Toy giant Hasbro has stepped forward to help the creator of one of its most popular board games, Operation, pay for an operation of his own.
John Spinello, who created what would become Operation, the classic board game that allows players to test their fine motor skills using a tweezer, is in need of a reported $25,000 in oral surgery.
When Spinello -– who sold his game for $500 in the 1960s to a toy company that would then license it to game giant Milton Bradley -– was unable to pay his medical costs, his friends toy designers Tim Walsh and Peggy Brown, started a fund on CrowdRise.com to raise the money.
After the fundraising drive went viral, Hasbro stepped forward Wednesday to announce they will purchase the original Operation game prototype that Spinello had planned to put up for auction.
Hasbro took ownership of Operation in the 1980s when it purchased Milton Bradley.
“Today we informed Mr. Spinello that Hasbro plans to purchase the prototype with the hope that the funds will help to defray his medical costs,” the company said in a statement to ABC News. "We plan to proudly display it at Hasbro’s global headquarters in Pawtucket, RI to honor his contribution to Hasbro’s gaming history.”
In Operation, players carefully guide a tweezer through body of a “patient” to remove his illnesses. If their tweezer motions aren’t precise and they go out of bounds they could set off the dreaded buzzer.
Spinello and his wife, Madeline, said in a statement to ABC News that they feel “really good” that Hasbro has purchased the prototype.
“It will have a happy home in their museum. That’s where it belongs,” the pair wrote. “As for medical costs – everything that is contributing to the success of the campaign is going to make life easier for John [Spinello] and what he needs medically. We feel positive about Hasbro purchasing the prototype – we’re very happy about it.”
The CrowdRise page created by Brown and Walsh has now received over $26,000 in donations, exceeding its $25,000 goal.
“What can we say? We woke up this morning to $25,200!,” Walsh posted on the website Thursday morning. "We can’t thank you all enough.”
“We’re working on a special video thank you coming soon,” he wrote.