Break Time: Contemplating the Tiddlywink

Break Time is a series of articles that take a playful look at the toy industry.

I was thinking about Tiddlywinks the other day. Why? Maybe because I have not seen or heard about Tiddlywinks in a very long time. Out of curiosity, I mentioned Tiddlywinks to some young adults. They universally had never heard of it.

I decided to do some research, and I discovered that the game was invented and the name created in 1894 by Joseph Assheton Finche. Since its inception, it has been produced by several toy and game companies, peaking between the 1930s and 50s.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, here is how Wikipedia describes it:

Tiddlywinks is a game played on a flat felt mat with sets of small discs called “winks”, a pot, which is the target, and a collection of squidgers, which are also discs. Players use a “squidger” (nowadays made of plastic) to shoot a wink into flight by flicking the squidger across the top of a wink and then over its edge, thereby propelling it into the air. The offensive objective of the game is to score points by sending your own winks into the pot. The defensive objective of the game is to prevent your opponents from potting their winks by “squopping” them: shooting your own winks to land on top of your opponents’ winks. As part of strategic gameplay, players often attempt to squop their opponents’ winks and develop, maintain and break up large piles of winks.


I have always thought of Tiddlywinks as a trivial pass time, but to my surprise, there is a North American Tiddlywinks Association.” If you visit, you will find a variety of rules and an index to Tiddlywinks terms. For example, a wink is worth three tiddlies. Who knew?

If you are adventurous, you may want to visit the “International Federation of Tiddlywinks Associations.” A visit to their website will reveal, among many other things, the name of the number one Tiddlywinks player in the world.

It may be time for Tiddlywinks to make a comeback. As they say, everything old is new again.

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