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

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Harvard Business Press, 2004 - Business & Economics - 245 pages
3 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. In The 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 Makers explains 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 Makers is 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 as Can You Top This , Tic-Tac-Dough , and Trivial 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 Makers is 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 Makers is 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

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

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Founded in the 1880s, Parker Brothers has been manufacturing successful games for over 100 years--ever since youthful founder George S. Parker turned his passion for games into a fledgling business ... Read full review

Selected pages


First Moves 18831897
Learning the Game 18981910
Dealing with Setbacks 19111933
Rolling Doubles 19341952
Running Up the Score 19531968
New Rules 19681984
Back to Go 19841991
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About the author (2004)

PHILIP E. ORBANES is the acknowledged global authority on Monopoly. The former director of creative development and senior vice president of research and development at Parker Brothers, he is a founder of Winning Moves Games, which specializes in relaunching classic games from Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley, in addition to developing new games.

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