Three years ago, Trivial Pursuit seemed headed for the corporate garage sale. The onetime best-seller had plummeted to $15 million in sales, 98% below the peak in 1984. And the audience that relished its MENSA-type questions -- "What tennis term is said to come from the French word for egg?" (answer: love from l'oeuf) -- had shrunk to those who do crossword puzzles in ink. But rather than scrap the 1980s classic, Hasbro Inc. (HAS
) reinvented the game around pop culture to grab a new generation.
It paid off. Hasbro sold 2.4 million Trivial Pursuit games last year, up from 500,000 in 2001. The best news: New customers include lots of 18-to-34-year-olds drawn to the 11 new versions, including a '90s edition and a pop culture DVD version. Instead of having to know who said "veni, vidi, vici" (Julius Caesar), players are asked: "What rock star declared on his 1995 album Circus, 'Rock 'n' roll is dead'?" (Lenny Kravitz.)