The Whatnot Cabinet Set Collection Game Overview

The Whatnot Cabinet Set Collection Game Overview


I think every person my age grew up with some kind of knick-knack, curio or printer’s drawer adoring the wall filled with all kinds of random pieces of memorabilia. My mom could recite a story for each and every trinket she had on display in her printer’s drawer and piece of silver or glassware in her China hutch.

While you technically could hang The Whatnot Cabinet on the wall, this one is a set collection game from Pencil First Games! -

After we were married, Scott and I inherited a couple shelves from my in-laws and you can still find them on display in the guest room looking exactly as we got them. I’ve added a smaller unit to my own bedroom and it’s filled with vintage Wade Whimsey figurines. While squished pennies are my current preference for souvenirs, I regularly have to talk myself out of purchasing adorable little knick-knacks. Maybe that’s what drew me to The Whatnot Cabinet from Pencil First Games… or maybe it’s just because I like games and their products have never let me down.

While you technically could hang The Whatnot Cabinet on the wall, this one is a set collection game from Pencil First Games! -

As the name implies, The Whatnot Cabinet is a game about collecting various “whatnots” and placing them in your own personal cabinet to display. Give each player a cabinet as well as the matching colored pawn. Place the journey board in the center of the table within reach of all players (supports 1-4). Shuffle the curiosity cards then randomly place five above the journey board and return all others to the box. You’ll shuffle and select one wonder card in this same fashion, placing it next to the curiosity cards while discarding the rest. This type of randomized setup ensures that each game revolves around different goals. Create a general pile with the point tokens and place all the curio tiles in the cloth bag. Beginning with the first player and rotating clockwise, players place their pawn on the leftmost available space in the landscape section of the journey board.

While you technically could hang The Whatnot Cabinet on the wall, this one is a set collection game from Pencil First Games! -

The objective of The Whatnot Cabinet is to earn points by selecting items over the course of six rounds. On any given turn, a player will add exactly two new curio tiles to their personal board. At the beginning of each round, four curio tiles are drawn and placed in “the outdoors”, an open area on the table below the journey board. Then players will take turns selecting an action. The order of play is clockwise for the first round, but subsequent rounds will coincide with each players lineup on the landscape section for that round. 

While you technically could hang The Whatnot Cabinet on the wall, this one is a set collection game from Pencil First Games! -

On your turn, you may place your pawn on any unoccupied action space on the journey board. Then you will perform the actions in the order they are listed in that column. All actions are required to be performed so if you don’t want to do something then you’ll need to select a different column. There are five action columns available so every player will have at least two different options.

While you technically could hang The Whatnot Cabinet on the wall, this one is a set collection game from Pencil First Games! -

When you select or acquire a curio tile as part of your action, you must immediately place it into your cabinet. Where you decide to place it will impact your scoring. You can earn anywhere between one and four points depending on how many of the same or different you have in a row (item type) or column (item color). To keep things interesting, there are special action tiles with various alternative actions. As an example, they may instruct players to draw additional tiles from the bag or possibly sweep away existing outdoor tiles and replace them. After you’ve completed your entire action, you’ll claim any available awards.

While you technically could hang The Whatnot Cabinet on the wall, this one is a set collection game from Pencil First Games! -

If you’ve placed four of the same COLOR object in a column, you’ll take a four point token and set it on the top of that completed column. Two points are earned for four different colored objects in a column. Rows are scored separately with three points being earned for completing a row with three of the same object TYPE. A row with three different object types is worth one point. You’ll earn a blank marker if you don’t meet one of the above mentioned scoring parameters.

The first player to meet the conditions on each of the curiosity cards earns that card which will be bonus points at the end of the game. After all players have completed their actions and claimed any rewards, all the pawns are returned to the landscape section on the journey board, corresponding with their action column location. After six rounds of this process, add end of game points (wonder card, special action tiles, pawn placement and tiles with crowns) then determine the winner. 

Players vying for the same tiles and goals causes some chaos in The Whatnot Cabinet, but generally it’s a more relaxing game like Herbaceous or Sunset Over Water. While labeled ages 8+, younger players can enjoy this set collection game with some instruction from an adult. Add a copy of The Whatnot Cabinet to your game shelf by ordering a copy on Amazon, direct from Pencil First Games or at your local game store. As always, Pencil First Games has a collection of interesting news on their social channels (Facebook, Twitter) so be sure to follow them!

What types of items do you collect and add to knick-knack cabinets?


About Nicole

Founder and owner of, Nicole has been involved in social media marketing since 2007. She has partnered with a number of major corporations who utilized her skills to improve their social media outreach and online presence. Nicole has worked closely with brands such as Netflix, Nintendo, Domino's and Disney, has been featured in McDonald's videos as well as Maria Bailey's book "Power Moms". Always a SAHM (stay-at-home-mom) and mother of two amazing daughters, if you can't find Nicole, she is probably somewhere being an advocate for playing board games.

41 comments on «The Whatnot Cabinet Set Collection Game Overview»

  1. Brenden says:

    I collect coins but don’t display them!

    1. Pete Donegan says:

      I have a knick-knack cabinet full of random boardgame pieces. It’s surprising how often I’ve been able to find a use for some of it.

      I feel like this game is right up the alley of my gaming buddies Ryan and Courtney

  2. Josh Christian says:

    I collect books and my wife collects shot glasses.

  3. Michael Shea says:

    Cast Iron Banks

  4. Levi Byers says:

    My wife makes cool hexagon cabinets and we currently have plants and candles in those!

  5. Pete Donegan says:

    I collect books and comic figurines. Those are all displayed on my bookshelf. I also have a large boardgame collection, but those haven’t been displayed yet.

  6. william gossage says:

    I collect books, and salt shakers

  7. Sue E says:

    I collect beer mugs from around the world. I also collect postcards. I will buy one or two postcards from wherever I am. I write a cool fact that happened to me or an interesting fact that I learned about where I am. Then I mail it to my house. The postcards will have a date and different postmarks on them. I like hearing the different things people collect.

  8. K A Rahaman says:

    I collect old rare coins.

  9. Heather Swanson says:

    I collect Royalty items & costume jewelry

  10. Bennet Rosenthal says:

    1. Board Games
    2. Board Games
    3. Board Games

  11. Losh Sellers says:

    Don’t really collect anything but the person who replied Cast Iron Banks… That sounds cool.

  12. Wendy Green says:

    I used to have a collection of dragon statues I displayed in a cabinet but I don’t live in a home with a display cabinet anymore and most of the statues were broken overtime after I had kids.

  13. Lauryn R says:

    I collect cute and beautiful figurines. No category really, just what I like and usually find at places I’ve been. This looks like such a fun game!

  14. Debra Branigan says:

    I only have teapots on shelves and what I call a Curiosity shelf which contains a lot of natural items and a few other curiosities. I can say that this article brought back fond memories of collections owned by family.

  15. Piper Jones says:

    I collect postcards

  16. Mia Rose says:

    I would give this to myself for figurines that I have collected.

  17. Thanay Binford says:

    My wife would love this

  18. Tony Platz says:

    My coin collection .

    1. Veronica Murillo says:

      I think my sister would like this

  19. StrPap says:

    My best friend

  20. Levi Byers says:

    I think my kids might actually like this game!

  21. GKEK says:

    I guess I’d get this for my mom… but really its for me to play with my mom. XD

  22. Yosif says:

    I collect shot glasses from places I’ve visited.

  23. Pavlos says:

    My wife and kids would love this game!

  24. Joaquim Semeano says:

    It looks good.

  25. Kristy Reid says:

    I’d like to get this for my Mother-in-law. I think she would really enjoy it.

  26. James says:

    My family would like this

  27. Darren Green says:

    I do like collecting random things, so my whatnot cabinet would be filled with whatever. My mother would really enjoy this game.

  28. Jessica Peeling says:

    I would give this to my friend’s family! I collect things like shells and snowglobes

  29. Jordan Binkerd says:

    Random pop culture goodies. Mostly Star Wars or Marvel….

  30. Sue E says:

    I have also sent ourselves postcards from wherever we traveled.
    Our daughter, Rachel might appreciate this.

  31. Elena says:

    My sister!

  32. Paul Johnston says:

    My wife would love this game!

  33. william gossage says:

    I collect salt and pepper shakers

  34. Ed says:

    My wife would like this game.

  35. Sue E says:

    I would store something sentimental.
    I would want this for myself. The kids are grown so it will last longer!

  36. Piroska says:

    My granddaughter would love it. She collects LOL dolls, and they have all sorts of mini stuff.

  37. Kelly M. says:

    My oldest nephew would love this game; he’s in the right age range. My other nephews and niece are probably still too young for it, but I’m sure the oldest would have a lot of fun with it.

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