February 11th is National Inventors Day! At ThinkFun we get a lot of questions about where our games come from. Some of our favorite products are submitted by inventors that generate their own game concepts and ideas. Inventors can create inventions as a full time job, or can create and innovate in their free time. One of our products, Math Dice, was actually invented by an elementary school student!
Here is an interview with one of our inventors, Blue Matter games. Nick Cravotta and Rebecca Bleau are the inventors that make up the team Blue Matter games. They are the inventors of ThinkFun’s Escape the Room Games and Houdini. Nick and Rebecca were also featured on the ABC show The Toy Box with their fun invention - the Pinata Backpack! See the episode for the Pinata Backback here:
What is your favorite part about inventing?
Our favorite part about inventing is that it brings us together. It’s where we share ideas. It’s where we play in the same sandbox.
What is one of your favorite projects that you have created?
We loved making the Stargazer’s Escape the Room game together. It was a huge project! All the crisscrossing to keep track of. We had to create a world and a world that fit in a box. We had to create something that had never been done before. What a joy!
What is the silliest project that you have ever worked on?
A 75’ glowing ladder into the sky. It was a Burning Man project. Our dream was to build the tallest structure on the playa at that time. What we missed was that the ladder would be so compelling that someone would try to climb it. It survived less than 10 minutes after it had been launched. It was glowing wire, shaped by transparent straws, and held up by a weather balloon filled with helium.
How did you begin inventing as a career?
Our son was little and loved stickers. Nick, trying to keep things exciting, came up with game pieces for his son to make with the stickers. This turned into our first game. Nick hopped on a plane and went to the New York Toy Fair not knowing that he couldn’t. The rest is history.
Who is one of your inventor heroes or heroines?
Curt Covert. We started in the game industry at the same time. Curt has chased the other side of the game design dream. He started his own company to manufacture games. We love to design so we license. But when we get together, wow! What a great time!
What is something that inspires you to work on new inventions?
We focus on the connection between people, including the connection between a person and his or her self. We love to create experiences where people discover their own brilliance.
What is a piece of advice that you would give to any young hopeful inventors out there?
The “idea well” is endless. Drink deeply from the well and drink from it often.
ThinkFun's Escape the Room inventors Nick and Rebecca at Toy Fair New York in 2017.