PC Gaming

While Alec was cooking up a scarily elaborate Chinese feast for my family on Sunday, I decided not to get in his sweating, cursing way, and started cleaning up the guest room for Russ. Since my sister and I used to share the room, a fair amount of our stuff is still in the cupboards so I was going through them to clear space for Russ to hang his clothes.

The thing about cleaning my old flat is that no matter how much I remember about my childhood, there’s always something I’ve completely forgotten, until it resurfaces, that brings me some delight amidst the dust. Sunday’s treasure trove was a box of old card games, some well-known like Old Maid and Go Fish, and others I couldn’t remember for the life of me.

I have no idea what card game these were from, but they’re amusing throwbacks to a time when Mind Your Language was my favourite comedy and I’d never heard of the word “stereotype”.

Indian boy, Red Indian girl
Two little Injuns
Scots girl, Welsh girl
Man, even then people were mean to the Welsh
Irish boy
People are always surprised I don’t keep my boyfriend’s photo in my wallet. Think I’ll start showing them this instead.

After my family had left and we’d finished cleaning up, we sat out on the balcony for a well-deserved rest. I drank my coffee, and Alec smoked his pipe. We were the very picture of yuppie sophistication – apart from the Top Trumps. My sailing ships totally kicked his sailing ships’ asses. Next time we’re playing combat aircraft, and after that, racing bikes.

BMW Side Car Outfit Top Trumps card
Dude, where’s my lower half?

Each pack came with some teaser cards for other Exciting! packs you could own in the Top Trumps series. This is where I realized that my childhood, and indeed my life so far, has been woefully incomplete.

Fabulous Buggies Top Trump pack cover card
Coolest. Top Trump pack. Ever. I want this so bad.

19 comments

  1. *beams* awwww. every time read of marital-like-bliss of you and alec, heart melts.

    those cards are awesome! why does the welsh girl look like a fat version of the wicked witch of the west, though?

  2. Tessa, its not nice to make fun of the Welsh. They’re just big boned and like to use traffic cones as headwear.

    Irish Boy is, of course, an accurate representation of Irish manhood before the ravages of drink, pipe smoking and U2 destroy his rosy cheeks and steal away his mini sombrero. I had a pair of socks just like those when I was seven. The other boys decided I was wearing tights. Perhaps they were right. I hated those fecking blue tights but mother made me wear them all winter. Eventually they became knotted.

    At about this time I bought Top Trumps Super Cars. No doubt is was overcompensation on my part.

  3. Eh, I used to play that game with my bros! Both of them actually. The first set is part of Donkey. And I think it was the Ships top trumps we used to play, it had the Cutty Sark in it I remember. We sell the new version of top trumps at work and they are annoyingly well-designed.

  4. OMFG TOP TRUMP CARDS!!!!! First King, Second King, Third King, Top Trump, Top Speed, Top Engine Capacity…FOUR CARD SHUFFLE THREE CARD CHOOSING OH THE MEMORIES ARE FLOODING BACK

  5. haha… I remember playing top trump too! Played with my bro… the helicopter series and the racing cars series if I remember correctly. Won’t have recalled without those pics though, so thanks Michelle. Damn, we’re old now.

  6. OMG. I remember those cards! But not too sure about them being part of Donkey.

    And I used to play them trump cards with my brother too. The aeroplane ones, the motorcycle ones, the racing car ones, the tank ones… Those were the days I honed my sore-loser skills, as well as my take-lousier-card-from-bottom-of-my-deck skills.

  7. at first i thought those cards were from Happy Family, but those are the baker/butcher/candlestick-maker ones. then i thought they were from Old Maid, but the moment someone said Donkey i got confused. finally i decided that in all my memory i’ve only ever used those cards to play Snap, so Snap it is. (actually, you can use almost any cards to play Snap.)

  8. ci’en wrote:

    “The first set is part of Donkey.”

    LMD wrote:

    “But not too sure about them being part of Donkey.”

    ci’en vs LMD…

    Round one…

    FIGHT!

  9. Ah, they may be from Old Maid! One of those lah.

    LMD has buns of steel, she’d definitely beat the shit out of me.

  10. OMG. I played those games too when I was a kid. That’s probably not a surprise. I’ll bet most people did when they were younger. I distinctly remember the first set but can’t recall where those cards are from. Didn’t play the Motorbike game, but played tanks, fighter plans and battleships. I rarely won against my brother though…

    And Michelle, I’m checking your wallet tomorrow!

  11. i distinctly remember the welsh maid and injun boy. i thought it was snap actually. haha.

    and they’re called trump cards??? i think i had one of them sets after seeing the boys in the neighbourhood play with them, but err, my interest in them didn’t last very long.

  12. A few more replies which I didn’t get round to making over the weekend:

    tessa: Glad it makes your heart melt rather than your stomach heave. :) Am sooooo turned off by ostentatious displays of smug coupledom, whether in real life or on blogs, and have always hoped to avoid that myself.

    Alec: I demand with all my demandy girlfriend rights that you rediscover the mini sombrero of your youth! (Don’t bother with the blue tights though.)

    ci’en: Apart from the Cutty Sark, the ships pack also has the Black Pearl. It’s quite crap though, and loses most of the time.

    Don: So THAT’S what the writing of “1K”, “4K” etc. on the cards means. The writing is definitely mine but I can’t remember for the life of me how the first king second king system worked. Remind me?

    LMD: I admit it, I was just pandering to the sexual appetites of men out there who’d like to see you and ci’en go at it Street Fighter “OHHHH-YU-GEN!” stylie.

  13. Okay, my technical explanation is not going to do any justice to the highly vernacular quality of the game, but here goes:

    “Kings” are, very simply, the best cards in any pack. The “first king” is the best card on aggregate, the “second king” the second best, and so on. The first king is usually tops in say, 3 out of 6 categories.

    There’s nothing in the packaging which indicates which cards were kings; kids used to work this out for themselves. The norm would be to specify till the “fourth king”.

    The point of identifying the cards, I imagine, was to create the same kind of excitement as having a hand with a couple of aces. Like, if you have 3 out of 4 kings, you know you got a better chance of winning. And when your opponent asks you your wingspan, you can act all smug and show your card, proclaiming “FIRST KING!! PASS IT OVER!!”

    By the same token it was usually customary to indicate the speed king, weight king, engine capacity king, length king, 0-60 km/h (a classic ‘cars’ category!!) king and so on, *if* these weren’t already the overall 1st to 4th kings.

    (note: some kids would insist on playing categories in reverse ranking, using such logic as “lighter is better because lighter can go faster mah!!”, so the ‘kings’ would have to be identified accordingly)

    Some top trump packs actually indicated a “top trump” card but I can’t remember how that option was played…usually my friends and I ignored it.

    So there you have it. You didn’t ask about the four card shuffle, three and two-card choosing rules…they’re self-explanatory, though it’s worth noting that they were probably invented by players of the game and not its makers.

    Oh, those were the days!! Kids these days don’t know how good they’re getting it, hmph.

  14. hey Michelle! don’t know if you’ve seen this music meme before, but if you haven’t please try it? the moment i saw it i thought “i bet if Michelle tried it we’d never guess the song” so do try i really wanna see what you’d come up with!! :P

    (oops sorry to hijack the conversation i’m just so excited about this :P)

    “Find a song that everybody knows and put the lyrics into the Babelfish (http://babelfish.altavista.com/). Translate them from English to German, then German to French, and then French to English. Then post here with 3 clues. See who gets the song right first.”

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