The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit

Front Cover
Harvard Business Press, 2004 - Business & Economics - 245 pages
5 Reviews

The Monopoly game, Trivial Pursuit, Clue, Boggle, and Risk are more than games-they're part of Americana. All of these games were published by one company, Parker Brothers, which began as a dream inside the mind of a sixteen-year-old boy, over one hundred years ago.

InThe Game Makers, industry expert Phil Orbanes reveals how, by adhering to the principles of its founder, Parker Brothers rose to prominence, overcame obstacles, and forged lasting success. Orbanes, a game historian and former executive at Parker Brothers, draws from company archives, interviews with surviving family members, and the newly discovered records of founder George Parker to tell a story rich in examples of business acumen that spans world wars, family tragedy, the Great Depression, and global competition. Pairing Parker's enduring business lessons with little-known historical anecdotes, Orbanes reveals the often whimsical origin of classic games-Tiddledy Winks, Monopoly, Nerf, Sorry!, the modern jigsaw puzzle, and more-and how Parker Brothers turned them into cultural icons.

Engaging and insightful,The Game Makersexplains the rules that popularized the games we play and reveals the people who built an American business empire.

"From one who loves games:The Game Makersis a real page-turner. Nobody knows the subject matter better than Phil Orbanes, and it shows. A most compelling read."

-Wink Martindale, host,Music of Your Life, and veteran host for award-winning game shows such asCan You Top This,Tic-Tac-Dough, andTrivial Pursuit.

"Phil Orbanes is a gifted chronicler. He serves up a tantalizing tale of fast-paced competition, drama, risk, eccentric personalities, and strategy, in one of the world's most competitive industries. The reader wins!"


-Richard C. Levy, Author,The Toy and Game Inventor's Handbook

"In this deeply researched look at the evolution of business practices within the world of 'game makers,' Phil Orbanes takes readers on a journey in which they will happily recall the joyful hours spent playing the games that rolled off the presses at Parker Brothers."

-John J. Fox, Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Salem State College

"A classic tale of American entrepreneurship,The Game Makersis a detailed study of successful business expansion and an insider's view of the cultural conflict between a corporate parent and its prize acquisition. This history of Parker Brothers offers something of interest to any serious student of American business practices."

-Linda M. Lemiesz, Ph.D., Dean of Students, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Arts

"I thoroughly enjoyed Phil Orbanes's journey through the history of Parker Brothers. Enjoyable and informative,The Game Makersis a fascinating account of how one individual's strength of character-or weakness-exerted a significant influence over a company's fortunes."

-Ralph H. Baer, Toy and Game Inventor, and Father of Video Games

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

I enjoyed this book very much. Reading it was like a trip down memory lane as I recalled playing Monopoly, Clue (I was ALWAYS Miss Scarlett), Soma et al. The author has also compiled an interesting ... Read full review

Review: The Game Makers: The Story of Parker Brothers, from Tiddledy Winks to Trivial Pursuit

User Review  - Andrea - Goodreads

An interesting book -- I learned about the industry and its history, but in hindsight, I'm not interested enough in the subject to have made it worth my time. . . Probably only two "takeaway" pieces ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

First Moves 18831897
1
Learning the Game 18981910
23
Dealing with Setbacks 19111933
51
Rolling Doubles 19341952
87
Running Up the Score 19531968
127
New Rules 19681984
153
Back to Go 19841991
191
1991
213
Notes
221
Index
233
Photo Credits
243
About the Author
245
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Philip E. Orbanes is President of Winning Moves Games, located in Danvers, Massachusetts, and author of The Monopoly Companion.

Bibliographic information