The Post-It Note company's obscure boardgames


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Acquire is a great game. I have the same old 3M version on my shelf, although I usually play a newer version. There’s a lot of other cool bookshelf games they produced which I remember fondly from my youth visiting relatives - twixt, jumpin, stocks and bonds, bazaar to name a few.


one of my uncles had a word game from that series called probe. it was moderately fun but after i got to where i could beat everyone in the household by age 11 i never got the chance to play it much.


High adventure in the world of high finance!

Eh, it’s been seen before.


I’ve got a vintage copy of Twixt… Actually for all I know vintage is the only state in which the game exists. I really like the game though, is what I’m trying to say. I think of it as Go on steroids. Also, the cover art on this one is fun to ridicule.


I scored and Avalon Hill version of that when my wife was getting into investing. It was played a few times. Since I never play those games to win as much as to have fun my only strategy for it was ‘I will have enough Uranium to control the world! Muahahahahhah’. So I never won but I had a lot of fun playing.


The Post it Note Company? It sounds better if you call 3M by their old name. Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing. In other words, a large conglomerate that of course would have a board games division buried somewhere in the lower subbasement of the company’s organization chart.

As wikipedia notes, 3M is still huge.


I must admit I was somewhat disappointed that based on the title, the game didn’t have something to do with post-it notes. 3M is hardly a company only known for post-its.

I’m happy for you that the game you remember from your childhood has held up. I have fond memories of playing Doctor Who: The Game of Time and Space with my baby sitter ( I own a vintage copy and we get it out about once every 10 years when we need to convince a new group of friends what a terrible excuses for a game it is.


I’ve always wanted the backgammon from this series. In a way, backgammon was the prototype bookshelf game, in that it was frequently disguised as a book to avoid being caught breaking laws against playing it.

Game of kings, indeed!


I always liked 3M’s Feudal, which was kind of like an alternate universe version of chess.


it’s the cold, dead eyes of Tom Baker that make that game.


That’s true. Since those didn’t come out until I was seven or eight, I still think of 3M as the Scotch tape company.

It’s fun to look at their list of products. So many of them have that goofy kind of midcentury consumerist nu-tech gizmo name, the likes of which were always lampooned in Fallout and Ren & Stimpy and probably would have showed up in Roadrunner cartoons (instead of all the “Acme” and “Little Giant” products) had those cartoons been made a decade or two later:

Buf Puf
Cubitron II
Fluorinert (that’s a new favorite)

Look at all those life-enhancing (and barely carcinogenic) products, making the world safe and convenient for capitalistic democracy!


Acquire! is definitely a solid game, even by the standards of people who have been spoiled by the Euro board game renaissance.

One nice touch, from the standpoint of ideological indoctrination, is that even if you play very badly you can’t help but end the game with much more “money” than you started with. You’ll lose, of course, but the message is: “You suck at this, but you still got rich! WOOOO CAPITALISM!”


Hmm. 3M was playing a long, deep game indeed.


Also, Controltac and Scotchcal.

As a weird aside, as a child I had assumed that 3M was a Scot company, because of their “Scotch” branding. But then I learned that the company is from Minnesota, and wackipedia says that “Scotch” was actually used as an ethnic slur of sorts, indicating that the tape was not strong enough to hold objects fast.


Well, it is more about how the stereotype of Scots as being cheap, rather than weak. It’s the same reason the mascot of Canadian Tire (which sells more than tires and is sort of like a local version of Wal-Mart) is “Sandy McTire”.


I used to play Jumpin with my dad. The pieces were metal (brass, i think) so your hands always smelled like metal afterwards.


[quote=“semiotix, post:13, topic:62491, full:true”]
Acquire! is definitely a solid game, even by the standards of people who have been spoiled by the Euro board game renaissance.[/quote]

The Europeans may have taken the ball and run with it, but I’m prepared to hold up Sid Sackson’s oeuvre as among the first modern designer board games.


No, not the lower sub-basement, that’s where they tear down old computers for recycling. I should know, I did it for one summer.

The boardgames were probably in the next basement over.

But, yeah, 3M has done a little bit of everything over the years. I blame it on the Minnesota winter, there’s not much to do up here if you want to stay warm besides staying inside and creating things.

Incidentally, Fantasy Flight Games is located in the MN as well.


Avalon Hill basically went bankrupt in 1962 and was acquired by their biggest creditor, which was Monarch Services, their printer. The “Bookshelf Games” line was sold to Avalon Hill in 1976. Which continued distribution with the original covers until Monarch Services likewise decided to exit the game business and sold Avalon Hill to Hasbro in 1998. This was largely because of an huge legal case between Avalon Hill and Microprose over the rights to the computer game “Civilization.” One step of which involved Microprose purchasing Trefoil Games, the original creator of the boardgame Civilization which had licensed it in the US to Avalon Hill. So the real world history of mergers, purchases, divestitures here is quite complex…