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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University Games has acquired Paul Lamond Games of the U.K. Paul Lamond, which sells a variety of puzzles, murder-mystery party games, and board games in the U.K., will continue to operate as a separate entity out of its offices in London.


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Hot Jobs

Kickstarter is looking for a Games Content Strategist to work at its office in Brooklyn, evaluating games projects, writing about them, and promoting them through various online outlets.. The company is also looking for a Games Intern for a 3 month research project. There’ll be a lot of detail work online and either previous academic study of games or 3-4 years of professional experience with games is required.

Recruiter Aardvark Swift is searching for a Marketing Manager to work at The Pokemon Company in London. The successful applicant will familiar with media for 4-14 year olds across Europe.

Steamforged Games (Guild Ball, Dark Souls) is looking to fill two positions: Commercial Brand Coordinator and Retail Support Manager, both in Tukwila, Washington. The former will focus on marketing, the latter on retailer account management.

Esdevium Games, part of the Asmodee Group in the U.K., has openings for a Finance Manager, an HR Officer, and a Sales and Customer Service Account Handler. The last of those is about sales to the hobby channel.

University Games, located in the Mission area of San Francisco, needs someone to fill the dual role of Receptionist and Office Manager.

The Stars Group is working to develop a state-of-the-art Artificial Intelligence that could learn to play a variety of games. Toward that end, the company is recruiting for a Poker AI Research Engineer and a Graduate Poker AI Research Engineer.

Cubicle 7 needs an Office Assistant in Swindon, U.K. to help with customer service, order handling, and administrative tasks.

Tabletop Tycoon (Game Salute, Myriad Games, Ship Naked) is staffing up in Londonderry, New Hampshire. The company has job openings for an Account Manager, an Assistant Account Manager, full and part-time Fulfillment Staff, and a General Manager. The Account Manager and Assistant Account Manager will be responsible for sales and logistics for Ship Naked. Fulfillment Staff will handle packing and shipping. The General Manager, who will run everything, is expected on-site 7:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Game

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street GameDaniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is an animated spin-off of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. New for the series is the Welcome to Main Street Game ($20) from Briarpatch. Players age 3 and up move their pieces around town picking up gifts from the various shops on Main Street. Special spaces allow them to give gifts to each other. The first to the finish line with a full backpack wins but so does the second and everyone after. This game isn’t over until everyone wins.

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Welcome to Main Street Game setup

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Puremco Fun & Games LogoUniversity Games has acquired Puremco Fun & Games of Waco, Texas. Puremco makes a variety of specialty dominoes, custom dominoes, professional tournament quality dominoes, and several domino-based games, including Chickenfoot, Mexican Train, Spinner, SuperTrain, and Texas Hold’Em CARDominoes.

Puremco also owns the domain registration for, which they had absolutely no idea whatsoever you might mistake for a certain pizza chain.

Puremco Pizza Dominoes Ad

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National Young Game Inventors Contest 2014Cosponsored by Toys “R” Us and Scholastic Parent & Child magazine, University Games’ 22nd annual National Young Game Inventors Contest offers the grand prize winner a $10,000 savings bond, a $250 gift certificate to Toys “R” Us, and a family trip to San Francisco. The contest is open to board games designed by children age 5-12. University Games may publish the winner but no further royalties will be paid.

The deadline for submitting game prototypes is October 15th.

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BriarpatchUniversity Games and Briarpatch are merging with the former acquiring the latter. The companies did not announce the purchase price but did reveal that the addition will increase University Games’ domestic revenue by 20 percent.

Briarpatch specializes in preschool games and the licensing of children’s literature like I Spy and Fancy Nancy.

After the merger, John Donofrio, co-founder of Briarpatch, will join University Games as a consultant.

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Matt Hatter Games

Matt HatterUniversity Games has secured a license to produce Matt Hatter games based on the animated children’s television show. Matt Hatter airs in Canada, Europe, and Australia but not, as far as I can tell, in the United States. The series follows the adventures of a young hero as he fights to protect the inhabitants of another dimension, known as the Multiverse, from monsters released by his family’s movie projector.


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$10,000 Design Contest for Kids

National Young Game Inventors ContestUniversity Games is running a National Young Game Inventors Contest with a top prize that includes a $10,000 savings bond, a trip to San Francisco, and a $200 gift card to Toys “R” Us. Entry is limited to children ages 5-12 and the deadline is October 1st.

While a complete game, rules and all pieces, must be included, entries will not be judged on artwork.

University Games may choose to publish the winning design. All entries, though, become the property of the company.

Four runners up in the contest will also receive the Toys “R” Us gift card, as well as a library of games from University.

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World War Z Games

World War Z The GameThere are two from University Games.

In the World War Z Card Game the first player to secure his continent against the zombie threat is the winner. Getting there requires playing soldier and weapon cards against the zombies on the player’s own continent, while playing additional zombies against his opponents.

World War Z: The Game is a cooperative board game. Players start out working together in the United States but must soon spread out to combat the growing threat around the world. Die rolls to destroy zombies can be boosted with Combat Cards. However, when a player loses a combat roll, he loses combat cards. And when he’s lost all his combat cards, he becomes a zombie, taking control of the hoards around the board.

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