Thrift Treasure: Block Head! Game

Thrift Treasure: Block Head! Game

Games that require some type of physical skill are typically referred to as “dexterity games”. As of late there have been a number of popular game issues that have utilized a stacking mechanic with good success. We covered Wonky in the past and have played both Junk Art and Animal Upon Animal, all which require you to successfully stack playing pieces on top of a previous one.

What we discovered this week at our local Goodwill was that although this type of game is in vogue at the moment, this isn’t a new idea at all. The copy of Pressman’s Block Head! we picked up was issued in 1992 and has been around much longer. For 88 cents, we were willing to take the chance to see if it stood up to today’s titles.

Block Head! resembles a number of today's games, but has actually been around for decades. How does it stand up to current titles? -

Block Head! is a simple game for one or more players. Included in the box are 20 wooden blocks of different shapes and sizes. The starting player, usually the youngest, chooses any block and places it in the center of the table. This is the only block allowed to touch the table – all future blocks must balance above it.

Block Head! resembles a number of today's games, but has actually been around for decades. How does it stand up to current titles? -

Each player in order then places an additional block onto the stack in any position. You may only use one hand to place a block and may not touch any other blocks. If only the block being placed falls from the stack, the active player may try again with the same (or different) block.

Block Head! resembles a number of today's games, but has actually been around for decades. How does it stand up to current titles? -

There is no penalty if the stack falls within the first three turns. In that case the stack is simply restarted. Each participant is allowed to cause the stack to tumble two times. If you knock it over a third time, you’re eliminated from the game (and referred to as a Block Head!).

Block Head! resembles a number of today's games, but has actually been around for decades. How does it stand up to current titles? -

The game continues until there is only one player left and the only one in the room not labeled as a Block Head! If you are playing the solitaire version, try to stack all the blocks without causing them to tumble!

We found Block Head to be quite a bit simpler than its current-day counterparts. This is additional proof that today’s games are advancing in complexity, but with that comes a higher price. Fortunately you can still find Block Head! being offered brand new on Amazon for under $12 shipped. But don’t forsake the stacks of used games at your local thrift stores – you may find that one game, like Block Head!, that fills a void in your game library!

Are you any good at games that require a steady hand?

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.

9 comments on «Thrift Treasure: Block Head! Game»

  1. Jacqui Odell says:

    This would be fun to watch my girls playing! It looks like it encourages them to think outside of the box.

  2. LadyInRead says:

    not really good at these myself nowadays since i dont seem to have the same patience 🙂 but my kids have fun playing jenga for sure.. this would be a colorful and unique addition

  3. Rebecca Swenor says:

    I love shopping at thrift stores because of the deals you can find and a lot of things are brand new too. Block Head I remember from years and years ago. These types of old games can always be fun for family game night. Thanks for sharing this awesome old game.

  4. Malc S says:

    Good old-fashioned game, kind of thing I got as gifts when I was a kid! And good to see with so much being electronic nowadays.

  5. This looks like a fun game! I’ll buy some for my nephews and nieces.

  6. Karlee says:

    I really want to try this one now! It reminds me of Jenga! We usually play word or card games but dexterity games sound fun too!

  7. Marc says:

    Nice! Played this one a lot when I was a kid.

    I think Animal Upon Animal is the better stacking game, but the variety of pieces in this is great.

  8. Michael B. says:

    a bit of fun trivia i stumbled upon:

    while i was driving on a backroad (to non residents, hwy 9 to locals) in the california coastal redwoods, i stumbled upon a yardsale that looked like a way to feed my vintage game addiction, and was it ! there i found an almost mint copy of “DragonMaster”, and next to it was an old edition of blockhead i had never seen (i already had the lowes version from way back when). and it was signed. double-word score !

    i had to work hard to contain my excitement (and thereby the price) and i asked if there were any other boardgames not set out. big mistake (to my wallet)! a woman in a lawn chair yelled for her husband, and he ROLLED out a hand truck with boxes of games ! a mix of vintage (1920’s) to contemporary. and said if i want more i can come inside to see because he has not boxed the rest.

    i dont know what was greater my joy at this discovery, of the fear of my impending divorce. after we struck a price for the lot (and it was CHEAP) i had to ask why they were selling all the games. it turns out that of the games belonged to his father, Gerald Darcey. who designed games under the name of “jerry d’arcey”, and he invented, among others (like DragonMaster), blockhead!. the son, richard, and his brother briefly made games with their father, but eventually left the game business to become a university professor. (though he used his “real” name of darcey).

    1. Scott says:

      That is an amazing tale! I would never part with those knowing they came from the original family that designed them!

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