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University Games  |  Our Story

University Games was founded by Bob Moog and Cris Lehman. Bob and Cris always loved playing games with their families, and grew up thinking that fun and learning were a part of everyday life. As adults, they recognized a developing niche in social interaction and learning games for adults and children, and that is how University Games began on April 1, 1985.

The company philosophy has always been to offer games that encourage social interaction and imagination through gameplay, with learning sprinkled in to season the game. The first product released was Murder Mystery Party, which generated $385,000 in 1985. In 1987, Bob co-invented 20 Questions, which like the Murder Mystery Party series, has been a mainstay of the University Games line for the past 31 years.

In 1991, University Games created the Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? board game, which was based on the popular children's television show. Ever since, University Games has been creating educational board games designed so that players won't notice how much they are learning while they have fun! University Games has an in-house product development team that has made it the leading original game producer in the industry. With games like Kids on Stage, Totally Gross, Super Why ABC, and Scavenger Hunt for Kids, it is no wonder adults and children have come to expect great educational and entertaining products from University Games.

By the end of the 1990s, University Games had successfully expanded to markets outside the United States. Now in more than 28 countries, the company has become a major player in the international game industry through increased distribution, experienced staff and strategic acquisitions including Great Explorations, Puremco, Inc., Topline Toys, BePuzzled, and Briarpatch. Today, University Games distributes more product in more outlets and in more markets than any other company focused on board games. The company now has six divisions--University Games (board games), Great Explorations (science and learning/glow-in-the-dark products), BePuzzled (puzzles and brainteasers), Briarpatch (preschool games and puzzles), U-Create (crafts and activities), and Front Porch Classics (classic games, built to last a lifetime).

We constantly seek to keep our products contemporary through new product development. We also built entire ranges on literary and learning licenses. Currently, some of our popular licenses are Shimmer and Shine, Blaze and the Monster Machines, The World of Eric Carle, and Super WHY!. In 1995, 1996 and in 1999 University Games was named one of the top 150 fastest growing companies by the San Francisco Business Times, and in 1996 was named one of the fastest growing private companies in America by Inc. Magazine. Since its early years, University Games has won numerous toy awards from Parent's Choice, Family Fun Magazine, Child Magazine, Parenting Magazine and Dr. Toy.

In 2015, University Games welcomed Puremco Inc. to the family. Founded in 1954, Puremco is the premier source of quality dominoes and domino-based games. The wide selection of Puremco products includes the original authorized games of Spinner, Chickenfoot, and SuperTrain, as well as basic double 6 to double 15 domino sets, unique "To-Go" packs and tin gift sets, including Mexican Train. Whether putting on a family game night or hosting a dominoes tournament, people enjoy playing these entertaining and challenging games!

In 2016, University Games relaunched Briarpatch games for preschool and young children. University Games is a toy and game manufacturer located in San Francisco, California. Brands include, Bepuzzled, Briarpatch, Front Porch, Great Explorations, Haywire, Paul Lamond, Puremco and U-Create.

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