Edinburgh-based board game firm eyes next moves after lockdown sales boom

From left: Gordon Drysdale, Lynne Cadenhead and Derek Carroll. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane.From left: Gordon Drysdale, Lynne Cadenhead and Derek Carroll. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane.
From left: Gordon Drysdale, Lynne Cadenhead and Derek Carroll. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane.
The Edinburgh-based company behind a range of trivia board games is in talks with potential investors as it prepares to launch more versions after seeing a sales boom during lockdown.

Taxi Game has seen its best quarterly sales figures since it started out five years ago. Its 13-edition offering spans destinations such as Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and New York, and sports-themed versions including Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs football clubs, as well as Scottish and English rugby.

The business said that with families spending more time together at home recently, sales of board games in the UK have rocketed by 240 per cent compared to the same time last year, “and the increase in sales of Taxi Game in the same period has even eclipsed this”.

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The business is the brainchild of former Edinburgh taxi driver Derek Carroll, who came up with the idea while sitting on the taxi rank one winter’s evening waiting on his next fare.

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The concept is based on the working life of a taxi driver. Players travel around the board, picking up passengers, and can receive a “tip” if they successfully answer trivia questions about the relevant city or sports team, or general knowledge.

There are various other features, with the firm saying one of the most popular is the “sound off” option – like a cabbie. The winner is the player who has earned the most money at the end of the agreed duration/shift.

The firm has to date sold more than 30,000 games, and it is now preparing for October when it will be launching five further editions – Rangers FC, Chelsea FC, The Open Golf plus two city editions for Liverpool and Manchester.

Director Gordon Drysdale said: “We have been blown away with the success of Taxi Game over the last few months and really looking forward to launching our five new editions in early October.

“We are particularly delighted to be working with Rangers FC to launch their edition of the game. There has been great demand for this issue for a number of years and now at last it will be available.”

The firm also said that usually, the fourth quarter of the year was always its key sales period, as board game purchases would peak in the two months leading up to Christmas. Taxi Game in fact said early last year that it generated about 85 per cent of its total sales from November to Christmas Eve.

Drysdale added: “During lockdown, many people have gone back to basics, spending more time with their family and friends, and playing board games together has been a popular and fun past-time. The feedback we’ve received from people from across the globe who have bought and played the game has been overwhelming.”

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The company said it is “now at an exciting point in its development,” with a “long line” of clubs and different sports looking to partner with it in 2021. Its directors – who in addition to Drysdale and Carroll comprise serial entrepreneur, Quest Games inventor and Women’s Enterprise Scotland chair Lynne Cadenhead – are now looking for further investment to help them realise opportunities, and are in talks with potential investors.

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