The Hoarde Vintage -

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A wonderful piece and a rare survivor, 'The Silver Bullet or The Road to Berlin' is a piece of anti-German propaganda aimed at children during WW1. Obviously enough this means it was produced between 1914-'18 and it's survived the past century in very good order with minimal fading / damage. It's a typical ball maze game where the player has to navigate a small metal ball (a ball-bearing) through a choice of routes, whilst getting past a series of holes which drop the ball back to the start.

The anti-German twist with this piece is that the objective is to reach (/occupy) Berlin and along the way the player must avoid holes labelled Cologne, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Dresden, Hanover, Potsdam, Hamburg and Spandau, all of these representing "fortresses"; the cities that would have to fall to close in on the German capital. If the player chooses to take the more direct route, they have to navigate wider holes which are labelled "Entrenchments", "Bridge Destroyed" and "Road Mined" - the typical hazards that would have confronted British troops.

The game board board is printed on coloured card, encased in a wooden box with a glazed front. A printed instructional sticker is attached to the rear. Generally the piece remains clear and bright and is fully legible. Years of grubby fingers have lead to marking on the casing and the rear which would probably clean, but for me it's a fantastic piece of the game's history, evidencing the years of fun it provided. The game is still in full working order, I can testify that this distinctly challenging and really rather addictive! ("just one more go!").
An example of this game can also be found in the Imperial War Museum's collections.

It measures 24.5cm high x 16cm wide x 2.5cm deep.
  • Period: 1914-1918
    • Price: £360.00
    • €417 Euro
    • $446 US Dollar
  • Location: London
    • Dimensions: H: 24.5cm (9.65in)
    • W: 16cm (6.30in)
    • D: 2.5cm (0.98in)