Looney Labs

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Looney Labs, Inc.
Privately held corporation
Industry Gaming
Predecessor IceHouse Games, Inc.
Founded July 24, 1996 (1996-07-24) in College Park, Maryland[1]
Founders Andrew Looney
Kristin Looney[1]
Headquarters The Sterling Building[2], College Park, Maryland, United States
Key people
Products card games, Icehouse sets
Brands
Revenue $1 million (2012[1])
Owners Andrew Looney
Kristin Looney
Number of employees
7 (2012[1])
Website looneylabs.com

Looney Labs, Inc. is a small game company based in College Park, Maryland, United States. It is named after its founders, Andrew Looney and Kristin Looney and is best known for creating the Fluxx line of card games. The company has three U.S. patents and eight Origins Awards.[3][4][5][6][7]

The company's games are distributed by ACD Distribution, Alliance Game Distributors and GTS for the US hobby game market, Lion Rampant for Canada and Publisher Services, Inc. for U.S. mass market and book trade and the international market.[8][9]

Icehouse Games: predecessor company[edit]

Andrew and Kristin previously entered game design and manufacturing with Icehouse Games which was started to manufacture IceHouse sets for the formerly fictional IceHouse game in 1989. In 1996, Looney shut down Icehouse Games, Inc. as the cost to create Icehouse pyramid molds would cost $12,000 and to focus on designing a card game.[1]

History[edit]

Home based[edit]

Andrew soon designed the Fluxx card game. Looney Laboratories was launched in 1996 as a part-time home based design company[10] soon adding a nearby storage unit as a warehouse.[11] Fluxx was licensed out to Iron Crown Enterprises to publish.[12] At the 1998 Origins International Game Expo and Fair in Columbus, Ohio, Looney launched its Aquarius card game.[10] Proton and Q-Turn were design in 1998-1999.[11] Alison Frame started working at Looney Labs with Fluxx using her artistic abilities. The company's November 1999 weekly web zine officially launched its Mad Lab Rabbit fan demo program.[3]

Iron Crown went into bankruptcy thus the Looney triggered the license provision allowing the rights to revert to the company. Lab then decided to publish Fluxx in house instead of finding another publisher. Kristin by 2000 quit her job to work full-time.[12] By 2000, the company re-released Icehouse as Icehouse: The Martian Chess Set,[13] released Chrononauts[3] and a new printing of Fluxx (version 2.1).[11] Icehouse sold poorly in stores while selling briskly on the company's website.[3]

In summer 2001, ACMS, later renamed Print Mail Communications (PMC), took over from the storage unit as warehousing and distribution company.[11] In 2001, IceHouse and Chrononauts both won Origins Awards 2000[13] while Looney Labs published Cosmic Coasters, Fluxx Blanxx, and Chrononauts: Lost Identities.[11] Icehouse pieces were released as monochrome stash tubes in 2001.[14]

Andrew became full-time by 2002.[12] Labs released in 2002 Nanofictionary, Are You a Werewolf? and a new Fluxx primary version.[11] In 2003, the company expanded the Fluxx line with its first themed variant and a licensed German language version.[11]

Looney Labs found in 2004 that an unaware Covenant Communications had published a rip-off of their game, Aquarius, as Search, Ponder, and Play! in 2003 for which Labs reached a licensing deal with Covenant.[15] In 2004, the Zendo icehouse set won Best Abstract Board Game of 2003.[16] while in 2005 the set won the Mensa Select Game Award.[17]

Apartment based[edit]

Company offices moved to Janet's Attic, an attic apartment in their friends' house several blocks away in early 2005.[11] By October 2005, EcoFluxx was in play testing while Just Deserts was in prototype, or beta stage.[3]

Robin Vinopal joined the company in early 2006 becoming Chief Operating Officer, Treasurer, and member of the Board of Directors.[11] In 2006, Lab revamped their Icehouse sets to the Treehouse main set[18] plus two color schemes and also released Martian Coasters.[11] With the 2007 publishing of Zombie Fluxx the first new type of card, Creeper, is introduced.[11] Also in 2007, the Mad Rabbits fan/demo program was shut down.[19]

With Frane's purchase of a house, Pepperland, in 2008, the company moved into its basement apartment. Product wise that year, Labs released edition 4 Fluxx and[11] worked with Toy Vault to release Monty Python Fluxx.[20] The company began using a standard two part box instead of to fit tuck box for a consistent look and shelving ease.[11]

In 2009, Looney Labs published one new card game, Are You the Traitor?, another Fluxx variant, new editions of its two other card games and a few expansion sets while starting to use a postcard promo card for marketing.[11] The company on July 1, 2009 started distributing through Publisher Services, Inc. for international accounts, and to the book trade.[21] On November 13, 2009, Labs launched its Full Baked Ideas imprint with a new edition of Stoner Fluxx and expectations for a drinking variant of Fluxx.[22]

The Back to the Future: The Card Game was released in 2010 along with two Fluxx re-releases in the new box format. Two new Fluxx variants debuted in 2011 that saw the IceHouse pyramids re-released with a new lead game set, IceDice.[11] The company's fan/demo club was restarted in 2011.[19]

The company on January 5, 2012 reduced the number of distribution companies that they ship through to ACD Distribution and Alliance Game Distributors for the US hobby game market, Lion Rampant for Canada and Publisher Services, Inc. for U.S. mass market and book trade and the international market. ACD and Alliance would also make their supporting material available via subscription.[8]

On August 1, 2012 Looney Labs get a simplified less expensive general market version with redesigned packaging of Fluxx into Target stores.[1] On February 7, 2013, Labs released the 2.0 edition of Nanofictionary as a print on demand product.[23]

Office based[edit]

In August 2013, the company moved from Pepperland basement to the top floor of The Sterling Building, an actual office complex.[2] In May 2015, Labs changed its fulfillment company from PMC to Excel.[24] Lab added in mid-2015 GTS as another distributor.[9]

Loonacy was released in March 2014[8][25] and won the Parents' Choice FunStuff Award Spring 2014 Games.[26] While two other Loonacy versions were released in the next two following years.[27][28]

Games[edit]

A completed game of Icehouse
  • Fluxx (1996) designed by Andrew Looney,[3] whose rules and goals change as the result of its players' actions,[29] Mensa Select Game Award 1999[17]
    • Eco-Fluxx (October 2005)[3]
    • Oz Fluxx[30]
    • Zombie Fluxx (2007) 2008 Origins Award for Traditional Card Game of the Year[4]
    • Fluxx: The Board Game (2013)[30] Parents' Choice Recommended Seal Fall 2013 Games[26]
  • Aquarius
    • 1st edition (1998)[10]
    • 2nd edition (2009)[11]
    • Seven Dragons (2011) Aquarius variant with art from Larry Elmore[31][32]
  • Proton (1998)[11]
  • Q-Turn (1999)[11]
  • Icehouse pieces (see for additional releases)
    • The Martian Chess Set (1999) Origins Award for Best Abstract Board Game 2000[13][14]
    • monochrome stash tubes (2001)[14]
    • Treehouse (2006) 2007 Origins Award for Board Game or Expansion of the Year[7]
    • Looney Pyramids (June 2011)[33]
  • Chrononauts (see for additional releases)
    • 1st edition (2000) time travel themed card game designed by Andrew Looney, Parents' Choice Silver Honors 2001 Games,[3][26] Origins Award for Best Traditional Card Game 2000[13]
    • Early American Chrononauts (2004)[11]
    • Back to the Future: The Card Game variant (by September 11, 2010)[34] art by Derek Ring, won 2011 Origins Award for Best Traditional Card Game[6]
  • Cosmic Coasters (2001) Origins Award: best abstract strategy board game 2001[3]
  • Nanofictionary
    • 1.0 edition (2002) Parents Choice Silver Honors 2003[26]
    • 2.0 edition (February 7, 2013) print on demand product via DriveThruCards.com[23]
  • Are You a Werewolf?[3] (2002)[11]
    • Are You a Werewolf? Deluxe edition (2012)[1]
  • Are You the Traitor? (July 10, 2009) deception party game designed by Andrew Looney,[35] won Origins Award for 2009 Best New Children’s, Family, or Party Game[5]
  • Choose One (October 2013)[36]
  • Loonacy: The Maniacal Matching Card Game (March 2014) 100 double image cards from the Fluxx sets;[8] Parents' Choice FunStuff Award Spring 2014 Games[26]
    • Retro Loonacy (October 2, 2015)[27]
    • Uglydoll Loonacy (April 16, 2016) licensed characters[28]
  • Just Deserts[3]
    • Beta edition (2005)[11]
    • First edition (April 10, 2015)[37]
  • Mad Libs: The Game (March 31, 2016) variant of the Penguin Young Readers word game and book series[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Robbins, Lindsey (August 30, 2012). "For the Looneys, the game’s the thing". The Gazette. Post Community Media, LLC. Archived from the original on June 26, 2015. Retrieved June 25, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b "The Sterling Building". Wunderland.com. Looney Labs. July 20, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l West, Susan. "The Looney Labs Experiment". GAMES. October 2005. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "2008 Origins Award Winners". ICv2. June 29, 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "36TH ANNUAL ORIGINS AWARDS". ICv2. June 27, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "2011 Origins Award Winners". ICv2. June 27, 2011. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "2007 Origins Award Winners". ICv2. July 9, 2007. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Looney Labs Cuts Distributors". ICv2. January 5, 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Thorne, Scott (February 1, 2016). "Rolling FOR Initiative--Another Day, Another Distributor Exclusive Ends". ICv2. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b c Barnes, Denise (August 27, 1998). "The Looneys devise a game plan". Washington Times. Retrieved June 18, 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u "History of Looney Labs". Looney Labs.com. Looney Labs. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Ford, C. Benjamin (November 22, 2002). "Looneys working through the serious business of fun". The Gazette. Post Community Media, LLC. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b c d Jackson, Micah (July 7, 2001). "Origins Awards Announced: Pyramid Wins Best Magazine". Pyramid Magazine. Steve Jackson Games. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  14. ^ a b c "Out Of Print (OOP) Pyramid Products". Wunderland. Looney Labs. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  15. ^ Looney, Andrew; Looney, Kristin. "The Covenant Communications Story". Wunderland. Looney Labs. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Origins Award Winners for 2003". ICv2. June 28, 2004. Retrieved June 8, 2015. 
  17. ^ a b Arneson, Erik. "Mensa Select Award Winners". About. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  18. ^ Niebling, William (December 17, 2012). "Review: 'Looney Pyramids'--'Treehouse' AND 'Pink Hijinks'". ICv2. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b "Investing in Looney Labs". looneylabs.com. Looney Labs. September 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  20. ^ Kai (January 29, 2011). "Monty Python Fluxx". Meeple Magazine. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  21. ^ "LOONEY LABS SIGNS WITH PSI". ICv2. July 10, 2009. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  22. ^ "Looney Labs LAUNCHES Fully Baked". ICv2. October 26, 2009. Retrieved June 30, 2015. 
  23. ^ a b "Nanofictionary". DriveThruCards.com. OneBookShelf. February 7, 2013. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  24. ^ Looney, Andy (May 19, 2015). "Thanks PMC!". Wunderland. Looney Labs. Retrieved July 27, 2015. 
  25. ^ "'Loonacy: The Maniacal Matching Card Game'". ICv2. February 7, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  26. ^ a b c d e "Parents' Choice Award-Winning Company: Looney Labs". Parents-Choice.org. Parents' Choice Foundation. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  27. ^ a b Bunge, Nicole (July 27, 2015). "'Retro Loonacy' Card Game". ICv2. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  28. ^ a b Bunge, Nicole (November 23, 2015). "'Uglydolls' Invade Game World". ICv2. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 
  29. ^ Clifton, Paul; Ellen Do (2009). "Sketch Game" (PDF). CHI. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  30. ^ a b Liu, Jonathan H. (August 7, 2013). "Fluxx: The Board Game". Geek Dad. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  31. ^ Teverbaugh, Rick (August 24, 2011). "Stringing dragons goal of new Looney Labs game". The Herald Bulletin. Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  32. ^ Kidwell, Tim (May 26, 2011). "Seven Dragons from Looney Labs". Model Retailer Magazine. Kalmach Publishing Co. Retrieved June 23, 2015. 
  33. ^ Niebling, William (March 30, 2011). "Review of 'IceDice'". ICv2. Retrieved June 10, 2015. 
  34. ^ "'BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE CARD GAME'". ICv2. September 11, 2010. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Looney Labs' Demo Kit Program". ICv2. June 8, 2009. Retrieved July 23, 2015. 
  36. ^ Smith, Nick (January 6, 2014). "Review: 'Choose One' (Card Game)". ICv2. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  37. ^ Bunge, Nicole (March 9, 2015). "'Cartoon Network Fluxx' Hobby Release". ICv2. Retrieved June 29, 2015. 
  38. ^ Niebling, William (November 24, 2015). "LOONEY LABS REVEALS 'MAD LIBS: THE GAME' DETAILS". ICv2. Retrieved March 16, 2016. 

External links[edit]