The History Of Twister

Written by: Luke Ward
Reading time: 2 mins
Last updated: March 17, 2021

The world record for the largest game of Twister took place on 30th April 2007, where over one hundred people participated.

Twister Facts

Did you know the original name of the Twister board game was Pretzel!

Well if you want more facts on Twister, you’ve come to the right place!

Where did the idea for Twister come from?

Twister was based on a project that inventor Reyn Guyer was working on, which was a promotion for Johnson’s shoe polish company.

Guyer created a polka dot paper mat and then thought it would be better as a game.

He tested this with a group of office workers who were divided into two teams and called the game “Pretzel”.

How did Twister come to our toy stores?

The Milton Bradley Company (MB) noticed this invention and within a year released it as a new game called Twister and claimed it as their own idea.

Twister was invented by Charles Foley and Neil Rabens in April 1966 and was the first game invented that required people to use their bodies as playing pieces.

When Twister was featured on “The Tonight Show“, where the presenter, Johnny Carson, climbed over Eva Gabor who was on her hands and knees wearing a short skirt, Milton Bradley (MB) was accused of selling an adult game by its competitors.

Twister’s amazing success.

More than three million copies of Twisters were sold during its first year of release.

Twister was very popular with both children and adults because the game needed both skill and action.

In 1987, a record-breaking 4,160 people tied themselves up in knots playing a Twister marathon at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

Even to this day, it is still popular with college students as they make a nice addition to parties.

The world record for the largest game of Twister took place on April 30, 2007, where over one hundred people turned up and two hundred Twister mats were used.

As more people lost, mats were removed until eventually, it was the last five people on one mat.

The game was a tie between two people as they fell at the same time.

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3 Comments

  1. SM October 27, 2019

    Milton Bradley did not steal the idea. Inventors (Foley & Rabens) were subcontracted by a small flailing St. Paul company to re-imagine a successful toy line. The owners son naively negotiated individual terms with the two inventors – severely underestimating the products potential, as well as, the talent that invented it, for a ‘quick pay-off’. Milton Bradley simply did what any successful company would – worked a situation to their advantage and reaped the spoils and rewards of foolishness and greed. Foley & Rabens are the only names listed on the patent – undeniably – a legacy that will live forever.

  2. gman October 24, 2012

    thanks for info. and seriously? 4160 people!

  3. guest February 12, 2012

    the idea was stolen by Milton Bradley… why does this not surprise me?