Friday, October 30, 2009

Colonel Mustard Returns!

October 14, 2009, 5:59 pm — Updated: 2:07 pm -->
Colonel Mustard Returns!
By J.D. Biersdorfer

Clue fans bored with Colonel Mustard with the lead pipe can now move beyond the mansion with CLUE: Secrets & Spies, an international espionage edition of the classic detective game. The mission here is not impossible and the new Clue comes with a new real-time tech twist: Hasbro says it is the first board game in the company’s history to use cellphone text-messaging in gameplay.

Agent Mustard, Agent Scarlet and the rest of the colorful Clue characters are now on assignment to thwart C.L.U.E. (Criminal League for Ultimate Espionage) and take down the evil Agent Black. At the beginning of the game, players check in at Hasbro headquarters via text from their own cellphones. As the game proceeds, Hasbro sends six text messages back to move the action along. An ultraviolet decoder, included with the game’s activity cards and other pieces, also reveals information.

CLUE: Secrets & Spies sells for $25 at The text-messaging element is optional and Hasbro is committed to supporting it through December 2011. The cost of the text-messages aren’t included—which could be a clue itself as to why the phone bill is so high for enthusiastic players without unlimited text-message plans.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Big E Toys Adds “Emotional Nutrition” Label to Stumblebum Board Game

Fun and Laughter are key ingredients to this charades-based game

PLYMOUTH, MN — May 5, 2009 — As it turns out, our mental and physical well-being is a laughing matter. Big E Toys, the maker of the charades-based party game Stumblebum and other fun and educational products, today announced the addition of a new “Emotional Nutrition” label to its Stumblebum packaging. The Emotional Nutrition label mimics the typical Nutrition Facts label found on most consumer packaged grocery items. But rather than depicting Calories, Fat, Cholesterol and other traditional measurements and ingredients found in food, the Stumblebum Emotional Nutrition label depicts Fun and Laughter.

Studies have shown that humor and laughter can have a profound effect on personal health. “I think people generally understand the importance of humor and laughter in life,” says Chip Engdahl, the Big E of Big E Toys. “What is often missed though is the direct link between humor and personal health. Humor and laughter are essential components to our emotional and physical well-being.”

Especially in tough economic times and a world filled with political uncertainty, people need to find little ways to keep themselves emotionally and mentally healthy. “Although I can’t scientifically prove Stumblebum will add fun and laughter to people’s lives and therefore have a positive effect on their overall well-being, empirically I know it to be true,” says Engdahl. “Stumblebum is downright fun. As the Emotional Nutrition label on the Stumblebum box suggests, people will get their fill of Belly-Busting and Side-Splitting laughs, and other forms of fun. I mean really, what could be better than playing a great board game like Stumblebum and having a few laughs with family or friends?”

In addition to being a great outlet of fun and laughter, Stumblebum provides great value for a family’s entertainment dollar. Unlike a night at the movies, or a dinner out, a board game can be enjoyed over and over again. The fun keeps on going. And unlike other forms of entertainment, board games like Stumblebum are inherently family-oriented and are often multi-generational affairs.About Stumblebum
Stumblebum is a charades game like you’ve never played before. Performers are given physical challenges like “stand on one leg” or “eyes closed” while they act out a short list of words. Get teammates to say the words and you score. If not, your opponent can steal. Designed for ages 8 to adult, each game takes less than half an hour to play and participants are up and playing in just a few minutes. It’s unbelievably simple and fun. Game includes 169 game cards, 2 game dice, a 30-second sand timer, card holder, and game instructions. It’s great for get-togethers of all kinds. “It’s so fun, you may actually fall down laughing™.”

About Big E Toys
Big E Toys is a small toy company specializing in board games. It was started by Chip Engdahl on the simple idea that life should be fun. Products include the games Stumblebum®, Coopetition®, and the card deck Chops®. Big E Toys strives to develop quality games that can be enjoyed by a wide variety of people. For more information, contact Big E Toys at 1.866.411.BIG.E (2443) or visit us at

Media Contact:
Chip Engdahl
Big E Toys

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Up the Down Staircase

Here's a blog post from my friends at Iconoculture. I thought the comment about board games was particularly interesting. See more Iconoculture material on their blog.

Up the Down Staircase
February 17, 2009 – 2:44 pm
by Hans Eisenbeis

Two men were chatting outside the Minneapolis public library the other day, discussing the upside of unemployment. “I’m spending more time with my family, and we’re just hanging out —doing old-fashioned stuff like playing board games and cards.” His unmarried friend was incredulous. “Well, you don’t need a ruined economy to do that!”

But it seemed to me the bachelor was missing the point, and the family man was reading my mind: “Losing my job made me rewrite my whole budget, which made me realize that working hard in order to spend hard meant a lot of sacrifices. For what? Less time, more junk, deeper debt.” The bachelor thought a moment, and then said, “Dude, it’s people like you who are making the recession longer and harder for everyone.”

The bachelor might have been correct from a macroeconomic point of view — economists call it the paradox of thrift: The less consumers spend, the longer the recovery. But who could blame the family man for looking out for number one? Consumers of every income level are realizing that getting tougher on the budget has a lot of upside. They get their finances in order, build on a more solid economic foundation for the future and, yes, recommit to core beliefs without the distractions of debt-driven consumerism. Will that delay recovery? Yes. But when recovery comes, we’ll not likely see another Great Recession in our lifetimes.