Synopsis of Toy
“It’s you against the great white shark…
One wrong move…and the JAWS go snap!”
Cliff divers, bungee jumpers, street lugers, base jumpers…amateurs, all of them. Back in 1975, there was a real extreme sport. We called it “hooking junk from the mouth of a great white shark,” but the package simply called it “Jaws.” And yes, okay, the shark was plastic and kind of small, but don’t be fooled. That sucker had bite.
Steven Spielberg’s summer blockbuster shark flick didn’t spawn a whole lot of licensed merchandise, but it made up for it with The Game of Jaws. The movie had scared some kids (and adults) so badly they wouldn’t go near a beach for years, and the game was every bit as terrifying. No matter how careful you were, no matter how much you told yourself not to be afraid, there wasn’t a kid alive who didn’t jump when those jaws snapped shut.
The plastic great white shark was both the star of the game and your arch-nemesis. Using the included gaff hook, players took turns removing assorted junk from inside the great white’s mouth. Somehow, this omnivorous beast had managed to eat an anchor, a pistol, a life preserver, several bones (both human and fish), part of a wagon wheel, and A SEVERED HUMAN HAND (eeeeewwwww), among other things. The first player to score four pieces of junk won, but one slip of the wrist and those rubber-band-strung jaws would clamp shut without warning. There were no explicit rules against standing behind the kid with the gaff hook and singing “daaaaaaaa-dum, daaaaaaa-dum,” but it was poor form.
As a game, Jaws didn’t have the life span of its movie counterpart (there was no The Game of Jaws-3D), but it wasn’t for lack of thrills. This “extreme sport” was a genuine pulse-pounder, and no one would forget the times they stared right into the jaws of death…and came back victorious (with a boot and a fish skeleton).