TheToy Book

Intro from an article I wrote for The Toy Book

About Jenga

The Dream

Having devised and published some forty games over the past twenty-five years, I think I can claim, with some justification, that I am a seasoned and professional board game designer with some tangible experience of the toy industry. But, back in 1982 when I left a good job with the high-tech giant, Intel, and stepped into the world of play clutching my very low-tech game, a box of 54 wooden blocks, all I had was a dream. The dream that I could build Jenga into the best selling game in the world. Yet, I knew next to nothing about the business of toys and games.

Which is probably just as well. Frankly, I don’t know if I would have attempted to launch Jenga if I had had even the slightest inkling of the (financial) risks I faced in taking my first game to market, myself.  As it turned out, I had already sold my house and my Intel shares (oh, how I was to regret parting with those gold-chip Intel shares) and had sunk the proceeds from both into manufacturing and promoting Jenga before it dawned on me that most toy retailers would not, could not, deal with a fledgling one-woman business that was selling a single unknown product with no traction. (The Toy Book vol.25, No.4 July/August 2009)

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