Allen Wolf - You’re Pulling My Leg!
What exactly do you do in the industry?
I’m a game creator and I own Morning Star Games that manufactures family and party games. I created You’re Pulling My Leg, You’re Pulling My Leg! Junior, JabberJot, Pet Detectives, and Slap Wacky.
What is your claim to fame in the industry?
I’ve won 38 awards for the games I’ve created.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
I created my first game, You’re Pulling My Leg!, as a gift for two friends who were dating each other. It worked so well they got married! I gave out prototypes of the game to other friends who suggested I mass produce the game so I did. Then I created four more that were sold all over the world.
What are you working on now?
I have recently launched new versions of my first games, You’re Pulling My Leg! and You’re Pulling My Leg! Junior, that can now be played in person or over a video call. In the middle of this pandemic, I realized people needed a way to connect with each other and build relationships in a fun way, whether they can see people in person or not. So now these games are contained entirely within books and will now be sold in book stores as well toy stores. I’m also updating three of our other games as well.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I’m a game creator and also an author and a filmmaker. I featured my You’re Pulling My Leg! game prominently in my first movie, In My Sleep, which is now streaming on Amazon. I also featured the game in my first novel, Hooked, that will be released as a movie when the pandemic is over. I love that I can work in multiple mediums, and I’ve been able to feature my games in the stories I tell. It gives me great joy to hear that my games bring people together, help people build relationships, and spur their creativity.
What and/or who inspires you?
I’m inspired by Disneyland where I’ve been over 500 times. Everything in the park is based on a story and I love going there to work on novels or screenplays.
How do you define creativity?
To me, creativity is the ability to use your imagination to create. I think we are all innately creative people. Still, I meet people who say, “I’m not creative” but yet you look at what they do and it’s their creativity and imagination that makes their work possible. From conversations I’ve had, it seems most of us believe we’re creative when we’re kids but as life progresses, people criticize what we do or make cutting remarks and it puts a voice into our heads that says, “you’re not creative.” Or people think it’s the overly creative folks who should have that label. So, people act out of that lie and yet use their imaginations to be innovative or look at a problem in a whole new way. That’s being creative! Let’s celebrate that creativity has many forms but starts with allowing our imaginations to flourish.
Where did you grow up and how did that influence who you are today?
I grew up in Kettering, Ohio, which is near Dayton. I loved growing up in that city. The schools had a strong arts programs and my teachers and principal encouraged my creativity. When I was in high school, I filmed a movie and the Board of Education allowed me to turn their offices into a film set. Every other year I filmed a new movie and wrangled my friends and neighbors to help make them possible. Then I premiered the movies at my high school.
How do you jumpstart your creativity when you find yourself stalled on a project?
I find it helpful to go on “Artist Dates” where I visit a museum, go to a park, or do something that inspires me creatively. I enjoy visiting Disneyland because everything in the park is inspired by a story.
Do you have any kiddos?
I’m married to Ramesh and we have a five year old son named Cyrus and a seven year old daughter named Adele.
Do you have any pets?
We have three glofish – Saffron, Purpi, and Greeny.
Do you play any musical instruments? If so, which one(s)?
I play the guitar.
What music are you listening to now?
I’m listening to the Hamilton soundtrack over and over.
What’s the first thing you usually notice about people?
I usually notice people’s sense of humor and how much they laugh. I enjoy laughing.
What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?
The furthest I’ve been from home is Morocco. It’s a beautiful country.
What’s your beverage of choice?
My beverage of choice is Butterbeer which I can’t drink very often because it’s only available in Universal parks. I had read about the drink in the Harry Potter books and was excited to try it. When I drank down its sweetness for the first time, I realized I was tasting a drink that hadn’t been in existence before and it felt, well, magical.
What is your eye color?