Hungry Hungry Hippos
Synopsis of Toy
“The Frantic Marble Munching Game!”
Everything we know about hippopotamus biology, we learned from Hungry Hungry Hippos: They’re fast, they come in all shades of pastel colors, and they really, really love marbles. Bad science? Maybe. Great game? Definitely.
It isn’t just any game that can balance cute with insanely fast, but Hungry Hungry Hippos managed the trick. Four hippos of orange, yellow, green and pink were the adorable stars of the game, but they were anything but sweet once the feeding frenzy began. Each of the four hippo masters had control of a row of marbles, and with a push of a marble-release lever, the little pellets rolled out into the communal trough. And then, sheer hippo lunacy.
Every marble was fair game once it hit the circular playfield. A second lever (the hippo’s tail) sent hippo necks jutting out toward the center of the field, trying to chomp down on a tasty marble or two. A good, solid bite sent the marble down into that hippo’s personal store, and the food-snatching continued until every last marble was gulped down. Once that was done, natural selection took over, and the hippo with the most marbles won.
That fast-paced brand of hippo-chomping craziness was what gave Hungry Hungry Hippos its charm. With only two levers to command, any kid could play as well as any adult. And this certainly wasn’t just a “kids’ game.” Adult appeal has helped keep Hungry Hungry Hippos alive and marble-gulping for more than two decades, even branching out into travel-sized and coin-op arcade versions. The hippos will never be sated, and neither will the boys, girls, men and women behind the controls. Admit it: You wish you were in the middle of a good hippo feeding frenzy right now.