“Feed Fuzzy” is not your typical family game, in fact, it’s quite innovative from a design standpoint. Aiming to teach young children how to recognize colors and numbers, the game takes a unique approach by delivering those tasks a la a plush squirrel head that children are inspired to it feed acorns.
“Feed Fuzzy” comes with thirty wooden acorn pieces in five different colors, two dice (one with colors and one with numbers), a cute plush squirrel head that has an opening in the front where children can push acorn pieces into (there is also a zipper on the back where all acorn pieces and two dice can fit). Players ages three and older are given an even number of acorns in assorted
colors. Each player must roll the jumbo wooden dice. The color and number that appear will signify how many specifically colored acorns the player must Feed Fuzzy. Fuzzy’s stretchy cheeks serve as a carrying case for the game. The rules are very simple and teach children basic lessons about colors and counting. Although up to four players can enjoy the game together, it can also be played solo. It retails for $24.95.
Yet this game is only one in a long line of offerings by Getta 1 Games, a company that is dedicated to producing truly unique and fun games for the entire family. Recently founder Tim Walsh discussed his experiences with the company, its games, and his hopes for its future via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you initially get interested in designing games and how did you find yourself with Getta 1 Games?
Tim Walsh (TW): I got into the game business in 1990 with a game I co-designed called TriBond. Dennis & Crystal Callaghan and formed Getta1Games in 2016 to make high-quality educational games.
MM: One of your most recent games, “Feed Fuzzy,” is very unique in that it involves feeding a plush squirrel/chipmunk. What inspired this unique concept?
TW: I saw a squirrel run past me with so many nuts in its cheeks that its head looked bigger than its body. It was funny and I thought that would make a good idea for a game.
MM: What kind of feedback have you gotten about “Feed Fuzzy” and do you think children truly learn effective lessons about colors and counting from it?
TW: Kids love feeding Fuzzy the colored acorns and seeing her cheeks grow, just like a real squirrel. Because they have to count and distinguish which color acorns to feed her, they learn while playing.
MM: How did you go about creating the very first prototype and, from there, how did you get it to manufacturers?
TW: It took a while to have the plush manufactured so that all 30 acorns would all fit inside. We had to use elastic fabric for the cheeks to allow this. We were finally able to find a manufacturer to make it correctly.
MM: How tricky was it to create the squirrel head while maintaining its cute aesthetic?
TW: That was tricky. She had to be cute, but also functional. We went through quite a few samples that did not make the cut!
MM: What other games are sold by Geta1Games and which are the most unique and/or popular?
TW: We have a game called Doggy Bags which is a two-player tactile game. A card is flipped revealing the food that Franky wants. Will you be first to feel inside your Doggy Bag (without looking) and pull out the right food?! Feed Franky five food items first and win!?
MM: How do you find your designers? Do you ever work with outside inventors who can pitch game ideas to you?
TW: At this time, we do not work with outside inventors and do all design ourselves.
MM: How did you raise awareness of the brand and how many stores do you currently sell in?
TW: We are in about 300 specialty stores and on amazon.com. We make demo videos and do in-store demos to promote our games. We also work with bloggers like the Kidskintha Blog.
MM: What was it like to establish an office in America after years of operating solely in Germany?
TW: We were thrilled to launch our games in the US. We love strengthening relationships among friends and family and educating kids!
MM: You were at the New York Toy Fair recently so what was that experience like?
TW: It was great. We love meeting store owners face-to-face and celebrating our businesses together.
MM: What are your major goals for the future of Geta1Games and what new titles can fans expect to see released in 2019?
TW: We want to expand the number of stores carrying our games. We are not ready to disclose our new games, but they are cool!
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Meagan J. Meehan is a published author, poet, cartoonist, and produced playwright. She pens columns for the Great South Bay Magazine, Blasting News, and Entertainment Vine. She is also a stop-motion animator and an award-winning abstract artist. Meagan holds a BA in English Literature and a MA in Communication. She is also an animal advocate and a fledging toy and game designer.
Meagan is a contributing editor to Kidskintha writing on Toys, Games, Entertainment, and other topics that are happy and fun!