ISSUE 26  |  London Family Life

Children’ Rooms: Portobello Games in London

June 27, 2011 6:32 PM

BY Christine Chang Hanway

With summer upon us, our thoughts turn to family games (anything to keep children off the electronics!); we especially like the offerings from UK-based Portobello Games, which offers a lineup of traditional games that have been refashioned for the 21st century.

Above: Invented in 1966 by Patrick Rylands while he was an art student, PlayPlax is "probably the best designed construction toy ever," according to Portobello Games founder Lucy Baring. "I loved this game as a child, and when I discovered it had gone out of production in the 1980s, I knew I had to bring it back."

Above: Unhappy Families is a twisted take on the traditional Happy Families card game (the object is to collect complete families). The new version of the game includes 10 "modern, mixed-up families" with names like the Banals, the Blamelesses, and the Hedgefunds.

Above: Snatch is a word game that has been played in various forms since Victorian times; Baring worked with a games inventor and an architect to create a modern version. In the US, Snatch is available for $15.99 through Amazon.