Flashback Friday: Chain Lightning 600 Dominoes

What’s this, you say? A new Flashback Friday? An honest-to-prophets, brand-spank-me-new blog post from the delightfully in absentia LobaBlanca herself? To what do we owe the honor tonight? I don’t know, really…but enjoy it while it lasts, denizens. You never know when the muses will withdraw their benevolence.

So I love dominoes. Not the actual game of dominoes. I do know how to play the game, but not being a fan of games in general, I don’t really like it. No, I like setting up elaborate domino schemes and watching them tumble in properly syncopated style. I haven’t actually done such a thing in years, but when I was little, I used to do it all the time. See, one of my aunts gave me one of the greatest gifts ever for my birthday one year: The Chain Lightning 600 domino set.

Some of you might be familiar with the similar Domino Rally set, which is apparently back on the market as of 2012. This was the more popular of the two sets. Domino Rally had larger dominoes, plus it had easy-to-build bridges that actually had flip-up dominoes attached to them. So you didn’t really have to have any patience or skill to build those. All you had to do was flip your wrist to make the attached dominoes stand up.

Chain Lightning had bridges, too. However, you had to add your own dominoes. And they were little tiny things. Took a steady hand and nice supply of patience to build up one of those. Took even more of both to use the design templates that came with this frame that you could use to lower the template so you could add the dominoes, and then raise the template back up so you could remove it without knocking over the dominoes. You don’t even want to know how many times I knocked over a template that I’d just spent several minutes adding.

Photo courtesy of Daysgonebytreasures
Photo courtesy of Daysgonebytreasures

This set might have been what started me on my illustriously long-lived career as more potty-mouthed than a sailor.

Still, I kept at it and got pretty damned good at using the templates and also coming up with my own designs. I would go into our dining room, which was empty at the time, and spend hours, just me and a giant bag of dominoes and my imagination. Bonus if I could make it through a building session without the dog coming through and knocking over at least part of whatever I was building.


What makes me laugh the most about this video is the same template design that gave them problems used to give me the same problems. I always assumed that it was somehow user error. Now I see that there must have been something wrong with the design.

Sometimes I wish I still had a space where I could build things with dominoes. Then again, I know my personality. If I still played with dominoes, I’d be one of those crazy people who spent days and days building elaborate things like…well, like this:


Of course, we all know that, instead of an “Around the World” tribute, I would build some kind of tribute to something worthwhile…Star Trek or Scooby Doo. Maybe domino diaramas dedicated to all the Peanuts characters.

Oooh. I’m liking these ideas…