BRINGING THE THRILL OF COOKIES TO YOUR FRONT DOOR
Hit me with a bumped super ball
There now follows a ranking of the top retired pricing games on the US edition of The Price Is Right, in the order of priority to be brought back.
- Hit Me: Based on blackjack, the contestant would select from six grocery items, each with a card hidden behind them. Each item also had a clue: the price shown on each item was equal to the actual retail price multiplied by the value of the card. To get 21 and win automatically, the contestant simply had to find one item with the right price and one with a price ten times too high. Apparently retired because the game was confusing for some players. However, anyone who complains about mathematics involved in pricing games should keep in mind that prices are numbers.
- Add ’Em Up: The contestant was shown the total of the four digits in the price of the car and, after receiving one digit for free, would guess the remaining digits. If you can subtract one number from another number, this pricing game is for you.
- Super Ball!!: Skee ball for big prizes.
- Buy or Sell: This game put a twist on the usual “higher or lower” scheme by asking the contestant to buy low or sell high.
- Step Up: This game involved putting four prizes in order, but with the option to bail out along the way. Retired in 2014, the most recent retirement of a pricing game.
- Clearance Sale: The contestant was given three sale prices to place on three prizes: placing them in such a way that all prizes had a sale price below the actual retail price would win the game. Because there was always one sale price between the two lowest prizes and one between the two highest prizes, this game was functionally isomorphic to Easy as 1-2-3.
- Bump: Played for two large prizes, this game had an endearing, if nonsensical, London-themed setup, depicting Routemaster buses on a bridge. We would like to see this one reintroduced, if only to see James O’Halloran attempt to bump the buses.
- Phone Home Game: The show would call a viewer who had sent in a postcard, and the studio contestant would then guess the grocery items that corresponded to prices read by the home player. This game was played in the 1980s, when viewer involvement was popular on game shows [eg, the Home Player Spins on Press Your Luck]. Is begging to be brought back as the Skype Game or somesuch.
- Poker Game: This game involved making poker hands with the digits in prices. Pro tip from Jasmine: Pieces of furniture and appliances often have prices ending with 99, making them excellent choices for pairs.
- Penny Ante: Played for a bonus prize, the contestant would guess the price of two grocery items, with incorrect guesses costing one of the three giant prop pennies given to the contestant at the start. Featured the greatest sound effect in the show’s history, which was resurrected [briefly] when Vend-O-Price was introduced in 2015.
- Split Decision: The contestant would determine which three digits of an eight digit sequence formed the price of the other prize rather than the car. An interesting game, but certainly prone to mishaps and disasters.
- Walk of Fame: This game involved guessing prices within a specified range, a concept that has been resurrected into Rat Race.
- Barker’s Markers [Make Your Mark]: Given three prizes and four prices, the contestant must guess which prices are represented by the prizes [though there is no requirement to match them to specific prizes]. The name changed to Make Your Mark after Drew Carey took over, but he infamously erred whilst explaining the rules [you don’t get to keep the money if you lose]. The game has not been seen again.
- Credit Card: The contestant selects the three cheapest prizes out of five in an upside down Shopping Spree.
- On the Spot: This game involved matching prices to small items. Only existed for two seasons.
- Super Saver: This game involved selecting grocery items marked down from the actual retail prices. Retired after an infamous playing that resulted in a lawsuit over whether Bob Barker explained the rules correctly.
- Trader Bob: The contestant was given three pairs of small items and had to select the higher priced item in each pair. The game is interesting enough, but somehow “Trader Drew” just doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.
- Balance Game [original]: In the original version of the Balance Game, the contestant would place small items on either side of a scale, hoping to put the totals within ±$5 of one another.
- Fortune Hunter: An unusual game, the contestant would rule out three of the four prizes, one at a time, based upon clues given by Bob Barker. The contestant would win the prizes plus a cash bonus if the correct prizes were eliminated, even if they were not eliminated at the correct clues.
- Joker: This game involved guessing small items’ prices by ordering the digits correctly [eg, either US$48 or US$84].
- Gallery Game: The contestant would guess the missing digit in the price of the prize. Only existed for one season.
- Double Digits: For four small items, the contestant was shown the second digit and would guess the first digit from two choices. The selected digits would also form the price of the car. Only played five times, but clearly served as inspiration for a much more successful pricing game, Temptation.
- Give or Keep: Much like Trader Bob, but the contestant could win provided that the total of the kept items exceeded the total of the given items.
- Hurdles: Trader Bob with grocery items and an endearing mascot.
- Finish Line: Trader Bob with an amusing mechanical setup.
- On the Nose: The contestant would guess the car’s price from four choices: closer guesses would result in more attempts to complete a sporting activity [eg, passing an American football or throwing a dart]. Only existed for two seasons. The game actually looks like a predecessor to The Cube, especially with the hinged setup.
- Bullseye [original]: The contestant was given seven guesses to find the car’s price exactly, and would be told whether the correct price was higher or lower each time. One of the original pricing games at the 1972 première week, but was only played five times, all unsuccessfully.
- Telephone Game: The contestant would use a dollar to buy two of four grocery items. If at least ten cents remained, the contestant could use a pay telephone to call one of three numbers, hoping to select the correct price of the car.
- Shower Game: The contestant would enter one of six shower stalls marked with possible prices of the car. Only existed for about three months.
- Mystery Price: This game involved guessing the prices of small items without going over.
- It’s Optional: The first game ever played for more than one car, this game involved adding options to the second car to bring its price to within a specified range.
- Double Bullseye: The only game ever to involve two studio contestants, this game was based upon the original Bullseye but continued until one player guessed the exact price. Was only played four times.
- Professor Price: Was only played twice. Take a look and see if you can figure out why.
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