By Scott Nixon, Times-Advocate Staff
EXETER — About 20 years after first having the idea, Chad Wilcox has finally seen his concept for a stock car racing board game come to fruition.
Wilcox, a Thedford resident and employee at Huron Motor Products in Exeter, describes himself as “a race nut,” and has come up with a board game called Bump N’ Run, which is now in stores.
The board for Bump N’ Run is designed like a race track and participants maneuver their cars around the board, determining their starting place by rolling the dice. Players start the game with tire chips, fuel cells and Bump N’ Run cards.
Every time a player moves, it costs fuel, while changing lanes costs tire chips.
Players then have to buy back fuel and tire chips to keep moving and have to strategize to get around the board before their opponents. When a player catches up to another car in the same lane, he can either go around him — which uses up tire chips — or “bump” him by using a Bump N’ Run card.
Any car that is bumped has to move back to the spot where his opponent started his turn.
The game also has a pits section in the middle and, as at real tracks, billboards from local sponsors are on the outer edge of the track.
Up to eight people can play Bump N’ Run and they choose the number of laps they are going to play before the game starts. The first person to complete the laps is the winner. It takes about 45 minutes to complete 10 laps and Wilcox said strategies change depending on how many players there are. The suggested age range is eight years old to adults.
Wilcox told the Times-Advocate recently that he came up with the idea as something he and his friends could play when there was no racing to watch on TV.
He started with the game in 1993, but wasn’t happy with how a prototype turned out.
After shelving the project three times over the years Wilcox made significant changes to the game. He finally had 1,000 units of the game made last year before Christmas and so far has sold about 400.
In the summer Wilcox was busy visiting tracks in the region selling his game. He said people have told him it’s a fun activity, and while he says the game really clicks with race fans, players don’t necessarily have to be racing fans to enjoy Bump N’ Run.
Wilcox also wants to visit toy and game fairs to get the word out about Bump N’ Run.
Wilcox said he always played board games like Monopoly and Pay Day and couldn’t believe there wasn’t a game like Bump N’ Run on the market. He said he tried to have the game made in Canada, but ultimately decided to have it manufactured in China, although a local resident did the artwork for the game.
It took longer than Wilcox thought it would to have the game made, and there were many emails back and forth between him and the manufacturers in China, but Wilcox says he’s happy with results, saying the company makes durable games.
Wilcox says he’d eventually like to see Bump N’ Run available in stores across the country. He’s also experimenting with a road track for future versions of the game.
Bump N’ Run is available in seven locations including HMP in Exeter, Zavitz General Store in Thedford and Mitchell’s Home Building Centre in Parkhill.
Visit the website at www.bumpnrunboardgames.com, which also has a link to a Facebook page.