Mattel’s Whac-A-Mole | Source: Mattel

The new era of game shows inspired by iconic properties is rapidly developing.

Following the recent news that The UNO Game Show is in development from Mattel Television and Propagate (Running Wild with Bear Grylls, Chopped), Mattel Inc. is partnering with Fremantle (American Idol, The Price is Right) to develop a game show inspired by the arcade classic Whac-A-Mole.

Whac-A-Mole has been a staple of arcades, carnivals, and family entertainment centers since Bob’s Space Racers first started marketing the game back in 1976. Mattel adapted Whac-A-Mole into a tabletop home game in 2009. For the Whac-A-Mole game show, the game will be reinvented as “an elimination competition during which opposing teams will use their skill, strength and endurance to face off to become the ultimate Whac-A-Mole champion.” Mattel says that the unscripted series will feature races and obstacle courses alongside a life-sized Whac-A-Mole, and what they promise will be “a surprising twist that will awe participants and audiences alike.”

Related: UNO Celebrates 50 Years of Being Wild

Whac-A-Mole Special Edition | Source: Bob’s Space Racers

“Whac-A-Mole is a beloved, action-packed arcade game with a deep fan following, and the interactive nature and comedic energy of the game makes it a great franchise for episodic television,” says Adam Bonnett, executive producer, Mattel Television. “Jayson and the team at Fremantle have had unparalleled success creating iconic reality television series and are the perfect partners to help us bring this classic game to life in new ways.”

“We’re so excited to have the iconic Whac-A-Mole brand as our newest playground,” says Jayson Dinsmore, president of alternative programming and development, Fremantle. “Partnering with Mattel to bring this classic game to television in a dynamic and synergistic life-sized world is a dream come true.”

This spring, Mattel will reissue its Whac-A-Mole tabletop game alongside a new title, Whac-A-Mole Match-A-Mole, which incorporates the traditional gameplay into a matching card game.

In recent months, a number of classic games have begun surfacing as TV projects. Hasbro’s Candy Land was reimagined as a Food Network series last fall and development continues for competition series based on Risk.

About the author

James Zahn

James Zahn

James Zahn, AKA The Rock Father, is Editor-in-Chief of The Toy Book, a Senior Editor at The Toy Insider and The Pop Insider, and Editor of The Toy Report, The Toy Book‘s weekly industry newsletter. As a pop culture and toy industry expert, Zahn has appeared as a panelist and guest at events including Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Wizard World Chicago, and the ASTRA Marketplace & Academy. Zahn has more than 30 years of experience in the entertainment, retail, and publishing industries, and is frequently called upon to offer expert commentary for publications such as Forbes, Marketwatch, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, the Washington Post, and more. James has appeared on History Channel’s Modern Marvels, was interviewed by Larry King and Anderson Cooper, and has been seen on Yahoo! Finance, CNN, CNBC, FOX Business, NBC, ABC, CBS, WGN, The CW, and more. Zahn joined the Adventure Media & Events family in 2016, initially serving as a member of the Parent Advisory Board after penning articles for the Netflix Stream Team, Fandango Family, PBS KIDS, Sprout Parents (now Universal Kids), PopSugar, and Chicago Parent. He eventually joined the company full time as a Senior Editor and moved up the ranks to Deputy Editor and Editor-in-Chief.