As we stock the shelves full of our favorite puzzles, brain teasers, books, software programs and more, I continue to think about the history behind some of our favorite products. Last week I discussed the Rubik’s cube and Scrabble, which work Coordination and Word Skills. There are, of course, classics in each Marbles category, working different parts of our brains:
Memory: Trivial Pursuit celebrated its 25th Anniversary in 2007. As we know, the game was created in 1979 by Scott Abbott, a sports editor for The Canadian Press, and Chris Haney, a photo editor for Montreal’s The Gazette. After finding pieces of their Scrabble game missing, they decided to create their own game. However, like the Scrabble creators, they had to take some risks to bring the game to the public. According to About.com, the game was initially sold at a loss; the first copies of Trivial Pursuit were sold to retailers for $15, while at the time the game cost $75 to produce. Luckily for Abbott and Press, and for us trivia lovers, it paid off in the end. Critical Thinking: While chess is one of the most pervasive games, there is a wealth of information in this Wikipedia reference that I did not know. According to the article, “the current form of the game emerged in Southern Europe during the second half of the 15th century after evolving from a similar, much older game of Indian origin.” Competitive chess play began in London in 1951, and Germans dominated the game for the first 70 years of the game. The World Chess Federation is the authority for the official rules of chess and official chess tournaments. The game has inspired many designers to create their own interpretations, such as this Umbra Wobble Chess Set by Adin Mumma, as much a work of art as a classic game. Visual Perception: While tangrams are still gaining popularity in the U.S., through products like Tangoes, the game is said to be of ancient Chinese origin. According to Wikipedia, the first printed reference, however, did not appear until 1813. Either way, the brain teaser, consisting of seven flat shapes called “tans” created by breaking a square, produces a multitude of unique shaped challenges. See if you can solve the tangram paradox in the article.
These of course are just the beginning of old and new favorites that the Marbles team loves! What’s yours? Please share your fun facts about your favorite Marbles products.