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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Grabitz from International Games (1979)

Company: International Games Inc. (IGI)
Release date: 1979
Ages: 7+
# of players: 2-6
Where to purchase: eBay

Following the success of UNO, International Games Inc. (IGI) released another family-friendly card game, Grabitz, in 1979. The game had been created in 1974 by Stephen Early, Kathleen Robbins, and Myrtle Robbins, and IGI acquired the rights.

Inspired by Spoons, Grabitz is also a last-person-standing game for 2 – 6 players, ages seven and older. The objective is to be the last player with letters from the word ‘GRABITZ’ remaining on their scorecard.

Inside the box are five orange plastic Grabitz hands, 54 lettered playing cards, score sheets, and a card tray. To play, the plastic hands are placed in the centre of the table (one hand less than there are players). Players are dealt four cards each, face down. The dealer picks up a fifth card from the deck and passes any one of their five cards to the player on the left. This action continues around the table until one player is able to spell Grab or Grabitz with their cards. That player then takes a plastic hand from the centre of the table, prompting the other players to do the same. The player who does not act fast enough to grab a plastic hand earns a penalty in the form of a strike under one of the letters on the ‘GRABITZ’ scorecard.

Play continues and players are eliminated as they accumulate enough strikes against them to complete the word ‘GRABITZ’ on the scorecard. The last person standing wins the game. This fast-action game takes approximately 20 minutes to complete.

In addition to UNO and Grabitz, Illinois-based IGI also published BAHA, Skip-Bo, Catchword, The Trumpet Game, Color Bunch, and others.

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