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August 14, 2012

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Chris Mancini

I postulate that these things have not left the consciousness of children, rather they have been cleverly redefined. The great crazes of the last 10 years have all been based on something classic in one way or another: Beyblade are basically spinning tops, Bakugan are marbles, Kusabi from Tomy Japan are darts and Playmates made a go of a new dice game back in 2006 with Battle Dice.

The key nowadays is to take an icon of play and innovate it in a meaningful way; one which keeps the integrity and familiarity of the icon intact while offering a surprising twist which modern kids can appreciate.
This is the basis of much of my invention work...what are your icons of play?

Tom Donelan

Innovation engages consumers, which makes the whole delivery channel addicted to newness. But bread and milk are still the staples in a grocery store full of 40,000 items; and cards, dice, and blocks are still the staples in the game aisle.

We don't celebrate the staples but consumers still buy them more than most other things.

In fact, playing cards might be the best-selling "game" of all time. On top of the basic deck, think of the commercialized variants of card play that dominate retail shelves: the most popular custom card games all have roots in playing card play dynamics...and the most popular dice game of all time is based on poker. We've tallied 50-60% of peggable retail game merchandise to be rooted in card game play types.

So for all the emphasis on innovation, it seems that ideas that take small steps forward, not necessarily the big leaps. Things that are familiar to consumers at the core but with a fresh twist are more likely to truly engage shoppers.

We make Square Shooters, a patented new game platform that combines cards and dice into one functional product with an ancient legacy (www.squareshooters.com). It's a tribute to the inventor, Carmelyn Calvert, that that she thought of doing something that's been sitting right in front of everyone's nose for centuries. What other simple strokes of genius can these classic platforms deliver?

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