About 3M Bookshelf Games (excerpt from Wikipedia):

Vintage 1962 Acquire Board Game Bookshelf Games | eBay

Parker Brothers Vintage Game Collection Exclusive Wooden Book Box Scrabble

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  • TAG : Bookshelf Games: The Precursors to Today’s Hobby Board Games
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  • Another winner from 3m Bookshelf Games. Small & compact, this vintage chess set has 32 varnished, weighted & felted chess pieces (in blond & black) that stand 1.25" to 2.5" tall. The brown & tan "woodgrain" vinyl-coated, pressed wood playing board measures a small 11"x 11" when opened out. With its fuzzy red, molded inner liner and leatherette boxes and slipcase, everything stays safely contained even when you're on the road :)

    Want to keep your favorite game on your bookshelf in your den or office? Want a game and package that will last?

    Bookshelf Games answers yes to these questions. The book package opens like a real book with a magnetic clasp to hold closed while not in use.

    Includes 55 sturdy, solid dominoes with metal spinners and several rules variations.

    • A game for 2 players or more player.

  • 3M produced other games—including a great line of sports titles, as well as some kid-oriented and educational games—during their time in the board games market. By 1975, the company had sold all of its intellectual property rights and the entirety of its game publishing business to Avalon Hill, another storied producer of hobby games that would keep many of the best games in the Bookshelf series in print for years to come. The legacy of the 3M Bookshelf games remains felt today, with hobby game publishers still using the bookcase-sized boxes and promoting game designs by freelance, named designers. And most importantly, these titles almost single-handedly created the market for more serious, thoughtful strategy games beyond the usual classics.

    3M produced other games—including a great line of sports titles, as well as some kid-oriented and educational games—during their time in the board games market. By 1975, the company had sold all of its intellectual property rights and the entirety of its game publishing business to Avalon Hill, another storied producer of hobby games that would keep many of the best games in the Bookshelf series in print for years to come. The legacy of the 3M Bookshelf games remains felt today, with hobby game publishers still using the bookcase-sized boxes and promoting game designs by freelance, named designers. And most importantly, these titles almost single-handedly created the market for more serious, thoughtful strategy games beyond the usual classics.

    VINTAGE 1962 "Acquire" 3M Bookshelf Games

  • By far the most valuable of the Bookshelf games, however, is Jati, an extremely rare 1965 abstract strategy title that never entered full production. According to the apocryphal story surrounding it, the game was considered to be too easy to play with pen and paper, which could have hurt sales once folks realized that they didn’t really need to buy it despite its nice plastic board and pieces. It has been reported that only 100 copies were made as production samples and for review, and it is unclear how many of those still remain or if there may have been more produced than believed. Copies of the game have sold anywhere from $500 to more than $1,000 at a 2006 eBay auction.

Tag Archives: 3M Bookshelf Games

The 3M Bookshelf games today look quaint, with sometimes hilariously dated artwork and photographs suggesting that a game of Breakthru or Oh-Wah-ree should be enjoyed in a Mid-century Modern living room and accompanied by wine, cheese and firelight. Clearly, the aim was to sell these games to an adult audience that might be inclined to view games as kiddy fare, but the Bookshelf games often had serious tones and themes—witness titles such as Point of Law, Executive Decision or Mr. President. In retrospect, many of these games don’t look like much fun. When I was a kid, I’d see these games and wonder if they were games at all.