Pixar. Potter. Paw Patrol… Deej Johnson ponders the licensing power of Dobble

Marvel, Minions and more: the endless licensing appeal of Spot It and Dobble.

“You’ve got to twin it to win it.” I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve used those eight words to explain the smash-hit card game Dobble. Known as Spot It in the US, the aim is simple: race to spot two matching icons on any pair of cards…

Unfortunately, the simplicity of this aim often fails to communicate the fun of the game! It’s ’snap’ on speed: fast, frantic and furious; mad, manic, and marketable.

Marketable? Absolutely. Since 2009, this image-matching, card-snatching game has clocked up sales well in excess of 12 million. Licensed versions include Pixar, PAW Patrol, Harry Potter, Marvel, Minions, Star Wars and more… And there’s no sign of it ending! But why?

Deej Johnson, Dobble
Fun aside, my answer to this is simple: the breadth and authenticity of its licensing potential. Truly, there are very few low-price, mainstream games that can accommodate IP as easily and effectively as this. In theory, a brand only needs three things to make a Spot It partnership work. First: a sense of fun. Second: a huge fanbase. Third: 57 iconic images!

That’s because Dobble’s mechanics depend on an intricate mathematical web. Every set comprises 55 cards, with each of those cards showing eight images. The eight images are laid out in such a way that each of them matches just one of the icons on the face of the other cards. Frankly, the matrix for it is mind-boggling!

But who cares about that?! All that matters is that a lot of big brands can tick these boxes and look at Dobble with an optimistic eye. Indeed, I often find myself wondering who’ll be next to form a partnership… Personally, I can’t help but think LEGO and Dobble are a match made in heaven, as too are The Muppets, Dr. Who and The Simpsons. But surely there are more?!

Deej Johnson, Dobble

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