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New Jersey and Texas Students Take Home Grand Prize at National School Scrabble Championship

SchoolScrabbleWinnersNew 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.

Geocache Becomes First-Ever Fan-Voted Scrabble Word

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.

Fans to Choose Newest Playable Scrabble Word

MERRIAM-WEBSTER INC. SCRABBLE DICTIONARY APPScrabble 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.

Hasbro’s National School Scrabble Tournament Spells Opportunity for Kids

scrabble-largeThe 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.

Hasbro and Ubisoft Partner to Bring Hasbro Games to Consoles

ubiUbisoft will develop and publish current and next-generation console games based on some of Hasbro’s most popular gaming brands, including Monopoly, Scrabble (in the U.S. and Canada only), Trivial Pursuit, Risk, Battleship, and Cranium.

Electronic Arts to Develop Hasbro Mobile Games

Hasbro_logo_newHasbro and Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) have signed a new agreement under which EA will develop several of Hasbro’s gaming brands for mobile platforms globally. Under the new four-year agreement, EA will continue to develop mobile games for Hasbro’s Monopoly, Scrabble, The Game Of Life, Battleship, Boggle, Clue, Risk, and Yahtzee.

EA’s Pogo.com gaming community will also continue to be a central hub online for digital versions of Hasbro games.

COMMENTARY: Fun in a Flash: Quick Games for Families

Flash_Pack_3DOn rainy days, classic favorites such as Scrabble and Monopoly are perfect to entertain kids. But some busy families might not have hours to devote to board games. There are great new games on the market that take only a few minutes to play, but will keep kids entertained when they are in the mood for a game or two.

In Flash!, from Blue Orange Games, players race to complete eight challenges of dice combinations as they try to rack up the most points. Combinations include six of a kind, a straight, all odd numbers, all even numbers, and two sets of three. The first player to complete the challenge picks up the chip worth the most points. Players continue rolling until all players earn a chip. Straight-forward and easy to learn, game play only takes about 10 minutes. There are enough sets of brightly-colored dice for up to six players ages 7 and up. [Read more...]

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.

Cirplexed

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USAopoly Introduces Beatles Scrabble Board Game

The Scrabble Beatles Edition makes its debut this fall, giving Beatles fans an opportunity to interact with the Fab Four in a whole new way. The Scrabble Beatles Edition fits the bill for fans who have a way with words.

Completely customized with Anthology-informed design, the game sports black Scrabble letter tiles, a themed tile bag and specialized grey racks. And what makes this game really unique? The Scrabble game can still be played the traditional way, but fans can now infuse Beatles-inspired words into their game play for an altogether different Scrabble experience. Twenty-six HELP! cards accompany this alternative game play allowing players opportunities to impact scoring, strategy, and their opponent’s fates.

Hasbro Showcases Lifestyle Goods at Licensing Expo

At the International Licensing Expo in Las Vegas, Hasbro, Inc. highlighted some new products, spanning several lifestyle categories, that are based on its properties. Here are some highlights:

Apps, Gaming, and Technology

Updating the concept of a family game night, Hasbro Family Game Night was released by Electronic Arts for the Wii. Families can also read a Tonka Chuck & Friends storybook app from Ruckus Mobile Media for the iPad. A new Transformers-skinned smartphone cover from Anzo U.S.A will be available for adult fans of the movie franchise.

Movie and TV Entertainment

A double-feature Transformers DVD can be a welcomed addition to family movie night. Families can also watch Hasbro’s Daytime Emmy Award-nominated programs, such as Transformers Prime, Family Game Night, and Pictureka ,on The Hub.

Youth and Tween Room Décor

Children can jazz up their bedrooms with their favorite Hasbro characters through a number of licensed products. Room accessories include My Little Pony bedding from Crown Craft (agreement reached in principle and subject to a binding contract) and Candy Land rugs from Gertmenian. The characters are also available in a number of clothing apparel options.

Wheeled Toys for the Big and Small

Transformers fans can ride the General Motors Bumblbee Camaro. Young fans can race around the neighborhood on Dynacraft’s Transformers bikes. Also for little kids, there is the Bumblebee and My Little Pony electric ride-on car from Hunter Leisure.