A Winnipeg man hopes his one-of-a-kind, uniquely Canadian board game will be a hit as he makes his way to the New York Toy Fair this weekend.
Gord Taylor, 62, was born in Winnipeg and is a seasoned outdoor enthusiast. At age 25, Gord moved to the woods and managed the Experimental Lakes Area research station.
It was there where Tayor first dreamed of Knoo (pronounced 'canoe').
“I was able to focus on my artistic side, which prevented me from going nuts from isolation. This was the place for uninterrupted creative development. The game board was developed as an artistic expression of actual maps. The game and all the artwork were created by myself and my family. It was inspired by my experiences and adventures in the woods, canoeing and hiking on various waterways and trails, and by the skills I needed to use to survive.”
After a three-decade hiatus, Taylor decided to bring the game back to life, spending months testing it and getting feedback from people around him.
The game, now prepped and ready to go, allows players to celebrate adventure, the great outdoors, and survival skills while navigating fast-moving rivers in a canoe, portaging through muskeg, setting up camp, and even flying in a bush plane.
"I hope independent store owners or some of the biggest companies in the world fall in love with Knoo and want to sell the game and future editions worldwide,” said Taylor.
To make sure his board game is front and centre, Taylor has created an eight-foot by five-foot prototype of the Knoo, printed on vinyl with oversized game cards. He will also have a tent and camp lights set up at his booth to make it more realistic.
The New York Toy Fair, which runs September 30- October 3, is one of the largest in the world, attracting 70,000 people.