Template:Infobox Game Candy Land (Candyland)[1] is a simple racing board game. It is among the first board games played by American children as it requires no reading and minimal counting skills.

Game playEdit

The race is woven around a story line about finding the lost king of Candy Land. The board consists of a winding, linear track made of 134 spaces, most red, green, blue, yellow, orange or violet. The remaining spaces are named locations such as Candy Cane Forest and Gum Drop Mountain, or characters such as Queen Frostine and Gramma Nutt.

Players take turns removing the top card from a stack, most of which show one of six colors, and then moving their marker ahead to the next space of that color. Some cards have two marks of a color, in which case the player moves his or her marker ahead to the second-next space of that color. The deck has one card for each named location, and drawing such a card moves a player directly to that board location. This move can be either forward or backward in the classic game; backward moves can be ignored for younger players in the 2004 version of the game.

Before the 2004 version, there were three colored spaces marked with a dot. A player who lands on such a space is stuck (all cards are ignored) until a card is drawn of the same color as the square. In the 2004 version, dot spaces were replaced with licorice spaces that prompt the player landing on it to simply lose his or her next turn.

The game is won by landing on or passing the final square; the official rules specify that any card that would cause the player to advance past the last square wins the game, but many play so that one must land exactly on the last square to win. The 2004 version changed the last space to a rainbow space, meaning it applies to any color drawn by a player, thus clarifying any remaining controversy about how one exactly wins the game.

The classic game takes longer to complete than one might expect, because the location cards can send players backwards. Also, the dot spaces could force players to exhaust several turns without moving.

History of Candy Land Edit

The game was designed in the 1940s by Eleanor Abbott, while she was recovering from polio in San Diego, California.

The game was bought by Milton Bradley Company (now owned by Hasbro) and first published in 1949.[2] Hasbro produces several versions of the game and treats it as a brand. For example, they market Candy Land puzzles, a travel version, a PC game, and a handheld electronic version.

A December, 2005 article in Forbes magazine analyzed the most popular American toys by decade, with help from the Toy Industry Association. Candy Land led the list for the 1940-1949 decade.

Versions of Candy Land Edit

At least four versions of the Candy Land board game were made. The first dates from 1949. This version, and other early versions, had only locations (Molasses Swamp, Gumdrop Mountains, etc.) and no characters. The next version, as shown in a picture from the Elliott Avedon Museum, of a board copyright 1962, shows a track layout different from the more recent versions. The next revision, from the 1980s and 1990s, has the characters such as Mr. Mint and Gramma Nutt, has the modern track layout, and ends with a purple square. The rules specify that any card that would cause the player to advance past the purple square wins the game, but a popular variation requires that the player land exactly on it. In the most modern version, there is a rainbow-striped square at the end to make the official rule visually explicit. The rules for the modern game also specify that a character card resulting in a backward move can be ignored, resulting in a much shorter game if desired. Some of the characters are renamed in the modern version; for example, Queen Frostine became Princess Frostine. Finally, the classic Molasses Swamp was changed to Chocolate Swamp, presumably because the children of 2002 are more familiar with chocolate than molasses. The character Plumpy was removed in 2002 presumably due to his obesity.

A VCR board game version of the game was made in 1986, although distribution of the game appears to have been limited. An animated 2005 feature Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure was produced and later spawned a DVD game version of Candy Land.

The Give Kids the World: Village edition of Candy Land was produced by Hasbro especially for the Give Kids the World Village. The GKTW Village is a nonprofit resort in Kissimmee, Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In this version, traditional Candy Land characters and locations were replaced with the venues and characters of the Village. Characters like Mayor Clayton, Ms. Merry, and others are represented on the board.

There are licensed versions of Candy Land with characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob.

SKU # Title
Candy Land (1949 edition)
Candy Land (1950s edition)
Candy Land (1962 edition)
Candy Land (1967 edition)
Candy Land (1978 edition)
Candy Land (1985 edition)
Candy Land: VCR Board Game (1986)
MB1001 Candy Land: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Tin (1999)
04700 Candy Land (2002 edition)
41051 Candy Land: Winnie-the-Pooh Edition
41605 Candy Land: Collector’s Series Game Tin
42588 Candy Land: Dora the Explorer
42743 Candy Land: Deluxe (only at Toys R Us)
42328 Candy Land: DVD Game
53678 Candy Land: Dora the Explorer with Memory Game Tin
Candy Land Castle Game
114866 Candy Land: Fun of the Run (portable)
Candy Land: Give Kids the World: Village Edition

Mathematics of Candy Land Edit

Mathematically, Candy Land is nearly a Markov chain, and would be exactly such a chain if the deck were re-shuffled after each card is drawn.

There is no strategy or decision making in Candy Land. The moves are wholly determined by the cards, which are drawn in order. The only random chance element comes from each shuffling of the deck. Every time the deck is shuffled, one of n + 1 outcomes is pre-determined, where n is the number of players: one of the players wins, or the deck will need to be shuffled again after it is used.

Candy Land charactersEdit

  • The Kids
  • The Gingerbread People
  • Mr. Mint
  • Gramma Nut
  • King Kandy
  • Jolly
  • Plumpy (taken out of the most recent version of the game)
  • Mamma Ginger Tree (replaces Plumpy)
  • Princess Lolly (renamed 'Lolly' after 2002 edition)
  • Queen Frostine (renamed 'Princess Frostine' after 2002 edition)
  • Lord Licorice
  • Gloppy the Molasses Monster (renamed Gloppy the Chocolate Monster)

(These characters depend on the version of the game.)

Commercial use of the name Edit

The Candy section of Toys R Us in NYC's Times Square maintained a Candy Land theme, until losing their license for the characters in 2006. The theme included a colored pathway that mimicked the board for the game, several Candy Land characters, and candy-themed shelving and ceiling decorations. Dylan's Candy Bar also in NYC owned by Dylan Lauren daughter of Ralph Lauren was inspired by Candy Land to create her store the characters from the game can be seen all around the store.

Internet nameEdit

Candy Land was involved in one of the first disputes over internet domain names. An adult web content provider registered, and Hasbro objected. Hasbro was able to obtain an injunction against the use, and changed the content appropriately after claiming ownership of the site.

On February 5, 2009, Universal Pictures has announced plans to make a movie based on the popular Candy Land board game. Etan Cohen, a writer on both Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Tropic Thunder, has been hired to write the screenplay. Kevin Lima, of Enchanted, will direct.


  1. The Hasbro site spells it both ways.
  2. Waggoner, Susan. Under the Tree: the Toys and Treats That Made Christmas Special, 1930-1970. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2007.

External linksEdit

Candy Land movie being produced