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Author Topic: Developed here - sold there  (Read 1465 times)

The Ol' Guy

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Developed here - sold there
« on: December 08, 2003, 03:50:13 PM »
I recently purchased a board game from England based on a British game show from the late 80s called Chain Letters. As a word game fan, I was curious. To my surprise, I find in the credits on the box cover that the program was a Barry and Enright Production, in association with Allied/MPC. To the best of my knowledge, the show was never produced here in the US. With a number of sharp folks on board here, are there stories of other US producers who have had formats that have only sold overseas..ONLY being the key word?

Matt Ottinger

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Developed here - sold there
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2003, 04:07:14 PM »
I'm actually more interested in YOUR example.  There was a board game released in this country back in the early 70s called "Chain Letters".  It was part of the line of "bookshelf" games that Hasbro released with the NBC logo and trademark.  Despite the prominent peacock, the only one of the games that was based on a real NBC game show was "It Takes Two".  However, several others (Chain Letters, The Mating Game, Rhyme Time) looked as though they could easily have been adapted from game show ideas.

Here's a link to a page about those Hasbro/NBC games.  Does their version of Chain Letters look like your British game?

http://www.gamepile.com/nbcpile.html
This has been another installment of Matt Ottinger's Masters of the Obvious.
Stay tuned for all the obsessive-compulsive fun of Words Have Meanings.

The Ol' Guy

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Developed here - sold there
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2003, 02:51:58 AM »
Matt -
I also bought Hasbro's Chain Letters to see if it had any elements of the old Hatos-Hall show. Interesting that the Hasbro game box credits includes one for Schnur- Appel. Wonder if it's connected to former GT producer Jerome Schnur, who ghost produced Jack Barry's "Everybody's Talking"? Anyway, the game is completely different. The game description is in the UK Game Show page. 3 players compete for high score after three rounds of play involving words of four letters.

Round 1: Players get a starter word, then race to be the first to make 20 new words by changing one letter each time. If my word was WIRE, I would go: FIRE, FARE, HARE, HART, PART, MART, MARK, DARK, and so on. No repeats. The timed round ends when one player reaches 20 or all players are beat by the clock. Any incorrect words cost you points.

Round 2: Booby Trap - You get a base word, like GOOD. You have three chances to score on your turn by changing one letter in the same base word. The opponents try to anticipate a word you may choose and write it down. Say my booby trap word was "gold". If you change the word the first time to HOOD, you score. If you choose to double, you might play GOOF. If you want to risk a third try for 4X - if you wrote FOOD, you'd win it all. If you chose GOLD, I gotcha and get the points.

Round 3: Players make a chain of words your opponents get to guess. If the start word was WARN, I come up with a word, then give you clues. I might first say, "change the N" and my clue would be "adoptee". If you guessed by word was WARD, you'd score, then you'd come up with a new word for the next player. If no one can guess your word, you keep the points. Words may be expanded to 5 letters in this round, but no less than 4.

High score at the end wins.

This would be a tough sell in the US, but I could see it in the UK. The game was made by Spear's Games (a division of Mattel now) in 1990.