Aldrin Games Unlimited

In this week’s episode of How I Met Your Mother, the great Chris Elliot appeared playing Mickey Aldrin, estranged father of Alyson Hannigan’s Lily.

Mickey Aldrin has been crushed by his dream–“to design the next great American board game”. For more than twenty years he’s slaved away, building prototype after prototype, most with surprisingly polished components:

But the joke goes further than just the games named in the dialogue. It looks like the props department joined the fun and decorated Mickey Aldrin’s homes with an ever-growing number of prototypes. A bit of freeze-framing helped me put together this (most likely partial) list of games he designed for his one-man design house, Aldrin Games Unlimited:


And inspired by the events of the episode, “Slap Bet”, which apparently includes cards like these:

Not since Double Cranko on M*A*S*H have I wanted to play a TV board game quite so much. Well, okay, maybe not “Slap Bet”. But “Sleepy Tombstone Maze” sounds kind of fun…

You’ll should be able to watch “Slapsgiving 2: Revenge of the Slap” on the CBS HIMYM website sometime this week (they’re a little less reliable than Hulu) to see the rest of the episode, and the commercial for “Slap Bet”. Because currently the only version I can find on the web right now is this shakycam screen recording. Seriously, CBS–answer Hulu’s calls.


4 Responses to “Aldrin Games Unlimited”

  1. qaazwsx on May 15th, 2011 1:09 am

    any idea how either one of these games was supposed to be played?

  2. Jenny Park on November 14th, 2011 4:49 pm

    Trying to find where I can purchase a copy of the slap bet board game to be posted to Australia. Just came back from holiday in USA and couldn’t find one anywhere. First saw ad on tv during holiday in USA 2010. Please help. Thankyou for your time and I look forward to hearing from you.
    Cheers, Jenny

  3. Inkslinger on November 16th, 2011 10:53 am

    qaazwsx: The board and spinner look very Sorry-like; I can only assume the spinner is used for movement–it has four colors on it, but at one point five people are playing, four kids and a grandmother. (It may just be that the grandmother is there to supervise the slapping, though.)

    Might be that you spin the spinner and then get to slap players on a square of that color, but that doesn’t seem to fulfil the ‘bet’ part of the metaphor very well. While Mickey Aldrin isn’t shown to be the world’s best game designer, we have to assume that this game is actually pretty good and fulfills the promise of its metaphor since it convinced a company to produce and broadcast a TV ad (and to pay for the Three Stooges license for that one card.)

    That still leaves the question of how/when you draw the cards, and what the victory condition might be. I’m open to theories.

  4. Inkslinger on November 16th, 2011 10:55 am

    Jenny: Unfortunately (or not), I don’t think they’ve ever produced a real version of the Slap Bet game, though I bet CBS Commercial Products could be convinced to license out the idea. You might be better served appointing a local Slap Commissioner of your own and diving into some amateur game design: Cluedo, where you get slapped each time you make a wrong accusation; Trivial Pursuit, where a wrong answer earns you a slap; Snakes and Ladders, where you have the option to get slapped instead of sliding down a snake. The possibilities are as limitless as your tolerance for pain!

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