Jumanji is the movie best known for two things: the “What year is it?” meme, and forever scaring the hell out of 90s kids, making them think twice about ever playing board games again. The film follows the adventures of a boy named Alan (played by none other than Robin Williams) who becomes trapped in a living board game filled with animals, murderous plant life, and a hunter with a mustache so sharp it should be considered a deadly weapon.
This Jumanji board replica created by Steven Ritcher won’t trap you for 26 years, but it will mesmerize you when you watch it take form and see it in action. From the intricate box cover to the four magnetic player pieces, each component of the project is made entirely from scratch.
Steven starts by shaping multiple pieces of wood and gluing them together to create what will eventually be the box which holds a miniature jungle hell. Once that’s done, he gets to engraving a safari motif consisting of leaves on the tiny cabinets and quadrilateral patterns on the edges of the board itself.
Of course, no board game would be fair without a set of rules. Steven remedies this by screen printing an alternating set of red and black rules and pasting them onto a piece of wood. He then cuts them accordingly and places them beside the game for unknowing players to read.
Jumanji wouldn’t be Jumanji without those big, bold letters on the cover of the box. After sculpting a mold and painting it, Steven splits the iconic board game’s name in two and attaches the pieces to the front and center of the cover.
Now all that’s left to do is to make the actual game. Using a sketch of the movie’s board as a guide, he creates a magnetic grid which pulls on the player pieces and creates the illusion of the board game being alive. Couple this with the translucent center of the board and you have a game which looks ready to suck you into it (literally).
Add a couple of finishing touches and it’s ready to go! Despite the center glass’s lack of foreboading instructions, the completed game looks entirely faithful to its onscreen version. The only thing which would complete the experience is to see Robin Williams (RIP) pop out of it.
Oh, and if you didn’t know yet, there is a new Jumanji film coming December 2017 although, sadly, it has a more modern twist as a video game.