This is Part Two of my list of the "9 Best Board Game Pieces of All Time + 1 that is Dangerous." If you missed Part 1, you can find it by clicking here. They are listed in no particular order.
Clue Weapons (1948)
The original Clue pieces were wonderful in their use of
non-plastic materials (the rope was made of sting and the weapons were
metal). As cool as they were the
original patent application called for poison, a bomb and something that looks
like a sheleighly. Interestingly, there
were originally 10 characters: Doctor
Black, Mr. Brown, Mr. Gold, The Rev. Mr. Green, Miss Grey, Professor Plum, Miss
Scarlet, Nurse White, Mrs. Silver and Colonel Yellow.
Marbles (3000 BC)
The marble may be 5000 years old and if so would
challenge the pieces recently discovered in Turkey. The truth is, we really don’t know when they
originated but what we do know is that they are as varied as snowflakes (okay,
that’s an exaggeration but you get the idea), they feel good to touch and can
Vermont Maple Scrabble Tiles (1938)
What is nicer than one of the original Vermont maple pieces? Holding it in your hand and then placing it
on the board provides the same tactile and plunking qualities of the stone Go
Billiard Balls (Circa 16th century)
Elegant simplicity, billiard balls were originally made
out of clay and later ivory. The look,
however, has not changed greatly over the centuries. What is nicer than hitting one of these round
spheres with a wooden cue stick or hearing the click-click of the balls as you
rack them up?
Wooden Monopoly Pieces (Circa 1940’s)
These wooden pieces had such interesting and highly
differentiated shapes that they spoke to game players. Fights would break out over who got which
piece as some delighted in some secret sense of ego reflected in the height,
color or width of a piece.
Star Reporter Hat Pins (1937)
Star Reporter is memorable for having the most dangerous
and therefore exciting game pieces of which I am aware. They were very long and very sharp hat
pins. If you look at this picture very
closely you will see them stabbed through a nice piece of green velvet.