In 1981, Milton Bradley released Bargain Hunter, a board game which allowed players to experience the joys of shopping for discounts while also learning about the risks of credit cards. The object of the game is to furnish an apartment with specific items while staying within a budget. If you’re able to buy everything on your list without using plastic, you win. It’s kind of like a Mall Madness for adults!
The American History Museum chose to share an Instagram photo of the game on the biggest shopping day of the year. Coincidence? I think not. From the caption:
Bargain Hunter, released in 1981, introduced young people to the promises and pitfalls of shopping with credit cards. Players were tasked with furnishing an apartment with 19 necessary items (which included not one but two pets). Bargain Hunter made leveraging debt and comparison shopping essential strategies for winning. The prices for various products fluctuated wildly, and players could take advantage of sudden sales by paying for their purchases with a credit card. Players could borrow up to $1,000 before the game decided that they were in “Financial Disaster” and forced them to stop shopping.
If you feel compelled to add Bargain Hunter to your collection of board games, it is readily available to purchase on eBay and Amazon.
Here’s an old commercial for it:
Contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image via Instagram.