Football medic sees 'mind boggling' board game released for Christmas

Ian Jenkins holding his newly released board game, Colour Block to the right of his head

Ian Jenkins, a medic at Needham Market FC, with his newly released board game, Colour Block. - Credit: Freya Louis

A "mind boggling" board game created by Needham Market Football Club's medic and his wife has hit the shops ahead of Christmas. 

The brain teasing game was invented five years ago by Ian Jenkins and his wife Penny, and has sat in their loft ever since their idea was initially rejected by toy firms.  

However, towards the end of 2019, Mr Jenkins, , known as Jenks, approached Gavin Ucko, managing director of The Happy Puzzle Company,  who snapped up the new board game. 

After more than a year of hard work developing the game, Colour Block is now available in the shops ahead of the Christmas holidays. 

Mr Jenkins, who previously invented the former Ipswich Town board game with his wife and a good friend, said: "It has been a humbling experience.

"In all truth we're excited that people are buying it.

"From the start, we're amazed that someone like Gavin who has been in the games business for 30 years and has seen so many different inventors along the way was interested. 

"For him to be as excited about the game as we were was humbling." 

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Originally the game only had 10 challenges, but the couple worked alongside Mr Ucko to create another 35 challenges with four different difficulties during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Gavin Ucko, managing director of The Happy Puzzle Company, said: “When Ian first brought his game to show us, it was a jaw-dropping moment.”

“As an inventor, and somebody who works with inventors from all over the world, sometimes you have moments like this when you look at something and just go ‘Wow!’

"My first reaction was ‘Oh my goodness, it has been sitting in an attic for 20 years, we have to make up for a lost time here!’

"Rarely has bringing a game to market given me so much pleasure.”

Mr Jenkins said more games are in the pipeline and after a break, he and his wife hope to develop more with The Happy Puzzle Company. 

He added: "We are all very excited about the game, although the current worldwide restrictions have meant a different type of launch.

"Rather than at World toy fairs, we will in effect have two launches one in 2020/21 via a number of virtual world toy fairs, TV Channels and on Amazon.

"We will also have a second launch in 2021/22 at the three major World Toy trade fairs, London, Nuremberg and New York.”

Colour Block was also awarded joint ‘Game of the Year 20/21’ as voted for by an independent panel of game experts.