The folks at the Schaper company were definitely the kings of the insect games. They first hit it big in 1949 with the delightful construct-a-bug game, Cootie.
In the 1960s, they followed up that deathless hit with Ants In The Pants, another game that included plenty of creepy-crawlies.
Like Cootie, it became a hit with kids and is still an important part of the toy world today.
Schaper Games first unleashed Ants In The Pants on unsuspecting kiddies in 1967.
Essentially, it was an insect-themed variation on Tiddlywinks, played by two to four people. The game consisted of a large freestanding plastic pair of pants, complete with suspenders (braces), and 16 two-inch ‘ants’.
The ants – which came in red, yellow, blue, and green – were made of springy, bendable plastic, allowing kids to make them jump by gently pushing on the ants’ backsides with a finger.
The object was to get all of one’s ants into the pants before the rest of the players. In the process, everyone had lots of ant-flipping fun.
The gimmicky fun of Ants In The Pants caught in a big way, and it remains an important item on the game shelves at toy stores today. Board-game titan Milton Bradley currently manufactures this classic.