Some have since fallen by the wayside, but Don’t Break the Ice, now over thirty years old, can still be found on toy shop shelves today.
Little kids – five-year-olds and up – are welcome to play, because the parts are all plastic and none are small enough to step on or to really contemplate putting into your mouth.
And if you’re an older kid and your ego’s been beaten up lately and you need an easy win, then little kids are the best opponents to wrangle, because these are hammerers who haven’t quite learned the art of delicacy yet.
Don’t Break the Ice comes with one game frame, a cache of thirty-three white plastic ice blocks (that’ll be ‘the ice’), two plastic mallets and a little iceman or polar bear, depending on the year the game was issued.
Just arrange the blocks in the frame (turning the frame over and laying them out upside down was easiest) set the frame on its legs and then take turns tapping away.
Patience, a nice light touch and a little sympathy for whoever was perched atop that barren freeze – these were the only requisite skills for an Icebreaker.
You’d better have them too because there was nothing worse than that heavy feeling of responsibility that came with watching the blocks come crashing down, the iceman somewhere among them.
Unless you need to pound those plastic ice blocks for therapeutic release reasons, please tap carefully.