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Bric-a-Brac: D is for...

Domino Toppling

You'll need a very steady hand...What do you get if you combine an ancient pub game, the law of gravity, a big old Japanese warehouse, blatant corporate sponsorship and Norris McWhirter? The most absurd craze of the absurd craze-saturated early 1980s, that’s what! The basic premise: bored US college kids amuse themselves by setting up long lines of dominoes on their ends, flicking one to start a collapsing chain reaction, then phoning up a large corporation to get some money to buy half a million more dominoes. And so the thing escalated, incorporating criss-crossing paths, dominoes going up and down little perspex ramps, dominoes falling into little electric cars, little rockets that were ‘launched’ by falling dominoes, a domino going over a mini Niagara Falls in a barrel, the inevitable Mona Lisa depicted in different coloured dominoes, and half the dominoes being set off by accident by earthquakes, interloping wildlife, or an over-eager press photographer dropping his lens bag over the crowd barrier. What this all added to the sum total of human existence is anyone’s guess, but a gold star for dedication, definitely.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joanne Gray

    May 6, 2017 at 10:24 pm

    The whole craze spawned Domino Rally (MB Games, I think? Or was it Ideal?) sets so kids at home could create their own domino toppling displays. Unwrapped and opened on Christmas Day to much excited gasps, the cause of several family arguments on Boxing Day when attempting to set them up, about a minute of excitement when you’d finally got the dominos set up and they toppled in a manner that wasn’t worth all the fumbling, arguing and swearing, then tidied away and the box shoved in the back of your toy cupboard, next seeing the light of day when your parents have a clearout for a church coffee morning along with Mousetrap and Guess Who.

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