|Players Any Number can play|
|Setup time 1 minute|
Random chance High
|Designer(s) Magic Box Int - part of Martomagic (PPI Worldwide)|
Gogo's Crazy Bones (also referred to as Crazy Bones or Gogo's) are small, collectible figurines that became a popular fad during the 1990s and 2000s. They are produced by Spanish company Magic Box Int., and PPI Worldwide Group, the sole distributor in North America.
Crazy Bones was inspired by a children's game played in Ancient Greece and Rome called 'Astragal' (Knucklebones), where children played a similar game using sheep's knucklebones. This ancient pastime is also known as Tabas. Games played are reminiscent of marbles and jacks. Crazy Bones is a modern version of this game, played with characters molded from plastic. There are hundreds of individual characters, each character having a unique face and name. Each series has a number of 'rare' (referred to as 'wanted','most wanted' or 'w' on trading cards.) pieces that are sought after by collectors and are sold on numerous websites for many times their original value.
Crazy Bones was launched in the United States by Peter Gantner after witnessing the success of Barcelona-based GoGos in Spain, which had sold over 350 million packs from its inception in 1996 to 1997. Gantner formed Toy Craze in December 1997 with his brother David Ganter and businessman Scott Harris, and the company acquired the distribution rights in the US. Some sources indicate Bill Flaherty, who became President of Toy Craze, also founded the company. Gogos agreed to provide him with inventory for no of the money down in return for 50% of all profits. This deal was later renegotiated, and the manufacturer was later paid a royalty of sales.
A small company at the time of inception, Crazy Bones became a popular fad in the late 90s. The product was aggressively marketed to children, and promotional events took place in scout meetings, club groups, fairs, and shows, where free sample packs were distributed. Toy demos have also taken place in SkyDome, where children were given free packs and taught how to play Crazy Bones. This promotion was organized by the Canadian marketers of Crazy Bones, a joint venture by Wayne Fromm and Eric Segal of All 4 Fun Consumer Products Ltd. All 4 Fun Toy Products Ltd. also created a series of Crazy Bones for the Toronto Blue Jays, a cereal promotion with Cap'n Crunch and another with Wrigley. In 1999 and 2000 Fromm and Segal created one of Canada's largest collectible fad in the toy industry.. Fromm conceived of a musical band based on Crazy Bones in 2000, called B2K. This was a joint venture between Fromm, Segal and Iron Music. Nearly four million free packs have been distributed. Crazy Bones secured a number of high-profile partners, including McDonald's, which included the product as Happy Meal toys nationwide. These Crazy Bones were significantly larger than the normal toys, possibly to reduce risk of choking among young children.
Within two years, the company's revenues had grown to nearly $17 million. By favoring tours of scout meetings and the like over television and print advertisements, Toy Craze has also kept its marketing costs to around 10%.
Crazy Bones were originally distributed in Canada through the Concord, Ontario-based company Playtoy Industries, where they enjoyed similar success. Playtoy Industries declared bankruptcy in December 1999 and Wayne Fromm and Eric Segal catapulted Crazy Bones through a joint venture (www.frommtoys.com)
Crazy Bones enjoyed incredible popularity in the late 1990s. From 1998-2000, 31.5 million packages were sold. Over 23 million figurines were sold in the UK and Spain in a recent relaunch between March and December 2008.
Crazy Bones were banned in many schools, as they were blamed for encouraging theft, arguments, and in-class distractions.
The product was formerly known as simply "Crazy Bones." It is currently marketed as "Gogo's Crazy Bones."
Crazy Bones was first released by an American company HotShots.
HotShots later lost or sold the Crazy Bone patent. Toy Craze then obtained, distributed and licensed it, with Magic Box int. manufacturing them. (Source: back of a "Things" pack of Crazy Bones) In April 2000, Toy Craze increased licensing to include at least 10 licensees. Toy Craze, opened in 1997, continued to release Crazy Bones in a variety of forms: "Original", "Buddies", "Mutants", "Things", "Aliens", "Sports", "Sports Series 2", Mega, Ghost, "Third Series" "Z-Bones", "Dragonball Z", "Toy Story 2", "Macro's Mega Aliens", "Rockers", "Turma de Monica", "Medabots" and "Shin-chan"
The original bones were small plastic figurines made with faces. Each bone had a different name and personality. The long line of characters included the well known Jaws, Top Hat, and Eggy. Slight variations in design with a shift to a more spooky nature, of 59-78, led to production of the Mutant set of bones. On the other hand, Things, Ghost, Aliens, Buddies, and Sports were intended as each containing brand new characters. "Sports"(40 units) had sports uniformed crazy bones characters. "Buddies" included 58 Gogos, each, like the past series', with its own function and design including: Liberty, Book worm, and Slick. In the "Things" series (60 units) all the bones were shaped like various everyday objects such as: a TV, couch, or book, but as with the other series' they had smiley faces. "Aliens"(60 units) had anthropomorphic figures of a classic grey, big eyed, alien. Some of the designs included: Salad Head(Caesar), Cyclops, Boris, Tut and others. A "Third" series of Crazy Bones (In the old packaging and design)named "The New Generation" was later released, including 120 all new characters. Some seem to be variations of the originals, or mutant original, but they are all meant as new characters to the series. A second sports series was released, but instead of uniformed characters, it features characters from the Original, Buddies, and Mutants series performing a sport (Eggy playing basketball or Speedy driving a car). There was also a series with magnetic characters, which is incredibly difficult to find. Rockers are music themed characters.
As of October 2010, the current distributor for Gogo's Crazy Bones in the US (as well as Canada) is Jonic Distribution North America.
The Classic series was available in Canada in the 1990s. The rebranded Gogo's Crazy Bones series 1 was sold in Canada in 2009. Series 2 became available in May 2011, then came series 3 and now series 4.
Gogo's Crazy Bones in Europe
In Europe Crazy Bones are released in different sets for different countries.
The following sets have been released;
In March 2009, to mark the release of the Explorer series in the UK, the Daily Mirror newspaper ran a week-long promotion where they gave away free figurines, stickers and sticker books. Two of the figurines were exclusive to this giveaway
In April 2009, the Entertainer toy shop in Kingston upon Thames held a 'swap day'. Every swapper received a special 'Laser Mosh' - Mosh is the first bone in the original series. The Laser Mosh is lime green, and carries the same coating as the Explorer special Gogos.
Gogo's Mega Metropolis
In January 2010, gogo's Crazy Bones Mega Metropolis was re-released in the UK after an earlier trial in selected areas. A Partwork, the magazine features a new 'Mega Gogo' each week. Starting with Mosh (Gogo #1 from Series #1) the Mega versions are (so far) all from series 1. After that, The others have been released in a different order (1,8,3,9 etc.) Each Mega Gogo has a flip-top head which opens to reveal an evolution series 2 bone. The mega bones' heads are also removable, allowing different versions to be created once other models have been collected. Each Mega bone comes in several colour variants, some of which do not match the original colours from the series. The Mega bones are contained in a hexagonal 'pod'. These are connectible and also have different colours to collect. It is possible to pull these apart to make multi-colour pods.
Gogo's Crazy Bones Comic
A monthly magazine that is very similar to Mega Metropolis. Extras, like new products, are included. Exact length of run unknown, though it is believed to have ceased production.
Gogo's Trading Card Game
From January 21, 2011, Magic Box International added a new Gogo's Crazy Bones Trading Card Game. This new trading game complemented the range of Gogo collectable figurines and created an exciting new way to play and collect Gogos. There were 160 cards to collect, including 32 special prismatic 'Leader' cards. Packets of the Gogo's Crazy Bones Trading Card Game contain 6 cards, including 1 special card and were priced at 50p. A Starter Pack was also available containing a Collector Album for storing the cards, a full game guide, checklist and 3 packets of cards. The Starter Pack was priced at £3.99. As with all Gogo's Crazy Bones collections, an extensive marketing campaign was in place to support the launch. This included a large TV advertising campaign and product sampling via the Gogo's Crazy Bones Comic.
Gogo's Crazy Bones in South Africa
Gogo's Crazy Bones Series 1 was released in South Africa in October 2009. The collectables are available as 4 product variations:
In December 2009 the largest South African Sunday newspaper listed the toy as the top gift for boys between the ages of 6 and 8. Four months after release the sales exceeded 200,000 units.
Gogo’s Crazy Bones Series 2 was released on March 18, 2010. The South African distributors and licensors of the toy are Blowfish Entertainment.
Gogo's Crazy Bones In Other Countries
Other than the collectible nature of Crazy Bones there are multiple games that can be played with the figurines including:
Some Gogo's Crazy Bones games can also be played online, on the Gogo's web site:
In 2011, GCB's were picked up for TV treatment. The series was animated by Aronnax Animation Studios from Peru. The series lasted a pilot episode, even though it was planned to get 52 episodes in 2012. The series got dislikes most likely because they used Gogo's that no one was familiar with, and the show had a bad feel to it. It got removed from GogosCrazyBonesNA's YouTube channel most likely because many fans hated it. Here is a list the characters that were going to be in the show:
Other Gogo's - These are often Series One characters that are only in the background.
European Crazy Bones, Evolution, Explorer and Superstar packets also contain stickers. These can be collected in sticker albums which are sold separately.
Series 4 Power Gogo's replace stickers with cards. There is a collector's folder with transparent sleeves for all cards. Released February 2011, The trading cards also have a collector's folder, sold with a free pack of cards @ £3.99.
Magic Box Int has also created various collector tins, bags (blue and green) and containers for the gogos.
In August 2009, plush toys of three types were released:
All plush designs are based on bones from series 1
In March 2010, the 'England dugout 2010' was released to store the England 2010 collection.
During the mid 1990s, Coca Cola released a similar brand of toys named "Hielocos" in Mexico, Ecuador, Costa Rica and "Geloucos" in Brazil (translated to 'Crazy Ice Cubes').
Since the resurgence of the European Gogo's Crazy Bones, several similar products have entered the market;