Jaws Craze

There seemed to be nothing better than a shark game…

Ahhh.. the obsession! Jaws, though a 1975 film, was still running rampant with influence in the 80s. We never got to see it in the cinema, but TV showings on a Saturday night, combined with our VCR taping it, set the stage for total obsession. Obsession for us was nothing but positive.

Matthew and I began to create shark comics. With our 4 color pens, we would change to red and splash the ocean with blood after an attack. Comics centered around the “Orca” from the motion picture. Quint’s boat and how it sunk totally fascinated our minds. That slow impending doom.

WE HAD AN IDEA! Our games at lunchtime at Kilbirnie school were good, but we wanted something on a grand scale. A game worthy of a motion picture, the very culture celebrated in these writings.

As such, we came up with the game “Jaws”. From this moment on, Jaws in our games would mean this grand game. So grand in fact, it would take place at school after hours. We decided on the following Saturday around 11am. We would bring all our figures! Now this was big time! You see, we would bring some figures to school to play with but hey, you would never bring them all. Chances of them being stolen seemed very real. So here we were combining our full forces (some 40 figures in total) for the most vicious of games. We’re talking about a lot of victims for the shark!

Matthew & I returned to the site of the grand games.

The figures would all line up on the shore with their boats. Boats? well Matthew had one from another line of toys, but we made do with boxes, ashtrays etc. They went out one by one to hunt the shark, all over confident in their success. The shark itself? haha well back then, we never saw a shark toy in any shop. But hey, we had a good substitute lined up! We would use Mathews school bag! It was an appropriate generic black, had a mouth with a zip that doubled as shark teeth and as a bonus, all your figures were packed up once the last victim was gulped, save for having both our figures ending up in one bag.

It was wonderful… all the time in the world, no school bell ending the fun and no kids annoying us. We vowed to do it again and we did soon after. Jaws became known as “Jaws 1” and the new game was “Jaws 2”, which was even more exhilarating than the original!

Details of the games have been lost to time but the way we did it and what it meant to us, remain.