Covering the toy industry, you learn a lot of neat facts about toys and games. That especially rings true in a year like this one, in which some of the best-known brands are celebrating impressive milestone birthdays. Here are some games with names you’ll probably recognize, and some related trivia, which hopefully you won’t have known until now.
A collaborative effort launched today between CafePress, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation, Hasbro, and My Life Games LLC will help provide children in need with toys at the holidays.
Through this first-year campaign, CafePress will provide consumers with three different ways to support Toys for Tots, including $1 donated for every Facebook “Share” given to the video entitled, “Toys for Tots: Every Child Deserves a Little Christmas.” Other means include $1 donated from the final purchase price of all customizable Monopoly and Scrabble games sold on cafepress.com; and $2 donated from the sale of two special edition T-shirts, each priced at $7.
“We are honored to support Toys for Tots this holiday season,” said Fred Durham, CEO and co-founder of CafePress. “To be able to support their noble efforts by donating a portion of proceeds of games known for bringing families together is ideal.”
My Life Games LLC has introduced a line of customizable Monopoly and Scrabble games under license from Hasbro Inc. and distributed by CafePress Inc. Consumers can personalize these official games with their own photos and text, choosing from a large selection of designs.
CafePress’s user-friendly interface enables customers to choose and arrange their photos from Facebook, Picasa, SmugMug, and Flickr, or to upload images from their desktop or mobile device. Users can also select from game board designs for various occasions: birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, vacations, graduations, and more. Each full-size game board is printed, packaged, and shipped with the classic game components.
Nowadays, everything seems to be changing, from communicating to ordering dinner to dating. The same goes with the way we’re playing games.
We’ve known for years that games were becoming social. People (ahem, Gen X-ers) still send out Candy Crush and Farmville requests on the ever-dissolving Facebook. However, instead of these communally competitive games, new mobile apps are actually bringing players together to compete in a face-to-face (or screen-to-screen?) arena. For the most part, these apps are free (or cheap) to own, filling up the game cabinet without the expense of buying new extensions and themes of the same games.
Cards Against Humanity—a spin-off of the much more tame Apples to Apples card game—is a crowd favorite among my hometown friends. So when Evil Apples, a mobile version loosely based on both games from Evil Studios Ltd., was released for iOS devices, my hometown friends and I were brought back together in a competitively disturbing way. Users can prompt friends to download the app and join the game. Once everyone signs on, the game begins as players try to come up with the funniest–and most disturbingly wrong–phrases. There’s even a chat feature in the game for players to comment–or to remind stragglers that the game is waiting on their card. [Read more...]
After five days of consecutive play, Conrad Bassett-Bouchard of Portland, OR was named winner of the 2014 National Scrabble Championship. Basset-Bouchard defeated several top Scrabble players, including defending four-time consecutive champion Nigel Richards, and receive a cash prize of $10,000. In the final round, he beat runner-up Jason Li with a final score of 478-350. Over 25 words were played, including “mar,” “annexe,” “naiad,” “florigen,” “aa,” and “barf.”
More than 500 Scrabble players played the tournament at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Competitors played in 31 one-on-one games, and were ranked based on their victories and the number of points by which they outscored their opponents. [Read more...]
New Jersey and Texas eighth graders outscored more than 65 teams to win the 12th annual National School Scrabble Championship, which took place this past weekend at One Hasbro Place in downtown Providence, R.I.
The team of Jacob Sass, of Magnolia, Texas, and Thomas Draper of Skillman, N.J., won six of seven preliminary games during the two-day tournament, and went on to win Sunday’s final match by a score of 378 to 320. Their highest-scoring word during the game was delaine, a type of fabric, for 76 points.
Sass and Draper received the Champion’s Trophy, and will split the grand prize of $10,000. The National School Scrabble Championship is a competitive event for school-aged Scrabble players in the United States and Canada, hosted by Hasbro Inc.
The word “geocache” beat out 15 other nominees in last month’s Scrabble Word Showdown, and as a result, will be included in the fifth edition of Merriam-Webster’s Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, scheduled for release this August. This marks the dictionary’s first major update in nearly a decade, and the first time it has ever included a word voted on by fans.
Nominated by fans following a national call-for-entries on the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page in March, “geocache” is a verb meaning to seek items by means of a GPS device as part of a game. It faced 15 other popular choices in an online showdown from April 2 to 10, besting such fan favorites as “bitcoin,” “cosplay,” and “ew.”
Geocache will be an eligible word right in time for National Scrabble Day on April 13. It will also be playable in the upcoming National School Scrabble Championship on April 26 to 27 and the National Scrabble Tournament in August.
Scrabble and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary are updating the The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary for the first time in nine years. On top of the thousands of words that are planned to be added, a new word will be nominated and chosen by fans during the Scrabble Word Showdown. Fans can submit their suggestions to the Hasbro Game Night Facebook page, where 16 words will be chosen for fans to cast their votes.
The final word will be chosen on April 10 and will be included in the 5th edition of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary, available in August and across digital platforms later this year from Electronic Arts.
The 2014 National School Scrabble Tournament, hosted by Hasbro Inc., is scheduled for April 26 to 27 at the company’s new Providence, R.I., facility, One Hasbro Place. Young Scrabble enthusiasts in fourth through eighth grades are eligible to compete for the $10,000 top prize.
The National School Scrabble Tournament features contestants from across the U.S. and Canada, as well as the youngest and best Scrabble students. Competing students are generally members of a School Scrabble Club. Parents, teachers, and coaches can go to www.schoolscrabble.us to learn more about the event and to register students for the tournament.
Registration costs $100 per team and will be open until April 11. Those who wish to learn more about the School Scrabble Program or register a club to receive more information from Hasbro can visit the company’s website.
The final round of the tournament will be broadcast live online using the RFID Scrabble System from Mind Sports International, which showcases each team’s tile rack, score breakdown, as well as the “Best Word” that each team can play at any given point.