When James Brunot bought over the rights to the game of scrabble in 1948, little did he know that he was literally sitting on a financial time bomb just waiting to happen. The history of the scrabble game is a classic example of humble beginnings and rocky paths leading to breathtaking views, unlike other board games
that perhaps had easier roads to success. Back then, trying to market the game was like swimming against the currents, not until 1952 when the president of Macy’s, Jack Straus, played the game and decided to order it in bulk for his retailing outfit.
Since then, it was like opening the flood gates and everyone just had to have one. Demands grew higher and higher and just like that, scrabble game became not just an American lifestyle, but a major game played globally.
Scrabble is a game unique in its simplicity and ability to hold players engaged for hours in a battle of word superiority; in fact, it’s a good way of knowing who wasn’t paying attention in English class. It’s also a great way of learning new words and building up one’s vocabulary, and it’s even been known to play an important role in learning the English language for those whose native language is something else.
If you have kids, there’s no better way to ensure they get a head start on their English word formation than getting a Scrabble set for them to play and learn with. As a matter of fact, there are specialized kid-version of the scrabble set that incorporates other learning games that grow with the child. If they’re beyond the stage of playing with dolls
, try this game for a next step!
As far as games go, scrabble is just about the only game in which one of the basic requirements is a standard dictionary. For international games and other major scrabble competitions, the Official Scrabble Dictionary is a must-have, but if you’re just playing in the house with friends or engaged in a minor competition then having the Backwords Dictionary would be great. Any other dictionary
can suffice, depending on the nationality of the players and the terms of the game at hand.
Generally, scrabble game sets have the same basic features, so when buying, attention should be more on where you’ll be using the set most, which will determine the type you go for.
One of the major determining factors that affect the price of a scrabble game is the type of set you’re planning to buy. A classic wooden scrabble set will definitely cost more than its plastic counterpart, given the fact that a wood set comes with more “old money” look and prestige. There are other factors to consider, such as where and how often you’ll be playing with the set. All these put together should determine whether you should go for a high-end model or a low-end, cost-effective model.
Most plastic scrabble game sets cost about $10-20, while the wood-cased, elegant ones can go as high as $200, and even more, for the really high-end scrabble sets. Knowing that needs and budgets vary, we featured brands with scrabble games in different price points covering the above price range so that, whatever be your budget or preference, you’ll surely find one that suits. Although we came across some cheap scrabble games, we decided to skip them as most of them are made from flimsy materials that won’t likely stand the test of time.
Knowing where you’ll be using your scrabble game most times is the first step towards making a suitable purchase. Travel scrabble games have some unique features quite different from scrabble games for home or office use. So, you should get that point sorted out and then face other important features such as:
- Type of scrabble game
- User age
- Other extra features (rotating, storage, stick-on)
Construction and Design
There are 3 major types of scrabble games available on the market – the standard scrabble game, the super scrabble game and the junior scrabble game. The standard scrabble game comes with the original board dimensions of 15 by 15 inches’ grid cells and has 100 playing tiles with normal letter distribution, while the super scrabble is a variation of the standard scrabble in a magnified board dimension of 21 by 21 inches and 200 playing tiles. The junior scrabble, on the other hand, is a scaled-down variation of the standard scrabble game, designed for use by children and teenagers.
Another means of classifying the scrabble game is by its edition. The travel edition is designed for use by players on the road and thus have features designed to hold the tiles firmly on the board and holders during play. These types are usually made with common materials like plastic and aluminum finishing for improved durability.
Deluxe editions, on the other hand, are known for their pleasing aesthetics and superior construction materials. Most of them are made from hardwood with quality finishing designed for functionality and elegance.
If you’re buying a scrabble game for home or office use, or even for decorative purposes, you’d be better off with an elegant wooden deluxe edition with a classic touch, but if you’re buying for use while in transit, a plastic/aluminum travel edition should suffice.
Also, if the scrabble game is for school use or for your kids at home, there’s really no point going for an expensive deluxe edition considering that it’s likely going to go through a lot of abuse and usage.
You wouldn’t want the kids toying with your expensive, hand-crafted wood or acrylic glass deluxe scrabble game set, thus there’s every need to get them their own scrabble set to do with as they deem fit. Usually the scrabble sets for kids are made from plastic or aluminum materials and comes on the cheap side so it’s easy to replace when the need arises. Most of them have other incorporated fun and educative games that they can play in tandem with scrabble. They’re also scaled-down for easier understanding and manipulation by the kids, depending on their age.
Performance and Ease of Use
Playing a game of scrabble or using the scrabble board is easy to handle. Basically, 2 to 4 players are involved and each player is expected to form words in the grid on the board using lettered tiles picked from the tile bag. The maximum number of letters that can be used for any word is 7, and each grid on the board has a score, so the total score is taken from the total letters of the word formed.
To make the play easier, especially in travel editions, most brands build their tiles with magnetic bases that attach to the tile so the game doesn’t scatter due to movement of the transportation medium. Another way is to design the board with raised grids so the tiles are placed inside the grids securely. Some deluxe editions also have the raised grid feature that adds class to the scrabble game.
Most deluxe scrabble games come with a rotating turntable designed to turn the board so it faces the player whose turn it is to play, which ensures that each player has a fair play chance at viewing the words the right-side up. So if you’re concerned about the added stress of viewing the words upside down or in reverse, you might consider a scrabble game with turntable feature.
Another feature to look out for is in-built storage. All scrabble games come with a bag for the tiles but some brands go a step further to fashion out storage spaces in the board so you can store your tiles, holders and other accessories in one place to avoid misplacing them. This also means you get to pack the game up fast and neat in case there’s an emergency. Most travel scrabble game editions are foldable, even with the tiles sticking on the board. This feature comes in handy if you have to make a quick getaway from the train, car, bus, plane or whatever means you’re travelling with, without losing your scrabble game in the process.
Since most competitive scrabble game sessions are timed, there’s obviously a need for a timer and this can be achieved with the timer on a wristwatch or a customary timer. To eliminate the need for searching for an acceptable timer, some scrabble games come with an hour-glass and sand timer that perfectly regulates the time allocated to each player per play.
It’ll also make sense to check that the lettering on the tiles are glare-free, especially if you have visual challenges.
We’re aware that you want the best scrabble game for your money, and that’s why we’ve put together this buying guide. So, having gone through it, you should be in a better position to choose the one that best suits your needs. All you need to do now is head on straight to our individual product review section where we’ve lined up some of the best scrabble games for you and make your choice.
The Winning Solutions brand is the figurative new kid on the block when it comes to recognized brands in the outdoor and indoor games industry but, in terms of experience, it’s certainly a name to reckon with. Established in the year 2000 by two former employees of the legendary Hasbro Company, it’s built on the combined hands-on experience of its founders and therefore, has a formidable foundation. It’s officially licensed by Hasbro, a feat achieved through setting and maintaining a high quality profile of products so there’s the issue of its beneficial association to protect. Its products are stylish and creative, a perfect blend of functionality and class so you can enjoy your beloved game fully. It’s dedicated to ensuring customers get full satisfaction and value for money for any product bearing the brand name.
If you’re an avid scrabble player with a keen eye for classic art pieces, then this Winning Solutions Scrabble Deluxe Edition is most definitely going to catch your eye. This set is beautifully constructed from solid, treated and durable mahogany wood that makes a bold statement either as a worthy gaming board or as an art piece sitting on your coffee table.
The set is partially divided into 2 parts with the top portion sitting on a rotatable platform that allows all the players a fair, right-side up view of the playing surface.
Lifting the top portion up, you’ll get to see the partitioned spaces for storing away all the smaller components of the set so everything is together and tidy when not in use. This means that once you bring out the scrabble set for a round of word games, you’re carrying everything you’ll need for the game with you… except maybe some coffee or brandy.
The game board surface itself has a foil-stamped, raised grid that holds the tiles in place so your game doesn’t get all muddled up when the board is being rotated or bumped into. The tiles are easy to read and comes with matching tile holders made from the same solid wood with shiny mahogany finish. The scrabble tiles storage pouch is made from embroidered fabric and has a drawstring to better secure the tiles inside.
Now you don’t have to look for scraps of paper to record your game; this set comes with a foil-stamped hardcover notebook and pencil so you can record your epic winnings and store them away for future references if the need ever arises.
And to crown it all, the silver end-capped hourglass timer is an additional plus to this deluxe edition scrabble set so each player’s turn is timed perfectly, eliminating squabbles about whether a player has had a fair amount of time or not.
Talking scrabble in the world, and particularly in North America, would be woefully incomplete if Hasbro isn’t mentioned. This is the brand that almost single-handedly made this famous word game into what it is today. It’s the official licensor of the scrabble name in America and Canada, so it holds a trademark to the game. On a broader view, it’s one of the most relevant board game and toy companies globally, ranking a prestigious number 3 in the industry ranking scale. Its iconic game and toy products include the famous Monopoly board game, Nerf and Transformer toys, Furby stuffed electronic animals among others. It’s been in the business of bringing joy and bonding experiences to families for over 90 years and still maintains its traditions of quality and innovation.
If you have teenagers who are big on playing scrabble, then the Hasbro Scrabble Game would be the perfect choice. Its lightweight and minimalist finishing makes it an apt set for rowdy teens who would handle an antique and collector’s scrabble set just about the same way they’d handle a mass-produced set.
Added to the fact that it’s reasonably priced, you can easily replace it if it gets worn out by constant use. This scrabble set is also an ideal board to have at hand for when you wouldn’t want to be bringing out your expensive, deluxe scrabble set but you absolute have to play scrabble.
The board itself is made from a sturdy material that’s designed to stand the test of time and the abuse its likely going to pass through. Its lightweight design makes it highly mobile so you can easily cart it around with you without feeling the extra weight. It comes in a size that fits right into any backpack or large purse; another testimony to its mobility.
As with standard scrabble sets, this one comes with four tile holders for up to 4 players to play at the same time, and both the tiles and holders are made from polished pinewood with a smooth feel. It also includes 100 tiles in the standard proportion of letters.
And if per chance you have extremely sensitive eyes, the letters on the tiles are printed with anti-glare coating so you can see them easily in any light setting.
For easy and secure storage, the tiles come in a storage bag with a drawstring closure so you’re sure in the knowledge that your tiles are complete and safe.
And to ensure you have a wordy and fair word-for-word showdown that’s as entertaining as it is educative, there’s a game guide included with all the rules of engagement carefully spelt out for players to abide by.
Winning Solutions is synonymous with upscale, creative and stylish products that aptly capture the intrigues and joys of America’s most popular and beloved games. It has a wide range of board game collections designed to thrill users and also in different price ranges so that, whatever your budget, there’s bound to be something for you. Its collections include giant games, collectible tin games, deluxe wood games, vintage games, luxury games, linen book games, message board games and so many others. Its products are known for their quality and distinctively stylish design that set them apart from other products in the same category. For well over a decade, it’s been bringing joy to its numerous customers all over the globe, and is among the top ranking game companies in the industry.
With its distinctively rich looks designed for those with an inclination for luxury lifestyles, scrabble game sets don’t get more luxurious than the Winning Solutions Scrabble Luxury Edition. This scrabble set is an elite construction that artfully combines the challenging game of words with an elegance that’s rare to find in board games.
The wooden cabinet of the set is paneled with burled veneer and has beautiful metal plaques decorating its surface while the game board itself is made with an attractive two-toned faux leather and has raised grids that hold the tiles in place when the board is moved. This ensures the game doesn’t get scattered unintentionally.
To afford each player a fair, right-side up view of the game play, the board surface rests on a lazy Susan that rotates the board smoothly and effortlessly.
Another distinguishing feature of this masterpiece is the built-in storage space drawer, which itself features a handle made of die-cast metal. This drawer holds all your scrabble accessories in a safe and secure single location so you don’t have to turn the house upside down looking for a misplaced tile holder or hourglass timer.
If you’re still skeptical about this set, the tile holders constructed from plated die-casts and tiles made from gorgeous looking faux ivory with easy-to-read lettering are sure bets to convince you. Throw in the faux leather-bound, gold foil stamped scorebook and pencil for recording your epic games and you’re guaranteed to be totally taken with this scrabble game set.
For good measure, the tile storage bag is fashioned out of a faux leather material with safety drawstrings, and if this still doesn’t cut it for you, then the gold-plated die-cast hourglass timer with white sand will surely win you over.
A great many friendships and family bonds have been known to be formed over game sessions from the house of Winning Moves Games. This brand was established in 1995, a product of 4 top ranking, versatile and highly experienced game gurus with a view to producing and marketing some of the best and unique games the world has ever seen. Its products span a wide range of game categories such as family games, board games, children games and several other categories. In terms of quality and innovation, its research team is always surpassing set records by constantly designing wave-making products in the game industry. With its close and beneficial relationships with some of the big names in the game industry such as Hasbro and Rubik, it’s set to reach new heights and bring wider smiles to people’s faces.
For some people, bigger is always better, and if you’re one of those in that category, good news at last! Now you can play your favorite word game on a magnified scale with the Winning Moves Games Super Scrabble with more spaces, more tiles, and more points – all geared towards doubling your fun.
The best part of this scrabble game set is that its super-size does not in any way limit it to seasoned professionals; a total novice can have loads of fun on this set as well. Imagine having to play words that you only dreamed of… that’s how good this set is.
With no change in the rules of engagement, this scrabble board has 441 play grids as opposed to the regular 225, doubled bonus spaces, 200 tiles as against the standard 100 and an unbelievable quad word score. What all this means is that you simply get to play longer words and get jumbo scores.
What’s more, this set can be used by anyone from 8 years upwards conveniently and the 4 tile racks makes it a great game for family game night.
The game board, tile holders and tiles are made from real wood so you get the feel of playing on a classic scrabble board set. The tile bag has a drawstring closure for security and the box has a record booklet included for accurate recordings of all your games, both the challenging games and the bragging rights games.
And in case you’re a novice at this magnificent word game, you need not worry as the package comes with a detailed instruction manual also containing the rules guiding the game and, for your reading pleasure, the history of scrabble.
In the world of scrabble, Hasbro Incorporated could be said to hold all the bragging rights because its name is synonymous with the game. There’s really no way one can tell the story of scrabble without mentioning the brand. It was established 93 years ago and has a global reach, being the third largest toy and game company in the world. Its products can be found virtually everywhere toys are sold around the world, and it’s famous for its unique designs and affordability. Apart from its game and toy consumer products, it also runs some TV shows aimed at promoting its merchandise. Its products have continued to carry the trademark quality for which it was known decade after decade, with no sign of letting up; this can be seen in the massive patronage it enjoys from its customers on a daily basis.
To help build up your kids’ word formation capability from the cradle, the Hasbro Scrabble Junior Game is a must-have and guaranteed to be an instant hit with the kids. At the pre-school age of 4 and 5 years, your young one will be all ready to try out his or her little hands on a word game with some fun, easygoing games thrown in, of course, to stave off boredom. This set is also a great way to improve on the reading ability of a child, and to shore up what the child learns at school.
This Hasbro Scrabble Junior Game is specifically designed to grow with your kid, with different game levels on either side of the board. The first side, for a beginner, is a fun letter-matching game in which the child’s letter-recognition skill is developed and built upon for the future challenges. The grid on this side has words printed on them and all your baby need to do is match tile letters to the words and form a replica of the printed grid word.
On the reverse side, the game is stepped up a little bit as your child advances both in age and mental capacity. On this side, the child is expected to form words on his own, with a little adult help in some cases.
And just like the standard scrabble game, this set comes with 4 tile holders and is best played with 2 to 4 players playing in tandem.
We all know how kids are crazy over cartoon figures and toys so to make this set more kid-friendly, 4 adorably cute token figures are added so your little players move their tokens up individually on the score sheet tracker as their points accumulate. Alternatively, your infant can have something from the set to keep him occupied while the older ones try out their hands at the game.
The tiles are made of durable, kid-friendly sizes that are convenient for kids to hold and place easily on the board while the entire set comes at an affordable price.
So, go get yours for your kids and grandkids, they’ll fall in love all over with you and the game.
This game is available on its own or together with Connect 4 or Monopoly Junior if you’d like to combo up.
Now that you’ve finished going through our review of some of the best scrabble games out there, we hope you’ve finally found the one you’ve been searching for. Make haste and place your order right away and start enjoying your game in style. Thanks for reading.