On a quiet dark Tuesday February night in 1999, taxi driver Derek Carroll sat 12th on the rank reading one of his many books on Edinburgh history. With plenty of time to dream, Derek started thinking how it might be possible to create a trivia board game, where all the questions could be based on one City. The answer was obvious; create the game around the working life of a taxi driver. “The better your local knowledge, the better the tips, the more you earn”. Picking up an A4 sheet of paper, the journey began.
Development and research
Over the next 18 months, questions were researched and written, thousands of dice were thrown, sacrifices were made, proto-types were produced, contact was made with buyers, manufacturers of the game and playing pieces were sourced and press information was released.
The early years
Eventually, on the 5th of December 2000 the “Edinburgh Taxi Board Game” was launched. With a very limited marketing budget, Taxi! went on sale in just 7 stores, and with only 19 shopping days until Christmas, the pressure was on. Derek managed to secure a complete window display in Jenners Department Store in Edinburgh, he also received great support from both John Lewis and Debenhams. In all these stores Taxi out-sold Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit that Christmas.
Two years later and with the Glasgow edition now launched, Taxi was on sale in over 40 stores throughout Central Scotland, achieving significant retail sales. This could never have been achieved without the help and support given to Derek by the retail staff in all stores that stocked the Taxi Game.
The next stage
Piloting Taxi! in local areas enabled Derek to monitor the reaction from both store managers and customers alike. Based on these findings a new London edition was planned. During this time a number of companies showed a keen interest to be involved in developing future editions. When the global financial crisis started to bite in 2007, all these plans were put on hold.
With the board game market now buoyant, the decision was taken to launch the new London edition. Following a meeting in London with experts from the retail and board game industry, it was decided to update both the design and questions.
With professional backers and the right team now in-place, Taxi! is looking forward to becoming one of the world’s top selling board games. As well as the current games, plans are now in place to launch further versions of the game in the near future with sports team versions now in development.