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HABA's Animal Upon Animal Game - How it Went From a simple Idea to a Recipe for Success

HABA's Animal Upon Animal Game - How it Went From a simple Idea to a Recipe for Success

Posted by Andrea Elliott on May 6th 2015

HABA bestseller game Animal Upon Animal celebrates its 10th anniversary! HABA's Bestselling Game Animal Upon Animal Celebrates its 10th Anniversary!

Crocodiles, frilled lizards, sheep, toucans and monkeys, hedgehogs and snakes... you’ll never find such a motley mix of animals in any other game, and it’s celebrating its 10th anniversary: Animal Upon Animal from HABA! The entertaining stacking game was first released in 2005 and has since sold over 600,000 copies! It all began at a game inventors fair in Munich where game author Klaus Miltenberger was inspired by a box full of wooden animals.

For a limited time, fans can purchase the 10th Anniversary edition of the game, featuring a silver crocodile and commemorative, embossed tin to celebrate a decade of stacking fun! Be sure to get it while you can, as stock is limited!

From a simple idea to a recipe for success

“My initial idea was to stack two snails on top of each other, and then different animals,” explains Miltenberger, who still calls Munich home. “I picked up a couple wooden figurines out of a toy box at the fair and looked at them for a while before I began to experiment with them.”

The idea behind Animal Upon Animal came to Miltenberger during a hike while he watched children carry one another on their backs. Piggyback was also the working title for the game, which would be the first of many published games for Miltenberger. “I quickly realized that stacking wooden animals is not just fun for kids, but also for adults.” This was one of the reasons why the game was selected by HABA: It’s a real challenge for the entire family, and since each round is different than the last, it holds your interest for a long time.

Working together with Miltenberger, HABA game editors designed the animals so that different forms take shape and each character has a different degree of difficulty. The crocodile with its broad and jagged back makes for a good stable base, which has replaced the prototypical snails.

Animal Upon Animal celebrates 10 yearsMade exclusively with wood from domestic German forests

Animal Upon Animal is HABA’s only game that is 100% made of wood without any additional cardboard materials. All pieces are made at HABA’s factory in Bad Rodach from domestic beech wood, harvested within 150 km of the production site, a region which also includes Spessart, a well-known forest in Germany where the game’s author grew up. “I grew up in a village in Spessart, which is likely also why I share an affinity for the animals,” comments the native of Upper Franconia, who now resides in the Bavarian capital city since concluding his studies in education, psychology and sociology. He now works in an institution for people with addictions and freelances as a game inventor.

“My main goal is to invent games that are exciting, but easy to learn,” says Miltenberger. “I get my ideas from just about everywhere; sometimes several impulses all at once, and then none for weeks. For me, it’s important to first test my ideas with my girlfriend and friends, and also with kids or colleagues. Particularly satisfying is when adults also enjoy a game that was intended for children.”

  The Animal Upon Animal series expandsThe Animal Upon Animal series expands

The Animal Upon Animal family of games has grown considerably in the last few years: And now, to mark its anniversary, a new special edition is being published: one with a silver-colored crocodile and packed in a decorative tin. In addition to a version for younger children in the game series “My very first Games” and a “Lilliputian gift” (Animal Upon Animal: Small, yet great!), there’s also a version with animals home to the Alps (Animal Upon Animal: Crest Climbers) and two large games with extra material (Animal Upon Animal: Balancing Bridge and Animal Upon Animal: Here we turn!). The HABA app Animal Upon Animal and the funny Animal Upon Animal rhyme and counting book also pick up on the idea of stacking animals.