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All about Top Trumps

Top Trumps is the classic trumps card game that has been beloved by the public since the 1970s. Top Trumps combines play and discovery for children of all ages. In 1999, Top Trumps was re-discovered in the dusty archives of the world’s biggest games company, Hasbro, and brought back to life by Tom Liddell and the team at Winning Moves International, based in London, UK. Since then over 80 million packs have been sold worldwide, and the game now features top characters from Disney, Marvel Comics, Warner Brothers, Star Wars and the BBC.

Top Trumps has become a hit in Britain, the USA, Japan, Australia and throughout Europe. During the 2017 holiday season, their “Harry Potter” edition was a hot item and the brand is planning much more in the near future.

Recently Commercial Director Mark Hauser discussed the brand and his hopes for its future.

Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: This Top Trumps Match game seems very different to the other “matching” games we’re more familiar with… Can you talk me through the game and how it differs from these matching games we may have previously known?

Mark Hauser (MH): Aha, yes! So typically “matching games” as you say are plays on the traditional game of pairs, i.e. you turn over two cards (or tiles) which are face down and try to find match a pair. Our game – Top Trumps Match – is somewhat different in that it is more of a strategy game whereby you are playing with a grid of five by five cubes, all of which are different in their composition. The aim of the game is to try and match five cube facings in a row before your opponent manages to do the same. The fun and strategic aspect of this game is that, much like in games like Hasbro’s Battleships, you cannot see what your opponent is working on, so you are juggling two motives: a) racing to complete your own five, and b) trying to ensure your opponent doesn’t match their five first.

MM: So, there is a lot more strategy to this game than meets the eye?

MH: Yes! It’s an interesting game. I’ve watched six-year-olds play the game and enjoy it at a fairly basic level – racing to try and get 5 matching cubes in a row. At the same time, at Chicago Toy and Game fair I’ve seen two adults have a long battle, as both players were trying to remember the cubes which have been pushed out by their opponent, spot patterns in their opponent’s behaviour, meanwhile trying to keep poker faces on their own progress. There is no right or wrong way to play the game, but there are definitely different levels of immersion you can dive into.

MM: I’ve played the Harry Potter version (which I really enjoyed), but I understand there are other games available?

MH: Yes. While the Harry Potter version has been one of the most popular ones available, we’ve also developed versions for Super Mario, Disney Princess, DC Comics, and Despicable Me 3. We’ve launched several other titles in other markets, but just these for the USA and more to come in 2018. One of the nice things I personally like about this game is that the gameplay lends itself to almost any theme so whatever the customer is into, we’d be able to develop a Top Trumps Match for that theme.

MM: What audience is the game primarily aimed at?

MH: I’d say the typical game is aimed at five years plus, but it does appear to be entirely dependent on the topic matter. A short glance at the Amazon reviews show that people of all ages are really enjoying the game.

MM: What is the history of this Top Trumps Match game?

MH: There was a popular game in France which was called X-plus. We loved the game play, but we felt there was loads of potential to tweak and improve the game, from aesthetics, to game mechanics, to licenses, to packaging etc. We got in touch with the inventor, and managed to secure the rights, and then went to work making something that was previously good, now great (in our opinion)!

MM: What is the future for this Top Trumps Match game?

MH: We’ve had a good start to the game 2017 with Target and Barnes and Noble both listing the game and continuing with the game into 2018. In addition, we’ve been able to secure some great titles for the year ahead spanning across football, wizarding worlds, and some educational titles such.

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To learn more about Top Trumps visit their website and their online store.

Meagan Meehan

Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Examiner and AXS. She is also a stop motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a Bachelors in English Literature and a Masters of Communication. She is an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
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