COMIC BOOK WAR GAMES!
A Civil War Battle Game by
Helen of Toy, Co.
"Dedicated To: Fighting Heroes of Chickamauga."
(Dual Comic Book Ad below also featured a second Helen of Toy War Game
called Gold Crown - the inserts show close ups of Cannon Ball Ad Text and
Ball is a classic Comic Book War Game with a Civil War theme. The Comic
Book Ad claims the game was dedicated to the "Fighting Heroes" of the
Battle of Chickamauga, where "34,400 troops were killed or wounded." The
original game directions we found were copyrighted in 1968 which may also
be the year Cannon Ball was first introduced in comic books (but this has
not yet been verified for certain.)
The image above features an Ad for two Helen of Toy, Co. War Games -
the Gold Crown Medieval Game and the Cannon Ball Civil War Game. The Ad
was found in a DC war comic from 1975 called "G.I. Combat." Some early
Comic Book Ads featured only one Game, but it seems the advertisers
learned fast to double the Ads up to offer two of their products for the
price of one Ad spot!
Cannon Ball seems to have included 64 3D Toy Soldiers representing Blue
& Grey Civil War Troops; as well as a Playmat and multiple Accessories
such as "Exploding Bridges" (these were small hard plastic pieces which
were triggered by rubber band tension, similar to the Tank Trap War Game's
The Troops of Cannon Ball were evidently made by GIANT in Hong Kong.
However, it has also been suggested that some versions of the Game
featured generic/non-brand-name Troops clearly made with the same GIANT
molds but not stamped with the GIANT logo. This has not yet been confirmed
for certain so if anyone knows for sure, please let us know.
"Al H.", a great contributor to this site, was able to send us images
of a complete Cannon Ball Set and full directions.
See link below to view the directions. See collage of images below for
a look at the Cannon Ball game pieces. Images are not to scale with each
Below from Top to Bottom:
1) A sample of GIANT Civil War troops.
2) The Cannon Ball Battlefield game mat which is actually 18 1/2" by
25" or so.
3) Original "Handsome Book Form" Box with all items inside except the
troops. The black & white "Fort Commander" Spinner is partially
visible beneath the other items in the box.
4) A sprue of all the Cannon Ball plastic parts including enough for
each player to have (per directions) "3 Cannons with 6 snap-on Wheels, 5
Red TNT Boxes, 1 Flag, 2 Stockade Strips (Fort Walls), 2 Gate Bases, 2
Observation Tower Roofs, 2 Tower Bases and 6 Support Poles that will be
inserted between the roofs and bases in the matching holes provided for
them, plus 3 Exploding Bridges (3 Plain Sections, 3 Pronged Sections.)"
5) The Red Card contains 25 perforated squares which serve as the "TNT
6) Two Flags - One Union, One Confederate.
7) The corrugated cardboard "Stockade Strips." These were used to
create the Fort Walls around the red areas of the Playmat. See directions
link to get an idea of how they were set up and how the Flags and
Observation Towers were attached to them.
Many thanks to "Al H." for letting us finally get a look at this great
Helen of Toy Set!