7 Sweet Facts About Candy Land

Allevinatis/iStock via Getty Images
Allevinatis/iStock via Getty Images

Easy to play and incredibly colorful, the Candy Land board game has been a household staple for 70 years. Players draw a card—or, in more recent editions, use a spinner—to advance on a board in pursuit of King Kandy, ruler of a delicious utopia with locations like Molasses Swamp and Gumdrop Mountain. The child-friendly gameplay has made it a perennial hit for Hasbro, which still sells 1 million copies of the game each year. For more on Candy Land, including its strange connection with the polio virus, keep reading.

1. Candy Land was invented in the polio wing of a hospital.

The vintage box art for the board game 'Candy Land' is pictured
Amazon

In the late 1940s, polio was still a looming threat to the population. While convalescing in the polio wing of a San Diego hospital in 1948, a retired schoolteacher named Eleanor Abbott decided to create a board game that could become a distraction for patients. The result was Candy Land, a fanciful and easy-to-understand diversion that saw players advancing game pieces through a sweetened landscape based on a color system—so no reading was required. The game proved to be so popular that Abbott decided to submit it to Milton Bradley (which was purchased by Hasbro in 1984). The company examined the layout, which Abbott had drawn on butcher paper, and decided to publish it in 1949.

2. Candy Land helped put Milton Bradley on the map.

Before Candy Land was released, Milton Bradley was still primarily known as a maker of school supplies. Their other big game acquisition, Clue, had just been released, but it had yet to fully take off. Candy Land distinguished itself because, unlike most board games, kids could play it by themselves—an important feature in a country still concerned with the spread of polio. As parents kept their children indoors, distractions like Candy Land became a way to keep them occupied. The game’s success leveled the playing field against game rival Parker Brothers, and the royalties it earned for Abbott paid off in another way: She reportedly donated most of her earnings from the game to be used for the purchase of supplies and equipment for area schools.

3. Candy Land didn’t get populated until 1984.

A child playing the board game 'Candy Land' is pictured
amboo who?, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

For decades, an anonymous boy and girl were the antagonists of Candy Land. In 1984, Hasbro contracted with Landmark Entertainment to create characters for the game, including King Kandy, Lord Licorice, and Princess Lolly of Lollypop Woods.

4. Candy Land was the subject of a trademark dispute involving an adult website.

In 1996, presumably with some consternation, Hasbro discovered that an adult website had registered the phrase "candy land" for its URL. In one of the first major domain name disputes, Hasbro argued that the website diluted the value of the board game. An injunction was granted in the U.S. District Court of Washington.

5. Candy Land carried a mistake on the board for years.

Notice anything unusual about the boy and girl setting off for their Candy Land adventure? They’re holding left hands, an awkward posture that would make skipping through the game difficult. The board’s updated artwork in 2010 added two more kids and eliminated this curious artistic choice.

6. Candy Land almost became a movie starring Adam Sandler.

In 2012, Adam Sander was announced as being the star of a Candy Land feature film. The hold-up? Landmark Entertainment, the company that created the characters for the game in 1984, argued that Hasbro had no right to enter into an agreement to license those characters out for a feature film; Hasbro contested the characters were part of a work-for-hire agreement. To date, the only adaptation of the game has been a 2005 direct-to-video animated feature, Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure.

7. Candy Land came in an edible version.

The packaging for the edible chocolate edition of 'Candy Land' is pictured
Amazon

Normally, the game pieces in Candy Land are not edible. In 2014, a company named Gamesformotion issued a Belgian chocolate version of the game that had chocolate cards wrapped in paper. Once they were played, they could be eaten. The company also released digestible versions of Battleship, Scrabble, and Monopoly. You can still find the edition for sale, but be warned: It's hard to play a second time once you've eaten most of the contents.

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Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com
Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels.com

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6 Things We Know About the Game of Thrones Prequel Series, House of the Dragon

HBO
HBO

By the time Game of Thrones wrapped up its record-breaking eight-season run in 2019, it was a no-brainer that HBO would be producing another GoT series to keep the success going. The first announced show in the works, which was reportedly picked from a few prequel ideas, was going to chronicle a time thousands of years before the start of GoT, and was set to star actress Naomi Watts. Unfortunately, that project was eventually scrapped after the pilot was shot—but a new prequel series, House of the Dragon, was announced in October 2019. Here's what we know about it so far.

1. House of the Dragon will be based on George R.R. Martin's book Fire & Blood.

George R.R. Martin's novel Fire & Blood, which tells the story of House Targaryen, will serve as the source of inspiration for the plot of House of the Dragon. The first of two volumes was published in 2018, and takes place 300 years before Game of Thrones.

2. House of the Dragon will likely chronicle the Targaryen family's tumultuous past.

Game of Thrones showed that the Targaryen family has a long-standing history of inbreeding, secrets, betrayal, war, and insanity. Fire & Blood covers topics like the first Aegon Targaryen's conquest of the Seven Kingdoms and his subsequent reign, as well as the lives of his sons. Seems like we'll probably be meeting Dany's ancestors, and Martin confirmed there will definitely be dragons present—maybe even Balerion the Black Dread, the biggest dragon in all of Westerosi history.

3. George R.R. Martin and Ryan Condal are co-creators of House of the Dragon.

Co-Executive Producer George R.R. Martin arrives at the premiere of HBO's 'Game Of Thrones' Season 3 at TCL Chinese Theatre on March 18, 2013 in Hollywood, California
George R.R. Martin
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Martin shared on his blog that he's been working with writer and producer Ryan Condal (Rampage, Colony), on the show. "Ryan Condal is new to Westeros, but not to me," the acclaimed author wrote. "I first met Ryan when he came to New Mexico to shoot a pilot for a fantasy western that was not picked up. I visited his set and we became friendly ... He’s a terrific writer … and a fan of my books since well before we met." In another blog post, Martin said that the show's script and bible were "terrific, first-rate, exciting." Sounds like we'll be in good hands.

5. A Game of Thrones director is returning for House of the Dragon.

Per a tweet from the Game of Thrones Twitter account announcing the show, Miguel Sapochnik, who directed many of the original HBO series' biggest episodes, such as "Battle of the Bastards" and "Hardhome," will be returning for House of the Dragon as showrunner alongside Condal. Sapochnik is also known for directing a handful of other notable shows, such as True Detective, Masters of Sex, and Altered Carbon.

6. House of the Dragon could be coming in 2022.

HBO ordered 10 episodes of House of the Dragon, and HBO president of programming Casey Bloys said he thought that the show would debut "sometime in 2022." However, with the film industry facing major delays due to safety concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, there's no word on when the show will begin filming.

Meanwhile, Martin revealed that he won't be writing any scripts for House of the Dragon until he finishes The Winds of Winter, which has been in the works since A Dance With Dragons, his most recent book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series, debuted in 2011. The good news, however, is that Martin says he has been "writing every day" while keeping indoors and social distancing, leaving fans with the hope that The Winds of Winter will come soon.