The summer months are known for spontaneous beach trips, an abundance of delicious ice cream, and, of course, the much-dreaded summer storms that come with unbearable heat. But the next time the weather is uncompromising, consider having a family game night in, though I know what you’re thinking: Please, not another children’s game.
It can be difficult choosing a game everyone agrees on; parents are frequently disconnected, and youngsters who are a few years apart in age constantly battle over which game should be the one played. But a new trend in the toy industry could stop these common issues before game night even begins. I am constantly seeing companies revisiting old games and giving them a modern twist, and these simple alterations often involve modern technologies to pique younger players’ interest.
For example, Hasbro recently introduced the My Monopoly Game, which replicates the classic version, but it is now customizable. You can play the original way, or using the downloadable app, you can print out stickers from social media sites to personalize the tokens and properties. Tic Tac Toe has also been transformed into a modern-looking family game, Tic Stac Toe, thanks to Pressman Toys. It has a smart phone app that upon downloading, lets players engage in the classic match-in-a-row game play on mobile devices.
Looking beyond the summer, Hasbro, along with Ubisoft, is also planning the Hasbro Game Channel, which will feature new versions of well-known game brands such as Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit. The channel will be available to download on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 starting this fall, and its new games re-introduce the classics in ways that should appeal to video game and TV audiences (For example, the Hasbro Game Channel version of Monopoly, Monopoly Plus, has colorful 3-D animation and online play).
Games have longevity when companies understand how to captivate the minds of youngsters and older generations alike. Parents are much more willing to play games that bring back childhood memories, while kids will be more engaged playing those revisited games that are technologically advanced and familiar. I think that this is a new trend the toy industry will be seeing for years to come, since bringing families back together to play is always good for toy companies. They’re in the business of producing games that interest kids of all ages, and we’re all trying to find the kid in our heart, right?
For more commentary from Emily, check back often. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!