by Harrison Brooks | 10 May 2023
Biographies and Interviews
Hi Harrison! What is your role in the Toy and Game industry?
I am the Founder & CEO of Brokli™, the startup on a mission to refresh old school fun one card game at a time. I am very excited to be kicking off my first Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for my brand new game Fourth Down™ – packing the excitement of football in a deck of cards.
Why and how did you get into the Toy and Game industry?
I launched my first card game, ElevatorUp™, back when I was just 17 years old, and since then, I have sold over 5,000+ units primarily through Amazon. Through ElevatorUp™, I was able to meet Mary Couzin and had the privilege of working with and learning from her by helping with the launch of PeopleOfPlay.com. When I started college at Northwestern University last year, I had to step away from POP and put ElevatorUp™ on the backburner as I readjusted, but I was never satisfied with where I had left things. This year, as a Sophomore, I decided to refocus on spreading joy through card games.
After seeing that ElevatorUp™’s most consistent and loyal fans were actually elevator enthusiasts who finally had a game that celebrated their passion, I then reflected on my childhood, thinking about which games I enjoyed the most and what I wish I had to play with. I have always had some pretty niche interests, ranging from veterinary medicine to John Deere tractors, but there weren’t games that felt like they celebrated my interests and individuality that I could use to share my passions with my loved ones. That’s when I created Brokli LLC, a new type of game company that focuses on creating card games with targeted themes that celebrate personal interests and identities.
I am very excited to be continuing this mission and celebrating America’s favorite sport, football, with Fourth Down™. As someone who isn’t particularly athletically inclined, I am proud to have made a game that allows everyone, from star quarterbacks to people who watch the Super Bowl just for the ads, to enjoy the excitement of football.
What has kept you motivated to stay in the toy industry?
When people reach out to me saying the effect ElevatorUp™ has had on their family or I read some of the reviews that say “This game goes everywhere with us in my purse” and call it “Better than UNO,” I get an ear-to-ear smile that lasts the rest of the day. Moments like that make all the work and stress beyond worth it. I know how important toys and games have been for making memories with and becoming closer with my friends and family, so the ability to be able to do that for others is a true privilege.
What are your favorite childhood memories?
Most of my favorite childhood memories are playing LEGO on the floor with my older sister. We would play for hours and hours, building intricate worlds and tiptoeing around the room so we wouldn’t step on any pieces. LEGO was, and still very much is, my favorite toy. It allows for so much creativity and imagination, and there is truly nothing quite like it.
Why did you choose to launch Fourth Down™ now?
I picked May 10th to launch Fourth Down™’s Kickstarter because it was my grandfather’s birthday. Harold Brooks, my grandfather and my namesake, sadly passed away when I was just 5 years old. I am frequently told I am a lot like him, and he was both a huge fan of football and an incredible card shark. I wanted to launch Fourth Down™ on his birthday to celebrate him and his memory.
Hopefully lots and lots of new games, but first, I’ll be running Fourth Down™’s Kickstarter until it concludes June 9th and then preparing for its launch on Amazon and retail in September. For now, I’m just getting ready for kickoff!
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