Synopsis of Toy

“The Game of Quick Draw”

It’s tempting to call Pictionary “charades for artists,” but really, it just isn’t true. Artists take time, they select materials, they try to express inner meaning through an outer form. Most of them would get eaten alive in a game of Pictionary (“You call that a sailboat, Picasso?!”)

Maybe it wasn’t for true artists (or artistes, if you prefer), but Pictionary was plenty of fun for us amateurs. Created in 1987, this board game took the old charades concept and put it in writing. Printed on the hundreds of individual Pictionary cards were words and phrases of varying difficulty, and competing teams of players had to guess the words within the falling-sand time limit. Instead of charades’ pantomimes, however, Pictionary had one team member draw pictures to represent the word or phrase while the others shouted out guesses. It sounded simple enough for something like “bird” or “door,” but you try putting “freedom” or “The Gettysburg Address” down in pictures in under a minute.

The overall object was to work around the gameboard, which consisted of spaces in six different colors. Each color corresponded to a different category—object, action, “difficult” (and they were), and so on. With a roll of the die, teams moved along the board, tackling whatever category they happened to land on. As an added pressure, some words and phrases had a mark beside them to signify that this would be a challenge match. In these nail-biting cases, each team’s artist entered a kind of draw-off, racing the other team to the answer. Whether challenge or normal, a correct answer meant another roll of the die for the victors, who kept playing until a word was missed.

Like Trivial Pursuit a few years earlier, Pictionary became more than just a board game; it was a full-on pop culture fad. Not only was Pictionary the party and family get-together game of choice, it inspired the 1987 debut of the TV game show Win, Lose or Draw (Pictionary got its own syndicated game show ten years later). Even after the fad stage passed, Pictionary remained a highly popular board game with all age groups (Pictionary Junior assured that the youngsters wouldn’t be left out), and it remains a favorite of all except the most tortured, dedicated and starving artists.

Release History of Toy

1987 - Pictionary

Sub Categories of Toys

board games

Toy and Game Manufacturer

Milton Bradley

Other Toy Links