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McNeill Designs signs education distribution agreement for You’ve been Sentenced! word game with Imagine Nation Books

May 25, 2010

McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds recently announced that a license agreement has been reached with Imagine Nation Books (INB) of Boulder, Colorado. The agreement will include the distribution of 40,000 units of the firm’s word game You’ve been Sentenced!

INB, the firm responsible for the launch and growth of the wildly popular book series Chicken Soup for the Soul, approaches distribution in a unique manner. The firm works directly with schools across the country to introduce exceptional educational products directly to teachers and administrators. The You’ve been Sentenced! introduction will begin in September 2010 as part of  INB’s fall marketing campaign.

“This is an incredible opportunity to introduce teachers throughout the country to the many benefits of using You’ve been Sentenced! in the classroom,” explains McNeill Designs’ CEO Donald McNeill. “Inclusion in the INB program means that approximately 800,000 to one million teachers will be introduced to the game this year alone.”

In order to be represented by INB, products must pass a very thorough inspection, testing and approval process that takes several months to complete, using hundreds of test units. “We make sure that before we bring a product into our program, it is a winner,” explains Tim McCormick, INB Senior Buyer.

According to McNeill, the inclusion of You’ve been Sentenced! into the INB product mix is the next logical step in the game’s evolution. Over the years he has seen the game go from a “family fun night” staple to an innovative, educational tool.

“When I created You’ve been Sentenced! I wanted it to be a great family fun game. But now just about once a week we get a thank you letter from a teacher or homeschooler who is reaching kids they had been unable to reach before because now they are not making sentencesthey are just playing a game!” he says. “I didn’t know that this game was going to have such an impact on the education community.”

You’ve been Sentenced! uses pentagon-shaped cards with conjugations of funny words, famous names, and familiar places. Each player uses his or her hand of 10 cards to build a grammatically correct sentence, racing the other players while also trying to score the most points per round. Sentences also have to be justifiable in meaning, making students use both creativity and common sense.

Since its creation in 2005, You’ve Been Sentenced! has been recognized by both the gaming and education communities and is the recipient of numerous awards including:

* Creative Child Magazine, Seal of Excellence
* Dr. Toy Best Products
* Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Gold Seal Award
* Spewgie Award, Best Family Fun Game
* iParenting Media Hot Product Award
* FAO Schwarz Toy Auditions, Winner
* National Parenting Seal of Approval
* Mr. Dad Seal of Approval
* George Lucas Educational Foundation’s Edutopia magazine, Hot Media for Educators
* MENSA Society’s Parenting for High Potential magazine, Resource Roundup Pick

McNeill Designs was created in 2004 as a toy and game development firm. You’ve Been Sentenced was its first product on the market, and new spin-off versions are now in the make. Their 40+ team members continue to innovate and create new product ideas. Since 2005, a portion of all proceeds from purchases of You’ve Been Sentenced! have been donated to Success Won’t Wait!, a not-for-profit organization that collects and distributes new and gently used books to those in need.

Want to learn more about McNeill Designs for Brighter Minds’ award-winning games like You’ve been Sentenced!, Twisted Fish and more? Visit McNeill Designs for game rules, printable score sheets, or even order online!


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