Do We Have the Board Game for You!

December 14, 2023
Written by
Don Vidler
playing scrabble

They’re arriving daily now, some of them in brown shipping boxes, others bound up in clear shrink wrap, all of them as colorful as kaleidoscopes.

They’re board games—Operation, Scrabble, Yahtzee—you name it. And they’re being delivered to Vidler’s 5 & 10 so fast they sometimes sit in stacks six boxes high while we unpack them and put them on the shelf.  

Come on in and have a look. You’re sure to find just the right one whether you’re buying a holiday gift for someone who likes games that center on rolling dice or somebody who likes the challenge of removing a cartoon guy’s innards.

Wouldn’t a board game be perfect for that hard-to-please giftee on your list? Even in today’s world of tablets and mobile devices, board games still hold a special magic. In fact, they’re more popular than ever. Worldwide, the board-game market is estimated to be worth between $11 billion and $13.4 billion, the Washington Post reports—and it’s projected to grow by about 7 to 11 percent within the next five years.

Today, more than 3,000 new games are released each year (excluding expansion packs), according to the website and online forum BoardGameGeek.  

“The industry now has more categories and themes, prettier boxes and higher quality game pieces,” according to the Post article.

With the greater variety of board games has come a broader audience. The old classics also remain popular. Games such as Scrabble, Yahtzee, and Operation, which lets you play the part of an overzealous surgeon using the most invasive methods conceivable to treat the simplest of ailments. Charley horse, huh? Scalpel!

But we also pride ourselves on having board games for all ages and from all eras, from “Yahtzee” and “Parcheesi” to “What Do You Meme?” and “Spontaneous” and “Codenames.”

Even the more modern board games owe a great debt to the pioneers of the genre, which burst onto the scene many years ago. The history of board games can be traced back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians created many of the games we love today, even a prototypical version of checkers called Mercenaries. Board games were even recognized as a royal pastime.  

Operation, which hit the market in 1964, was the brainchild of John Spinello, an industrial design student at the University of Illinois. Spinello sold his game rights to a toy designer for just $500.

Today, the game’s patient is known as Cavity Sam, who seems to be wearing a clown nose and little else while lying on the operating table. Cavity Sam appears to have something wrong with virtually every part of his body, including his so-called “breadbasket.” If you think someone on your Christmas shopping list might be able to help the poor guy, come see us at Vidler’s. We have something for the budding maniacal surgeon on your list. We also have games for everybody else. Board games. Games to play when bored. You name it.  

So, if the question on your mind is, “Where to buy board games near me,” there’s only one answer: Vidler’s. And if we're not a word on Scrabble, we ought to be.

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