James Wallis levels with you

Apples to Mattel

Mattel Expands Games Portfolio with Award-Winning Apples to Apples®, Snorta® and Blink® Games

EL SEGUNDO, Calif., August 28, 2007 – Mattel, Inc. (NYSE: MAT) today announced it has acquired the rights from Out of the Box Publishing, Inc., to manufacture, distribute and market several games properties, including the award-winning Apples to Apples®, Snorta® and Blink®.

This is fantastic news. Not just for Out of the Box—though all the games named above are terrific fun and work as well for serious gamers as they do for families with kids—but for publishers of boutique board- and card-games. It used to be that when a new independent scored a success with a game, Mattel, Hasbro and their various arms had an ignominious record of producing a knockoff in time for the next holiday season (yes, Taboo, I’m looking at you). This deal seems to indicate that the majors are prepared to do the proper thing and make an offer for the rights. Hurrah for all concerned.

When John Kovalic first told me about Snorta, I was astonished that anyone could have the chutzpah to publish a Snap variant as a boxed game. If you’d told me two years ago that someone could publish a Snap variant and sell it to Mattel I would have laughed very hard, and not with you. Congratulations to the OOTB crew for proving me utterly wrong. Snorta is, incidentally, probably the best new drinking game of this millennium and I recommend it utterly.

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  1. John says:

    Well, there WAS a very poor Apples to Apples rip-off from Cranium, but the less said about that, the better. Whonu you could take a good game and clutter it up?

    ANYWAY, the point is, did I ever give you Snorta shot glasses? I made some up as Christmas presents for the company last year…

  2. james says:

    Now, we never got a set of Snorta shot glasses. Sounds like the ideal thing to use to wet the baby’s head… if the baby’s head ever puts in an appearance.

  3. Matt Forbeck says:

    Mattel did the exact same thing with Patch Press (based here in my hometown in Wisconsin) a couple years back, picking up its three best games, including TriBond and Blurt. It’s good to see this isn’t just a one-time thing but hopefully a trend—or at least a habit.

  4. Webcowgirl says:

    You still waiting for that baby to show up?

    Wanted to let you know what a good time I had Wednesday (writeup here). I was really sorry to miss you demoing your game! How did it go?

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