Ah, the Magic Robot – the board game that was the epitome of a '70s childhood, or more like a jumble sale staple and the subject of many snarky remarks among cheeky kids.
It was the kind of game that epitomised the phrase: "One person's trash is another person's treasure." The Magic Robot certainly had an enduring charm, but let's be honest, it was a bit rubbish, wasn't it?
Would you believe that the star of the show, the eponymous Magic Robot, was nothing more than a glorified spinning top with delusions of grandeur? Our magnetic wonder boy would often misbehave, spinning around like a drunkard at closing time before pointing at the wrong answer. We'd chuckle at its incompetence, yet still find ourselves weirdly invested in its antics.
I remember spending countless rainy afternoons playing the game with my sister, watching the robot fail miserably with every spin. It wasn't long before our game took on a more irreverent tone, as we'd make up our own ridiculous answers to the questions. Who knew that the capital of France was actually "Bognor Regis"? Or that the first man on the moon was none other than my Uncle Geoff?
Speaking of which I once played a game of Trivial Pursuit and lost horribly only to find that my opponent had lied about every single answer (apart from the obvious ones because that would have given the game away). That still wrankles to this day... I'm not sure why... but at least our Magic Robot was incompetent not a dirty rotten liar!
The Magic Robot left much to be desired in terms of gameplay, but it did a cracking job of bringing out the mischievous side of its players. That cheeky, irreverent spirit seemed to be contagious, and we found ourselves having a right good giggle at the robot's expense.
Perhaps that's the real magic of the Magic Robot: it took a rather rubbish, jumble sale-worthy game and transformed it into an exercise in creativity and hilarity. Our inner comedians were unleashed, and soon we were weaving tall tales and sharing anecdotes far more entertaining than the game itself.
So, let's raise a toast - a glass of Tizer would be approriate I think - to the Magic Robot, that slightly rubbish, jumble-sale delight that made our childhoods just a little bit more irreverent and amusing.
I reckon it's somewhere up in our attics now, keeping company with the dust bunnies and chuffed with itself for all the laughs it managed to squeeze out of us.