Waddingtons was a British manufacturer of card and board games. The company was founded by John Waddington of Leeds, England and the manager, actor and playwright Wilson Barrett, under the name Waddingtons Limited. The name was changed in 1905 to John Waddington Limited, then Waddington's House of Games, then Waddington Games, and finally just Waddingtons.
|Industry||Board & Card Games|
|Founded||19th Century (as a printing firm) 1922 (gaming company)|
|Headquarters||Leeds & London|
Waddingtons Christmas Jigsaws
Founding and historyEdit
The company was established as a printing business, and at first 'practically all its business related to the theatre'. It entered into game production in 1922, due to a boom in demand for playing cards around World War I. Waddingtons subsequently sold both original games (especially tie-ins for UK television programmes) and games licensed from other publishers.
Waddingtons became the UK publisher of the US Parker Brothers' Monopoly, while Parker licensed Waddingtons' Cluedo. In 1941, the British Directorate of Military Intelligence section 9 (MI9) had the company create a special edition of Monopoly for World War II prisoners of war held by the Germans. Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by fake charitable organisations.
Beginning in 1994, Christmas-themed jigsaw puzzles were released annually until 2007. The first twelve in the series depicted a scene from a Victorian-era Christmas. The final puzzle depicted a scene from the fairy tale Cinderella. The small number of puzzles, combined with them being limited editions, has made these puzzles highly collectable. Further jigsaws have been produced since 2010 by a new company, using the same brand name.
Among the games published by Waddingtons were:
- 4000 AD
- Air Charter
- Battle of the Little Big Horn
- Black Box
- Blast Off!
- Blockbusters (standard, Junior, Gold Run card game, and Super- 2nd edition game with Gold Run included)
- Cluedo (1949)
- Don't Miss The Boat
- Escape from Atlantis
- Formula One
- Game of Nations
- Go (not the Chinese game of Weiqi, but based on world travel)
- Grade Up to Elite Cow 
- Key to the Kingdom
- Lose Your Shirt
- Lost Valley of the Dinosaurs
- Major Battles and Campaigns of General George S. Patton (1973)
- Make-Shift (1980)
- Mine a Million (rebranded as The Business Game)
- Purple People Eater
- Rich Uncle (board game)
- Safari Round Up
- Speculate (Share Trading game)
- Spy Ring
- Tens (variation of Triominoes)
- Tour of London
- Twelve Days of Christmas Super Delux Double sides Puzzle
- Top Trumps
- The Vampire Game
- David Thornton, Leeds: A Historical Dictionary of People, Places and Events (Huddersfield: Northern Heritage Publications, 2013), s.v. WADDINGTONS.
- Brown, Jason M. (November 2006). "The Tabletop Trio". Knucklebones. Jones Publishing.
- Brian McMahon (November 29, 2007). "How board game helped free POWs". Mental Floss magazine. Retrieved 2007-12-07.
- Martin Hickes (January 8, 2013). "How Monopoly boards got second world war prisoners out of jail free". The Guardian.
- 'Obituary: Master of Monopoly who twice trounced Maxwell', Financial Times, 28 February/1 March 2015, p. 11
- Death of Mr Monopoly, Yorkshire businessman Victor Watson, at 86, The Yorkshire Post, 26 February 2015
- "Tunbridge Wells Borough Council".
- "Waddington's Limited Edition Christmas Puzzles".
- "Waddingtons board games archive reveals wacky finds". May 27, 2018 – via www.bbc.com.