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Domino Rally

You couldn't fail to be excited as you watched the television advert for Domino Rally which featured several well-groomed children cheering and punching the air with uncontainable excitement as their elaborate Domino Rally set up toppled and rattled over a series of obstacles including bridges, loop-the-loops, a flight of stairs and ultimately a launch pad that catapulted a plastic rocket in the air. After watching this advert, children all over the world pestered their parents to buy them their own Domino Rally set so that they could be as joyful as the children in the adverts.

Trouble is, they didn’t show in the advert that these very same well-groomed and joyful children had spent several hours prior to the filming, laboriously setting up the hundreds of flimsy plastic dominos, one at a time, holding their breath and sticking out their tongues with the immense concentration required to prevent the dominos from falling over and occasionally starting a chain reaction that would destroys hours’ worth of work prematurely. They also didn’t show the rough edges of the dominos left over from the injection moulding process which made them inherently unstable and prone to spontaneous topplage.

If you could really be bothered to spend a gruelling and frustrating three hours setting up a Domino Rally display, you would be rewarded with a crushingly-disappointing brief display that usually resulted in the Domino Rally being packed away at the back of the toy cupboard and never played with again.

Of course, it was far easier and more entertaining to just watch the fruits of other people’s labour on television shows like Record Breakers with Roy Castle and Norris McWhirter where groups of students would set up millions of dominos in old aircraft hangars and set them off in colourful and intricate displays often recreating famous paintings, flags or scenes from around the world. Even the ‘professionals’ got it wrong though sometimes and Britain's most famous adjudicator, Norris McWhirter, mournfully recounted the tale of hundreds of thousands of dominos being accidentally toppled after a photographer dropped his light meter at a record attempt in Japan.

Unsurprisingly, Domino Rally was a rather short-lived craze thanks, in part, to the short attention span of most children. However, world record attempts for domino toppling continue to this day although if you fancy joining your local domino world record team, I'd strongly recommend you leave your Domino Rally set at home.


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Message boards

Domino Rally Last post by Llamarama
09 February 2012
Domino Rally Last post by remember
22 April 2008

Do You Remember Domino Rally?

Do You Remember Domino Rally?

  • kagomeshuko
    on
    We had this. We never played the game - just played set up and knock down the Dominoes.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I had a Domino Rally set and thought it was fantastic. I had a lot of patience so I guess I didn't mind all the set up time for a short pay off. What I also particularly remember was that the box was absolutely jam packed, it was really difficult to get everything back in there, which made a change to most things which rattled around in oversized flashy boxes.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Me & my brother wanted one but we never got it because even the basic set was very expensive. Years later a friend, who must have picked it up at a car boot sale, let me have a go with it.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    The worst thing about this game is that the snaps would just break right off of the plastic dominoes. Whenever this happened, the domino was ruined for good.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    The hours of setting up would have overridden the 30secs pleasure in seeing them fall for me - and that's assuming they all had straight sides ! Dominoes are to be played the way nature intended as far as I'm concerned.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I didn't have Domino Rally, I had a different manufacturer's set. I don't remember the name, but some of the blocks were black, some white, and they were made of some kind of durable and heavy plastic. One end was weighted more heavily, and there were no rough edges. I had a lot of fun with that toy.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    I always wanted Domino Rally, but never got it. I think I always thought I would be disappointed. It coincided with Roy Castle's Record Breakers showing those record domino toppling events, which were amazing, and went on for hours. Somehow, Domino Rally was never going to be able to compete with that. Plus, I always feared that just 3/4 the way through setting it up, a stray sleeve would set the whole thing going, and I'd have to start again.
  • Anonymous user
    on
    Domino Rally was the most infuriating game ever...it was also probably one of the least played cos it took up so much room and took so long to set up all the dominos..I remember spending hours and hours at a friends house setting the game up and then it'd be all over in 5 seconds flat when you let the first domino go. How frustrating was that game!