Parker Brothers issued the Whirl-It game at a time when other games such as BLOCK, PIT, Sherlock Holmes and ROOK cost fifty cents. I know this to be true because on the Rules For Playing Whirl-It, a statement near the bottom of the instruction booklet indicates the cards for these games are obtainable from all leading retail dealers, or they will be mailed by the publishers on receipt of this price, fifty cents each.
Whirl-It comes in a 6” square box that houses everything you need to play:
One wooden roulette-type bowl measuring about 5 5/8” in diameter by about 7/8” deep, eight marbles and a wooden top. The bowl, or playing surface, is evenly sloped to the center and contains eight holes around the perimeter to catch the eight wooden marbles (ours has one glass, maybe bakelite, marble) as the spinning top knocks them around. The wooden, two-piece Top is approximately 1 ½” tall by about 1 ¼” in diameter. Also included is a one-piece, single-sided instruction sheet that measures 4 ¾” square.
I saw Whirl-It in an antique store. LaRue received the Whirl-It game for Christmas one year from Grandma Agard. The cool old Christmas label in the box was a dead giveaway. Looking at the game, one wonders whether Grandma Agard gave it a “whirl” before settling on this as a gift for LaRue. Was the decision to gift this well thought out or hastily made? Because game play is fast and furious, depending on the number of players Whirl-It could be over in just a few minutes. If the players have short attention spans, this is a great game.
Whirl-It by Parker Brothers is small and simple, but interestingly fun. Even the single sheet of rules for playing have a certain retro-whimsical tone:
“The idea of the game is to place the marbles in the centre of the board and spin the top. The marbles will be knocked hither and thither by the twirling top, some or all of them landing in the holes made for the purpose. Each player has five turns, and scores as many points as the numbered holes count up to which he fills. The player making the greatest count WINS THE GAME.”
We added the Parker Brothers Whirl-It game to our inventory. It might actually be fun to play. We’re banking on the hope that Grandma Agard knew how to pick a good game.