Monday, February 25, 2013

Why We Don't Have Zombie Dice

Although Pandemic's endemic out of stocks over the Christmas holidays attracted lots of attention from game stores, another TableTop-featured game was out of stock for the entire holiday shopping season and still has not come back into distribution.  Zombie Dice, both before and after its TableTop episode, sold steadily for us, and many other stores.  Much like Pandemic, none of my distributors have had it in stock since before Christmas but unlike Pandemic, Zombie Dice is available through multiple distributors and also unlike Pandemic's publisher, Steve Jackson Games has a pretty good track record of getting their out of stock products back into production very quickly.  This makes the three-month long absence of Zombie Dice quite surprising.  We can get Zombie Dice 2 without any difficulty but it is rather had to sell the expansion to people who don’t have the original game.  Here's hoping the out of stocks do not last much longer.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Gee Thanks, Games Workshop

Well, isn’t this just peachy.  From Games Workshop’s website:  

Death from the Skies brings the white-knuckle intensity of aerial combat in the 41st Millennium to your tabletop, featuring selected material from White Dwarf magazine, the Crusade of Fire supplement and exclusive new content. Exclusively available from, this 72-page, full colour softback compendium book is crammed with background information, gaming ideas and hobby inspiration to help you bring the battle for air superiority to life.

Not a mention of this when we put in orders last week.  According to some other retailers who I have heard from, they, being more tuned in to the Games Workshop rumor mill, had heard about it and asked their sales representatives, who either knew nothing about it or said the rulebook was just a rumor.  Going from rumor to offered item in less than a week is a pretty dang quick turnaround.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

More on the Pandemic Pre-release

The annoying thing about the early release of Pandemic 2nd edition to Target is that, unlike broken street dates on Magic and Yu Gi Oh products, theoretically, Z-man Games had much more control over the release of the second edition game and therefore should have managed to keep the February 6th release date.  WOTC and Konami both have a number of distributors to deal with regarding street dates and each distributor has hundreds of stores to deal with as well.  In the Pandemic case, Z-man had only one distributor with which to work and that distributor only had one account carrying the product.  I am not privy to the inner workings of that particular channel of distribution but I would imagine it not too difficult to make certain that Pandemic did not arrive in Target’s distribution center until just before the release date, or even after. 

I really doubt the amount of sales generated by the extra week of early release amounted to even a fraction of a rounding error on Target’s income statement.  Meanwhile, it cost stores in the game channel sales, generated negative publicity for the company,  and likely annoyed to no end Alliance Distribution, Z-man’s official distributor to the specialty game channel, and likely the recipient of hundreds of emails and calls from perturbed retailers, wondering why Target had the hotly anticipated reprint a week ahead of the scheduled release whilst they did not.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Gen Con Statistics

Gen Con just sent out the following press release highlighting some pretty impressive statistics:

Gen Con Indy 2013 Sets Multiple Pre-Registration Records
Four Years of Consecutive Growth on Opening Week

SEATTLE (February 5, 2013) - Gen Con Indy, The Best Four Days In Gaming!™ , has set Pre-Registration records in badge sales, exhibitor booth reservations, Very Important Gamer (VIG) package sell-through, event submissions, and hotel bookings. The convention, celebrating its 46th year, will take place at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN, from August 15-18, 2013.

“Having reached new records for convention attendance in the past two years, our expectations were high for our opening week, but this exceeded our already ambitious goals and estimates,” said Adrian Swartout, CEO of Gen Con LLC.

  • Pre-Registration badge sales for opening week increased 41% percent year-over-year, and have surpassed 2011 badge sales by 74% year-over-year.
  • Exhibit Hall booth space for Gen Con Indy 2013 has sold out, despite a 20,000 square footage increase in space this year.
  • VIG packages, offered at $540, sold out within three minutes of the launch of Badge Pre-Registration at noon (Eastern) on January 27, 2013.
  • Opening day hotel bookings jumped more than 17% from 2012, signaling an increase in those traveling to the show from outside the Indianapolis metropolitan area. Suburban hotel bookings also surged more than 378% year-over-year.
  • Early event submission, which closes on February 8, 2013, has surpassed more than 2,700 separate events. Last year at this time, 1468 events had been submitted.
“Indy is delighted to be the host city of the longest-running, best-attended gaming convention in the world,” said Leonard Hoops, president & CEO of Visit Indy.  “There’s nothing quite like Gen Con and we can’t wait to see to everyone in August.”

Friday, February 1, 2013

GateCrash Sales

We got in quite a stack of GateCrash boosters, Fatpacks and intro decks on Thursday.  Friday, the set launched and by 7 p.m. we had sold down about 2/3 of the pile.  Today was our best non-holiday season sales day ever.