Play now, buy later

It’s not like Helene Jensen didn’t have enough to do already. But when she saw the value in becoming an independent consultant for SimplyFun, she was hooked.

And now Jensen is getting others hooked on the many original board, card and party games the Bellevue company produces.

“I’m an extremely busy person and I didn’t need another thing on my plate,” Jensen said. “My kids like games and I thought this might be something fun I could do with my kids.”

The premise is rather simple. Jensen conducts in-home parties for groups and families and brings a carload of games with her. The participants not only get a look at the games SimplyFun offers, they play them as well, getting the best idea if they are games they would be interested in buying.

“The idea is you get to play them before you buy them,” Jensen said. “Sometimes you go to a store and pick a game that might be a high-ticketed item, get it home and, No. 1, you may not understand how to play it, or if you do, it takes hours to do. Or you don’t even like it.

“This gives you an idea because you get to play all the games, or at least a selection of them, and you play them before you buy them,” Jensen said. “I bring my daughter with me. She’s my partner in crime and she helps demonstrate the games. I do the talking and the sales and she (shows off the games).”

Jensen said the parties have been mixed with adults and their children and there’s something for everyone.

There are games for kids starting at age 3 but they are simple enough that younger children can play them, Jensen said.

The company’s card games are for older children, while the party games come with the recommended starting age of 6 to 8 years old.

Some of the games available to preview include Walk the Dogs, Spy, and Pharoah, as well as the more popular Eye to Eye, Bring Down the House and Ooga!.

The games are also available to play on the company’s Web site,, so prospective buyers will already have an idea of what games that would like to sample at their gaming party.

Designed to be simple to learn and fun to play, each SimplyFun game is created by professional game creators and can be played in 30 minutes or less.

Jensen said the games sell themselves and are designed to be played over and over.

“These are quality games. They’ve taken a lot of time to do them right,” Jensen said. “They give you everything you need to play the game right way and they are built to last. They have quality components.”

Launched in January 2005, SimplyFun’s games and other play-focused products are sold exclusively through a network of independent sales consultants like Jensen. Jensen earns a profit on personal sales and additional income through building a team of other consultants.

The games can only be purchased through a consultant and are not for sale in stores and run anywhere from $8 to $40. New games are introduced routinely Jensen said.

Jensen is available for demonstrative parties throughout Kitsap County.

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