Think Fast

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THINK FAST

The opening title for Think Fast.

Airdates: Nickelodeon May 1989-June 1991
Hosts: Michael Carrington, Skip Lackey
Announcers: James Eoppolo, Henry J
Producers: Games Productions (1989-1990), MTV Networks (1990-1991)

Contents

Gameplay

Main Game

The gold team takes part in an event
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The gold team takes part in an event
Two teams, gold and blue, of two kids each (usually boy and girl) competed in a series of stunts that required mental and physical dexterity.

Some stunts involved finding letters among a messy substance and then unscrambling them. Others required teams to alternate repeating and extending a pattern (of phone buttons pushed or color paint-filled balloons thrown) until one team faltered, giving victory to the other team. Other events were jump-in events, often where one team member had to buzz in and identify an item that follwed certain rule (such as fitting a category and beginning with a certain letter, or rhyming with a certain word). Then the next player had to provide another similar item, and both teams alternated until one missed, giving the other player a point. (In the first season, teams would sometimes have to hit a buzzer to finish the event, and if they did not fully complete the event, their opponents would win by default). Some stunts involved both players, others were one-on-one events between one member of each team.

The first round was made up of three events that were each worth $50. The second round had two events each worth $100. The team that won each event received the cash prize attached and a chance to solve the "Brain Bender." The Brain Bender was a picture puzzle obscured by several jigsaw pieces. One piece on the screen would be revealed, and the winning team would get to guess. The Brain Bender could take any of several forms: a close-up picture of a common object, a celebrity photograph to identify, a rebus, or a series of objects, revealed one at a time, with a common link to identify.

A partially-revealed Brain Bender
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A partially-revealed Brain Bender
The team that solved the Brain Bender received an additional $200. Originally there was only one Brain Bender per show; later a new one would be added if the first was solved early. If an event ended in a tie, both teams received the value of the event but neither team got a chance to solve the Brain Bender. If the Brain Bender was left unsolved after the last event, one piece of the puzzle was revealed at a time until one team was able to solve it: in season one teams would either alternate control, in season two it became a buzzer race and extra clues would be given at the end. If neither team solved it after all of the pieces were revealed, neither team won the money.

The team with the highest score at the end of the game went on to the Locker Room bonus round.

The Locker Room

The gold team races through the locker room
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The gold team races through the locker room
The locker room consisted of fifteen different lockers, with seven pairs of characters or objects hiding inside them. During the round, one locker was opened, and one team member had to find its match by hitting a button in front of each locker to open it. Once a match was found, a button at the starting position had to be hit in order to close all lockers and reveal the next required match.

During the first season, each team member acted alone for 30 seconds. The one locker without a match concealed a "Time Bomb", which had to be opened within the first 20 seconds of the first player's turn, or else the second player's time limit was reduced to 20 seconds. (Early on, finding the Time Bomb added 10 seconds to the second player's turn.) Each match won a prize; seven matches won the grand prize.

For the second season, both teammates alternated making matches for 60 seconds. The unmatched locker hid a "Red Herring" character, and the team had to close the locker by pulling a rope near the starting position in order to continue. The first four matches won $100 each, followed by prizes for the next three matches, with the grand prize for all seven matches.

Notes

  • Think Fast was recorded in WHYY-TV studios in Philadelphia its first season and production moved to the new Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando its second season.
  • On rare occasions, a sixth event would be played. In the first season, it would be worth $200, in the second season $100 and always played at the buzzer so that teams could go directly into sudden death.

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