventy-five dollars – which seems a little pricey, even for a game as fun look as Pig Pong.
In the comments I would love to hear if you happened to ever have the opportunity to play Pig Pong!