Around age 2, my toddler became absolutely addicted to the Hasbro/Milton-Bradley game Candy Land. At one point, we played the game roughly two to three times a day for nearly three weeks. Additionally, we made a ritual of reading the characters’ back-stories before each round.
Of course, amid the headaches caused by the adorable but saccharine illustrations, my daughter and I learned about every Candy Land character. The Candy Land characters have changed a bit in the 65 years that the game has existed, but the basic game format has remained much the same.
Here are all of the Candy Land characters’ names as of 2010.
The children in Candy Land, who represent the players, were once portrayed as a single pair– a blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy and an equally fair girl. In the most modern version of Candy Land, the board shows four Candy Land characters who are human children. It now includes an Asian girl and a black boy.
The Gingerbread People
The current Candy Land game board shows roughly a dozen gingerbread children. The game package states that they are included to “help you on your way” through Candy Land. Each gingerbread child has blue or pink trim to signify its gender.
Plumpy, a green goblin-like creature, was once the first place-character encountered on the Candy Land board. He stood in front of the Gingerbread Tree and collected sugar-plums. The most recent version of Candy Land no longer includes Plumpy; the Gingerbread Tree stands alone.
The Gingerbread Tree, sometimes called “Mama Gingerbread Tree,” has replaced Plumpy as the place-character closest to the start point. There are no longer any plums growing on the tree; it is signified only by a cheerful, smiling gingerbread shape with branches and leaves on top.
The “tall, tall woodsman,” Mr. Mint, is a Candy Land character symbolized by a gigantic clown-like lumberjack. He lives in the Peppermint Forest, which is blanketed in snow and filled with tree-sized candycanes.
The Lord Licorice, a sinister-looking man dressed in fancy, dark clothing, is the only “bad” Candy Land character. He personifies the Licorice Forest, which has trees made out of black licorice sticks. Lord Licorice is apparently responsible for the “licorice spots” on the board, which entrap Candy Land players for one turn.
A multicolored, dinosaur-like creature, Jolly is the Candy Land character who personifies the Gumdrop Mountains– large mountains the same size, shape, color and consistency as gumdrop candy. Jolly is portrayed as a fun-loving creature with gumdrop-shaped, stegasaurus-like spikes on his back.
Gramma Nutt, a matriarchal figure who lives in a peanut-brittle house, is one of the most well-loved and recognizable Candy Land characters. She carries a basket, presumably filled with peanuts, and has a small dog shaped like– you guessed it– a peanut.
Until 2002, Lolly was portrayed as a princess with unusually ornate hair. Now, she has been replaced by a joyful-looking fairy, and the title of “princess” has been dropped from her name. Lolly holds a magical lollipop wand and personifies the Lollipop Woods stage of the Candy Land game.
Symbolized by an ice cream cone, the character of Frostine has also changed over the years. Until 2002, Frostine was a matriarchal-looking queen with white hair. Now she is portrayed as a blonde-haired young woman and has been remaned Princess Frostine. Her domain is called Snowflake Lake and signifies frozen desserts.
In previous versions of the game, Gloppy has been depicted as a frightening-looking monster who lived in a swamp made of mollases. I suppose I wasn’t the only child who had nightmares about Gloppy, because he has been transformed into a much friendlier-looking chocolate monster. The game’s back-story even reassures children, “Don’t be scared when Gloppy greets you. Just give him a big wave and a smile and you’ll make his day.”
The “ruler of this wonderful, enchanted land,” King Kandy is portrayed as the occupant of the Candy Castle, the final destination on the Candy Land board. He carries a royal gumball staff and welcomes players to the end-point of the game.
Overall, the Candy Land characters’ names and illustrations have changed remarkably little in the last several decades. They remain a fun and recognizable part of almost any home with a preschooler.