Mom’s Choice Awards is excited to announce another post in our interview series where we chat with the inventors, designers, publishers, and others behind some of our favorite family-friendly products.
Hello, Mom’s Choice readers! It is always exciting for us to share more about our amazing Honorees. For this interview, we were able to sit down with not just one but two of our wonderful honorees, Astrid Vinje and Clint Bush! Astrid Vinje and Clint Bush are co-owners of the MCA award-winning product, Stack The Scoops, with Clint being the creative director and designer. Stack The Scoops is an ice-cream-themed family card game for families with kids ages 5-10. Stack The Scoops has been hugely popular with families, garnering 43 5-star reviews on Amazon alone. Players of the game love that it’s easy to understand and fast-paced, paired with a cute design and an educational purpose. Stack The Scoops is sure to be a staple in any family home! Keep reading to find out more about Astrid Vinje and Clint Bush and how Stack The Scoops came to be!
MCA: Hi Astrid and Clint! Thank you for joining us today. We are so excited to be talking to you about your award-winning product, Stack The Scoops! Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about you both and the creation of your family-run company, ViBuGo?
Astrid: ViBuGo is a family-run company that’s dedicated to helping families spend more quality time together. We are a family who loves to travel. Since 2018, we have been slow-traveling around the world with our two young kids. Through our travel experiences, we have realized how impactful spending family time together can be.
That’s one of the reasons why we created ViBuGo. We wanted to give other families ways to spend time together as a family. We also personally love to play card games, and we think it’s an easy way to engage kids and help them learn too.
MCA: That’s incredible, talk about family goals! How did you and your family come to create Stack The Scoops?
Clint: While we were in lockdown, we were playing another card game that I had designed for personal use, and I made the comment to my daughter, “It would be fun to design another game. Do you want to come up with a game?”
We brainstormed a bit and came up with the premise. Then we told my wife about it, and she loved the idea. She said we should turn it into an actual game.
So the next day we cut a bunch of paper into cards and we each helped draw out some basic cards. We then played it several times to work out the gameplay. A couple of weeks later I had designed the initial draft of the game and logo, and we sent the idea to a few friends for testing.
Flash forward a few months and we had our first 1000 copies on hand and had set up an online store.
MCA: What a great use of your time in quarantine! How did your experience and background in graphic design help to bring Stack The Scoops to life?
Clint: I graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and spent the first 10 years of my adult life as a graphic designer, specifically a corporate branding designer. During that time I designed logos, letterheads, websites, and entire design systems.
That experience really paved the way for game design as I look back on it. Logo, card consistency, cohesive design, multiple mediums, and print experience.
MCA: What needs were you trying to fill when you created Stack The Scoops?
Astrid: During the pandemic, we realized that many families were struggling with juggling work, school, and family time, all at the same time and all under the same roof. It was a huge cultural shift for many families, many of whom were used to having these parts of their lives separate.
We wanted to create a game that families can play while they’re stuck at home. One of the things we like about Stack The Scoops is that families can either play it together during family time or have their kids play on their own. The gameplay is math-based, so it encourages learning. But it’s also fun and doesn’t rely on screens.
MCA: The best type of games are ones that can be both fun and educational. Tell us about the research that went behind the product’s unique features, and describe these features!
Clint: Because I have a background in graphic design and some print design, I really wanted to focus on the details such as the weight and texture of the cards, durability of the box, and overall “professionalism” of the design. Additionally, I wanted to make sure the user experience of playing the game was solid.
We printed a draft version and played it several times. This helped inform not only the gameplay but also the design of the cards so that they are easy to read. For the images, we really wanted them to be fun and appeal to my kids, who were heavily consulted during the design phase.
We also really wanted the gameplay to be easy enough for our 6-year-old to understand, but challenging enough that our older 9-year-old, as well as us as parents, wouldn’t be bored playing. That meant fairly fast gameplay with not very complicated rules, and simultaneously maintaining some strategy and scoring.
Astrid: We’re so honored to have received several awards for our game, including a Mom’s Choice Award. Stack The Scoops was truly a family-led endeavor, so it makes us feel extremely proud to be acknowledged and recognized for our game.
But what makes us even happier is the positive feedback we have received from the families who have bought Stack The Scoops. Families will often tell us how much their kids enjoy playing the game, even older kids. We even had one family tell us that their child’s school uses the game for Math Night!
We love playing our game, and we love that other families enjoy playing our game too.
MCA: What is next for Stack The Scoops?
Clint: We have an expansion pack coming out this year, and we want to create some culturally unique versions based on our family’s backgrounds featuring and flavors and imagery that are part of our family’s heritage. Additionally, we really want to get our game into game stores around the US as well as schools for math nights.
MCA: That is very exciting, we will be sure to be on the lookout for that!
You can learn more about Astrid Vinje and Clint Bush and her award-winning book, Stack The Scoops by visiting their MCA Shop pages.