Licensing Roundup

Cardinal Games (a Spin Master subsidiary) and Looney Labs are partnering in the production of licensed card games. The first two, summer 2019 releases, will be Marvel Fluxx and Jumanji Fluxx. Both companies will produce versions of the games. Cardinal’s will be priced at $15 MSRP for the mass-market outlets. Looney Labs’ will be priced at $20 for hobby and specialty retail, and will come with seven bonus cards.


Mattel has signed a 3 year licensing deal covering the Despicable Me franchise. The company will produce a range of toys and games in time for the theatrical premier of the Minions sequel in 2020.

Far Out Toys has signed on kid-reviewer Ryan ToysReview for two licensed action games Splash Out and Head Splat. Both are due at retail in March.

University Games has acquired a license for games based on the Mog Man series of youth books by Dav Pilkey.

USAopoly has signed an agreement with Games Workshop to produce licensed versions of the latter’s Talisman board game. The agreement grants USAopoly international distribution rights for co-branded games. Two are planned for this year, though the specific properties have not yet been revealed.

Weta Workshop announced plans for a District 9 board game via Kickstarter project launching in late March.

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Second Look—Doctor Who Fluxx

Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.The folks at Looney Labs sent us a copy of Doctor Who Fluxx recently for review…and let’s get this out of the way first: I neither like nor dislike Fluxx. It’s fine.

Fluxx itself is a short game that’s fun with people you know and who get into the theme, so that’s what’s going to be the big deciding factor if you like this version of Fluxx or that one. This is why I really don’t care for Stoner Fluxx (by Fully Baked Games, the “more adult” imprint of Looney Labs) but I do like Zombie Fluxx.

The big thing with choosing a Fluxx game is the theme.

The basics of Fluxx are this: you draw one card and play one card. You’ll be playing new rules, which let you change the number of cards you draw or play as well as adding new things like hand limits; keepers, special cards that stay in play in front of you; goals, which give you a win condition that are usually based on the keeper cards; actions, which let you do one-time actions like trading your hand with someone else’s or stealing a keeper card; and creepers, which are like keepers but if you have them in play in front of you, you cannot win.

Doctor Who Fluxx‘s cards are all themed from the show. The keeper cards are all 12 Doctors, plus a “future Doctor” — the announcement of Jodie Whittaker was made after this game went to print, so no 13. Also are companions from the new run of the show, so Rose, The Ponds (one card), and even Sarah Jane Smith. Plus K-9. Rounding out the Keepers are the TARDIS, “that scarf”, and the sonic screwdriver.

Goals are combinations of these cards. If “Grand Theft TARDIS” is the goal, if you have The 1st Doctor and the TARDIS in play, you win! “Regeneration” is the goal? Win if you have two sequentially-numbered Doctors. Some goals require any Doctor or any Companion.

The Creepers include The Master, who moves to any player that has a Doctor in play. Weeping Angels, who move to the play area with the TARDIS. Daleks, who can be removed by sacrificing any Doctor in play (not just your own). And Cybermen, who just sit there. Some goals require Creepers: “The Master’s TARDIS” needs The Master and the TARDIS cards.

Doctor Who Fluxx also includes a small number of Surprise cards, which you can play out of turn to cancel out a card someone just played or their own special ability.

So, how well does this capture the Doctor Who IP? Not a bad job, really. It feels more of a themed set-collecting game than really evocative of the types of adventures the Doctor goes on. The best thing in the box are the creeper cards and how they interact with the other players, which is really cool. Looney Labs is primarily pulling from the revived series here with a nod at Tom Baker’s run, which was the Doctor from the original run that most people in the United States seemed to grow up with. The artwork on the cards is all vector-based and while some cards were really good representations of the characters and items from the show, there were a few that looked…off.

We played with one person who hadn’t seen the show and two that had. The one that hadn’t seen the show really enjoyed it, but she loves Fluxx in all forms. Being a fan of the show would have had her really dig into it. One player who had seen the show hadn’t ever played Fluxx before. She loved it, too.

So: Are you a fan of Doctor Who and want a simple, quick game to play? Here you go. If the theme doesn’t grab you, go for Zombie, Batman, Math, Chemistry, Monty Python…. There are many Fluxx variations to choose from.


A copy of Doctor Who Fluxx was provided free for review purposes by Looney Labs.

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Toy Fair 2017—Looney Labs

You couldn’t walk by Looney Labs’ booth without getting a copy of Math Fluxx thrown at you. I kid, ’cause the crew at Looney are fantastic. We picked up a copy of Math Fluxx (releases tomorrow for $16!) which is a math-themed version of Fluxx. They said it’s a gift for us to check out, but what the heck, a mini-review:

It’s good.

Personally, I don’t like Fluxx — it’s not fun unless there’s a theme involved, and the theme of “math” simply isn’t exciting as “Zombies”, “Batman”, or “Monty Python”. So I wasn’t expecting to like this one, but it was a lot more fun than anticipated! The keepers in this game are numbers, 0 through 10 with lots of the low numbers, thinning out until you get to the 10. Goals are things like combining digits to get numbers, but there are extra rules (including two meta rules) that allow you to use actual math to reach the number on the goal card. It was crazy fun and we’ve broken it out a few times to play. Yeah, Fluxx just has to have a theme to get the family interested in it!

Math Fluxx: It’s Good™

Chemistry Fluxx is coming at the end of May. Use elements and laboratory equipment to match the current goal. Like Math Fluxx, Chemistry Fluxx has some basic educational components, and lots of puns.

Non-Fluxx news: Just Desserts has been out for a while, where you make treats for customers. And you probably know about Better with Bacon, a 10-card expansion that was released in late January featuring Maple Bacon Donuts, Bacon Ice Cream, and Kevin. But at GAMA this year, they will be offering Just Coffee, a retailer exclusive expansion that’s meant to be a giveaway. Go bug your local game store and tell ’em you want one!

Oh, and there’s an exciting announcement coming soon that they told me about that’s going to knock your socks off. (Available this fall.)

Also in the works: Time Breaker, a competitive game where you are attempting to stop the Time Breaker. Not much is public about it except it’s still in playtest and Looney Labs is shooting for a 2018 release.

Meanwhile, over at Fully Baked Ideas, the “more adult” imprint from Looney Labs — this is where Stoner Fluxx now lives — they have three new games on the horizon.

Stoner Loonacy (May, $14) is the game Loonacy with art from Stoner Fluxx. Players race to be the first to empty their hand of seven cards by matching them to the cards on the table.

Adult Mad Libs: The Game (June, $20) has all the madcap wordplay from Mad Libs, but with much more innuendo, “full of tasteful, sexy fun without any politics or put-downs”.

Fluxx turns 21 this year, and Fully Baked Ideas celebrates with Drinking Fluxx (July, $25). Complete with plastic cards in case anything spills, this version of Fluxx just might require liquid refreshments to play.

A copy of Math Fluxx was given to us free by Looney Labs but they didn’t know we were going to do a quick review of it, ha ha.

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Firefly Fluxx

Firefly FluxxLooney Labs announced on Thursday plans for a Firefly Fluxx. The company is working with Gale Force Nine, which holds the Firefly license from Twentieth Century Fox.

Firefly Fluxx is expected at retail in “early 2016” with a suggested price of $20.

What else is there to say? The game will feature all the characters and other elements you know from Firefly and all the chaos you expect from Fluxx.

Gorram cards!

Mad Libs: The Game

Mad-LibsA Mad Libs party card game is being developed by Looney Labs under license from Penguin Young Readers. Mad Libs: The Game will be one of those take-turns-judging games. Players will use word cards from their hands and fill-in sentence cards on the table “to make the most appropriately inappropriate sentences possible.” Based on the history of the brand, I expect that means the word cards will be appropriate for children.

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Retro LunacyNostalgia is the theme of Looney Labs’ just announced Retro Lunacy, gameplay a matter throwing down as fast as one can a card with an image matching the top of a discard pile. Those images feature things your kids might not even recognize, like rotary phones, in a style appropriate for the era.

Retro Lunacy is scheduled to hit retail in early October at a suggested price of $15. The game takes up to five players but only 5-10 minutes.

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Batman Fluxx

LOO-067+cardsA lot of people are excited about Adventure Time Fluxx, which hits shelves on July 31st. How is it that I didn’t hear about Batman Fluxx until just now? Coming out August 7th, this version of Fluxx is based off the best incarnation of The Dark Knight yet…Batman: The Animated Series. Put out by both Looney Labs and Cryptozoic, the artwork I’ve seen already has me pining for the day of my youth.

Mark Hamill will always be my Joker. Kevin Conroy, my Batman.

This is a version of Fluxx that will most certainly be added to my shelves. Even at $20, which seems a bit high for Fluxx, I’ll still snag it just for the theme.

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Adventure Time Fluxx Coming in July

Adventure Time FluxxLooney Labs is on a roll right now. Earlier this month, the company announced Fluxx Dice, an expansion for the hilariously confusing card game. Now, it turns out Adventure Time is getting its own title in the Fluxx universe.

According to Andrew Looney speaking through Game Trade Magazine, Adventure Time Fluxx will feature a new action card called “The Arena.” With this card, all other players must submit a Keeper to the battle and then must explain why their character would beat the others in a fight. The player that placed The Arena card gets to decide who wins and then gets to keep that Keeper card.

There will be dozens of familiar characters, including a half-dozen princesses, Lemongrab, and even Marceline’s dad, Hunson Abadeer. There is even an action card called “Floop the Keeper” that is a direct reference to the Card Wars episode (which later became a real-life card game).

Adventure Time Fluxx is expected to ship this July for $20.

Fluxx Dice

Fluxx DiceOn a mission to somehow make its Fluxx card game even more chaotic, Looney Labs today announced Fluxx Dice. This new expansion takes the one consistent thing in a game of Fluxx—draw a card, play a card—and randomizes it! On each of their turns, players will roll the two dice—one draw die, one play die—and follow the result.

Fluxx Dice will be available at retail in August for a suggested price of $12. It includes two dice and five cards and can be added to any version of Fluxx.

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Win over hungry customers with Just Desserts

Just DessertsLooney Labs, the company that brought you the hilariously confusing game of Fluxx, is back with another card game. This time, it is set in a dessert cafe and you are a waiter.

In Just Desserts, players must try to satisfy customers’ cravings for sweets by serving them delicious dishes. Dishes include such things as caramel nut torte, mint chocolate milkshake, and tapioca pudding.

There are 24 customer cards, each with a different hankering. One might want chocolate, marshmallows, and fruit. Another might want cookies, nuts, and pie. You must serve the customer by placing any number of dessert cards that fulfill his or her request. Collect customers of a certain color group, or one of each color to win.

Just Desserts supports two to five players ages eight and up and takes anywhere from five to 30 minutes to play. It costs $18 and is available at your local game store now.

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