SOURCE: Cranium, Inc.

August 15, 2007 09:01 ET

Cranium WOW Masters the Art of the Game

New Adult Board Game Receives World's Top Graphic Design Honor

SEATTLE, WA--(Marketwire - August 15, 2007) - Is it a breakthrough adult party game? Or cleverly crafted creative art? Arriving in stores this September, Cranium® WOW just became one of the few board games celebrated as both.

Communication Arts magazine, a professional journal for creative types, recently selected Cranium WOW as a winner in its 48th annual graphic design competition. Of the nearly 9,500 entries to the competition from around the world, only 235 were accepted, making this the A-list of design A-lists.

"We wanted Cranium WOW to make a statement," said Cranium, Inc. Creative Crusader Michael Connell, who led the creative process for Cranium WOW with partner Portland, Ore.-based Sandstrom Design. "The look and feel was inspired by vinyl culture of today along with influence from Cranium's history with artist Gary Baseman. This game will be a centerpiece for fun in your living room and replace that book on modern architecture that's been on your coffee table for the past three years. Have you even read that book?"

Communication Arts judges chose winners on the basis of creative excellence and quality of execution. As one of the few selected, Cranium WOW is one more example of how Cranium, the No. 3 brand in the game aisle, continues to change the rules. In this case, Cranium WOW takes a counter-industry approach declaring that an adult board game should mirror the taste, style and attitude of the people who play it, not the kids games that may surround it on shelf.

What's all the "wow" about? Is it the mesmerizing black Cranium WOW box that declares, "You Were Born to Play This Game?" Or maybe it's the personality-packed vinyl movers with pop-on hats and hairdos for your every fashion whim? Some think it's the 100 percent new cards covering everything from "The Hoff" to White Stripes to YouTube. Others point out the 15 mind- and body-bending activities that get players to hum, whistle, sketch, sculpt, act, puzzle and even spell backwards to win.

Of course, they're ALL right because it's the whole experience that makes Cranium WOW the gotta-have-it-game of the year. Want it before everyone else? Design- and fun-forward folks can preorder Cranium WOW now at www.target.com for just under $35. Come September, Cranium WOW will be available at Starbucks and retailers nationwide.

VINYL -- IT'S NOT JUST WHAT PEOPLE WORE IN THE '70s

Accessorizing each copy of Cranium WOW are the WOW game movers. Stylishly urban and wonderfully witty, they bring a new magic to game movers and a fresh twist to the designer vinyl toy movement fueled by retailer Kidrobot (www.kidrobot.com) and designers like Michael Lau.

According to Kristen Rask, owner of Schmancy (www.schmancytoys.com), a Seattle-based boutique providing quirky toys, collectibles, and original artwork to the world: "Cranium WOW movers pay a perfect tribute to the urban vinyl toy phenomenon. It's a perfect union -- kinda like peanut butter and jelly. I mean who wouldn't want to play with them? They are a lot of fun and have tons of personality."

Each Cranium WOW game comes with an assortment of four of the 12 Cranium WOW vinyl movers. From fashion maven Coco to surfer girl Betty to hoodied homie G, each Cranium WOW mover has its own personality you can make your own with interchangeable hats and hairdos. Will you be Billy, a pompadoured paramour with a penchant for Elvis Humdingers? Or will you transform Powersuit into a power hipster with orange punk pigtails who is dynamite with data? Change your mover style to match your attitude every time you play Cranium WOW. Better yet, collect all 12 at www.cranium.com this fall.

Featured recently on PAPER magazine's Word of Mouth blog, Cranium WOW is like the little black dress of game night -- it's perfect for any occasion, and makes everyone look good. Just under $35, Cranium WOW is perfect as a gift, the show-stopping centerpiece of your next game night -- and even as the winner of one of the world's most elite design competitions.

About Cranium WOW

Cranium WOW has something for everyone as players hum, whistle, sketch, sculpt, act, puzzle and even spell backwards to win! With 100 percent new cards, players use a teammate as a puppet to act out "milking a cow," draw "bed head" with their eyes closed, and test their knowledge of MySpace, Tyra Banks, and what came first, the toaster or the sliced bread. (SPOILER ALERT: It was the toaster.) Colorful new movers can be tricked out with custom hairdos and hats to reflect the personality of your team. Add Cranium WOW to any mix of four or more friends, family or acquaintances and in about an hour, you'll all feel as good as this game looks. MSRP: $34.99. Available only in black, September 2007.

About Cranium, Inc.

Cranium, Inc. reinvented the board game category in 1998 with the launch of Cranium and a pledge to give everybody the chance to shine. Today, Cranium leads the industry in innovation through a constant passion for changing the rules. Celebrated for its award-winning products and culture, Cranium is recognized as one of Seattle's Best Places to Work, one of Washington State's Top 100 Privately Held Companies, and five-time winner of the Toy Industry Association's T.O.T.Y. Game of the Year award. With more than 22 million games, books, and toys sold worldwide, Cranium continues to fuel a global movement of more than half a million Craniacs in nearly 40 countries and more than 10 languages. From Cranium games and puzzles to Cranium Super Fort life-size construction toys, everything we create celebrates the full range of natural abilities as kids, families and adults create, discover, perform and connect. For more information, visit cranium.com.

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