Local couple honored for best party gameMary Pat and Stan...

CONSUMER MARKETPLACE

December 12, 1992|By Michael Dresser

Local couple honored for best party game

Mary Pat and Stan Blaylock, authors of "Humm . . . ble, The Game of Melodies and Memories," have reason to be proud.

The Baltimore couple's creation was recently honored as the best new party game of 1992 by Games magazine, prevailing over competition from Parker Brothers and Milton Bradley. "Humm . . . ble" was also cited by the Chicago Tribune as one of the year's top 12 games.

The Blaylocks, who began distributing the game last fall at a store in Columbia, are distributing the games through their own company, United Enterprises Inc. Ms. Blaylock called it "a tiny company with a big-sounding name" -- a ruse she said was helpful in trying to sell directly to retailers.

"Humm . . . ble" is a board game with cards listing song titles in five categories: Broadway musicals, folk and family favorites, oldies, television and movies, and contemporary. The square that a player lands on determines which tune is in play. Then the player tries to get members of the same team to guess the title by humming it, acting out the title in charades, performing sha-na-nas and doo-wops -- anything but using a prop or saying the lyrics.

So far, Ms. Blaylock said, she and her husband, an Alex. Brown & Sons Inc. investment banker, have sold several thousand copies. She said the game is available in 65 stores in 24 states.

In the Baltimore area, the game, which retails for about $30, is sold at What's Your Game? in the Inner Harbor and Towson Commons; The Gamekeeper in Towson Town Center; and Greetings and Readings in Towson.

Some gifts are wrapped more often than others

What's the wrap on Christmas?

Gift-wrappers at the Owings Mills Town Center Gift Wrap Center, where professional scissors operators and tape applicators wrap purchases from mall stores, say these are the items they handle most often:

* Men's leather jackets.

* Anything and everything from Victoria's Secret.

* Books, especially those by Madonna.

* Cream-colored stirrup pants.

* Barney, the stuffed purple dinosaur based on the PBS-TV show "Barney and His Friends."

Baltimore-based Doner creates anti-carjack ad

"Attention Carjackers. There are over 300,000 people in New Jersey with mobile phones, and they have you surrounded."

So reads a new ad created by W. B. Doner, the Baltimore-based advertising agency, for Bell Atlantic Mobile Systems. It's part of a campaign to publicize BAMS' effort to fight carjacking by enlisting cellular phone users to be the eyes and ears of the police.

The print ad will begin running in New Jersey on Wednesday and will be followed by similar ads adapted for BAMS' other markets, including Baltimore, said Amy Elias, a spokeswoman for Doner.

Doner also announced that it dominated the radio category and won four other awards at the recent Show South ad competition, sponsored by the Creative Club of Atlanta.

Doner won three gold medals and one silver medal for its campaign for O Wear, a line of all-organic cotton clothing.

The agency also won merit awards in the television and print categories for work it did for Clarke Ice Cream, McCormick & Co. Inc., The Baltimore Sun and the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

Mall welcomes police as a free tenant

A North Carolina mall has signed up a tenant that pays little rent and has lousy sales.

And the mall's owners are delighted.

Carolina Circle Mall, plagued by a reputation as a high-crime area, has provided the Greensboro Police Department with a 2,650-square-foot space for a satellite office, according to Shopping Centers Today, a trade publication.

The police moved in last summer, and both tenant and landlord are happy, the magazine reports. For the department, it's an excellent location for community policing. For the landlord, the constant presence of police cars in the parking lot and uniformed officers in the mall has made customers feel more secure and has increased mall traffic.

The office, used by police to receive briefings and complete reports, is rented to the department on a $1-a-year lease. The mall's owner also donated $10,000 to the department to renovate the space.

Food Lion's response to TV report is criticized

Jeff Metzger, publisher of the Columbia-based trade paper Food World, takes Food Lion Inc. to task in his most recent column for its response to the recent ABC-TV "Prime Time Live" report on allegedly shoddy sanitation practices at the grocery chain.

Mr. Metzger writes that the North Carolina-based chain "didn't do any favors" by basing its defense on a strategy of attacking the network and the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The respected industry observer goes on to suggest that the company re-establish its credibility by commissioning a third-party investigation.

Mr. Metzger observes that Food Lion could "find itself in a situation that leaves long-term scars" if recent allegations of widespread violations of federal child labor laws turn out to be true.

Judging by Food Lion's 9.5 percent decline in same-store sales last month, the short-term scars are already showing.

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