• Peter Berthoud

Woodland Happy Families

Updated: Nov 18

Woodland Happy Families Card Game, Pictured By Racey Helps


First Published: 1951, Pepys Series by Castell Brothers Ltd., St. Cross Street, London

Illustrator or Designer: Racey Helps (and Ern Shaw in the earliest edition)


Contents: 44 Cards + Rules Booklet


Woodland Happy Families Box Front With Title Card
Woodland Happy Families Box Front With Title Card

There are 11 Families with 4 cards each.


There are two early versions of the 1st Edition of the game.


In the earliest version the families have no distinguishing colour of their own and none of the title panels have a black border.


The two versions are displayed together by family, with the earliest version above the now familiar version.


The Mouse Family

Earliest Version of Woodland Happy Families cards: The Mouse & Robin Families

Woodland Happy Families cards: The Mouse and Robin Families

The Robin Family



The Shrew Family

Earliest Version of Woodland Happy Families cards: The Shrew & Frog Families


The Frog Family


Woodland Happy Families cards: The SHrew and Frog Families

The Squirrel Family

Earliest Version of Woodland Happy Families cards: The Squirrel & Badger Families


The Badger Family


Woodland Happy Families cards: The Squirrel and Badger Families

The Mole Family

Earliest Version of Woodland Happy Families cards: The Mole & Fox Families

Woodland Happy Families cards: The Mole and Fox Families

The Fox Family



The Owl Family

Earliest Version of Woodland Happy Families cards: The Owl & Rabbit Families

Woodland Happy Families cards: The Owl and Rabbit Families

The Rabbit Family



The Hedgehog Family

Earliest Version Woodland Happy Families cards: The Hedgehog Family

Woodland Happy Families cards: The Hedgehog Family


An early press advertisement shows the Master Fox card without a border.

An early press advertisement shows the Master Fox card without a border.

There is typical humour from Racey Helps throughout the game. Mrs Frog attends to her smiling tadpole in a cot, Miss Frog is reading "A Frog He Would A Wooing Go", Master Squirrel is using a hammer to crack a nut, Mrs Hedgehog is looking worriedly at her hot water bottle as she fills it.


The card backs and box differ slightly in the colour of the print, red/buff for the early version and red/white for the later. The box bases and top flaps differ slightly too. The rules in the earliest version I know of credit Ern Shaw but he is not credited in any subsequent editions.


There is also a Gibsons version of Woodland Happy Families and Woodland Snap which will soon have their own entries here. The Gibson's versions of both games are still available brand new from Gibsons today. What an incredible unbroken run of nearly 75 years for two card games. They have been with Gibsons for most of their life, far longer than they were with Castell Brothers, but they have always been and remain classic Pepys games.



Game & Version Details





Woodland Happy Families 1 - Card Back



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Card Back



Woodland Happy Families 1 - Rules Front



​​Woodland Happy Families 1 - Rules Back



Games Advertised:

Speed

Wu Pee

Peter and the Wolf

Sylabex

I Commit

International Football Whist

Mickey and the Beanstalk



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Rules Front



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Rules Back



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Rules Front Variant



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Rules Back Variant



Games Advertised:

Woodland Snap

Little Grey Rabbit

Wild Life




Woodland Happy Families 2 - Box Back



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Box Top



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Box Side Left



Woodland Happy Families 1 - Box Base



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Box Base


Woodland Happy Families 2 - Box Base Variant

Envelope Style



Woodland Happy Families 2 - Box Side Right


​Woodland Happy Families 1 - Box Back With Flap


​Woodland Happy Families 2 - Box Back With Flap