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Scrabble shocks German fans by changing its name to "Letter-YOLO" in rebrand

Scrabble changes to "Letter-Yolo" in Germany ahead of 70th anniversary
Scrabble changes to "Letter-Yolo" in Germany ahead of 70th anniversary
By Alexandra Leistner
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The German Scrabble Club and many Scrabble fans in social media are shocked: For the 70th anniversary, Mattel is rebranding Scrabble in Germany. The game is now called "Buchstaben-YOLO", which translates "Letter-YOLO".


Scrabble fans in Germany were shocked to learn their favourite board game was getting a rebrand ahead of their 70th anniversary with an unpopular name change to: "Letter-YOLO."

"Buchstaben-YOLO", which translates "Letter-YOLO," has caused an uproar among the German Scrabble Club. "YOLO," colloquially known as "you only live once," was chosen as the youth word of the year six years ago.


Mattel, the US toy maker of Scrabble, wanted to rejuvenate one of their most loved board games.

"Language is changeable! Nowadays, the language spoken in society is sometimes completely different from 70 years ago and this is not least due to a large number of young people with their creative word creations."

"As the publisher of Scrabble, we are of course observing these developments more than ever and have ultimately decided to act in a contemporary way and perhaps get one or two Generation Ys back from the game console to the little bag of letters," said Anne Polsak from Mattel's Corporate Communications.

Scrabble fans

Fan club, Scrabble Deutschland, was also completely surprised by the marketing coup and was "anything but enthusiastic," as President Sebastian Herzog said in an interview with Euronews.

He calls the rename a "slap in the face" and by allowing more "youth" words to be included in the game would mean some changes in the rules.

Herzog said it now questions if Scrabble clubs will have to rename itself to follow suit with the rebrand.

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