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Candy Land
Players 2–4
Setup time < 3 minutes
Playing time < 15–21 minutes
Random chance Complete
Skills required Color recognition

Candy Land (also Candyland) is a simple racing board game. The game requires no reading and minimal counting skills, making it suitable for young children.

Due to the design of the game, there is no strategy involved—players are never required to make choices, just follow directions. The winner is predetermined by the shuffle of the cards.


The race is woven around a storyline about finding King Kandy, the lost king of Candy Land. The board consists of a winding, linear track made of 134 spaces, most red, green, blue, yellow, orange or purple. The remaining pink spaces are named locations such as Candy Cane Forest and Gum Drop Mountain, or characters such as Queen Frostine and Gramma Nutt.

Players take turns removing the top card from a stack, most of which show one of six colors, and then moving their marker ahead to the next space of that color. Some cards have two marks of a color, in which case the player moves his or her marker ahead to the second-next space of that color. The deck has one card for each named location, and drawing such a card moves a player directly to that board location. This move can be either forward or backward in the classic game; backward moves can be ignored for younger players in the 2004 version of the game.

Before the 2006 version, there were three colored spaces marked with a dot. Two of these spaces were designated as "cherry pitfalls" and the other was situated in Molasses Swamp. A player who lands on such a space is stuck (all cards are ignored) until a card is drawn of the same color as the square. In the 2006 version, dot spaces were replaced with licorice spaces that prompt the player landing on it to simply lose his or her next turn.

The game is won by landing on or passing the final square and thus reaching the goal of the Candy Castle; the official rules specify that any card that would cause the player to advance past the last square wins the game, but many play so that one must land exactly on the last square to win. The 2004 version changed the last space from a violet square to a rainbow space, meaning it applies to any color drawn by a player, thus resolving any dispute about exactly how one wins the game.


The game was designed in 1945 by Eleanor Abbott, while she was recovering from polio in San Diego, California.[1] The game was bought by Milton Bradley Company (now owned by Hasbro) and first published in 1949.[2] Hasbro produces several versions of the game and treats it as a brand. For example, they market Candy Land puzzles, a travel version, a personal computer game, and a handheld electronic version.

A December 2005 article in Forbes magazine analyzed the most popular American toys by decade, with help from the Toy Industry Association. Candy Land led the list for the 1940–1949 decade. In 2005, the game was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame at The Strong in Rochester, New York.

Candy Land was involved in one of the first disputes over internet domain names. An adult web content provider registered, and Hasbro objected. Hasbro obtained an injunction against the use,[3] and eventually gained ownership of the site.[4]


At least four versions of the Candy Land board game were made. The first dates from 1949. This version, and other early versions, had only locations (Molasses Swamp, Gumdrop Mountains, etc.) and no characters. A board copyrighted in 1962 shows a track layout different from the more recent versions.[5] One further revision was made before characters were introduced. The next version of the game, from the 1980s and 1990s, introduced the characters such as Mr. pit and Gramma Nutt, has the modern track layout, and ends with a purple square.

Some of the characters and place names were changed in 2002. Queen Frostine became Princess Frostine, the classic Molasses Swamp was changed to Chocolate Swamp, Princess Lolly was changed to Lolly, and the character Plumpy was removed entirely.

A VCR board game version of the game was made in 1986, although distribution of the game appears to have been limited. Hasbro released an electronic version of the game for Windows in 1998.[6] An animated 2005 feature, Candy Land: The Great Lollipop Adventure, was produced and later spawned a DVD game version of Candy Land.

The "Give Kids the World: Village edition" of Candy Land was produced by Hasbro especially for the Give Kids The World Village, a non-profit resort in Kissimmee, Florida for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. In this version, traditional Candy Land characters and locations were replaced with the venues and characters of the Village, such as Mayor Clayton and Ms. Merry.

There are licensed versions of Candy Land with characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Dora the Explorer and SpongeBob.

Title SKU # Notes
Candy Land 1949 edition
Candy Land 1950s edition
Candy Land 1962 edition
Candy Land 1967 edition
Candy Land 1978 edition
Candy Land 4700 [UPC 32244-04700] 1984 edition
Candy Land 1985 edition
Candy Land: VCR Board Game 1986
Candy Land: A Child's First Game Comes to Life 1998
Candy Land: 50th Anniversary Collector’s Tin MB1001 1999
Candy Land 04700 2002 edition
Candy Land 04700-G C-1827A / 0544700RGB [UPC 32244-04700] 2004 edition
Candy Land 0544700SGB [UPC 53569-44124] 2010 edition
Candy Land: Winnie-the-Pooh Edition 41051
Candy Land: Collector’s Series Game Tin 41605
Candy Land: Dora the Explorer 42588
Candy Land: Deluxe 42743 sold only at Toys R Us
Candy Land: DVD Game 42328
Candy Land: Dora the Explorer with Memory Game Tin 53678
Candy Land Castle Game
Candy Land: Fun of the Run 114866 portable
Candy Land: Give Kids the World: Village Edition


(Characters depend on the version of the game)

  • The Kids -
  • Mint - He lives in the Candycane Forest, and is a candy cane "woodcutter".
  • Duke of Swirl - Mr. Mint's replacement in the 2010 edition.
  • Gramma Nutt - Gramma Nutt lives in a peanut brittle house on the corner of Candyland.
  • King Kandy - the king of Candyland. He lives in a castle made of sweets.
  • Jolly - He was removed in the 2010 version and then after widespread outcry and demand was brought back for the 2013 edition.
  • Plumpy - A fuzzy green monster under the gingerbread plum tree.
  • Mamma Gingersnap - Makes the best gingersnaps in all of Candyland. She was removed from the game.
  • Cupcakes - Mamma Ginger Tree's replacement in the 2010 version.
  • Princess Lolly - She was renamed 'Lolly' after 2002 edition and later renamed Princess Lolly in 2010 edition.
  • Queen Frostine - She was renamed 'Princess Frostine' after 2002 edition.
  • Lord Licorice - He is the villain of Candyland.
  • Gloppy the Molasses Monster - He was renamed Gloppy the Chocolate Monster in 2010 edition.


  • Candy Castle - The location the players are attempting to reach.
  • Gingerbread Plum Trees - Where Plumpy sits eating plums from his gingerbread trees.
  • Gumdrop Mountains - Offers a "gumdrop path", or a shortcut.
  • Licorice Castle - A black and red licorice castle with licorice bats.
  • Lollipop Woods - A forest of rainbow lollipops, which resemble trees.
  • Molasses Swamp - A swamp of molasses with brown popsicle plants.
  • Peanut Brittle House - A cottage made of peanut brittle with peanut plants growing outside.
  • Peppermint Forest - A snowy thicket of peppermint candy canes.
  • Ice Cream Sea - A bubbly ice cream sea where Queen Frostine resides.

In popular culture[]

As motif[]

The Candy section of Toys "R" Us in New York City's Times Square maintained a Candy Land theme until losing their license for the characters in 2006. The theme included a colored pathway that mimicked the board for the game, several Candy Land characters, and candy-themed shelving and ceiling decorations.

Some people believe that Candy Land inspired Dylan Lauren (daughter of Ralph Lauren) to create the Dylan's Candy Bar store, also located in New York City, but it was in fact the popular movie Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory that inspired her to start a candy store, although characters from the Candy Land game can be seen all around the store.

At the Downtown Disney Marketplace in Florida, there is a reference to the rules of Candy Land on the ceiling of The Toy Store. The rules have been altered slightly with some humor and sarcasm added such as rule #6 which says "Play as above until someone reaches the multi-colored space near the castle or someone 'loses their cool' and overturns the gameboard."

Feature film[]

On 5 February 2009, Universal Pictures announced plans to film a movie based on the Candy Land board game.[7] Etan Cohen, a writer for comedies Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa and Tropic Thunder, was hired to write the screenplay. Kevin Lima, who directed Enchanted, was set to direct.[8] However, in 2011, a new screenwriting team was designated, composed of Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger. They said, "We don't see it as a movie based on a board game, although it has characters from that world and takes the idea of people finding themselves in a world that happens to be made entirely of candy where there are huge battles going on. We are going for real comedy, real action, and real emotions at stake."[9]

On 31 January 2011, it was announced that Columbia Pictures, Happy Madison, and Adam Sandler were in final negotiations to develop the film, with Sandler both starring and co-writing the screenplay with Robert Smigel.[10]

Other references in popular culture[]

  • Released in April 2006, the animation Charlie the Unicorn references Candy Land. Charlie and the two unicorns go to "Candy Mountain", with the Candy Mountain cave marquee letters coming down and the 5th letter, y, sings a song. Charlie goes into the cave. This has alternatively been explained as a reference to Candy Land and a reference to the folk song "Big Rock Candy Mountain".
  • Released in June 2010, the music video for Katy Perry's single "California Gurls" bears many resemblances to the game, including a similarly designed board game box labelled "Candyfornia" opening at the beginning of the track. The video features rapper Snoop Dogg rolling dice onto a confectionery-themed board. Perry explores a colorful setting and meets candy characters as she moves through the game.
  • The play Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire references Candy Land in the closing scene when Howie and Becca discuss buying a present for their friend's daughter.
  • In The Super Hero Squad Show episode "Blind Rage Knows No Color!", Thanos has a fear of a children's board game that parodies Candy Land called Sugar World which is invoked upon him by Nightmare. In his nightmare Thanos is attacked by Iron Man (disguised as Candy Cane Carl), Wolverine (disguised as Gingerbread Lad), and Thor (disguised as Lemon Dandy). Other puns related to the Sugar World parody include the Dark Chocolate Geyser and the Snickerdoodle Dice.
  • Candy Land also appears or is mentioned several times in That 70s Show: Eric kept a stash of money in his Candy Land box—which was regularly pilfered by his friends—and it was Fez's favorite board game.
  • In an episode of How I Met Your Mother: Marshall Eriksen creates a game called Marshgammon which uses the Candy Land gameboard as the base of the game.
  • In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Sheldon fails to teach Leonard to play Star Trek's three-dimensional chess and suggests that three-dimensional Candy Land may be "more his speed" (S01E11 Pancake Batter Anomaly).
  • In "Normal," an episode of New Girl, the four main characters plus Jess' boyfriend at that time Russell play the game True American, which is "50% drinking game, 50% life size Candyland". (S01E20)
  • In SE8E11 of Mystery Science Theater 3000, Pearl Forrester and Brain Guy (who attempts to cheat) play Candy Land with the space children.
  • In the VeggieTales episode "Larry Boy and the Fib from Outer Space", Larry Boy and his butler Alfred are playing Candy Land, until Larry Boy is alerted of the disaster unfolding in Bumblyburg.
  • In Django Unchained, the plantation name "Candyland" was inspired by director Quentin Tarantino's fascination with the board-game.[11]
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, the movie references "Candyland" with a video game world based entirely around candy called "Sugar Rush", the ruler of which is called King Candy.
  • In a skit from the sketch comedy show Studio C, the Candy Land characters confer on changes they can make to encourage children to be healthier. They eventually settle on renaming the game "Diabetes Land."


  1. Tim Walsh (2005). Timeless Toys: Classic Toys and the Playmakers Who Created Them. Andrews McMeel. p. 80. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  2. Waggoner, Susan. Under the Tree: the Toys and Treats That Made Christmas Special, 1930-1970. Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2007.
  3. Injunction,
  4. As of 18 October 2011, redirects to
  5. 1962 Candy Land board, Elliott Avedon Museum
  7. [1]
  8. Fleming, Michael (4 February 2009). "'Candy Land' coming to bigscreen". Variety. Retrieved 18 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Labrecque, Jeff (23 May 2011). "'Candy Land' screenwriters: 'We envision it as 'Lord of The Rings,' but set in a world of candy'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 September 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Fleming, Mike (31 January 2012). "Hasbro's 'Candy Land' Lands With Adam Sandler". Deadline. Retrieved 31 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Emerson, Jim (4 January 2013). "Django Unchain my heart (and set me free)". Scanners (blog). Retrieved 5 May 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links[]