In 1982 we had introduced such a parade of new products that in 1983 we were still adjusting to the accelerated pace of production, creating a larger catalog, expanding our calendar of shows, exploring new challenges for our Quintillions set, and coping with the problem of the poor quality of die-cut cardboard. No new game of our own was released in 1983, only an upgrade, a newsletter, and a work for hire:
RoundominoesŪ in the die-cut cardboard edition of 1982 turned out to be a heartache and a headache, as pieces didn't fit well and many had to be trimmed by hand. As nice as their boxes looked in bright shiny colors and a grid printed right in the box bottom, the pieces were disappointing. When we discovered lasercut acrylic around this time, it was a magnificent breakthrough, and we never looked back. We ended up donating the cardboard sets to orphanages and charitable organizations.
We thank Blake Guiles of Stockdale Technologies in Sanford, Florida, for turning us on to lasercut acrylic. Our earliest models were 3" miniatures, both of Roundominoes and of Stockdale Squares; oh, so cute but too hard to handle. After one batch of the minis, we settled on the current version. We're grateful to Blake also for his ten stalwart years of long-distance services, and for finally telling us to go buy our own laser, and even telling us where to get it. Blake's shop lasercuts license plate frames and 50,000 other cool things.
Ever since, the acrylic Roundominoes have been consistently one of our top bestsellers, second only to Quintillions. Their bright colors, smooth feel, exquisitely precise fit, curvaceous shapes and great versatility are an endless delight, with ever new surprises. And our lasers have made possible the creation of an extraordinary product line over the next quarter-century and beyond.
Quint-GramŪ was founded in 1982 and continued in 1983 as an occasional newsletter for Quintillions owners, containing the many new discoveries we continued to make with the Quintillions blocks. The small but enthusiastic body of subscribers (at $2 for four issues) looked forward to each new edition.
Over the years we published 13 issues, after which the workload of so many other products overwhelmed our ability to focus on just one. We never officially discontinued Quint-Gramit just faded away. All the contents of those 13 issues became incorporated into the 80-page Quintillions booklet, now in its 4th edition.
If you are one of the handful of subscribers who never received the last few issues of your last subscription, please email us and provide your ground address, and we will send you a complimentary copy of the current Quintillions book (a $6 value).
Today a plethora of challenges and discoveries for Quintillions, alias pentominoes, are spread across the Internet on thousands of websites, so no pentomino lover will ever have a shortage of new explorations. See our Introduction to Polyominoes, or just search the Web for pentominoes.
Memory BankŪ was the brainchild of Bracha Ungar Klein, an educator and linguist. She had read about our games and contacted Kate to help design and produce the equipment for a game that would be mentally stimulating for the whole family, using numbers (and later letters) in a simulation of computers on a gameboard.
The gameboard for up to 4 players was screenprinted on a nice leather-like vinyl. The supply of numbers and tokens was die-cut from cardboard, because Bracha was looking for the least expensive way to make them, although Kate had misgivings about cardboard from her Roundominoes fiasco. As it turned out, the cardboard job was awful, and we reran them on a much nicer material, rigid vinyl, a couple of years later, when we added the alphabetical component to the game.
Having the option of playing a number game or a word game greatly enriched Memory Bank's play value. Memory Bank was in our catalog for a couple of years and then was turned over to Bracha along with the bulk of the inventory when she moved out of state.
It is the double edition of Memory Bank that we are offering in this Anniversary year, while the supply lasts, from our archived sets. Commemorating a quarter century since the invention of this clever family game by opening our archives seems a fitting tribute. Here's a description and special ordering page.
The lesson we learned that year was that being a consultant could be fun and creative, but that agreeing with a client is not always the best way to serve them. Giving in for cost-cutting reasons alone is a bad idea if it's against one's better judgment and experience. Sticking by one's principles is the right idea. And this lesson and this wisdom were the second rule.
Prequels: A Quarter-Century Retrospective (1980-2005)
1982-2007: The first wave of growth
You are here:
1983-2008: The lesson of quality
1984-2009: Some things old, some things new
1985-2010: Guests and clones
1986-2011: Thinking big... and bigger
1987-2012: Growing three ways
1988-2013: Compounding complexity
1989-2014: Grand visions
1990-2015: Herculean heights
1991-2016: Happy marriages
1992-2017: Diamonds forever
1993-2018: Opulence in acrylic and wood
1994-2019: Angles, gold and gala
1995-2020: Tilting towards tilings