Home Pop Culture Toys & Games Toss Across

Toss Across

The thing about tic-tac-toe (or “noughts and crosses” as it is more logically known in the UK) is this: Eventually, you match two kids up who know what they’re doing, and every game is going to be a tie.

If you don’t believe it, check out that Cold War computer flick Wargames (1983) . . .


So what’s a kid to do? How do you break that deadlock? Well, Ideal is glad you asked. You see, they had the answer: a little game called Toss Across.

The bug in the tic-tac-toe/noughts & crosses ointment was always its predictability. If “X” had the top two corners, you just knew “O” was going straight into the top middle for the block.

But what if “O” had to earn his way into that spot? Ah, there’s the rub. Getting spots in Toss Across wasn’t as easy as drawing a circle or two crossed lines onto a grid.

No, sir – the Toss-Across board had to be claimed with the throw of a beanbag.

The raised Toss Across game board had a grid of nine free-spinning squares, each with both an “X” and an “O” (and a neutral third side).


To spin the squares, players tossed beanbags onto the place of choice, then watched as the three-sided surface spun and stopped on its fated letter (or lack thereof).

Games were still played until someone got three in a row, but the element of chance kept Toss Across tense and unpredictable until the very end.

No square was safe, and no amount of sulking would bring that “X” back to the surface, so just stop it babypants.

This inventive twist on the old tic-tac-toe/noughts & crosses formula has kept Toss Across a favourite for more than 30 years.