When I was in elementary school in Northern Ontario, Canada, a group of friends would get together sometimes and play a game we called "statue". This was a sort of hybrid between another freezing-in-position game called [ "statues"], a game called "swing the statues" and charades. Unlike the other games, this one focused on role-playing and did not have a competitive aspect about it (i.e. no one was "out"). It does not appear anyone has documented this version of the game, and it may have been a local invention.

Overview: The game is set up as a store scenario. There is a dealer (or curator) who has a collection of statues (actually, they are more like role-playing machines) and a customer who is interested in buying one of the statues. Each "statue" gets a chance to demonstrate his or her abilities at the cue of the "dealer", and the "buyer" chooses whichever statue he/she likes best, and then the roles are switched around. The game can be played in about 10 minutes, or however long the players want it to last, and the game can be also be a good ice-breaker at adult events. You need at least four players - one two act as the "spinner/seller (or curator)", one to act as the "customer", and the remaining players are the "statues".

Note: It is possible that there is a French-Canadian version of this game under a different title, as it was played in a bilingual area of the province, but I have never heard of the game referred to any other name than "statue". I would be interested to know if anyone else played a similar game.

(Map of Northern Ontario from Wikipedia - created by user Vidioman, public domain.)
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ccsmith7701 month ago
I played this very same game and I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. Crazy!
Zuzana 'Q'K2 months ago

Hi, I'm from Bratislava, former Czechoslovakia, and I used to play the very same game called statues here in the 1960s. I just wanted to know what it was exactly about respectively where was the point as I have forgotten this. Now it's clear, thank you for posting it!

oh my god this was EXACTLY the game i loved loved loved as a child!! i played it i swear a gazillion times with my friends- i grew up in winnipeg, manitoba- so it was not a local invention- just to elaborate more on your rules, what we did was the dealer spun us around and however we landed in, we had to think of what kind of statue we could be- the dealer would give us time to think and then the customer would walk in his store and ask him if he had any statues for sale- he would take the customer around to each statue and bend down and ask the statue what they were and then press a button on the statue's head to see a demonstration of what the statue could do- the customer would ask how much the statue was and i forget who determined the price- either the dealer or the statue- i forget- and then the customer had to decide which one to buy- all 3 roles were very fun and we all took turns playing every role- thanks for posting!!
It's amazing what you can find online. I still haven't found the orgins of the game, but there are definitely people that recall playing it!
I'm originally from Northern Michigan and grew up playing this game in my rural area. I have no idea where I learned it, but we spent our summer vacations in Canada and it's possible I learned it there.

This was one of my favorite childhood games. It's creative and goofy, and there is no 'losing'. The details here are exactly what I remember, right down to the seller spinning the statues.

I recently taught this game to the kids in my neighborhood: it's a huge hit! The game can easily be played by a group of children of varying ages. It's one of the few games that can happily be played by both a four year old and a fourteen year old concurrently. Everyone enjoys the goofy and creative statues and the funny comments the buyer and seller make as they role-play their parts.

Once everyone catches on to the game, the statues begin to get very creative and often hilarious. Today, for example, we had "Darth Vader Unicorn", "The Distressed Maiden", and "The Over-enthusiastic Salesperson". Often, when the statues are animated to show their ability, the statues end up chasing the buyer. As the buyer runs from the statue, the seller will usually chase after in order to turn the statue "off". So portions of the game often turn into miniature episodes of tag.