THE GAME OF LIFE Celebrates 50 Years

12 Feb, 2010
THE GAME OF LIFE Celebrates 50 Years

EAST LONGMEADOW, Mass., Feb 12, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The 1960's marked an exciting time for individuality and innovation in America. In addition to Woodstock and space exploration, families across the country saw modern advances including frozen TV dinners, 8-track players, and the photocopy machine. While many of the products introduced in the 1960s may no longer be relevant, one memorable contribution to the decade remains a family favorite today: THE GAME OF LIFE.

Since the game's entry into the market in 1960, THE GAME OF LIFE has become a timeless American tradition. While playing the game, families have had fun carrying out life's little adventures by placing pink and blue peg people in cars while traveling a 3-D game board and making life decisions on the way to "retirement." In 2010, this iconic game marks 50 years of family game night fun and in honor of its golden anniversary, Hasbro is releasing THE GAME OF LIFE: 50th Anniversary Edition to commemorate the game that has given generations unforgettable memories.

"THE GAME OF LIFE has been a part of family households for generations, and has adapted to cultural and economic shifts over the past 50 years. But the game's core values - decision making, commitment to family, education, and fun - remain constant," said Phillip Jackson, Group Executive of Games at Hasbro. "In 2010, Hasbro is honored to celebrate this timeless family game with the release of THE GAME OF LIFE: 50th Anniversary Edition, and we look forward to providing families with a fun forum to discuss all aspects of life for years to come."


In 1959, a marketer and toy inventor named Reuben Klamer traveled to Milton Bradley's game headquarters in Springfield, Massachusetts to present a new children's art center idea to then company President James Shea Sr.. Unfortunately for Klamer, Shea Sr. wasn't interested in buying his proposed concept. However, seeing value in Klamer's work, Shea Sr. mentioned that he was in need of a new game to celebrate the Milton Bradley Company's 100th anniversary the following year. In looking through the company archives, Klamer noticed a century-old copy of Milton Bradley's first board game, THE CHECKERED GAME OF LIFE. Although he did not see the contents of the old game, he was captivated by the word "LIFE" and knew in an instant he had the theme for his new game.

THE GAME OF LIFE as conceived by Klamer and introduced to the world in 1960 was very different from Milton Bradley's moral-based game. Advertised as a "Milton Bradley 100th Anniversary Game," this three dimensional game had a circuitous game track and a spinner which eliminated the need for dice. The object of the game has always been to travel the path of life, making decisions along the way and ending the game with the highest net worth to win. The proposed retail price for the first version of THE GAME LIFE was $6.00 and pictured network television star Art Linkletter on the game box with the tagline "I heartily endorse this family game."

"I wanted to provide families with an exciting and entertaining game experience that they could enjoy together," said Reuben Klamer, the originator and an inventor of THE GAME OF LIFE. "Fifty years later, I am proud to see that THE GAME OF LIFE remains a game that families enjoy playing and also inspires parents to talk about important life decisions with their children."

Players started THE GAME OF LIFE on "LIFE's highway" and were given a high school degree, $2,000 and the chance to make any move they wanted along the way. A sign of the times in 1960, players who chose the "Business" route received a set salary of $5,000 per Pay Day, while the longer "College" route resulted in a higher Pay Day, ranging anywhere between $6,000 and $20,000. Over the years, dollar values have been adjusted due to inflation, but the same governing principles apply to salaries.


Today, THE GAME OF LIFE continues to stand out as an American icon and is even part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institution. Families in 59 countries around the world experience the fun of THE GAME OF LIFE with editions available in 26 different languages.

The classic game of THE GAME OF LIFE continues to be the most popular edition and resonates among families and children today. To celebrate this timeless game that has provided families with hours of entertainment, THE GAME OF LIFE: 50th Anniversary Edition, complete with golden features to mark the golden anniversary, will be available in Fall 2010.

An iconic feature of THE GAME OF LIFE, and an essential component of the game, is the colorful spinner that sits in the center of the game board, which will be golden in color in the 50th Anniversary Edition. In addition, five celebration "LIFE Coins" have been added to the game to take the fun of LIFE to a new level. These special coins encourage players to have real life discussions inspired by the decisions players must make to progress in the game, such as starting a family or embarking on a new career. When the game is over, look for a special reward if you have a LIFE coin in your possession.

THE GAME OF LIFE: 50th Anniversary Edition will be available at mass retail stores across the country for an approximate retail price of $17.99 in Fall 2010. The game is suggested for families with children ages 8 and up, and for two to six players.

Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time products and services with a rich portfolio of brands and entertainment properties that provides some of the highest quality and most recognizable play and recreational experiences in the world. As a brand-driven, consumer-focused global company, Hasbro brings to market a range of toys, games and licensed products, from traditional to high-tech and digital, under such powerful brand names as TRANSFORMERS, PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, CRANIUM and WIZARDS OF THE COAST. Come see how we inspire play through our brands at © 2010 Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

SOURCE: Hasbro, Inc.

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