I’m not positive that my memory is totally correct, but I believe the original was quite a bit bigger, made of thicker/more durable plastic, the marbles were not made of plastic, and the launching and chomping mechanisms worked much smoother. When we played, my hippo kept getting stuck or his head wouldn’t pop up to ‘swallow’ the marble…it would just bump it across into the mouth of my competitor’s hippo.
Grayson had received $10 to purchase something from the store. He was pretty excited about picking out his own surprise.
His lack of understanding about money was expected since he is only 2 1/2. At first he pointed excitedly exclaiming, ‘I want that!’ at every toy $30 . I eventually tired of pointing to the cheaper toys and asking ‘How about this one?’ to his obvious disappointment, so we moved on to the game aisle. His face lit up when he saw Hungry Hungry Hippos by Hasbro. He had seen commercials for this game, and was very excited to see it on the shelf. The original price was $15, but I happened to have a coupon for $4 off, so I was okay with chipping in $1 for him to be able to get it.
We purchased the game with high hopes based on my memories of hours of fun chomping marbles during my childhood…I was quite disappointed after we assembled and began to play. He, having no clue what the original was like, was beyond gleeful.
The plastic marbles are too light and don’t go down into the scoring area as well as the older version, so the marbles occasionally sit in the throat area and then shoot back out into the playing field. We also had an issue with what we thought was a missing marble. It actually had become lodged up in the hippo’s neck where it was very difficult to remove, and I thought I would end up breaking the thing trying to get it dislodged.
We did end up losing a marble a couple days later, and thought we could just use a regular marble…nope. The launch shoot and throat are too narrow to use regular size marbles, so now we have to play with 19 rather than 20.
Overall, my son is very happy with his purchase, but if I had known how poor the performance of this game would be, I would not have purchased it. I’ll be keeping my eye out for an original version at our local thrift store.