|Industry||Board & Card Games|
|Headquarters||Leeds & London|
Waddingtons Christmas Jigsaws
Waddingtons was a publisher of card and board games in the United Kingdom. The company was founded by John Waddington of Leeds, England and the thespian Wilson Barrett, under the name Waddingtons Limited. The name was changed to Waddington's House of Games, then in 1905 John Waddington Limited, then Waddington Games, and finally just Waddingtons.
The company was established as a printing business, and at first 'practically all its business related to the theatre'. It entered into game production in 1922, due to a boom in demand for playing cards around World War I. Waddingtons subsequently sold both original games (especially tie-ins for UK television programmes) and games licensed from other publishers.
Waddingtons became the UK publisher of Parker Brothers' Monopoly, while Parker licensed Waddingtons' Cluedo. In 1941, the British Secret Service had the company create a special edition of Monopoly for World War II prisoners of war held by the Germans. Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by the International Red Cross.
Beginning in 1994, Christmas-themed jigsaw puzzles were released annually until 2007, a total of thirteen puzzles. The first twelve in the series depicted a scene from a Victorian-era Christmas. The final puzzle depicted a scene from the fairy tale Cinderella. The small number of puzzles, combined with the fact that they were all limited editions, has made these puzzles among the most sought-after in the world.
Among the games published by Waddingtons were:
- 4000 AD
- Air Charter
- Battle of the Little Big Horn
- Blast Off!
- Cluedo (1949)
- Don't Miss The Boat
- Escape from Atlantis
- Formula 1
- Game of Nations
- Go (not the Chinese game of Weiqi, but based on world travel)
- Key to the Kingdom
- Lose Your Shirt
- Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs
- Mine a Million (rebranded as The Business Game)
- Purple People Eater
- Safari Round Up
- Speculate (Share Trading game)
- Spy Ring
- The Vampire Game
In popular culture
In Avid Merrion's Bo! in the USA during a conversation with Justin Timberlake, Avid claimed that "He'd get in touch with Waddingtons" when Justin said that he'd enjoyed Avid's idea for a board game, Avid Meats Justin.
- David Thornton, Leeds: A Historical Dictionary of People, Places and Events (Huddersfield: Northern Heritage Publications, 2013), s.v. WADDINGTONS.
- Brown, Jason M. (November 2006). "The Tabletop Trio". Knucklebones (Jones Publishing).
- Brian McMahon (November 29, 2007). "How board game helped free POWs". Mental Floss magazine. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- 'Obituary: Master of Monopoly who twice trounced Maxwell', Financial Times, 28 February/1 March 2015, p. 11
- Death of Mr Monopoly, Yorkshire businessman Victor Watson, at 86, The Yorkshire Post, 26 February 2015
- Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
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