[Milton Bradley Game]

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Lost in Space Milton Bradley Game

For new players in Lost in Space collecting, the 1965 Milton Bradley Lost in Space game will often be the first original 1960s purchase - and it's not hard to see why. It is one of the most common Lost in Space toys from the 60s with a decent game generally obtainable for well under $US100. The game also has a striking action oriented cover design which is very displayable.

Game Play

The game hardly wins an award for game play. Game enthusiasts will tell you a good game should have a blend of skill, luck, simplicity and above all it must have high repeat value so that it is interesting and different each time you play. This game does not meet any of these criteria except for the luck and simplicity aspects. Game play is very generic in nature, not very challenging and similar to a number of other Milton Bradley TV related board games from the mid-60s such as the Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea game.

Perhaps this partly explains why the complete and near mint games are so plentiful. 60s kids probably quickly tired of the game and relogated it to the top cupboard. In doing so the game avoided any serious damage to the box and board. The playing pawns were also safely tucked away for the future.


While the game play will hardly set your pulse racing on another level it is very successful. Being a TV board game, one would expect it to be evocative of both the featured characters and their environment. The box cover artwork features all the members of the Robinson party and appears to be based on the pilot episode since the Robot and Dr. Smith are not to be seen anywhere. Maureen's out-stretched hand is suggestive of high emotion and is very effective and reminiscent of gesturing in Rennaissance Italian paintings. In such paintings, the use of hands was an important device to convey drama or action in a still image. The name of the artist that did the game box art is unknown but it is know that most Milton Bradley games from that period were under the general design direction of Jum Houlihan.

The hostile Lost in Space multi-dimensioned environment is evoked on the folded game board. Displayed on the inner side of the board is a strange alien landscape showing various geographic features such as a desert plain in the middle, a mountainous range on the right (labeled 'Magnetic Mountain'), a cratered surface in the foreground, a sea with three whirlpools at the top (labeled 'Alpha Sea') and a deep canyon on the left hand side (labeled 'Cyclone Canyon'). On the top left hand side an out of proportion Jupiter 2 is displayed with three figures visible in the viewport. On the bottom right hand corner the chariot can be seen moving forward and stopping at the edge of a sandy cliff face.

Four figures are shown wearing a jet-pack. Three of these are flying and holding laser weapons and the other is seen standing beside and signaling the occupants of the chariot. All the jet-pack figures are seen wearing silver space flight suits with the exception of the figure at the top right hand side who wears an orange jump suit. The main focus of their attention is a large cyclops monster who appears to have emerged from a large crater ('MONSTER PIT') in the center of the desert plain.

A grid with diagonal lines covers the greater central part of the board with the Cyclops occupying a large square at its center.

Four generic playing pawns are included with the game: a green, red, yellow and blue playing piece. Embossed on the bottom of each pawn is the 'MB' logo. The Pawns are stored behind a rectangular folded cardboard insert labeled 'Playing Pieces' with a cellophane window through which the pawns are clearly visible. Access to the pawns is possible by lifting the front flap of the insert. Collector's should be aware the cellophane window is often missing in games which come on the market today.

One collector has reported that the pawns originally came in a small sealed cellophane bag. However this has not been confirmed by other collectors.

A multi colored spinner occupies the right hand side of the folded insert and is placed against a light blue background. It provides players five directional navigation options including 'Any Direction', 'Straight Ahead', 'Right', 'Diagonal Ahead' and 'Left'. Children who don't understand their left from their right are assisted by arrows describing the meaning of each direction on the spinner.

Objective of the Game & Rules

Instruction 'Rules' on how to play the game and a spinner are found on a second and larger folded cardboard insert - a standard feature of many Milton Bradley games from the period.

An introductory paragraph above the game rules explains the object of the game in the following terms:

"In this exciting game of luck, players must travel over the wild and hazardous 'Lost in Space' unknown planet. The spinner tells them in what direction they must move each turn. They may be forced to move off the path or even into the 'MONSTER PIT' which will send them back to the start. Anything may happen as players move all over the board trying to travel to and land on their own FINISH circle. The OBJECT OF THE GAME is for a player to land on his finish circle first."

What Collectors Should Look For

Things to watch out for when buying a Milton Bradley Lost in Space game:

Split corners on the game box: A very common problem especially on the top half of the box. It's preferable to avoid tape repaired boxes. If a box has corner splits which threatens further damage it's probably a good idea to immobilize it using a cotton tape.

Warped box covers: This is caused by a number of factors including unsuitable environments such as high humidity and by having heavy objects stored on top. A warped box cover can be very unsightly and effect the displayability of the game.

Make sure all 4 playing pieces are present and that they are genuine MB pieces. Dealers have been known to use non-MB pieces.

Warped boards: This is a fairly common fault on a 'really played with' board. Also watch out for tears along the inner spine of the board caused by opening the it too far.

Discolored cardboard inserts: Aging of the insert cardboard is unfortunately unavoidable because of the composition of the cardboard. However it is much more pronounced in games stored in unfriendly conditions such as high humidity.

Incomplete games: The most common missing items in this game are the playing piece cardboard insert, the playing pieces themselves and the 'arrow' of the spinner.

Markings on box cover: These can take many forms such as texture, price labels, tape marks, staining caused by aging tape, edge wear, water damage etc. The cover of the box is the most appealing thing about this game so any kind of damage should be avoided like the plague.

How Much Should You Pay?

Mint examples of this game will often achieve $125 or more at major auction sales but a good game in reasonable condition can often be bought in the range of $65-$85. The good thing about this game is that unlike some of the more rare Lost in Space collectibles, there is always the opportunity to buy a mint game or to upgrade in the future.

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