Sunday, February 1, 2015

Longing for the Past - Avon Moon Flight Game

Do you remember the Avon Lady? I guess they're still around, every once in a while I find an Avon catalog in the break room at work, but I get the feeling there aren't any Avon Ladies anymore. I remember seeing the little old lady with her two-wheel shopping cart filled with beauty necessities trudging through our neighborhood regardless of the weather. She wore sensible shoes, a plastic rain bonnet, smelled of cheap perfume, and always was a nice as pie.

My mother was one of her regular stops. They'd gossip over nail polish and ode de cologne and occasionally my mom would hand the catalog, which actually had a children's section, over to me and tell me I could choose something for myself. Usually I went for bubble bath, and that's how I came to possess the Avon Moon Flight Game.

Avon's Moon Flight Game in all its glory!

The package shown above is exactly how I remember the game. The white command capsule and lander were a bottle of bubble bath that I used up as quickly as possible. When the nose of the lander was inserted into the command capsule, it could be slammed on the floor, compressing the accordion bellows, and launching the lander into the air. Each side of the lander had a number imprinted on it, indicating how many spaces to move. The bag contained a folded, plastic board depicting (if I remember correctly) a figure-eight track starting at the Earth, going around the moon, and then returning to the pacific for splashdown.

The game was another race track affair, like just about every other board game I played in my youth, with the objective being to move your poker chip-like game piece from home (the Earth) to the moon and then back again. Each space along the way was marked with instructions which helped or hindered you reaching your goal, all phrased in the lingo of the lunar program (it seems I remember "system failure, move back three spaces", but nowhere was there a "catastrophic fire which incinerates your astronauts, game over").

We played with Moon Flight until the novelty of shooting the capsule into the air wore off, then the game disappeared. I seem to remember the lander remaining around in a box of toys, the feet hopelessly chewed by a pet. Now I wish I had the thing again, though I can't imagine it being fun for more than a single evening. Then again, who knows, I could reawaken that part of me that thought he'd have walked on an alien planet by the time he got old enough to be nostalgic.

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