Thrift Treasure: Moxie

Thrift Treasure: Moxie

This week’s Thrift Treasure is proof that not every game for $2 at your local thrift store is worth the price. I have a weakness for abstract games as well as vintage titles. So when I picked up Moxie by Gopher Game Company I didn’t realize I would be wishing that Goodwill had a return policy.

I really wanted to like playing it. Almost every title from Gopher Game Company is hard to find, and while this one was in “OK” condition, I wanted it in my collection. After playing a few rounds with my wife I’m not so sure I feel that way any more.

There's a reason this game was made once and never reissued again. Gopher Game Company's "Moxie" wasn't worth the thrift store price. -

You can describe Moxie as a cross between checkers and tic-tac-toe. Each player receives eight Sorry-like plastic pawns and the box includes a removable cardboard game board. Players take turns placing their pawns on the board trying to get three in a row.

There's a reason this game was made once and never reissued again. Gopher Game Company's "Moxie" wasn't worth the thrift store price. -

Instead of placing a pawn, you can elect to move a previously-placed pawn in any direction one space (including diagonally). If you have the opportunity to jump, you must take that move instead.

There's a reason this game was made once and never reissued again. Gopher Game Company's "Moxie" wasn't worth the thrift store price. -

A jumped piece is removed permanently from the game, creating another win condition. Capture six of your opponent’s pawns and they don’t have enough to create a row of three – making you the winner.

There's a reason this game was made once and never reissued again. Gopher Game Company's "Moxie" wasn't worth the thrift store price. -

And that is the entire game. Sure, there are some strategic options available. Since jumping in mandatory, forcing your opponent to vacate a spot you need is a very valid strategy. But just like tic-tac-toe, Moxie suffers from a first-player advantage. Whomever places first has a serious advantage in the game, and unless that person makes a mistake, their odds of winning are nearly 100%.

So we can fully understand why this game hasn’t been reissued since its first publishing in 1956. Nearly 60 years of ‘aging’ hasn’t made it any better. Unlike many others we have shown you, Moxie is one Thrift Treasure you should leave at the store.

Scott Brady

About Scott Brady

A former manufacturing executive, Scott now balances his family life with ownership and backend administration of websites such as, and a number of other online properties. He also is an award-winning board game designer with notable titles such as Hues and Cues and boop.

20 comments on «Thrift Treasure: Moxie»

  1. Nuno Santos says:

    Eheh it looks really bad ;p

  2. We love Chekers and Tic Tac Toe. This sounds like a fun game we can do on family nights.

  3. I do like checkers and tic-tac-toe but only for a limited time. I can see why you wouldn’t be nuts about this.

  4. I like games but I tend to like a select few type of games. I am not sure if I would like this one, but I always think it is neat the games you find.

  5. Allie D. says:

    I had never heard of this game until we visited my husband’s side of the family this summer. It is a fun game. My daughter really liked it.

    1. Allie D. says:

      I know I wasn’t a fan of the game when I played it, but my daughter and her grandparents did enjoy the game. At least it was only $2. :-/ I know I have bought games from thrift stores, and they just ended up as junk to be sold or thrown out.

  6. It’s a good thing you only paid $2 and not full price. Hopefully you can find a good way to recycle it. At least now I’ll know to save my money too! Thanks for the heads up!

  7. Kristen says:

    So at least you only are out $2 bucks right?! I like vintage games too – I’ll take your advice and pass on this one!

  8. Dawn Lopez says:

    That sure does sound like a bore, while I do normally enjoy simplistic games like Tic-Tac-Toe & Checkers. I love your honest feedback, I’ll be sure to skip this one too!

  9. That stinks you guys still didn’t like the version of the game. Hopefully they can find a way to update the rules to be a bit fairer to the others in the game instead of just the one that goes first.

    1. Scott says:

      Well, considering they’ve been out of business for decades, an official rule update isn’t likely.

  10. Although you didn’t like the game you’ve inspired me to try games that I find at the thrift store. You just never know.

  11. Dandi D says:

    I’d never heard of this game before, but it looks really fun!

  12. I think it look fun ! Maybe for rainy days on vacation ? I love games !

  13. Debbie Denny says:

    Never heard of this before. Will remember what you said if i see it

  14. Liz Mays says:

    That’s no fun if the starting player pretty much is always going to win. I’m glad it was only $2, but still it’s too bad it wasn’t worth it.

  15. Michele says:

    I can understand why you would not be thrilled with this game. It could get boring in a hurry.

  16. Stephen says:

    Thrift stores are not super close to me but I hear about others having good finds there. I am curious how likely one is to find a good game. I might have to start checking in every so often.

  17. It’s always frustrating when games don’t evolve with the times. I guess I won’t be checking this one out for family game night.

  18. teresa null says:

    like to play it.. of course when i was born we didnt have internet or telephones.. so we made up games and were excited when we got to play a real game.. i could tell stories all day about way back then.. i am only 58 years young but we made up some that my grandchildren think i was not right in my younger years..

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