Jenga: The Blocks Game

Jenga is a blocks game marketed by Hasbro. The origin of the name is from the Swahili word Kujenga which means simply “to build“. The structures are made by adding the blocks till it becomes unstable. Players take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks. Each block removed is then placed on top of the tower, creating a progressively more unstable structure.

Leslie Scott

The game was created by english woman Leslie Scott. Scott was born in Tanganyika and spoke both English and Swahili. The family moved to Ghana in West Africa. The game was evolved from the game the family played using the wooden blocks which she purchased from a sawmill in Takordi Ghana.

Scott launched the game at the London Toy Fair in January 1983 and sold it through her own company, Leslie Scott Associates. The blocks of the first sets of Jenga were manufactured for Scott by the Camphill Village Trust in Botton, Yorkshire. It became popular worldwide and presently Hasbro controls the entire marketing.

The packaging copy of one edition of the Jenga game claims that Robert Grebler may have built the tallest Jenga tower ever at 40​23 levels. Grebler built the tower in 1985 while playing with an original Jenga set produced by Leslie Scott in the early 1980s.

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