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Ken Johnson - Inventor of Phase 10

What was your favorite toy or game as a child?

As a kid, I played games all the time with my family. We seemed to have every game in the known universe!

Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?

I got into the industry as a result of my love of games and my desire to start a manufacturing company. I chose this industry because it allowed me to fulfill both dreams.

What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?

I see a trend toward people sitting down for a “game night” of fun playing games. People are putting down their mobile devices and enjoying the social interaction produced while playing games together.

What advice can you give to inventors who are presenting new toy or game ideas to you?

Make sure you are able to explain the game play concisely.

What and/or who inspires you?

Visionary entrepreneurs.

Where were you born?

Detroit, Michigan.

What do you read every day, and why?

I read books on the subject of business and Biographies of great entrepreneur.

What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?

In my App development business I use various software designed to help me monitor the development process across my development team. Personally I also use Apps on my phone for daily productivity.

How do you jumpstart your creativity when you find yourself stalled on a project?

Sometimes I find a quite place, sit there and think things through. Also, I may look at other products in the marketplace for inspiration.

Do you have any pets?

We have a family dog named Coco.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?

I love reading and movies.

Do you prefer scary movies or happy endings?

I like both.

Summer of Winter?


What’s your favorite TV show?

I like business related shows like Shark Tank, The Profit and The Billion Dollar Buyer. I also like America’s Got Talent.

Favorite movie of all time?

That’s a tough one; I’d say The Sting.

What’s next?

My company has developed, and we are about to launch, a software tool App Developers can use to increase the number of downloads of their Apps and improve the retention rate of their users, all without spending any money out of pocket. It is called Wildfire.

What is your claim to fame in the industry?

I have created a number of game titles over the years. However, my most successful game is the card game Phase 10. It has been in the marketplace for over 35 years, and is a worldwide bestseller. It is manufactured and distributed by Mattel, under a license agreement. They have been a good “partner”.

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