Game Changer: The Story of Pictionary and How I Turned a Simple Idea into the Bestselling Board Game in the World

Game Changer: The Story of Pictionary and How I Turned a Simple Idea into the Bestselling Board Game in the World

by Rob Angel


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It all began with one small step.

Game Changer is the story of how a twenty-three-year-old waiter from Seattle had the outrageous dream of beating industry giants Milton Bradley and Mattel at their own game. With no experience, Rob Angel used his guts, drive, and intuition to create one of the most beloved board games of all time: Pictionary. Rob did it his way. He produced the first 1,000 games by hand in his tiny one- bedroom apartment, disrupted the market by selling to nontraditional retail outlets, and did countless demonstrations at the bottom of the escalator at Nordstrom—a store with no game department. Anything to succeed.

Getting there wasn’t easy; Rob had to navigate his way through production mishaps, cash flow troubles, and countless copycats trying to scratch their way past Pictionary. Still, within three years, Pictionary became the bestselling board game in North America, and shortly after, the world. When Mattel acquired Pictionary in 2001, a staggering 38,000,000 games had been sold in 60 countries.

In Game Changer, Rob shares the remarkable inside story of taking Pictionary from simple idea to iconic global brand by breaking rules and breaking records, never giving up or giving in, and working harder when most would walk away all while having the time of his life. Candid and compelling, Game Changer is as much a captivating memoir as it is a blueprint to personal and professional success.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781643074979
Publisher: Mascot Books
Publication date: 06/01/2020
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 565,626
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Rob Angel is the creator of the iconic bestselling board game, Pictionary, which has sold 38,000,000 copies worldwide. He’s a philanthropist, investor, and sought-after speaker who encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to “find their aardvark.” Rob lives in Seattle, Washington.

Table of Contents

First, a Word i

Part I Drawing the Future

Before Pictionary 1

Wanna Play a Game? 7

In (Trivial) Pursuit of Greatness 17

Finding My Aardvark 21

The Dream Team Unites 27

Adventure Capital 37

Playing the Game 43

Putting the Pieces Together 53

House of Cards 63

Ready for Launch 75

The Name of the Game 81

Sell, Promote, Reorder, Repeat 85

The Nordstrom Breakthrough 97

On Fire for Pictionary 105

Part II Winning Streak

Is It Pink or Salmon? 115

Demonstrating My Skill 121

New Player 129

Let's Talk About Toy Fair 133

WOW or WHOA? 145

Deal or No Deal 151

A Joint Venture 159

A Box of Paper 165

Drawing Attention 171

On Top of the World 179

Junior Is Born 189

The Game Crasher 193

Everybody Wants to Play 201

Part III End Game

Fair Game for Copycats 217

Saturation USA 223

Board vs. Console 231

Foul Play 237

Not All Fun and Games 243

Missing Piece 249

Capture the Flag 253

Pictionary TV, Take Two 257

Next Round 263

Game Over 269

Afterword 277

What Is Finding Your Aardvark? 281

Game Changing Moments 283

Acknowledgments 287

About the Author 289

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