I love clever ideas; they just make me happy. (And sometimes envious that I didn’t think of them myself!)
This past February when I was roaming around Javits during New York Toy Fair I saw a super clever feature in the Winning Moves product King Me. It’s such a simple “duh” idea that I am still smitten with it. You know what it was? Self-crowning checkers. Yup, that’s right, the crowns rise up from each checker when you twist them. How cool is that?!
There have been thousands of versions of checkers including The Simpsons checkers, Dinosaur checkers, magnetic checkers, oversized checkers, designer checkers but none of them have ever tempted me to buy a new game of checkers, until now. So who came up with this clever feature? Phil Orbanes did while he was in the shower. (I swear, the shower is a great place to think.) Anyway, for those of you who are in the industry you probably know who Phil is. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Phil, he’s one of the founders and current president of Winning Moves and before that he was the Senior VP for Research and Development at Parker Brothers, which means he knows a bit about good games. He also has written a bunch of books about Monopoly and the book that is currently sitting on my desk called The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit.
Good work Phil! I like the way you think.
King Me Stats:
~$14 at Amazon and some local game stores
Ages 7 and up