Zit-Zingo – Play Bingo in Your Car

From time to time, “Toys Bulletin” will take a look at a favorite toy or game from days long ago. We want to provide you, the reader, a closer look at some of these old favorites that date back to the 50s-70s. So look for the heading “Another Nostalgic Memory from Toys Bulletin.”

Zit-Zingo – Play Bingo in your Car

The Game of “Zit-Zingo” was first released in 1951 by The Jay and Jay Company in Lombard, Illinois. The version pictured here is from 1954, and was well used for many years.

“Zit-Zingo” is played very much like Bingo.  There are four different scoring cards, each with 25 photos of objects you might see while driving in your automobile.  Each scoring card pictures 5 objects left to right and 5 objects up and down, including a free space in the middle.  The first person to see and mark 5 of their objects in a row, wins the game, and yells “Zit-Zingo.”  There are several variations of the game, including having to find everything on the score card before you can win, or requiring each player to only find objects on a certain side of the car.  

Before a discussion of the various objects included on the cards, we must take a trip back in time.  In the 1950s, the Interstate Highway system had not yet been constructed, and four lane divided highways were rare indeed.  Yet, Americans all took vacation trips, and in most cases, they used the family car.  They had no choice but to drive on two lane roads, and travel through small towns to get to their final destination.  Thus, unlike today, trips took longer and there was lots to look at along the way.

So a game like “Zit-Zingo” made perfect sense.  It helped pass the time during those long trips, because other than reading, which sometimes caused nausea for many passengers, there wasn’t much to do in that car.

The objects pictured on the scoring cards are the most fun to look at today, some 60 years later.  Here is partial list of some of the easy ones to spot and some of the hard ones, in no particular order.

Restaurant                         Rail Road Crossing
“S” Curve sign                   River
Electric Transformer       Bicycle
Hitch Hiker                       Airplane
Boy                                     Horse
Wash on Line                    Dog
Bird on Wire                      Water Tower
Motel                                  Policeman

We don’t have to tell you that seeing a Hitch Hiker, Wash on Line, and Bird on Wire would not be easy while traveling on our Interstate Highways of today.  Those were some of the hard objects to spot even back in the 50s.

“Zit-Zingo” was certainly an entertaining travel game to play, long before video games, DVD players and Ipods.  It was a different time for sure, and we at “Toys Bulletin” were happy to provide you with our first in a series of “Nostalgic Memories” from dayslong ago.

— RJ Cullen


Posted in Nostalgic

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