Collins to Publish The Little Book of Bananagrams with Foreword by Dame Judi Dench

Bananagrams LondonThis fall will see the release of The Collins Little Book of Bananagrams, which contains hints, winning strategies, and insider secrets for fans of the word game. Deej Johnson, the Bananagrams brand’s creative consultant, and word-game champion Mark Nyman wrote the book. It includes two ways to turn titles that save vital seconds when someone shouts, “Peel!”; things that a player must do in their first move; and more. Dame Judi Dench, a Bananagrams fan, provides a foreword.

The book, which will be available globally in October from Collins, also offers general word game advice, such as 135 proper nouns that can be played in any word game.

Bananagrams Go Wild with Target-Exclusive Bananagrams WildTiles

BananagramsWildTilesBananagrams Inc. has launched Bananagrams WildTiles exclusively at Target and on The new game includes six monkey WildTiles, putting an all-new spin on the original Bananagrams racing crossword game. Now as players race to complete their grids, they can pick up a WildTile and play it as many times as needed, standing in for any letter.

As with previous Bananagrams Inc. games, everything needed to play is included in the banana.

Chicago Toy & Game Group Expands Events in the U.S. and Abroad

The Chicago Toy & Game Group (ChiTAG) expanded its toy industry networking events to cities around the U.S., Canada, and the UK.

ChiTAG Networking Events were recently held in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Toronto with upcoming events planned for London on June 5, Chicago on June 11, and Nashville on June 18 during ASTRA Marketplace & Academy, as well as events slated for New York, Seattle, Boston, Indianapolis, Sarasota, Montreal, and more.

ChiTAG advocates toy and game inventors, and its Networking Events are one of the many ways the organization carries out its mission to bring the industry together to share information, foster collaborative opportunities, and promote the power of play and the toy industry as a whole.

Events attract professionals from all areas of the business including manufacturers, inventors, designers, sales reps, independent consultants, and more, who come together to share experiences and develop new business relationships.

Past and future events are co-sponsored and held in collaboration with companies including Spin Master, Mind Candy, ThinkFun, Mayfair Games, PlaSmart, Bananagrams, Endless Games, RoosterFin, DesignEdge, Patch Products, Educational Insights, Top Trumps, Joyce Johnson Designs, Peaceable Kingdom, Jukem Football, Dynamic Designworks/DDW Inc., OtherdoorEntertainment, Snakes & Lattes, and toy/game retailers across the country.

Admission to ChiTAG Networking Events is free, and RSVP’s are required. For more information on upcoming events, please visit or email the Chicago Toy & Game Group at, or phone (847) 677-8277.

COMMENTARY: MindWare Games Test Brain Power Without Words, Numbers, or Trivia

There are so many games on the market that get the gears moving in your brain, including Scrabble, Bananagrams, Trivial Pursuit, and Boggle. But what about those of us who didn’t major in English in college or don’t have a plethora of interesting facts stored away for a rainy day? MindWare has the answer… or well, answers.

Cirplexed! is a 360-degree game of strategy that doesn’t include numbers, facts, or words. Each tile features quarter circles of different colors. Each player creates his or her own game board by drawing and placing tiles, in an attempt to create the most single-color circles. It sounds simple, but even at 23 years old, I could only match about eight circles total. Though the game is designed for two to six players, it can be played solo, as well, to put your brain to work when friends and family members aren’t around.


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Tenth Chicago Toy & Game Fair Sets Attendance Records

The 10th anniversary Chicago Toy & Game Fair continued its tradition as the nation’s largest public play event, attracting more than 25,000 people to Navy Pier on the weekend before Thanksgiving. The Fair was the finale of Chicago Toy & Game Week, which featured industry seminars, a highly celebrated inventor awards gala, and a new toy-inspired fashion show, playCHIC. [Read more...]

Bananagrams Revamps Games Based on Fan Input

Bananagrams, Inc., the creators of tile word games, recently offered its fan base of kids, parents, caregivers, and educators an opportunity to test and tweak two of its existing educational word games, Appletters and Pairs in Pears, based on their experiences. The improved games, available this holiday season, feature fan-inspired fun multiple levels of play and activities that grow along with children.

Appletters is a word construction game for ages 5 and up with multiple levels of play where players work together to create “word worms.” The game comes in a portable apple-shaped cloth pouch containing 110 letter tiles. Appletters is the core of fun and learning that develops spelling skills, enhances strategic thinking, encourages cooperation, promotes turn-taking, and improves concentration.

Pairs in Pears is a word construction game for ages 3 and up where players work to match patterns and pair words. The game comes in a pear-shaped cloth pouch, containing four full alphabet sets in four different suites. Pairs in Pears teaches the alphabet, enhances spelling skills, fosters problem solving, builds early reading skills, and improves critical thinking.

All-new Appletters and Pairs in Pears will be available in the late fall, just in time for the holiday season, at Barnes & Noble, Target, and bookstores and specialty toy stores across the country.

This post was originally written by Loren Moreno and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

Winning Moves Releases Olympic-Inspired Banangrams

Winning Moves announces the launch of a London 2012 edition of Bananagrams. This new version stays true to the original game, while including five additional colored “joker” tiles that sport various Olympic pictograms. The London 2012 edition of Bananagrams is available at Target and select independent retailers.

This post was originally written by Leah Rocketto and published by For more news, visit, follow The Toy Book on Twitter, and like The Toy Book on Facebook. The Toy Book is a bimonthly trade magazine covering the toy industry, published by Adventure Publishing Group.

New Product: Hebrew Bananagrams

Bananagramas, Inc., creator of word tile game Bananagrams, announced the North American release of Hebrew Bananagrams. Hebrew Bananagrams launched in Israel this past summer, and the company said it was well received.

Hebrew Bananagrams can be played by those who possess basic Hebrew knowledge as well as advanced players who want a challenge. The game is available online now, and will make its North American retail debut in the coming weeks.

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Bananagrams Inventor, Abe Nathanson, Passes Away

Abraham Nathanson, inventor of Bananagrams and founder of Bananagrams, LLC, passed away Sunday morning at his beachfront home at Bonnet Shores, R.I., surrounded by family. He was 80 years old.

In 2006, Nathanson, affectionately known as Abe, created Bananagrams at the age of 76. His new venture was launched with the help of his daughter, Rena, and her children, Aaron and Ava. In 2009, Bananagrams won “Game of the Year” at the Toy Industry Association’s Toy of The Year (TOTY) Awards. The company’s other games include Zip-It, Fruitominos, Oh-Spell!, Pairs in Pears, and Appleletters.

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