Waddingtons was a publisher of card and board games in the United Kingdom. The company was founded by John Waddington of Leeds, England and Wilson Barratt, under the name Waddingtons Limited. The name was changed to Waddington's House of Games, then John Waddington Limited, then Waddington Games, and finally just Waddingtons.
History and Progress
The company was initially established as a printing business, entering into game production in 1922, due to a boom in demand for playing cards during World War I. Waddingtons subsequently sold both original games (especially tie-ins for UK television programmes) and games licensed from other publishers.
Waddingtons became the UK publisher of Parker Brothers' 'Monopoly', while Parker licensed Waddingtons' 'Cluedo'. In 1941, the British Secret Service had the company create a special edition of Monopoly for World War II prisoners of war held by the Germans. Hidden inside these games were maps, compasses, real money and other objects useful for escaping. They were distributed to prisoners by the International Red Cross.
The company was eventually bought by Hasbro in 1994
Waddingtons and Top Trumps
The original Top Trumps were launched in 1977, with eleven different packs published by a company called Dubreq, also known for the stylophone. Dubreq was taken over by Waddingtons in 1982, and they continued manufacturing packs until the early 1990s. The packs from this period are now collectible.