11 May 2010

Your assignment

In the summer of 1990, the world of Dick Tracy was everywhere. While the parks had Dick Tracy and the Diamond Double-Cross, as well as facades in place along the tram section of the Backlot Tour, it was hard to simply eat a Happy Meal in peace without visions of gangsters filling little ones’ heads. While I had long outgrown Happy Meals in 1990, I had not, and still haven’t, outgrown the splashy color palate and pulp feel of Dick Tracy. As such, the scratch-off game known as the $40,000,000 Dick Tracy Crimestoppers Game had huge appeal to me.The game was broken down into two parts, A and B, with each offering a chance to win. Part A was the quicker part of the game, and consisted of a large panel drawing of a scene from the world of Dick Tracy. The scenes included The Kid sprinting through the railroad depot, Dick Tracy’s desk, Tess Trueheart being followed, Dick Tracy’s communicator looking out over the city, a jewel thief hiding from police, and gangsters playing poker, in a line-up, and at the Club Ritz, among others. Each scene included five possible locations (listed A through E) for the crime that was taking place, scratch off the right spot and a prize was awarded, the wrong spot ended the game. However, like all good detective stories, one spot wasn’t the right spot, but would offer a clue to the correct destination. Part B took more time, and included a mug shot of one of Big Boy’s gangsters. Posted at each McDonald’s was a WANTED poster and each week new gangsters would be added to the line-up. Match the gangster card to the WANTED poster and the reward could be up to one million dollars!It goes without saying that I collected these game pieces with the fervor of a great detective. I was in love with the artwork created for these game pieces, and may have won a free drink or two along the way. As for the mug shots, I remember having a ridiculously large pile of pictures and once a week checking them against the poster. Sadly, I never did capture that million dollar gangster.At some point, my parents discarded my stacks of these cards, but when I began collecting and recollecting pieces for my own Disney archive, these were tops on the list. I have, to date, collected seven of the pieces (I’m still using my detective skills to search for that remainder of the elusive pieces). For a better idea of how the game was played and what the pieces looked like, take a look at the pieces scattered throughout the article and commercials below.


Anonymous said...

Is this the one you're missing? If so, I wonder if the Flickr user still owns it and would be willing to give/sell it to you? It's worth a shot!

Ryan P. Wilson said...

Tim, that's one of the ones I am missing. I realized after I wrote the article that there are several others I am missing, but I was unable to get back and edit the article before it went live due to some medical concerns. Thanks for finding that picture though! It only spurs me on to the hunt!

Zanna said...

Am I mistaken or is that Guy Buttersnaps (aka Gus) from Psych in the middle when the guy who won is talking?

I loved the time of Dick Tracy at MGM...good times. Thanks for this walk down memory lane!