Tag Archives: Row of Four

Boardgames in the News: Dragons Play Paper Pop-up Games in the Den

Last week’s episode of Dragons’ Den featured the paper engineer, David Hawcock, looking to raise £40,000 for a 20% stake in his company.

Paddington 2 Pop-up Book
– Image from hawcockbooks.co.uk

Hitherto, David Hawcock is perhaps best known for his gorgeous pop-up book that featured in the film Paddington 2, but last week, he showcased his new company, that makes pop-up playable board games.  The first offering, the Pop-Up Chess Set consists of a Chess board made of paper that opens like a book and holds card Chess pieces that stay in place when the board is folded closed.  While there many small, travel Chess sets, the pieces are often small and very fiddly to play with.  In the Pop-Up Chess Sett, the pieces are essentially full-sized, making it easier both to manipulate them and to see the game evolve.

Pop-Up Chess Set
– Image from hawcockbooks.co.uk

Chess is not the only pop-up paper game David Hawcock has developed—he also presented Pop-Up Row of Four, which was clearly under development during the filming in “The Den”.  This is clearly a very close relation to the well known game Connect Four.  While it is often seen as bad form to publish a game that is so closely related to another, only the artwork, the written rules and the game name can be protected legally.  Further, Connect Four is a mass-market game that has been around for many year and is itself a variant on Noughts and Crosses (aka Tic-Tak-Toe), which is very definitely public domain.  These combined with the unique pop-up nature of this entirely paper offering mean it is more likely to be viewed in a positive light by the general public.

Pop-Up Row of Four
– Image from hawcockbooks.co.uk

The episode of Dragons’ Den featuring David Hawcock and his amazing pop-up board games is currently available on iPlayer.

Pop-Up Chess Set
– Image from hawcockbooks.co.uk