University Games Acquires Briarpatch Inc.

UniversityGameslogoUniversity Games will acquire the assets of Briarpatch Inc., a manufacturer of preschool specialty games and puzzles based on popular literary properties such as I Spy and Fancy Nancy.

The merger will increase University Games’ domestic revenue by approximately 20 percent. Additionally, the Briarpatch licenses will augment University Games’ Colorforms business. University Games will begin shipping Briarpatch products this month.

John Donofrio and Martine Redman founded Briarpatch in 1991, and Donofrio will join University Games in a consulting role.

Scholastic Launches Compilation Packs for Nintendo

Scholastic Media, a division of Scholastic, Inc., announced the release of three compilation game packs for Nintendo’s gaming platforms: I Spy Two Game Pack for Wii, and I Spy Two Game Pack and Smart Games for Kids Two Game Pack for Nintendo DS. Each game pack includes bestselling titles from Scholastic Media’s interactive portfolio and will be available this fall.

The I Spy Two Game Pack for Nintendo DS includes two award-winning titles from the I SPY franchise: I Spy Fun House and I Spy Universe. Together, the games feature more than 50 riddles and more than 200 levels of play for seek-and-find fans of all ages. To escape the topsy-turvy world in I SPY Fun House, players must earn tickets by completing games, riddles, and the Prize Popper challenge. I SPY Universe takes players on a different kind of puzzle-solving adventure with a trip through the I SPY cosmos. Players unlock new planets and explore the universe while searching for more than 400 objects in 36 I SPY riddles and playing six brain-teasing games.

I Spy enthusiasts can continue the brain-teasing fun with more than 70 riddles and more than 60 interactive mini-games in the I Spy Two Game Pack for Wii, which includes Ultimate I Spy and I Spy Spooky Mansion. Ultimate I Spy takes players through a wonderland where they search above and below objects to solve riddles, puzzles, and mini games. I Spy Spooky Mansion offers thrills and chills with a trip through a haunted mansion.

Also for Nintendo DS is the Smart Game for Kids Two Game Pack, which features the My Amusement Park and Digging for Dinosaurs DS games. Kids run their own entertainment venue in My Amusement Park. Players can choose from four themed building rides, food venues, and special attractions in their park. Digging for Dinosaurs challenges players with a variety of mini-games that range from simulated paleontological digs to dinosaur battles, all while learning facts about 21 different prehistoric species.

This post was originally written by Sierra McCleary-Harris 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.

I Spy Celebrates 20 Years

New York City students helped Scholastic celebrate the 20th Anniversary of its I Spy brand Wednesday in Times Square during the event, “I Spy A Celebration: 20 Years; 20 Kids; 20 Riddles.”  For finding 20 hidden objects around a 12-foot-high birthday cake, the students’ school will receive 500 books.  In addition to its new book, I Spy Spectacular, the anniversary year will see new I Spy releases from Briarpatch and Scholastic Interactive.

Photo: A. Walker

Scholastic Celebrates 20th Anniversary of I Spy

Scholastic Media is kicking off its 20th anniversary celebration of the I Spy franchise with the publication of I Spy Spectacular: A Book of Picture Riddles, due to be out next month. The books features riddles by Jean Marzollo and photographs by Walter Wick.  The year-long campaign will include a slate of new I Spy releases, including the I Spy Challenger for Leapster Explorer (releasing this summer), I Spy Castle for the Nintendo DS (releasing this fall), and five new titles from Briarpatch, Scholastic’s exclusive licensee for board games, puzzles, and card games.

Beginning April 11, the new products will be supported by the “I Spy a Celebration” campaign that invites audiences to participate in the largest game of I Spy online, My I Spy. Scholastic will also host a live I Spy event, “I Spy a Celebration! 20 Years; 20 Kids; 20 Riddles,” in Times Square on April 12, and Jean Marzollo will host at an event on April 9 in New York City featuring an I Spy scavenger hunt, raffle, and product demonstrations.