The Story of Twister

In 2007, over one hundred people participated in the largest game of Twister, setting a world record.

Fun fact: did you know that the original name for Twister was Pretzel?

If you’re interested in learning more about the game, you’ve come to the right place!

How did Twister come to be?

Inventor Reyn Guyer was working on a promotion for Johnson’s shoe polish company when he came up with the idea for Twister. He initially created a polka dot paper mat and tested it as a game with a group of office workers, calling it “Pretzel.”

Bringing Twister to the Toy Store

The Milton Bradley Company noticed Guyer’s invention and within a year, released it as a new game called Twister. While originally invented by Charles Foley and Neil Rabens in 1966, Twister was the first game to require people to use their bodies as playing pieces.

When Twister was featured on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, there were accusations that Milton Bradley was selling an adult game due to the presenter climbing over Eva Gabor, who was on her hands and knees in a short skirt.

The Success of Twister

Twister sold more than three million copies in its first year and became popular with both children and adults because it required skill and action. In 1987, a record-breaking 4,160 people played Twister in a marathon at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Even today, it remains a popular addition to college parties.

The world record for the largest game of Twister was set on April 30, 2007, with over one hundred people participating and two hundred Twister mats being used. As people lost, mats were removed until only five people were left on one mat. The game ended in a tie when two people fell at the same time.


1. What is Twister?

Twister is a popular game that involves players placing their hands and feet on colored dots on a large plastic mat and trying to avoid falling over. It was first introduced in the United States in 1966 and quickly became a sensation.

2. Who invented Twister?

Twister was invented by Reyn Guyer, a toy designer from Minnesota, in collaboration with a man named Charles Foley. The two men came up with the idea for the game in the mid-1960s and pitched it to the Milton Bradley Company, which eventually purchased the rights to the game.

3. When was Twister first released?

Twister was first released in 1966, after the Milton Bradley Company purchased the rights to the game. It quickly became a sensation, with millions of copies sold in the first year alone.

4. Why was Twister controversial when it was first released?

Twister was controversial when it was first released because of the physical closeness it required between players. Some religious groups and conservative organizations felt that the game was too suggestive and inappropriate for children to play.

5. How did Twister become so popular?

Twister became popular because of its unique gameplay and the excitement it generated. The game was featured on popular television shows, and celebrities began to play it publicly, which helped to increase its popularity.

6. Has Twister ever been involved in any legal disputes?

Yes, Twister has been involved in several legal disputes over the years. In the 1970s, a woman named Kathleen McGrath filed a lawsuit against the Milton Bradley Company, claiming that she had been injured while playing the game. The case was settled out of court.

7. Are there any variations of Twister?

Yes, there are many variations of Twister. Some versions have different colored dots, while others have additional rules or challenges. There are also many spin-off games that use similar gameplay mechanics.

8. Has Twister ever been used for any charitable causes?

Yes, Twister has been used for charitable causes on several occasions. In the 1970s, a group of college students played Twister for 114 hours straight to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. In more recent years, Twister tournaments have been held to raise money for various charities.

9. Is Twister still popular today?

Yes, Twister is still popular today, more than fifty years after its initial release. The game has been re-released several times, and it remains a staple of game nights and parties around the world.

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