The animated Walt Disney film Snow White spawned many tie-in toys and games. Pepys produced a card game based on the Disney film, the strap line of which was “See the Play - Play the Game”.
If Chad Valley had promoted their game in similar fashion they might have said ”See the Film - Shoot the Heroine (and four of her adorable Dwarf chums)”.
Meet your targets:
and of course Snow White herself.
When I first saw this shooting game the small russet marks around the groins of many of the targets caught my eye. I obviously assumed that the game had been played with by a particularly sadistic child who had deliberately aimed low. Only Bashful, rather coyly, appeared to have dodged the psychopathic juvenile’s aim completely.
On closed inspection I saw that far from being entry wounds these marks are in fact the heads of nails attaching the targets to small wooden blocks on their rear.
Ready for play:
Targets in position and gun at hand, the game is about to begin!
Nb. The gun fires rubber bands not bullets.
One at a time we take down first Happy, then Bashful, Dopey and Doc leaving Snow White for last.
Then they are all gone.
Of course they aren’t really gone at all, they are merely suspended upside down and eagerly awaiting another game.
The end of the game:
When playtime is over, they all get packed away in their cosy, comfy, cardboard box, ready for another day.
In the lower right hand corner of the box lid is the following:
“Sole Licensees for British Empire (Excluding Canada) The Chad Valley Co. Ltd. Harbourne, England. By Arrangement with Walt Disney - Mickey Mouse Ltd.”
(Later games from the 1940s are licensed to Walt Disney Productions)
So this is a genuine licensed product, made with the full and gracious blessing of Walt’s people.
I have found very little information about this particular game. Chad Valley were producing a whole range of Disney related products and a variety of shooting games in 1939 though.
One partial lead came from the Brighton Toy and Model Museum. They own a copy of Snow-White Bagatelle from Chad Valley.
The bagatelle was produced around the same time as this shooting game I think, both seemingly made for British Home Stores. The Brighton Toy and Model Museum say, that in their bagatelle:
“The game has a white label with manufacturer and licensing details, which has a list of other games in the series … including … a Seven Dwarfs Shooting Game, which we’re hoping isn’t as bad as it sounds!”
There are several versions of Seven Dwarfs Shooting Games to be found. Filmic Light has some excellent examples here.
But I haven’t seen another shooting game that features Snow White herself. A unique treasure.
What has this game got to do with a London related blog? Well Chad Valley, although a Birmingham based Company, had their main showrooms at 120-21 Newgate Street, EC1 and BHS opened their first ever branch in Brixton!
Okay, the game doesn’t have many connections to London. Does it matter? I am truly delighted to be the current custodian of this marvellously odd game and hope one day that it finds its way to an institution where it can enjoyed by the public.