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OPERATION: Operation is a documentary short film chronicling the classic American story of John Spinello, the inventor of the board game Operation, who after striking a raw deal to sell the patent to the game for $500 and forfeiting his rights to royalties, saw the game go on to sell 45 million copies. This is the story of how John’s broken heart was mended after learning that the game he invented has touched many more people, in many more ways than he ever could have imagined. Co-produced by my fellow game designer and dear friend,  Peggy Brown, OPERATION: Operation is available for purchase and to rent at


"...a glimpse inside the stories and lives of several rock stars of the toy world."

– National Public Radio

Toyland is a never-before-seen look at a place where fun is born and competition is fierce: The $22 billion toy business. Director Ken Sons introduces us to the people behind the biggest playthings in history including Ant Farm, Operation, Lite Brite, Inch Worm, Mouse Trap, Twister, Kerplunk, Radio Flyer wagons and more. Follow the ups and downs of a game designer (me!) as I try to take my own invention to market, with nerve-racking pitches to Hasbro and others along the way. Welcome to Toyland.

© 2016 The Playmakers
Film no.1
Film no.2
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