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August 9, 2005 12:03 AM

Broken: Boley board game

BoleygamelgSeth Nelson points out a new Boley toy with an ill-advised board design.



Honestly, this went from design to production and no one said "Hmm, well hey, if you tilt your head a little to the right this toy looks kinda like a swastika"? Definitely broken.

Posted by: Tom at August 9, 2005 12:30 AM

Made in China, designed in Berlin. I wonder if it's original name was "Purifying the Race-ing Game"?

Posted by: PatheticPeripatetic at August 9, 2005 12:38 AM

Its a kids toy for goodness sake! I dont think the master race is rising again from general Dollar

Posted by: El Gato at August 9, 2005 01:21 AM

also broken: notice the age advisory in the upper left hand corner. "Small parts Not for children under 3 years" then right under that... "For ages 5 and up". which one is it?

Posted by: AngryIndividual at August 9, 2005 02:09 AM

AngryIndividual: The note regarding ages 5 and up is a recommendation as to what ages the game is targeted for. Not for children under 3 years is for legal purposes, indicating that the product is unsafe for those under 3 years of age.

Posted by: NK at August 9, 2005 03:04 AM

Just because it is a swastika does NOT make it broken. Why is it that in this day and age of political correctness, where no one may be offended, it is perfectly acceptable to lash out in so hostile a manner against Nazism. As a practicing National Socialist, I am outraged. Every perverse group is entitled to protection, but legitimate political parties face oppression, I would contend that it is YOU, who are broken.

Sieg Heil!

Posted by: Hermann Goering at August 9, 2005 06:00 AM

I was three lines in before I twigged.

Nice one Hermann.


Posted by: DJM at August 9, 2005 06:38 AM

Actually, in China, the swastika is a symbol for the cycle of life, even luck, in Buddhist circles.

Posted by: Eli Sarver at August 9, 2005 06:47 AM

When I first looked at this, I had no idea the "broken" element was that it resembled the symbol the Nazi's used... I thought perhaps that , let's see... on a race track, the cars all go around the same way, and on this they're all aimed at each other? That's pretty broken. The swastika symbol itself isn't actually broken. It's not like the game actually makes some kind of statement against Jews just by having a design like that... a bent cross or greek knot shows up lots of places in designs and doesn't particularly mean that there's a Nazi affiliation. If it actually had little Nazi flags on it, however... that would be broken.

Posted by: sir_flexalot at August 9, 2005 08:11 AM

Eli: you have it backwards.

Notably, the swastika in the toy here (and the Nazi party logo) has a counterclockwise implied motion, while the Buddhist sauvastika has a clockwise implied motion.

Posted by: Mr BK of Baltimore, MD at August 9, 2005 08:48 AM

There's a nice article on Wikipedia about the swastika symbol, which has a long and interesting history.

I'm not sure I would drawn a connection to Nazism without the words "ill-advised board design" on the description.

Posted by: Robby Slaughter at August 9, 2005 08:49 AM

I think



| |_

is the ancient symbol of luck and



_| |

is the Nazi symbol.

Posted by: Fuzzy at August 9, 2005 08:49 AM

i can draw too, well, kinda

a game of hangman anyone?


O |

-|- |

/\ |


Posted by: noname at August 9, 2005 08:59 AM

Also, this looks like a direct rip-off of Pop-O-Matic Trouble.

Posted by: Chuck at August 9, 2005 09:32 AM

Achtung! So, you have uncovered our secret subliminal advertising! Ve shall still rule za world! Herr Goering vas right, za swastika is not broken! Zis image shall be burned into zer little minds & ve shall rize again!

Posted by: Mengle at August 9, 2005 11:02 AM

I didn't actually see the swastica. When I looked at this and read ill advised game design I noticed that the inside destination colors are yellow, orange, green and blue, but the starting colors are yellow, orange, green, and pink. Not knowing how to play the game I thought that was the problem. It was only after reading the posts that I saw the swastika shaped design.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at August 9, 2005 11:40 AM

Funny you should say that Joshua, I didn't notice the swastika at first either until people pointed it out. The part I thought was broken was that there didn't seem to be any instructions or playing pieces, and no immediately discernable way to play the game. Am I supposed to use cards? Dice? Do I flip nickels to determine how many spaces I go? What's the deal with the outside track and the angled paths in the middle? Childrens games should be immediately obvious on how to play them, otherwise they'll end up in a dollar store like this one did.

Also swastika shapes on childrens toys is broken. Burning crosses are OK though, like in my favorite game "Burn the dark-skinned infidels before they rape the white women".

Posted by: Manni at August 9, 2005 11:57 AM

This was designed for Kyle Hitler. So, if you SEE KYLE, let him know his toy is ready. That's meine kampf and I am sticking to it.

Posted by: bobo at August 9, 2005 12:23 PM

Ihre ganze Unterseite sind gehören uns!

Posted by: Boris die Spinne at August 9, 2005 01:26 PM

I'm still suprised the makers of Pop-O-Matic Trouble aren't suing this maker's pants off right now. I would be. In spite of all the fuss you people are making about swastikas and the like. There's only meaning in a shape if we attach meaning to it. Unless children are told that a similar design is a bad, bad thing, then they in all liklihood won't even notice, or much less care.

Posted by: Delenne at August 9, 2005 01:28 PM

Delenne is right, but that is offensive.

Posted by: Jake Nelson at August 9, 2005 03:00 PM

Delenne is right, but that is offensive. Definitely broken.

Posted by: Jake Nelson at August 9, 2005 03:01 PM

Posted twice. My bad.

Posted by: Jake Nelson at August 9, 2005 03:02 PM

How could you not notice the swastika? It was glaringly obvious to me. I wholeheartedly agree with Tom. This design should never have made it past the drawing board. Of course, this is a rather low-budget toy.


Have any of you noticed that the URLs for the comment pages are missing letters? like this is boley_board_gam in the address bar. Is there any particular reason for that? I've seen this on a lot of pages.

Posted by: Bob at August 9, 2005 03:23 PM

Funnily enough, Boley is the same maker of the broken 'Pocket Travel Game' with no instructions I submitted to This is Broken in 2004:

Posted by: Megan at August 9, 2005 03:35 PM

Bob, typad automatically creates the filenames which it gets from the posting title replacing spaces with _ It would actually be better if it replaced spaces with - since most search engines see words-like-this as separate keywords but words_like_this are one word, so for search engine ranking - > _

As for not seeing the swastika I guess it has to do with what your mind is tuned to seeing. I think it had to do with that I was staring so intently at the game trying to grasp it that I didn't see the swastika symbol (forest for the trees).

Here's a site that is a customer of ours although we just host them and didnt' do the design. I had to look at the picture on the front 4 or 5 times for my mind to understand what it was really seeing. My first impression was not so pure.

Posted by: Joshua Wood at August 9, 2005 03:36 PM

Thanks JW! I now need a cold shower and some chocolate! My other half still can't see what he's supposed to see being locked on his first - and only - thought.

Not to offend anyone, but my thought on this toy is that even the children of nazi's and the KKK need toys. Maybe the company is just trying to appeal to all of the markets? I'm just waiting for Nazi Barbie. She does everything else! Okay, that was bad!

Barbie is broken. That gal is a nurse, a doctor, a vet. She can't hold a job!

Posted by: Anna Mouse at August 9, 2005 04:18 PM


Posted by: PatheticPeripatetic at August 9, 2005 07:25 PM

Naturally, a person's reaction to this design depends on how attuned he is to the symbol. I can understand how such a design might innocently come to fruition in a cultural environment where the symbol has a different meaning or no meaning, but the company has an implicit responsibility to be aware of potential consequences in the market into which it sells its product. In this case, the design can reasonably be expected to provoke offence, or at least shock, in a large portion of western culture. To me, a significant potential for unintended negative consequences implies a broken design.

Posted by: Lomedhi at August 9, 2005 08:20 PM

_@_v - winner gets the sudetenland, loser gets an all-expense-paid trip to a polish 'summer camp'...

Posted by: she-snailie_@_v at August 9, 2005 11:29 PM

The symbol was also very obvious to me even before clicking to enlarge the picture.

For those concerned about game play. I am not certain but my guess is every player picks a color (yellow, green, pink, or orange) each player spins the wheel in the center to get 1 of their 4 pieces onto the track and then proceed around the track then up to the center with all 4 pieces to win. I'm sure the directions are printed on the back of the package.

Posted by: tool at August 10, 2005 02:49 AM

Anna, so I'm not the only one that didn't see that she was holding the top of a box of chocolate?

Posted by: Joshua Wood at August 10, 2005 09:19 AM

I didn't see the swastika at first - I only noticed it after I read the first post. What I thought was being called 'broken' was the fact that it is a racing game, but all of the cars are supposed to race toward the CENTER of the board as fast as possible. Is it apparent to the kids that the only possible result is a high-speed, head-on collision? Violent game... But yes, now I see the sawstika. Poor design...

Posted by: Tim at August 10, 2005 12:02 PM

Come on people! If they are stupid enough to put a swastica there by mistake, they shouldn't be making toys...

Posted by: drivec at August 10, 2005 04:53 PM

Wow, looks almost exactly like a swastika.

Somebody isn't very smart.

Posted by: [insert name here] at August 11, 2005 10:30 AM

I don't know why the girl in the Asher's chocolates page is eating a... hot dog. So strange and confusing.

Posted by: JP at August 11, 2005 02:59 PM

The girl in the Asher's chocolates page is opening a box of chocolates, is simply the placement of the lid which is unfortunate. When I looked at it all I saw was a box lid, I had to reread Joshua's post to figure out what he was talking about.

BTW thanks Tom, I was having trouble seeing the "ill advised" part of the design.

Posted by: Sean P at August 11, 2005 08:00 PM

Is this broken?

Posted by: DM at August 11, 2005 11:54 PM


Posted by: Billy at August 11, 2005 11:56 PM

Oooh, semi double-post. Megan, your link is broken. Try

BTW, how do you do bold?

Posted by: Bob at August 12, 2005 06:55 PM

Oooh, semi double-post. Megan, your link is broken. Try

BTW, how do you do bold?

Posted by: Bob at August 12, 2005 06:56 PM

I looked at the Boley site and aside from their pocket travel games, there are some fairly nice products.

The 'Cararama' collection of vintage auto miniatures looks nice...

Funny but there are a lot of German autos listed - especially on the first page...

Posted by: Franny Wentzel at August 12, 2005 10:05 PM

Also worth noting is the "CHOKING HAZARD - Small parts. Not intended for children under 3 years" warning and directly under it the "For ages 5 and up" warning.

Posted by: Robo at August 26, 2005 03:47 AM


Posted by: doug at October 26, 2005 01:29 AM

Hitler back from the grave !

Posted by: Chaz at April 16, 2006 06:21 PM

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