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Candy Land (1978), also subtitled A Child's First Game, is the fifth version of the popular board game series. It was preceded by the 1967 version of the game, and followed by the 1984 version. This is the last version of Candy Land published by the Milton Bradley Company before they were bought out by Hasbro, and the last without Hasbro's cast of cartoon characters.


The 1978 edition is notable as the first time Candy Land has attempted to scale down. Previously every new edition had been busier and more colorful than the past, culminating in the 1967 version as the pinnacle. This new board continues the trend of making the art more realistic over time, but also strips away a lot of the extraneous details. The scenery is gone and the white background has returned, the spaces are back to flat tiles. The unnamed children are depicted in a level of photorealism that borders on Norman Rockwell. The bluebirds flying around the board have also been joined by butterflies. The greatest casualty of this version appears to be the Gingerbread Plum Tree. Having made a triumphant return to its former glory in the previous version with Gingerbread Man proudly standing in front of his plums, it has now been reduced to some sort of shrub covered in tiny cupcakes. The Gingerbread Man is painted with a new sense of vivid detail, but looks more like something to be eaten and less like a living character to be interacted with. One can only guess at intent, but this appears to be an attempt at updating the artwork for the 1970's while also shifting to a retro nostalgic appeal. The game has been around long enough that this version is aimed not just at children, but at parents who might have fond memories of playing when they were little. This appeal to parents is reflected in their choice of a new slogan, replacing "A Sweet Little Game for Sweet Little Folks" with "A Child's First Game."

There is also an interesting development with the Molasses Swamp. Prior versions have been drawn with brown reeds to indicate that it is a swamp and not just a dirty puddle. Here these reeds turn into some sort of brown bar, which might look like a chocolate or fudge bar if it was not labeled molasses. At the time of this writing it is unclear exactly what kind of foodstuff these bars are intended to be.





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