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Kim Vandenbroucke

Kim Vandenbroucke

When I went into the Industrial Design program at the University of Illinois, I NEVER thought I would end up in the toy and game industry.  But man, did I get lucky!  I was hired right out of school to work at Meyer/Glass Design, a now defunct toy and game invention group in Chicago.  Turned out I was pretty good at it.  I licensed my first item to Hasbro within a couple months – which for those of you outside the industry that’s pretty darn amazing since they buy maybe 2-10 inventions a year and they see thousands just from professional inventors.  Since that first game I’ve worked with some of the biggest, best, and oldest toy and game manufacturers in the world.  I not only invent, but I also do development work, trivia writing, game play development, pretty much everything but the manufacturing itself.

Like I said, I feel lucky to be in a position to work with – and review – games.  I came from a game playing family: I spent countless childhood hours playing games like Pizza Party, Life, Don’t Break the Ice and Pay Day.  My mother was a math teacher and she taught me probability so I could play a stronger game of Yahtzee early in life.  My father stomped me enough times in hearts and spades to teach me the value of counting cards.  I played cards regularly with my grandfather until he passed.  (And he won the last game of Shanghai we played. ugh!)  Even now it’s Tripoly and Apples to Apples at Christmas, Rummikub and Ticket To Ride all summer, and Carcassonne and Splendor regularly with my husband.

Some of my recent successes are Scattergories Categories (now in its 2nd edition!) and Raccoon Rumpus  You can also take a peek at some of the other projects I’ve worked on and games in my portfolio at my business website: Brainy Chick Inc.

-Kim Vandenbroucke