Originally it was marketed as “charades on paper”, and why not? Sometimes it’s the simplest ideas that stick…and make someone really, really rich.

In this case, it was Seattle waiter Rob Angel, who in 1981 was oft prone to sketch phrases at parties and have people guess what he drew. Maybe he didn’t feel like tugging at his ear for “sounds like”…or making that movie-projector motion with his hands. Who knows?

What we do know is that Angel made it work. Eventually he got his friends in on the action, telling them to flip through a dictionary and draw the random word they landed on. (Hence, the game’s name…in case you’ve been wondering all these years.)

By 1984 Angel had decided that he was really onto something, so he did what any normal guy would do…read the entire dictionary, make a list of words, categorize them on cards, store the cards in little boxes, place those boxes into a bigger box, add a game board and a timer, mass-produce it all, ship it, and sell it.

Within three years, Angel was selling 3 million copies of that simple little game in the simple dark blue box.

In fact, just after the 1987 holidays, Toy and Hobby World magazine surveyed retailers about the biggest toys of the season, and Pictionary was #2, only behind the new and snazzy Nintendo Entertainment System.

Then in 1989, everyone’s favorite “charades on paper” game was featured in what would go on to become everyone’s favorite romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally (which we ♥!).

Baby fish mouth!

In 1994, Pictionary was sold to Hasbro, which then sold it to Mattel in 2001. At the time, more than 32 million copies were in print.

And to think, it all started with a Seattle waiter who just liked to doodle.

We ♥ Pictionary.


~ by weheart80s on June 8, 2017.

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