30 YEARS OF THE BUG/FROM THE ARCHIVES:
The free board games & giveaways that sent us broke
Two years after the September 11 2001 terror attacks on New York and with the world still gripped by the threat of world holy war after our very own Man of Steel joined George Bush into bombing Iraq back into the Middle Ages, The Bug edition (above) included a FREE board game valued at close to $80!
All Bug readers had to do was buy some thick cardboard to paste the full-colour game board onto, along with the cutouts of the two world trade towers, the hijacked airplanes and, of course, the flaming Americans.
It would be almost impossible to fully cost the development phase of this exciting project but rightly or wrongly The Bug has always put its readers first.
To this day, families around Australia still pull out their Towers of Power board game for not only a night of competitive fun but to teach children just how fragile world peace can be, even without John Howard in the Lodge.
And it wasn’t only international politics that inspired a Bug board game concept.
Very popular board games were rushed out by The Bug, firstly in 1990 to celebrate the sham trial of much-loved former Queensland Premier Sir Johannas Bjelke-Petersen (we knew we were on a Shaw thing with that one!) and the exciting federal election in 2004 between John Howard and Mark Latham, at which voters rejected the far-right choice and re-elected Howard.
All of The Bug’s board games came, of course, with a free dice!
Over the years, The Bug has also ran numerous competitions, many of which had a first prize equal to the annual salaries of the paper’s publishers!
Two of these had a rather deadly aspect to them. In Skase Lotto, readers had to guess the exact time gravely ill Christopher Skase would peg out on the flight if forced to fly home to Australia to face corporate criminal charges.
In The Bug‘s May 1999 issue, readers were asked to guess when Queensland Labor rat Mal Colston would peg out. Both comps attracted a mountain of entries; the latter a certain amount of trepidation at the Bug office after word came through that Colston’s two big and burly sons planned a visit.
Tomorrow: The Bug‘s emotional tribute in early 1999 to the enduring popularity of the late Princess Diana of Wales.