Mattel made a Scrabble board built for outer space

Very limited edition set commemorates game's 70th anniversary

Published On
Oct 30, 2018

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Back in the olden days, when astronauts wanted to play Scrabble in space they’d have to Macgyver their boards with Velcro. But today in 2018, to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the game, Mattel decided to advance the game’s technology and created a board specifically tailored for space travelers.

The company worked with agency LOLA MullenLowe to create this new “hi-tech” Scrabble set, which includes a metallic board containing meteoric dust and magnetic tiles. It was inspired by the words of celebrity astronaut Chris Hadfield, from his book "An Astronaut’s Guide to Life":  “On the International Space Station, our psychologist encourages lots of little habits to help keep us sane,” he wrote. “One of these is Scrabble--they recognize that games are fundamental for peace of mind.”

While Hadfield and his crew members had to wing it with the sticky stuff, Lola MullenLowe worked with Mattel Marketing Manager Gordon Hallman and production company Naturact to hand build a game board that adhered to Scrabble’s traditional specs but was equipped for an anti-gravity environment.

According to the agency, the space boards cost 15 times more to make versus the average Scrabble game. Only ten have been produced. They’ll be on display at Scrabble’s 70th anniversary pop-up events in Europe and will also be sent as gifts to astronauts at space stations.

Mattel, however, is open to the mass producing the board, and the agency is crossing its fingers that demand will be enough for it to bring the cost down to the price of other limited-edition Scrabble boards, which run around $60-$80 dollars.