Barrel of Monkeys is a toy game first created by Lakeside Toys in 1965. Today it is produced by the Milton Bradley Co.. MB's editions consist of a toy barrel in either blue, yellow, red, or green. The barrel contains 12 monkeys, their color usually corresponding to the barrel's color. The instructions on the bottom of the barrel state "Dump monkeys onto table. Pick up one monkey by an arm. Hook other arm through a second monkey's arm. Continue making a chain. Your turn is over when a monkey is dropped." In addition to these basic instructions, the barrel also contains instructions for playing alone or with two or more players.

When Lakeside Toys originally developed the game using S-shaped hooks made from rubber and wire, they had intended to name it "Barrel of Fun," but found that both that name and "Barrel-O-Fun" were already being used by other game manufacturers. Subsequently, the company decided to name their game after the related phrase "more fun than a Barrel of Monkeys" and remodeled the S-hooks into plastic monkeys. Original inventor was named Leonard Marks of Roslyn, New York.

Initially sold in a cardboard tube, Lakeside quickly produced a two-piece plastic barrel that completely replaced the cardboard version by 1968.

Giant Barrel of Monkeys

Unlike the later mono-colored Giant Barrel of Monkeys, the original version was composed of 12 plastic monkeys in three colors; 4 each in red, blue and yellow.

Find here the Giant Barrel of Monkeys version.

Updated: 13 August 2019

Barrel Of Monkeys value and price guide

What's your 'Barrel Of Monkeys' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA).

Picture Title Date Sold for
99 9 Hand Poured Silver Bullion Barrel 08/2019 $600.00
Lg Barrel Of Cookies W Monkey Japan Hard 08/2019 $39.99
Giant Lakeside Toys 1969 Brown Barrel 15 08/2019 $29.75
Lot Giant 5 Rare Two Small Barrels 1969 08/2019 $47.02
New Hasbro Game Original Classic Family 10/2019 $8.46

See all sold items for more prices.

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1 comment

Janet - January 23, 2019
Are the monkeys red or orange? How large are the monkeys arm to arm?
Not sure, but I guess about 2 inch arm to arm. They came in green, red, yellow and later blue, purple and orange were added.