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Kids Turn Toy News

Award Winning Family Board Games

Smart Alec

Richmond, BC - (Feb 27, 2008) – This year, as Griddly Games attended its second appearance at Toy Fair 2009, February 15 – 18, the company is armed with a proven track record of success, winning several game industry awards including a Top 10 Games Award from Dr. Toy, a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Award, landing two products in Toy Wishes Magazine and one of the top 5 games that kids picked in the Washington Post “2008 Best Games of the Year” list.

Even in these economical challenging times, the game business is busy. With more people choosing to stay home instead of expensive entertainment, board games offer a great way to spend time with your family and friends while beating the financial blues. Studies reveals families are altering their spending patterns as a result of the failing economy. At Griddly Games we have increased our sales by over 300% since last year!

Years of family life, combined with business experience and a good sense of humor has made two mothers from Canada the perfect team to takeover and revitalize a board game company, while tackling the misconception of “bored” games.

Frustrated to find games that her kids would love to play over and over, while incorporating healthy life choices and fun, Reisa Schwartzman took matters into her own hands. She took over a struggling game company and resurrected it as Griddly Games, Inc., a board game company that would offer all-new family-friendly games and some sports oriented themes. Teaming with Penny Osborn, also a mother of three boys, Griddly Games has a mission to bring games to the market that promoted kids to not only play board games, but also inspire them to get out, get involved, and practice some healthy life actions.

Schwartzman, armed with a BPE in exercise physiology and dance, had a long history of sports and dance as a choreographer, fitness instructor, and owner of her own dance school, said, “Griddly Games is named after the full ‘grid’ of people in the world. The games are for anyone to play, and all ages can play together.”

Osborn added, “You don’t have to know all of the rules or even how to play a certain sport to play any of our Griddly Headz™ sports-themed games either. Of course, many sports enthusiasts love some of the strategies and terminology of the games, but the elements of game play are universal.”

Schwartzman had her own dance school for 18 years and worked in her family construction and development business, but when the opportunity came to get involved in something as creative and dynamic as the board game business, she couldn’t help herself jump in headfirst!

Learning as she went along, Schwartzman wrote her business plan, dealt with production issues, marketing, and networked with people in the toy industry. Along the way, she met wonderful people that help direct the business. In February 2008, Griddly Games took their first booth on a world stage, The American International Toy Fair in New York City. With over 1200 exhibitors and 5000 items from some of the biggest names in the toy business, Griddly Games emerged with its innovative product line-up and was selected to be showcased on CNN, as well as get mentions in several of the toy trade magazines. The Griddly Games booth was busy with non-stop traffic and a lot of excitement, propelling the business to expand.

For 2009, Griddly Games has added to its product line with an all-new game, Wise Alec™, a game of trivia, tongue twisters, and sassy social strategy, and an extension to its sports-themed games with, Griddly Headz™ Football.

Schwartzman said. “We are so pleased to have Wise Alec ready in time to demonstrate at Toy Fair. The unique elements of Wise Alec, like offering a choice of two levels of difficulty on every turn, and using positive health and lifestyle habits, make the game ideal for multi-generation game play. There isn’t any other game like it.”

Playing Wise Alec (2-6 players ages 8 and up) opponents have a chance for making wise choices before, during, and after the game. On each turn, players try to earn points as they move around the board answering questions from school curriculum in three different categories. Each question offers a choice of an easy or more difficult question. Players can use their strengths for maximum or minimum risk and reward, but when a player lands on a Wise Alec card, the fun really begins.

The former educator emerges as Schwartzman explains, “We created Wise Alec as a total forum for bringing people together in wholesome fun. Games are a great, economical entertainment solution for an entire family or group of friends, as well as an education tool in the classroom and home schooling. In Wise Alec, we incorporated positive lifestyle habits and encouraged good manners throughout the game too. For example, while Wise Alec includes some riddles and mental challenges, it also allows advancements or deductions for poor etiquette, like doing push ups for bonus points or losing points for burping.”

“When families play the game on a regular basis, maybe everyone will think twice about holding the door for someone or eating a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar,“ Schwartzman said. “Wise Alec provides fun, interesting knowledge, and fun facts, while also promoting some healthy habits, choices and activities that can continue in-between rounds of the game.”

Wise Alec is a slight departure from the current core of Griddly Games’ Griddly Headz sports themed games that include the top selling Griddly Headz NASCAR® Racing Game, Griddly Headz Baseball, and Griddly Headz Hockey.

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Griddly Games are games that get you going. The company creates award-winning party and board games that deliver innovative, engaging fun that brings people together. Founded in 2007 by two moms from Vancouver, British Columbia, who took it upon themselves to fill the void for products that deliver wholesome family fun that all ages could enjoy at once , Griddly Games creates award-winning party and board games that inspire laughter and fun, while promoting an active and healthy lifestyle. As former educators, who combine for over 30 years of professional work with children, the co-founders of Griddly Games keep a strict company philosophy to offer games that encourage social interactions, learning, strategy and challenges that anyone ( the entire grid of people) can enjoy. To discover more about Griddly Games, visit