Hello, my name is Mickey Bromley. I am the inventor of Hand2Hand and the Hand2Hand.Help Project. I actually developed the board game many years ago, but you know....life gets in the way etc... I'm not a business man or some marketing guru....I am just a semi-retired teacher and father who has this game and is too stubborn to sell it to the big game companies who would print it on paper...and I swore I'd never print my game on paper!.
As a parent and as a teacher, I used to play a lot of games with kids and one of my pet peves was finding missing playing pieces and torn/damaged game boards oozing out of squashed boxes in the cupboard....so....I swore never to produce my game on paper or without a container for the pieces. I think you should only have to buy a board game once!
How did I come up with the idea for Hand2Hand? Back when I was going to BYU in Provo Utah during the 80's I was researching for a paper I was doing on "children's play around the world and throughout the ages." I came across a street game that was very popular during the 17th century Edo period in Japan. Kids would gather into 2 teams at opposite ends of a large field and send runners one at a time towards each others side of the field with the goal of getting their whole team to the other's side first.
The runners would have to follow a set course, (i.e. run past a rock, a bush, a wagon rut etc..) to the other side which would cause the runners to eventually meet up....when that happened the two would challenge each other to a quick game of "Jan Ken Pon" as they called it....we know it as "Rock Paper Scissors." Immediately upon a winner being decided, both runners would begin running towards the losing runner's team. If the losing runner could beat the winning runner to his team first and tag someone, then that fresh runner could race out and challenge the original runner to a round of Jan Ken Pon and if they win, that would send them back along the path (the original runner being tired from racing already) to the other side. This would go on back and forth 2 runners at a time until one team got all of their members to the other side first and was declared the winners!
Upon reading about this I visualized the game in a moment. The details and the particulars of the game materialized without effort. It was as if the game had been invented before on the other side of the veil and was just waiting for an opening to spurt forth into our world. I raced home from the campus library and sketched out the "Playing Field" and "Pathway" of the board game in a few minutes. I started mind playing the game and working out the rules to make the game fair and exciting...it really all just fell into place, each new rule that I came up with seemed to have a definite purpose that served to develop a complete mission- to create a fair and level playing field where different strengths and weaknesses could have equal sway in the outcome of the game.
When I started play testing it on my own kids and the older kids at my daycare centre I noticed right away that the younger ones would sometimes whoop the butts off the older kids! I realized that the combination of moves and rules that the game had was giving the younger children an opportunity to gain some respect from their older siblings despite their size. and when a child lost a challenge of RPS, it wasn't the end of the game for them because they could come back next round and win..the game made for many mini challenges where players had to accept the consequences of their choices. Making the right choice during RPS got you ahead...making the wrong choice got you sent back. Many times I would hear moans and cheers gain amplitude in the next room as my kids and their out of school friends would play the game for hours until someone had to go home. Our house with our 5 kids and a daycare full of others' kids, always had a game of H2H going on! If they were always busy playing games or sports or something....they were too busy to get into trouble...
Sometimes I substitute taught at MESS in Kitimat B.C. and I asked an art student to design me a Japanese garden with a stepping stone pathway for my board design. His name was Eric Gabbis I believe(hey Eric how are you-contact me!) Anyway, Eric did a wonderful job and so I silk screened it onto cloth and passed a bunch of the games around the high school to see if the students liked it....Within a week the Principal banned it because the kids were playing H2H in the Hallway, in the class rooms, during class....hands were turning red from pounding fists together in the excitement of the game! Bets were being placed on outcomes! What had I done? Well, at least they were settling their differences by playing Hand2Hand instead of fighting hand to hand...
When I appeared on CBC's Dragon's Den (season 3 episode 8) with my game, I was worried that the Dragons would make fun of me and tear me a new orifice....but that never happened. They actually said they liked the game, thought it was a good idea, but wondered why I hadn't just sold the game to Milton Bradley or Parker Bros. I replied I knew I was stupid not too but I really didn't want to have to game produced on paper and that's exactly what they would do if i sold it to them. I didn't get a deal with the Dragons because I was under license with Sony Pictures at the time developing Hand2Hand using the Jackie Chan cartoon characters on the board design...which meant Sony would get 14% of sales. So the Dragons wouldn't touch me but they offered some good advice and I did get licensed by another company... Brainstorm Games out of Richmond B.C. licensed H2H for 3 years....so I knew my game was as good as anything else out there, but as for CBC airing my segment...out of the 20 minutes or so I was filmed talking to the Dragons....CBC aired only a couple of minutes with me mouthing my words...."I must be stupid".....thanks CBC!
Unfortunately Brainstorm Games didn't survive the 90's and I ended up with a couple of thousand unsold H2H games I was able to purchase at cost from the company. So now what do I do? Well, I had bigger problems to worry about than what to do with them, I was dying of Hepatitis C and my doctor told me to quit work and spend what time I had left with my kids... I was a single dad at the time and so the game and any plans to market it got shelved.
There was one chance for me at that time, it was a developing treatment called "Rebetron" and there were trials going on at Foothills Hospital in Calgary. I went there and tried to get into the trials but my platelets were too low. Apparently the treatment lowers a person's platelets drastically so they were worried I'd bleed out if I took it. The base line for acceptance for platelets was 75....normal is 150....I averaged 50. But after trying and being refused several times my family doctor was able to procure treatment somehow and I started self injecting the treatment 3 times per week and taking handfuls of pills daily. After 4 months I was declared in remission and I continued treatment for 6 more months and was considered "cured" after that.
I was spared, but at a cost. Either the treatment or an underlying problem I had surfaced because of the treatment. I started having heart and stomach problems for the next ten years. I had a calcium shift and all my teeth started breaking off in big chunks....my joints started to cease and I developed severe scoliosis from my T6-7-8-9. I became sick to my stomach almost every morning and would end up in emergency almost every other month. I may have been cured of the Hep C, but I still live with the residual damage it did all these years later.
Now to make a long and boring story short, after many years of suffering, operations, ablations on my heart, (I have over 100 laser burns on the inside of my heart trying to stop it twitching), taking handfuls of meds daily....I live out in a small Hamlet in southern Alberta called Manyberries. I took the small CPP disability pension they offered me instead of going for a big payout with the whole Red Cross Hep C poisoning scandal thing because I hate paperwork and besides, I survived...so I wouldn't have gotten much anyway, sooooo here I am now....sitting out in the middle of the prairies twiddling my thumbs, muddling along best I can with a quickly aging body that is now dealing with among other things crippling arthritis, but an I still have an alert mind that gets very easily bored.... and then I look over and see my game still sitting on the shelf.....nobody selling it anymore....a thousand fun games just sitting there -nobody playing them....
I remember times when we had this really big house in Terrace B.C. and each of our 5 kids would always have 2-3 friends over after school and on weekends. Our house was always a bustling place with a daycare centre built on the side and a huge play yard in the back....and sometimes we had parties! Fun game parties with prizes and treats....we would get sometimes over 2 dozen kids playing Hand2Hand in a tournament. Set up was on coffee tables, on the floor, all around the house wherever you could spread a game out. Four players would play a game and the winner would advance to the next round and play 3 other winners from other games. Nobody got left out because 1-2-& 3 place players all did the same; second place players played each other in the next game as did all third and forth place players. This way a bunch of last place players aren't just sitting around watching. But I digress...sorry, fond memories.....Anyway,....
I'm almost 60 now and way too tired all the time to start pounding the pavement building a new business...what the heck...how can I get these games out there and re start the Hand2Hand dream I once had??? Should I finally sell out to the big game companies??? What would happen to H2H? They would print it on paper if I sold it to them and I can not allow that! Sooooooo WHAM BAM! I gotta do this myself but I need help.
Thus Hand2Hand.Help was born....I am too busy still dealing with my health (I'm much better now, but still day to day...) to be able to put the amount of effort and energy needed to launch a new project like this so I came up with the idea of getting others to spread the game by offering it to schools/charities and special groups that need to raise funds for their organization. The Schools & Charities etc.. can keep all the retail profit for their causes. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? Helping others....
Yes it would be nice to have lots of $$$$ but I have always had enough for my needs in this life and I really don't need or want much more, so if I can spread my game around the world and help families get along with each other and provide some fun family entertainment along the way.....and make people laugh and smile.....that's plenty enough for me... I'd love to spend the rest of my life just going around demonstrating my game, teaching kids there is a solution to Bullying and for Boredom, (which is one of the causes of Bullying)...and I think there is a way we can use it to generate real cash $$$ for those who really need it by offering it FREE or at wholesale prices so whoever retails it gets to keep 100% of the profits!
I want to make a difference in this world for good....this is my way of doing it.....thank you....MB
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