Played at family gatherings, baby showers, and even despedidas, lotería has become a staple in many Mexican and Central American households. But the centuries-old game doesn’t always speak to our 2018 experiences, which is why it’s exciting that LA-based designer Ilse Valfré has given it a modern spin.
Valfré Lotería features your traditional board and cards but switches the iconic images – like el diablito y el borracho – for signature Valfré designs, such as la space babe, la bruja, and el record player. The limited edition game set comes with eight boards, 56 cards, and 80 markers. Although multiple designers have reworked the traditional game, this one’s the empowering update we needed in 2018; all of the cards feature female characters and objects with female pronouns.
Much like bingo, lotería has players marking select squares on the boards. But instead of numbers displayed on the game boards, it’s images. The game can be traced back to 15th-century Italy from which it was imported to New Spain (now Mexico) in the 18th century. It was first played by the upper class but quickly became a principal attraction of family gatherings in Mexico.
Valfré is known for her illustrated designs, which she started in a Tumblr blog that quickly developer into a large following. She told the Observer she describes her brands as “indie feminist.” Some of her most famous designs are a collection of T-shirts that feature phrases like “Resting Bitch Face” and “Beat It Creep.” Valfré also sells a variety of clothing, tech, and accessories – from pins and patches to sweatshirts and greeting cards.
The Valfré Lotería is available now for $30. Take a look at the colorful Valfré boards below.