When did Monopoly become a franchise? Even more peculiar, when did Scrabble? I stopped at Toys R Us with my son tonight, and I couldn't believe how many variations of Monopoly and Scrabble they had. No exaggeration: 16 versions of Monopoly and 10 versions of Scrabble. Star Wars Monopoly, Classic Monopoly, Monopoly Jr., Dog Monopoly, Travel Monopoly, New and Improved Monopoly with fully Irridiated Chance Cards (ok, maybe not, but sheeeesh).
Several versions of Operation, including a Hulk version. A new and improved Game of Life. Three or four different Risk variations, Disney Sorry, Simpsons Clue.
Apparently the major toy manufacturers have totally run out of ideas for games and are simply sticking other merchandising properties onto existing games. How pathetic.
Fortunately, there are some good games out there. They are more expensive, take longer to play and you have to go to a speciality game store or buy online to get them, but they are out there. I happened to like the Empire Builder series, but the Formula Deux racing games, Settlers of Catan and other Mayfair Games and Steve Jackson Games offerings are a lot of fun.
Actually, this fall or winter, I hope to start a game evening at the library to highlight some of these great games. They really are a lot of fun. Stay tuned!