November 6th, 2013

mini me + poo

'Barbie turned out to be more important'

... than Scrabble is to Mattel. They claimed at one point that it was their 'jewel in the crown' (apparently, 'it was reported in 2010 that 53% of all households in Great Britain owned a Scrabble game') but Ms Mutant generates more sales and profits '(with or without Ken)'.

This household doesn't have a set. Partly because I am crap at it. Actually, mostly because I am crap at it. It has had a copy of Scrabble for Juniors, for the Rainbow Scrabble variant that later editions of it contain and which I am prepared to play (the best scores are made with shorter words...) but that got passed on to someone else.

I am clearly not the only one who doesn't like it. The Hon Mr Justice Peter Smith, sitting in the High Court reckons that "Scrabble the board game can .. be played for what seems to be (at least to the losers) excruciatingly long periods."

Despite "being part of a declining size of the population who believes phones are to be used for telephoning people and receiving calls", he was the one hearing a case between Mattel (boo, hiss) and Zynga (boo, hiss) over the latter's use of 'Scramble' to describe some of its online and 'app' word games.

Mattel have a trademark for that, amongst others, possibly because people were using it for Scrabble clones. In a case where some of us would like both sides to lose, Mattel did.

The problem was that Mattel were negotiating with Zynga for a licence to make board games of the Zynga products and only going 'Oi, no...' when they lost the bid to do so to Hasbro (boo boo, hiss hiss). The situation is more complicated because, for historical reasons and a series of takeovers, Hasbro have the North American Scrabble rights and Mattel have them for the rest of the world. And Hasbro won the 'lets do some crap boardgames' bid.

This entry was originally posted at, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - comment count unavailable have and if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.