This very popular game called Operation was developed in 1967 by Milton Bradley. Currently distributed by Hasbro, this great battery-operated game allowed kids of all ages to practice dexterity and hand-eye skills. Perfect for any little heart doctor, this game allowed kids to take miniature tongs in an attempt to remove small pieces from a pictured patient on the board. Kids would have to dip the tongs inside small crevices to retrieve small pieces, but if the metal tongs made contact with the sides of the cavity, a buzzer would go off, meaning their turn was up.
This game was extremely popular with kids and young adults in the 60s through the 90s. It was marketed on television to children on Saturday mornings during the 1980s, and remained a popular family game since its inception. Any kid could turn into a heart doctor or brain surgeon during play, and it was one of the first games in which kids could learn very basic internal anatomy of the human body. The game also afforded kids to practice on their dexterity, concentration, hand-eye coordination, and about the way electricity works (since contact with the metal tongs on the metal cavity rims would cause a buzzer to go off).
Each game contained a deck of cards, the tongs or tweezers with which children would pull the game pieces from the drawn patient on the board, and the pieces that fit inside him. Each game required children to focus on the Adam’s Apple, broken heart, ankles, stomach, ribs, knees, funny bone, a Charlie horse area, a writer’s cramp area, ankle bone to knee bone connection, wish bone, bread basket (the solar plexus), and a small ice cream cone located in the head called “Brain Freeze”.
Other versions were made throughout the years. A 2006 version of the game featured Spider Man which sent sales through the roof. The next year, Sponge Bob Square Pants adorned the board. Eventually Hasbro would produce a Simpson’s version, a version for Doctor Who, as well as Toy Story. By 2006, the company developed another board for the Iron Man movie franchise, and in 2011, developed a model for the film, Cars 2. Clearly the game is profitable for the company as it is a success among children. Any aspiring throat, nose, foot, or heart doctor can enjoy this fun and entertaining game.
Operation has been one of the longest lasting games through the decades. Original sets are selling for high amounts on eBay and other auctions. While they are still able to be found, many collectors pay high dollar for an original set, especially sets that were a part of the first 100 manufactured by Milton Bradley. If anyone has one of these, they could easily sell it for a large amount of money. For those who wish for them to gain value, simply protect the parts, box, and store it away for another day!