Look back at Candy Land, the vintage board game that made millions of kids dream of an ice cream & lollipop world

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Vintage Candy Land game c1950s-1960s
From the land of the Candy Hearts all the way up to Home Sweet Home, millions of children have played the Candy Land game over the years — and for most of them, it was the very first board game they ever had.

Here, take a look back at some of the gingerbread men game pieces, the picture cards, a couple box covers and several versions of the game board as it appeared at various points in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. Which one do you remember most?

Vintage Candy Land board game cards

About the Candy Land game (1960)

The small fry who can’t read or count are catered to in an ingenious game based on color matching. Candyland bases play on an enchanted country filled with gumdrop trees and varied goodies. Any youngster who can match primary colors can compete on equal terms with the grownups.

Candyland was invented by Eleanor Abbott, a polio victim, which she was amusing crippled children at a hospital where she was recuperating. – Rocky Mount Telegram (Rocky Mount, North Carolina) May 27, 1960

Candyland game gingerbread men pieces

Vintage Candy Land board game box  from around 1954

Candyland game 1950s

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Vintage Candyland game board (from around 1962)

Candyland board game 1962

Retro Candyland board game (1960s)

Candyland game 1960s

Classic Candy Land board game (1960s)

Candy Hearts – Peppermint Stick Forest – Gingerbread Plum Tree – Gumdrop Mountains – Crooked Old Peanut Brittle House – Lollipop Woods – Ice Cream Floats – Molasses Swamp – Home Sweet Home

Candyland 1960s

Vintage Candy Land game board (1960s-1970s)

Vintage Candy Land board game - 1960s 1970s

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Candy Land game directions (from the 1950s-1960s)


“A sweet little game for sweet little folks”

For 2 to 6 players, ages 4 to 8

CANDY LAND is a game of bright colors and pretty pictures, made especially for little folks, many of whom may be too young to read. If also includes features which make it an interesting game for older children.

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME is to be the first player to reach “Home Sweet Home” by following the path of colored spaces. Moves are made according to the colored squares or pictures on cards drawn by the players.

TO START THE GAME, shuffle the cards well. Place them in a pile face down within easy reach of all players. The youngest child may play first. He draws the top card from the pile and moves from start to the first matching color or picture space along The path. Other players follow in turn.

All players observe these simple rules:

1. Each player is represented by a different playing piece.

2. Players begin at the START ARROW.

3. They travel in the direction of the “Mileage” arrow signs.

4. When a Color Card is drawn, the player moves along the path to the next color space that matches the square on that card. If the card has TWO Color squares on it, the player moves along the path to the SECOND Color square that matches it.

5. When a Picture card is drawn, the player moves to the space marching that picture. For example, if he draws the “Gingerbread Man” card, he moves immediately to the Gingerbread Man space. This may send a player AHEAD or BACK along the path (an exception to rule 3). A player proceeds from that picture space on his next turn.

6. Players false advantage of the “Mountain Pass” and “Rainbow Trail” only when they land exactly on the space at the beginning of these short cuts. A player moves immediately to the other end of the path and proceeds from there on his next turn.

7. Players must follow the directions on the board regarding the “Cherry Pitfalls” and the “Molasses Swamp.”

NOTE: A card with one or we squares of rho color wanted allows the player to move, as in rule 4.

8. Two or more players may occupy the same space.

9. “Home Sweet Home” is reached by landing on the last blue space in the path or by drawing a card that would take the player beyond that space if the path continued.

10. If all of the cards are used and the game is not finished, reshuffle them and use the pile over again.

WINNING THE GAME: The first player to reach “Home Sweet Home” wins the game.

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Vintage Candy Land game board (1950s-1960s)

Vintage Candy Land game c1950s-1960s

Old-fashioned Candy Land game board (1960s-1970s)

Vintage Candy Land board game - 1960s 1970s

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