Tag: Board Game

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

blueAs if it’s name wasn’t clear enough, Shenanigans is all about the funny business. Our sales representative, Bastien, recommended Shenanigans for their character! From being family owned, to having the friendliest staff, and creating a store with a little bit of everything available, there’s clearly something special about this shop! Although its filled to the brim with entertainment, Shenanigans also has the rich history to match.

Shop owner, Kai, moved from Florida to Charlottesville in the 70’s with her 4 week old son. Working as a copy writer there was never a shortage of tasks that she could lend her creative wizardry to, and add some flare. Just like mom, her son was a little go-getter. As a fast learner, he was walking by 9 months and out growing his old toys and games quicker than most. This left Kai having to travel far just to get those toys and games that were developmentally challenging and gender neutral. With other mothers in the area doing the same, it was clear the Charlottesville needed a toy store where the community could find that big city quality, and diversity, without traveling hours north. It was during these pilgrimages in search of fun that Kai saw a future for herself and family. Since she had also been looking for work with a young child, she was able to design a job with built in childcare that was just right for her. Thus Shenanigans was born!

 store 4With it’s door open for over 40 years, this shop knows fun like no other! In 1974 Shenanigans first welcomed those who sought out fun engaging toys and games without the journey. Fast forward to today where they still provide just that. Even though they aren’t the only toy store in the neighborhood, Shenanigans still reigns supreme! Kai states, “what sets them apart is their product selections”. With such a cute, little store, every item within those four walls is curated by their staff with maximum fun in mind. Knowing what makes customers squeal in delight is something that keeps the neighborhood coming back. Tailoring their selection so that games are completely original and never stale is exactly what puts Shenanigans at the top of the list!

Dr Eureka BoxAs far a Blue Orange Games, Kai would have to name Dr. Eureka as one of her favorites. Going into detail, Kai says our games have such bright and nice art and there’s always a great eye-catching factor.  But what truly lies beneath the cover is Blue Orange’s dedication to inspiring STEM and core developmental skills that don’t go unnoticed to parents. Kai motto is that “if it’s boring, it’s not educational, since they’re not going to play it”. This blunt but true statement by Kai really resonates with our product line.

Kai elaborated that the kids don’t need to think about the skills they’re gaining, but rather the fun should conceal it. When playing with building blocks, a child doesn’t necessarily know he or she is developing a basis of engineering, nor do they understand they are growing familiarity with STEM when they play a game like Dr. Microbe. Blue Orange has the same values; learning should be fun, and if kids already want to play the games then half the work is already done. Shenanigans’ philosophy is to leave the term educational out by labeling their games and toys as fun! As a type of parental shenanigans, or a method of mischievousness, kids are left having uninhibited fun without knowing that their developing better motor and strategic, critical thinking skills!store 1

When considering their success, Shenanigans is no stranger to being a community staple. Kai thanks her neighborhood for being the perfect location, as it is a region with few chain stores and many unique shops that are supported by their community. Not to mention being between two hubs of the city, Shenanigans is accessible for all, either for a quick stop in for the grand kids, or an afternoon spent exploring with the kids. Make sure to grab a copy of the original Shenanigans Coupon Book, with monthly deals such as Board Game Discount November coming up, it’s sure to be a good time! 

Working with Shenanigans has been a pleasure and we proudly award them September’s Store of the Month. As a important part of Charlottesville , Shenanigans is a place where you can find something for everyone, from the helpful staff to the perfect game. Shenanigans is always reachable via their website here or at 601 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA.


Time Warp! Board Game Commercials from the Past

Time Warp! Board Game Commercials from the Past

The 80’s and 90’s made up the heyday of cheesy board game commercials. For many of us at Blue Orange Headquarters, the jingles and catch phrases from these games are forever ingrained in our memories. Looking back on them with our 21st century, ultra-PC point of view, it’s amazing to think some of these products were successful. But others, like Operation and Candy Land are classics and will most likely survive for many years to come.

Since it’s Friday and we’re all in a light-hearted mood, we’ve collected some of our favorite commercials for reasons good and bad. Press play and take a trip down memory lane!


Don’t Wake Daddy

Teaching kids to sneak behind their parents’ backs after everyone has gone to bed. This sort of behavior certainly becomes troublesome after puberty hits. Fun game though! The little fabric night cap (who wears a night cap?) flying off the plastic Dad was endlessly entertaining as a kid. And what’s so wrong with getting a midnight snack anyway?



In some ways, this commercial perpetuates the old stereotype that all doctors are “wacky” quacks that are just out to make a buck.  Look at the face on the patient! Someone get that guy some anesthetic!

Thanks Operation for fine-tuning my fine motor skills and teaching me to appreciate idioms such as “butterflies in your stomach” and “charlie horse.”


Candy Land

This is the driest Candy Land commercial ever: “This is candy land. A place you pretend to visit when your play this game.” Pretend to visit! We’re just pretending??

Compare to the contemporary version. “A place that’s made of sweets and yummy treats.” Count me in! Rebranding like this is what keeps classics like Candy Land alive.


Socker Boppers

Okay this isn’t exactly a game per se, but aren’t all physical contests a game?

“Sock all day and bop all night!” Bop all night? Hmm…as if encouraging kids to bash each other over the head wasn’t enough. I don’t see this flying in 2013. But how funny are all those kids delightfully beating each other with inflatables?!



The commercial is as ambiguous as the game.  I knew tons of kids who had pogs and collected dozens myself, but nobody really seemed to know how to play.


Hungry Hippo

“Hungry Hungry Hip-POS!” This jingle was even all the more appealing with its punctuation by the cartoon hippos’ bulging bottoms mid-Conga line. I remember my siblings and I used to mimic the commercial and conga around the living room while singing the diddy. Apparently this game is still around and this commercial is still used. It just goes to show how much kids like repetitive motions and banging on things.


Dream Phone

Basically a reworking of Guess Who? marketed to tween girls. This game was a part of a whole slew of releases that combined gender norms and electronics (the big gimmick in the 90’s, always accompanied with “batteries not included” disclaimer). Want a boy crazy girl who competes to win guys and uses the word “hunk”? Get her Dream Phone!

For a hilarious round up of the other questionable board games targeted to girls from this era, check out this BuzzFeed article. (Warning: contains strong language)

And for a game that’s clearly meant for boys, judging by the commercial we have….



Notice that the jingle is just a repetition of the game’s tagline, “Win it in the Crossfire,” which is probably the most original and descriptive tagline I’ve ever heard. He he.