TOYHEM! Superheroes for a rainy day… or snowy day… or sunny day!

Welcome to TOYHEM! For the fifth straight holiday season, we’re bringing you a series of features and columns celebrating the toys of our youth, which often made for the best memories this time of year. Click here to check out the complete index of stories — and have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays! — Dan


This article is a testament to 13th Dimension site-meister Dan Greenfield, his readers, and the site itself.

When my TOYHEM board game article was posted, an appreciative reader asked if the site had ever done a piece on superhero board games, a question I turned back to Dan, who promptly and enthusiastically commissioned me to write such an article. And here it is.

Alas, before we get started, I have a confession to make: As far as I can remember, I have never owned a superhero board game.

Yeah, I know. People who know me will scoff and then their minds will boggle, but it’s true—near as I can recollect, my siblings and I had a million board games back in the day, but devoted comic book reader and superhero fanboy me never, ever actually had a superhero game.

So, that makes putting together an article of this persuasion very, very cool for me. There have been, yes, about a million superhero board games over the years and I had to pick out a mere 13 from among them. It was fun, it was fascinating, and it was educational.

Hope you dig them. Comment below for your own favorites if I didn’t choose any of them.


The Adventures of Superman (Milton Bradley, 1940). The character was barely two years old at this time, so that might just make it not only the first Superman game ever, but the first superhero game ever.

Captain America Game — Featuring the Falcon and the Avengers (Milton Bradley, 1977). Though Cap dates back to 1940, he didn’t get his own game until 1966. I chose this 1977 beauty because of the other Avengers he shares the spotlight with in the gameplay and graphics.

Justice League of America Aquaman Game (Hasbro, 1967). The makers of GI Joe produced three JLA games for the Summer of Love. You’ll see the other two soon, but I think the Aquaman graphics on this one are really, really nice.

Incredible Hulk Smash-Up Action Game (Ideal, 1979). The Bill Bixby TV series would have been hot at this time, so it was a no-brainer to have a board game (though this is based on the comics, not the show). I love the figural playing pieces for this one, and the bright colors.

The Batman Game (Milton Bradley, 1966). Incredibly, I see no evidence Batman had a board game in the 1940s or ’50s, but that’s OK because when the ’66 TV series was a certified phenomenon, the Caped Crusader ruled the toy aisles. In fact, this wasn’t the only game he’d have in 1966.

Amazing Spider-Man Web Spinning Action Game (Ideal, 1979). A cool companion piece to the ’79 Hulk Action Game. I chose it from among the many Spidey games over the years because I just love the figural playing pieces. It shows a little work went into the design, not just a cash-grab using an existing set-up.

Mighty Comics Superheroes Game (Transogram, 1966). And now for something completely different… DC and Marvel dominated the superhero board game market, but that doesn’t mean no one else tried to dip their toe into the pool. Extra credit for the Archie/MLJ people for daring to shave off a bit for themselves during the Batmania craze of ’66.

Justice League of America Wonder Woman Game (Hasbro, 1967). I told you you’d get to see the other JLA ’67 games. This one is worth it for the box art alone.

Marvel Comics Super Heroes Strategy Game (Milton Bradley, 1980). This one has been described as having “chess-like” rules, but I think the real draw here is that great assortment of Marvel villains to use in the game.

The Batman and Robin Game (Hasbro, 1966). The year of Batmania was big enough to encompass more than one Batman game, and since this is my list, I get to have more than one Batman game on it. The play looks incredibly simplistic, but who cares when you get that gorgeous art on the box and board, along with the Joker.

The New Fantastic Four Game (Milton Bradley, 1978). Ha! Yes, send me your angry comments, but I couldn’t resist this one from the “We Can’t Use the Human Torch” era of the FF. Still, you have to admit it’s a nice-looking game overall: That Herbie the Robot is nearly life-size!

Justice League of America The Flash Game (Hasbro, 1967). And here’s the last of the three ’67 JLA games. I don’t really know if anything distinguishes one from another in terms of play, but they’ll always stand out to me for the wonderful art.

The Lone Ranger Comics Game (Mattel, 1971). The Lone Ranger had games going all the way back to the 1930s, and despite whether or not he should be considered a superhero, or whether this is a card game or a board game, it really doesn’t matter. The art on this one is by Jack Kirby and that trumps everything.


— The Complete TOYHEM INDEX of Stories and Features. Click here.

— Dig These 13 Fabulous OLD-SCHOOL BOARD GAMES. Click here.

When JIM BEARD’s not editing and publishing through his two houses, Flinch Books and Becky Books, he’s pounding out adventure fiction with both original and licensed characters. In fact, he’s put words in the mouths of Luke Skywalker, Superman, Fox Mulder, Carl Kolchak, Peter Venkman and the Green Hornet… and lived to tell about it. His latest pop culture non-fiction tome is D20 or Die! — about classic role-playing games, available here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I have owned the Wonder Woman game since 1967 but, unfortunately, the box somehow went missing.

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  2. For me, it’s funny to spot the Kirby artwork in the rendition of the horse. Great list, Jim.

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  3. I had the Milton Bradley Batman game back in the day. I may have got it for Christmas!

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  4. That Kirby Lone Ranger one is awesome, never seen it before.

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  5. Thanks for the cool article. Never knew about the JLA board games from the 60s. I wonder how many there were. For example, was there a Green Lantern game? The graphics often were a big selling point. I don’t remember much about the rules for the Six Million Dollar Man game but the art was really cool.

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    • Warren, thanks right back. This article was all because of you. And I believe those were the only three JLA games at that time.

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    • I can confirm that there were only the three JLA games.

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  6. The Hulk game looks like each of the board spaces had art done by Herb Trimpe.

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