WORD-ROULETTE® is a word board game that uses a modified roulette wheel, multiple balls and game work sheets for huge amounts of family fun and interplay. Creator Tony Aceti is bringing his game to the DaVinci Inventor Showcase to show it off to the world and do his best to make it a household name.
After the jump Tony talks about his product, the trials and difficulties of producing a game today and where he wants his product to go…
What was the defining moment that led you to create this product?
The defining moment was modifying a roulette wheel with two rings of letters inside (Consonants & Vowels) and using four balls to select 8 or more letters in one spin! The action and sound of the jumping balls settling on random letters was exciting and a fun way to meet the challenge of competing for words and points in a time limit.
After you came up with the idea, how did you size up the market and decide who your customers would be?
I was a rambunctious boy at the time, and this was my mom’s idea for a clever way to motivate me to learn spelling, reading and math. We refined the Game together and had a dream to have other families around the world playing our Game for fun and the educational value… and get rich! Non-discloser letters were sent to Big game companies, but “outside ideas were not welcome”. We looked into producing the Game ourselves, but it was too costly. A few years later she developed cancer and her last words to me were, “Follow though with the Game”. After college I tried, but found marketing and distribution too costly to overcome. Today, some 30 years later, I realized the power of the internet to market the physical Game. A digital version has just been completed online at www.Spin4Words.com This is designed as an “interactive commercial ” type spring board to a phone app and TV Game Show!
What benefits does your product offer?
Social Skills, Education, Entertainment and Mind Stimulation for young and old are vital facets of life skills that are learned and developed with the WORD-ROULETTE Game. And the value is affordable entertainment that last for years.
What is the market base?
Families that are engaged, unique gift seekers, home schoolers, public schools, college students, word buffs & activity directors. Nearly every household in the US has board games. Nearly all news papers have cross word or word puzzles in them and our entire education system is based on words for communication worldwide. The roulette wheel is over 300 years old and is known around the world for it’s intrigue. The uniqueness is combining the two well known elements for use for tens of millions of people, as a physical board game or as a digital game. If you do a Google search for “WORD GAMES”, you will get 867 million results.
How did you come up with the name?
Mingle WORD-ROULETTE was the original name. Mingle is what you do with people when you play the Game. WORD-ROULETTE was descriptive to the device. After three years of producing and selling the Game direct to the public (and attending marketing seminars), the feedback was to go with the Descriptive name. Both names are registered Trade Marks and used appropriately.
How long did the prototype take?
The layout of the initial letters took a month. Changes were made to apply the correct concentration of consonants & vowels for the English language. Over time, icons for luck factors, wild letters, combination letters like: sh, ck, th, and prefix & suffix letter groups where added for a higher level of play and depict all elements of spelling. After 3 years of refinements and interjecting a greater element of FUN as a family game, (thus expanding the customer base) … the “CRAZY PHRASE” concept gives players bonus points for using their formed WORDS in a sentence to read out loud and end the game with a good laugh! [Now creativity & imagination comes into play!]
Did you have any challenges early on with the prototypes?
There were trial & errors for the colors for the wheel, letter size & font, writing the copy, securing intellectual properties, developing a system to affix the letters, building a device to count out the balls to insert into a bag, three tries at a box top design, coordinating suppliers & printers, assembly of parts and quality control. Along with purchasing and working on a computer for the first time. All these seemed to be a substantial challenge in the last three years.
How did you fund your idea?
I grew up in a rural ranching community. I worked the hay fields in high school and starting a trucking and hay sales business after college. After 30 years I semi retired. I wanted to then finish the lifelong dream of developing the Game that taught me more than how to spell, read and write. I learned how to think, solve problems and get along with people. I saved money from hard work on the farm.
Do you want to produce or license your product?
I have produced and sold thousands of the games by direct sales. It is time to mass market with a trustworthy company that has a successful record and realizes the potential of the brand. I would like to license.
How do you market your product?
For three years I have done gift shows, educational shows, Saturday markets, local fairs and trade shows. I have had Radio & TV stations play it on air as a sponsored promotion with give-a-ways. The next step is to upload the digital version to FACEBOOK and other social media platforms. News paper & magazine feature articles have been published. People purchase at events & shows, or orders are filled thru the website.
How many people are involved in your product?
I use many venders, suppliers and producers to accumulate the parts, but I have had two other people work with me during production.
How do you define success?
The ultimate success is to have the WORD-ROULETTE Game be mass produced as a board game, phone app and become a TV Game show in many languages worldwide. I feel I already have success, but more people could benefit and be touched!
Where do people find more info about your product?
Information, the history, testimonials and purchasing is at: www.WORD-ROULETTE.com
To play WORD-ROULETTE online and enter the contest, go to: www.Spin4Words.com
Contact: Tony Aceti
Famlee Fun Games LLC.
21235 Tumalo Pl.
Bend, OR. Ph. 541-419-0854
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