Awkward Family Brand Extends With Board Game

Retailer interest high for 'photo' website spin-off

Who knew that pictures of mulleted families in matchy-patchy ’80s outfits could become a full-blown brand? Awkward Family Photos, the campy humor website launched in 2009, has already inspired a TV pilot. This week it advances its retro run as an old-school board game.

“The site really is a celebration of family and there is something sort of indelible about a board game,” says Mike Bender, who co-founded the original website with Doug Chernack. “We kind of loved the idea that [it’s] a bit of a throwback.”

In the game, players caption dozens of embarrassing family portraits and answer questions like “What do you think happened right after this photo was taken?” and “What celebrity would be a great addition to the photo?” Eric Poses, the game’s creator and president of gaming company All Things Equal, says he’s never seen retailer interest for a new game of his run so high.

“With this game, every retailer who’s heard of the book was like ‘I want it, I have to have it,’” he says. Oddly, they pass on the mullets.