Polly Pocket, in its early years, was very small. The small figures were presented in collapsible boxes designed to look like powder compacts. The figurines were less than an inch tall and likely posed a huge choking hazard. They were followed by a line of similar games for boys under the name “Mighty Max”, but in the mid 90’s I stopped collecting the toys.
For about three years.
Honestly, these toys and Mighty Max came out in a kid entertainment dead zone, when I wasn’t paying attention to what wasn’t a video game. My sister collected them, so I know them well. My sister and I both found copies of this game in no time. She found a complete one for three dollars. Mine was kinda crappy as I couldn’t open it before buying it, but at two bucks I figured I’d give it a shot.
Polly Pocket returned to stores years later as a two-and-a-half-inch rubber squishy figure, the games of which would never quite fit in your pocket.
Each player chooses a colored polly pocket and places it in the corresponding vehicle, on the starting space of the corresponding color. On his turn, the player rolls the die and moves his vehicle the indicated number of spaces. When a player rolls an envelope face on the die, she selects the top “Invitation” card.
Once the player has collected an invitation, they go to the gift shop located in the center of the board. Once at the gift shop, she collects a gift in the color of her vehicle, then drives to the party she received an invite to. There are four parties in the game, and a player can collect invitations for all parties at once if they keep throwing the envelope. If a player collects an invitation she doesn’t need, she can discard it and move forward one space instead.
When a player has moved her vehicle to a party for which she has an invitation, she drops her gift and collects the colored ball for that party. Polly must then get an invite to another party if she doesn’t already have one, take another present, and then go to that party to exchange the present for another balloon.
Along the way, players can land on spaces decorated with purple hearts. When this happens, the player takes a “chance card”. Lucky cards are used immediately and impact the player in different ways.
Once a player has collected all four colored balloons from four different parties, and returns to their starting space, they are the winner.
So how is it?
The gameplay of Polly Pocket Party Game is very similar to many other games including Wicket The Ewok, NSYNC Backstage Pass Game, and many others. Racing around the board to collect items isn’t a terribly new or exciting idea. There’s a bit of strategy involved in deciding where to go first, and players have some chance of influencing the opponent’s play with chance cards, which is a plus.
As a game, it’s pretty average. But as a toy, I would probably rate it as “good”. I own several games based on toy lines. They all use cardboard pawns, with the “possibility” to use their own toys to play. It’s the only game of its kind that actually includes the toys, and for a toy fan, that’s a huge bonus. Add to that the goodies and vehicles that work with the toys, and you have a complete set in a box.
The game offers an additional surprise. Turning the game board over reveals a sort of playmat for Polly Pocket. It’s basically the same model as the first side, but without the “spaces”, leaving a nice little town square type scene to play around with.
Honestly, I was quite impressed with the contents of this box. I’m not a Polly Pocket collector or anything, but this was definitely a safe bet for a little girl who was playing with these toys at the time. I would also like to point out that the instructions are printed on the cardboard of the box, which means that it is quite difficult to lose them.
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