Thursday, December 31, 2020
Wednesday, December 30, 2020
We are working on our list of the Used board, card and RPG games in the store that are not expensive enough to justify listing on eBay. The list separates the games into board and card and RPG and gives the title, publisher , price and if there is anything special about the games, such as missing or extra pieces. We endeavor to add a few items to the list each day so if you do not live in the area, here is a hand way to check our stock.
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Got an email from my friend Mary Alice Wilson, who owns Dark Star Books in Yellow Springs, OH on how he store is handling the epidemic
? I received the following response, reprinted with her permission, from Mary Alice Wilson, owner of Dark Star Books in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
“Dark Star is doing ok with ebay and one employee. Our comic guy whom we laid off, is getting the unemployment boost to his check . The check is for more than his salary. he was hinting it would be good thing if he stayed laid off. and that we hire a newbie. Kate wasn't good with that idea!
Our Gov. De Wine just announced plans for the future. First doctor, dentist and then veterinarian. then construction and factory work. and on May 12, WE can open. Already have the $335 plastic shield at cash register. trying to buy a large hand sanitizer dispenser for at the front door, which is hard to find. However, i could see Magic and Pokemon games with a plastic shield between the players across from each other. I don't really know much about gaming, but it might work.
One of our staff has been making masks like a demon - and today i saw one with clear plastic over the mouth area, so folks a little hard of hearing, like me, can read lips a bit. i either have to have visitors lift the mask up or have someone tell me what they said. Getting folks to just talk louder doesn't seem to be in my skill set. Our staff mask maker said, “oh yes, I know about those”. Well, MAKE some, for goodness sake. i wouldn't know how. I said, there is one thing a comic book store has, is plastic, and Mylar.
Hoarding is great! I don't know why I bought - and much less KEPT - bathroom decals from the 30's; a whole box full of boxed 12" figures from the 70'S (well i know NOW it was a good idea - best one sold for $400); boxes full of mads and cracked and warren mags like elvira.....we have a double house. The other side was was where we put stuff we didn't know what to do with after we bought it. or stuff that came in while buying things we DID know what to do with. but along comes our staff member Kate and her pop culture know how, and all that stuff now has price tags. Being in the book biz means we had hoarded lots of first editions for when we got an on-line presence. Well we have that now, and 1700+ items currently listed. Some of the things that sell are from early days. we sold something the other day that had been on eBay for 10 years, maybe, and i cringed at the way it was listed and the price - too low - but hey, it sold, that's all good.
Where do I sell online? Ebay, baby! and abe and amazon. Gary does abe, which is strictly books. He also does amazon - and Kate and staff do ebay. and the latter does amazingly well. if there is someone out there that wants to pay some outrageous price - and remember this is being available to everyone in the world with an internet device - that person can find us. They would NEVER find us on our website. The most looked at items on our website are cat pictures. (They are really cool; kate finally put up a video.) Really glad to hear from you.”
Monday, December 28, 2020
WOTC has been doing a pretty good job of weekly disseminating both basic and novel ideas used by other stores to keep their customers coming back and making customers feel special. However, even though it is far easier to generate additional sales from existing customers, at some point you need to get your name out in front of new potential customers and get them into the store. Without a flow of new customers, a store will eventually tap out its existing customer base and see flatlined sales. I wanted to suggest three ways to get your name in front of new customers. As a savvy store owner (or publisher) you are likely already but just in case you’re not:
1. Social Media—the great thing about social media is that it is free, to start. Set up an account on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, maybe even Vine, Snapchap and Instagram. Unfortunately, due to the ways in which the various social media sources have tweaked their software, you now really do have to spend money in order to get your name and posts out in front of potential customers. The great thing about social media it that you start out for as little as 5 bucks to boost a Facebook post and have a lot more control over who will see it than you would with advertising in traditional formats. Facebook, and other forms of social media, allow you to have friends and friends of friends see your boosted posts or you can keep them from seeing them and spend your money to reach a targeted market that’s not already familiar with your company. I know stores spending 4 figures just on monthly boosting of social media.
2. Join Civic Organizations—Become a member of organizations like your local Chamber of Commerce or Rotary Club or Kiwanis or Jaycees or Main Street. Not only do they work to better the community, and he better your community is doing , the better your business will do, but becoming a member allows you to take advantage of the services the organization offers. For example, as a member of our local Chamber of Commerce, I can send out promotions and notices to all other Chamber members , many of whom would have no idea what the store sells. Also, if you have some sort of negative event take place, a position as a recognized member of the local community helps mitigate the effects of bad publicity.
3. Press Releases—The local media is always looking for local news and your store (or company) is newsworthy, whether you are hosting an event, are hiring new staff or even have a list of the top 5 games in your community for the year. This last one is one we sent out and we got a spot on local TV as well as mentions in two local papers, all for about half an hour’s work and another 5 minutes or so emailing them to the local media. Remember, you may not follow local news much but there are a lot of people that do, people who may not know you exist but have money to spend on what you are selling. Don’t know how to write a press release? Search for “sample press release” on the interwebs or hire a local journalism student to write one for you.
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Well, that didn’t last long. The $349 billion appropriated for the CARES act and the Paycheck Protection Plan, which was a major component of the Act, ran out after about 2 week. Of course, it did not help that several chains, such as Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Potbelly Sandwich Shop applied for loans/grants under the program and received $10 million each ($20 million in the case of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, since the corporation had two different subsidiaries apply), the maximum allowable under the PPP. Under the plan, the government considered any business employing fewer than 500 people a small business. I would wager that is 450 more than 95% of the companies in the game industry employ. With the average loan, according to the SBA, running just under $240,000 and over 1.3 million loans, at least, approved, it is no wonder the program ran out of funds so quickly. I do find it interesting that, since the CARES Act does not require the SBA to release loan/grant amounts, it has declined to do so. The only reason we know about the $10 million loans some corporations received is because they are publicly traded corporations and required by law and their charters to make that sort of information publicly available. Privately held companies and corporations are under no such requirement and have no legal obligation to do so. Several members of Congress are pushing the SBA to release the names of organizations that received CARES loans. We will see if their badgering of the SBA, which gave out more money in the past fourteen days than it had loaned out in the past 14 years, pushes the SBA to make public the names of other companies that received loans.
Meanwhile Congress is looking at putting more money into the PPP but the plan has run into an impasse with some members of Congress wanting to just appropriate more money for the PPP as it stands, while others want to add wording to a second funding proposal that targets more new funds towards more specific parts of the economy, including hospitals , state and local governments and food assistance. Until some agreement is reached, which will probably include adding the extra funds for hospitals and state and local governments, we should not expect to see any more money coming immediately from the Federal Government, unless you are someone who gets your tax refund in the form of a check, in which case you can expect to see those funds show up anywhere from early May through mid-September.
Saturday, December 26, 2020
Thursday, December 24, 2020
Wednesday, December 23, 2020
We are open regular hours today and Christmas Eve and will offer free gift wrapping both days. We still have a pretty good stock of games and graphic novels with copies of Wingspan, Root and Everdell in stock as of last night.
Tuesday, December 22, 2020
Monday, December 21, 2020
We have one of the Advent Dice Calendars left, which is th eonly plac eyou can find the set of Q-Workshop Santa Dice. We have the D&D Adventure Begins Boardgame, which teaches people the fundamentals of D&D as well as the Heroes Feast D&D Cookbook
Saturday, December 19, 2020
According to a post on her Facebook page, The lawsuit against WOTC by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman has been voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs, Weiss and Hickman. This likely means that the parties have come to some sort of agreement which we may or may not learn more about depending on if there is a NDA or not
I know some of you have seen that our lawsuit against WoTC was dismissed. I can't say anything yet, but watch for exciting news in the weeks to come!
Thursday, December 17, 2020
For those interested, Free Comic Book Day in 2021 will take place on August 14, the 2nd Saturday in August. Typically the event takes place the first Saturday in May but the hope is that the pandemic will be enough under control by mid-August that people will be able to congregate in the size of crowds that FCBD normally brings, without increasing the likelihood of spreading COVID-19
Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Just a reminder that we are still getting restocks in but if you want something from Games Workshop that we do not have on the shelf, we likely will not be able to get it until after Christmas. This week's new releases will arrive on time and we do have restocks coming in from Asmodee and Army Painter, so you can paint your new miniatures.
Tuesday, December 15, 2020
We put in our weekly order for Games Workshop products on Tuesday about 1 to 2 p.m. One we put that order in, our order for new releases, which hit the shelf on Saturday, is locked in and we cannot add to it until the following week. Due to COVID-19 and shipping problems, orders for new products releasing each week will arrive by the Saturday they are scheduled to release. GW is very good about that. Unfortunately, this means that restocks are running 1-2 weeks slow. In normal times, we put the order in on Tuesday and both new releases and restocks arrive in time for Saturday release.
Currently however, new releases ship first and get here by Saturday. Restocks are treated with far less priority and will arrive a week or so later. If you see an item announced on the GW website that you want to be sure of getting on release date, please let us know by Monday evening so we can get it on the Tuesday order and have it here on time on Saturday
Monday, December 14, 2020
Looks like Chris Pine, next appearing in Wonder Woman 1984, may have attached himself to the long gestating D&D movie. Two previous D&D movies were made, both pretty bad, and a third one has remained in limbo due to legal disagreements over who had the rights to the D&D property. Sounds as if they may have that sorted out now
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Saturday, December 12, 2020
Just received a restock of comic supplies including current sized bags and boards as well as hard toploaders, which have been out of stock nationwide for months. as well as the Betrayal line, including Betrayal at House on the Hill, Betrayal at Balder's Gate, Widow's Walk and Betrayal at Mystery Mansion.
Thursday, December 10, 2020
We did get 3 more Battle Forces from Games Workshop: Chaos Space Marines, Tyrannids and Tzeentch. So if you wanted one and missed out, now is your opportunity. The Warhammer 40,000 sets are selling for for 20-30% above MSRP online already.
Starting tomorrow, we will offer free gift wrapping on purchases made here. We will wrap items purchased elsewhere but the price will depend on the size and complexity of the item.
Feel free to leave a tip for the staff member doing the wrapping. They get to keep any and all tips.
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Monday, December 7, 2020
Remember, we are a drop off point for the Scouting for Food program. Until Dec. 13, drop off half a dozen food items (no ramen or tomato sauce) and we will give you a set of dice. Note that abusing the program, such as bringing the minimum amount of food several days in arow to get a set of dice, will cause us to end the offer.
Sunday, December 6, 2020
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Releasing December 12th
This week we release Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm, the latest version of the award winning tabletop game, together with a themed Direchasm Counter Set, Deck Box and two Grand Alliance Dice Packs – Order and Chaos.
We also go big on Warcry, with four brand new Warcry Battletomes – one for each Grand Alliance!
And that’s not all, as we also release the Tome of Champions 2020 expansion, four new Warband sets (of existing miniatures), and four new Grand Alliance Dice Sets.
Black Library join the occasion with Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm, the official tie-in novel to the brand new game, as well as Ephrael Stern: The Heretic Saint, only previously available as a limited edition novel.
It can be added to your orders starting Thursday 12-03-20.
The new releases have a street release date of Saturday 12-12-20.
Friday, December 4, 2020
Apparently Carbondale Main Street will host a downtown cookie walk tomorrow. Cannot find any information about it on their website or Facebook page but we will participate. The plan is to have a map posted somewhere and tables with cookies set up in front of participating businesses. No idea what time though. However, while they last, we will have cookies inside the store.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
You are welcome to use the game room as long as you are playing in one of our regularly scheduled events.
If you want to use the room for other play we ask that you contact us at least 2 hours ahead of time so that we can make sure that you do not conflict with one of our scheduled games. We also ask that you keep the group to less than 4 people and that at least one of them has made a purchase from us of something other than snacks within the past month. It does cost us to provide the gaming space, after all.
Wednesday, December 2, 2020
Tuesday, December 1, 2020
Well, the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything reinforced my long held belief that player accessories outsell DM accessories by a factor of, oh about 10 to one or so. Case in point, we blew through our order of 25 copies of Tasha’s Cauldron in about 2 days and have yet to sell one of the Wilderness DM Screens.. Wizards, more player sourcebooks, fewer $50 campaigns.
The lawsuit filed by Gale Force 9 against WOTC is the second high profile lawsuit filed against Wizards in the past few months. https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47010/gale-force-nine-sues-wizards-coast The first, a lawsuit by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, was filed last October and alleges that, after entering into an agreement to publish a new series of Dragonlance novels with Weis and Hickman in 2017, WOTC notified the authors that it would no longer approve any future drafts, effectively killing the project. You can read the Weis and Hickman lawsuit here https://www.scribd.com/document/480740675/Margaret-Weis-LLC-and-Tracy-Hickman-v-Wizards-of-The-Coast-LLC?campaign=SkimbitLtd&ad_group=66960X1516586X335a223495fd2afffb96e5e4c7f7c54f&keyword=660149026&source=hp_affiliate&medium=affiliate#from_embed&referrer=polygon.com&sref=https://www.polygon.com/2020/10/19/21523673/dragonlance-authors-weis-hickman-sue-wizards-of-the-coast-dungeons-and-dragons&xcust=___pl__e_21287714__r_jenniferrpovey.medium.com/so-
Both lawsuits come on the heels of moves by Wizards to ban controversial Magic cards https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/45914/rolling-for-initiative-another-week-turmoil-discuss and to eliminate the concept of inherently evil races as well as cultural stereotyping (see Vishanti for example) from Dungeons and Dragons materials https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/diversity-and-dnd and one could be excused for thinking that the decision not to publish the contracted Dragonlance novels could have something to do with Wizards desire to eliminate the concept of inherently evil races from its published materials. After all, the concepts of good, evil and neutrality are core concepts in the Dragonlance mythos and draconians have been presented in the series from the start as an inherently evil race, something that Wizards is disavowing and actively working to distance itself from. Speaking as a non-lawyer with no inside information about the situation, since the first novel was completed before Wizards’ change in view of evil races, it is reasonable to assume that the ethical views found throughout the previous Dragonlance novels would appear in the new ones, leaving Wizards with a few choices, kill the project completely, publish the first novel as presented under contract and risk backlash or go back to Weis and Hickman and ask for a rewrite of the approved first novel to bring it into line with current Wizards/D&D standards none of which are a particularly cost0-effective option. My bet is this drags out for a few years, like the long gestating D&D movie, and then the parties quietly settle https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/32214/d-d-movie-set-move-ahead
The Gale Force 9 situation has more direct impact on the game industry, especially game retailers. While the Weiss Hickman lawsuit deprives stores of an additional property to sell, the Gale Force 9 suit threatens to put an end to the sales of their more profitable ancillary product lines, the D&D 5th edition spell cards. These, and the D&D/Pathfinder miniatures from WizKids are our best-selling non Wizards Dungeons and Dragons products. As noted above, I am not a lawyer but from my reading of the complaint, it appears that WOTC has seized upon something that could easily be rectified by GF9 and is using it as a justification for getting out of the contract. Why? Maybe 6th Edition on the horizon and Wizards is cleaning up its licenses? Your thoughts on either lawsuit? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, November 30, 2020
Sunday, November 29, 2020
We are getting in 10 of the Holiday Battleforces, 1 of each of the available armies. So far, we have pre-orders on :
Chaos Space Marines
These were produced to order and we had to order in lots of 4, 6 or 10. We opted for 10 to bring in one of each so if you want one please contact us quickly.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
Tomorrow: Open at Noon Please wear a mask. We will happily deliver to the parking lot or in Carbondale ($50 minimum please)
Friday, November 27, 2020
Bring in 10 non-perishable food items and get a free pack of dice
Buy a copy of King of Tokyo or King of New York and get your choice of a promotional item for the game. Bring in a copy you have already purchased and get a promo card.
Magic Collector Boosters buy one, get one at half off
Regularly priced Bagged and boarded back issues, buy one get one free
New Blood Bowl on sale
Epic of the Dragon King pre-release kits available
Get 2 stamps on a Castle Card, receive a Castle Perilous Games & Books Surprise Discount Envelope.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
All bagged and boarded comics are buy one get one Free
All Magic Collector boosters are Buy 1 get one at Half off
New Blood Bowl releases
Epic of the Dragon King pre-release kits for Force of Will 1-3 kits $25 each 4 or more $20 each
Get a CP Discount coupon envelope with 2 stamps on your Castle Card. Limit one envelope per day.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Monday, November 23, 2020
Sunday, November 22, 2020
The store will open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving day. We will start giving away the Black Friday Discount envelopes while quantities last. Earn 2 stamps on a Castle Card, get an envelope containing a discount from 5 to 25% off. The catch is, the envelope is sealed and you have to open it before us at the time of purchase to take advantage of it.
We will also have the new Blood Bowl rules, rulebook , Necromantic Horror team and Spike Journal as well as the new Force of Will set available for purchase and buy one get one free on all bagged and boarded comics from the back issue room.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
We stock in a number of Brian K. Morris' books on the Local Artist shelf at the front of the store.
Illinois native, BRIAN K. MORRIS, is an independent publisher of novels and comics, a freelance author, an "award-winning" playwright, and former morticians assistant.
Brian's work blends horror and contemporary fantasy with humor and leans towards strong female characters. He's sold books on three different continents and livecasts two shows on YouTube and Facebook, Nevermind the Furthermore and Clever Title Pending.
Brian lives in Central Indiana (but keeps his ties to Southern Illinois) with his wife, no children, no pets, and too many comic books.
Friday, November 20, 2020
Thursday, November 19, 2020
The full Commander legends goes on sale tomorrow with draft boosters, collector boosters and pre-constructed decks. Draft packs are $3.99, Collector boosters are $29.99 and pre-constructed decks are $19.99. You can read more about what comes in the set here.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Drew Tucker, one of the original 25 artists for Magic, graduated from SIUC with a Graphic Design degree. After a couple of years, he moved to the Seattle area and , while he had done commercial work for a few years, got his first illustration commission from Wizards of the Coast for Magic. Eventually he moved back to the Carbondale area and taught art and graphic design at John A. Logan College for a number of years, until the Rauner administration when potential budget cuts caused him to find a position outside the area.
Tuesday, November 17, 2020
Doors will open from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day and then regular hours the rest of the weekend. We have 100 Black Friday Weekend Discount Envelopes to give away. Get two stamps on a Castle Card and get a discount envelope. Only one discount envelope per customer per day and only good while the 100 we have last. Discounts range from 5% to 25% and do stack with a Preferred Customer Card.
How much is the discount? It is a surprise. You open the envelope after we have totaled your purchase and apply the discount to the total. Envelopes opened before the purchase are void. If you make a mail purchase and request one, we will include a discount envelope while they remain in stock. Discounts are good on in-stock merchandise from Nov.26 through Dec. 31.
Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, both premium and regular covers, arrived today along with the wilderness specific D&D DM Screen. This comes with charts specifically designed for wilderness adventuring as well as separate carts and charts for the GM to use.
Sunday, November 15, 2020
Since we had a customer ask, yes, you can just send us money and we will select games for you to donate to the Toys for Tots program. We will take 40% off the list price of the game or toy so we had one $50 donation purchase about $90 worth of games for the program. However, if you opt for this method, you leave it up to us to select the game. If you want to make the choice you need to purchase them under the original buy one at full price, buy one at 40% off program.
Saturday, November 14, 2020
I have no idea how this house acquired the name “Rain House” but Jim Justus refers to it by that name in his 2009 book Weird Egypt. The house stands at the corner of Poplar and Oak and, back in 1982, was the property of a SIUC marketing professor by the name of Sion Raveed, who before coming to the university had been involved in some questionable international money transactions. Along with teaching at SIUC, Raveed also acquired several houses in the Poplar Street area, subdividing and renting them out to students. At the time, SIUC was still seeing high numbers of student enrolling, finally peaking at around 24,000 about 1990. This influx of students produced a concurrent demand for student housing. Many of the mobile homes parked around the city date back to this era and Raveed took full advantage of the demand, in the case of Rain House hanging curtains to divide the basement into living quarters.
Spring break of 1982 found Carbondale deserted, as students and faculty both deserted the town for other climes. Most faculty and students returned to class the Monday after break, Raveed a noticeable absence. A second day passed without Raveed showing for classes. Meanwhile, the residents of Rain House started noticing a foul odor coming from the basement. Originally thought of as a particularly vile bad of laundry left by a student that had not yet returned, the smell increased in foulness. Attempts to contact Raveed to have something done about it proved futile so a house resident finally ventured into the laundry room from whence the stench emanated. Finding a laundry bag the source of the smell, the student opened it and inside found Raveed’s body stuffed inside with over a dozen stab wounds in the chest.
Due to Raveed’s international connections, this is the only time, as far as I know, that local, state and federal authorities all investigated the same crime. Unfortunately, despite the amount of investigative power focused on the murder, the authorities did not capture a suspect until a couple of years later when Raveed’s former property manager, who had left Carbondale for Canada, confessed to his current girlfriend that he had stabbed Raveed during an argument. Extradited to the US, he was tried and convicted. Even Raveed’s funeral was somewhat strange as only a few members of the marketing faculty along with one lone woman attended the funeral in Pleasant Grove Memorial Park off old Highway 13. Saying she was his sister, she quickly wrapped up his affairs and left, never, as far as I know, visiting the grave or Carbondale again. If you want to visit Sion Raveed’s grave, it is located along the road in the far right corner of Pleasant Grove but be sure to stop by during daylight hours
Over the years, residents have reported the smells of both something dead and a strong cigar (Raveed was known to enjoy a good cigar). A strong breeze has been felt moving through the house and televisions have changed channels by themselves. Lights and fans turn on and off by themselves and dogs have always been uncomfortable there. If you stop by, remember the house is private property and best viewed from the sidewalk.
Thursday, November 12, 2020
If you buy one of the new King of Tokyo Dark games between now and Christmas, we will have a set of promo cards and pieces for you to select from. If you buy one before the promos arrive, we will take your name and contact info and will get ahold of you when they arrive.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
We are down to 2 pre-release kits, at $40 each, and 1 box of commander Legends boosters available for purchase and pickup this weekend. Remember, if you prepaid for a pre-release kit or booster box, you can pick it up after opening time on Friday.
Monday, November 9, 2020
A game poem is a one page game. It could be a role playing game or some other time of game. Basically it is a little game that you can pick up, read the rules and start playing immediately with games taking 15 minutes or less. The publisher released a signed book of 24 of them at GenCon 2010. It is a interesting idea that gets play among fans of indie RPGs.
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Here are the releases coming out this Saturday. Get us an order in by 9 p.m. tomorrow if you want anything on initial release
This year’s Christmas miniature is Jakkob Bugmansson XI, Brewmaster General – non other than the descendent of the most illustrious Josef Bugman!
The Shadow and Pain battle box for Warhammer Age of Sigmar, features the rival forces of Slaanesh and Morathi.
We launch the Broken Realms series with four new army box sets.
And we also launch Series 3 of the ever-popular and highly-collectible Space Marine Heroes.
This week Black Library release a host of new titles including Covens of Blood by Anna Stephens, Liane Merciel and Jamie Crisalli, the Heirs of Grimnir audiobook by David Guymer, and five new short stories.
Saturday, November 7, 2020
Since our Teen Saturday D&D group has dwindled over the months of the pandemic, we have decided to open it up to older players but keep it safe for younger players as well so no cursing or inappropriate player behavior will be tolerated.
Friday, November 6, 2020
Thursday, November 5, 2020
Our pre-orders for Commander Legends draft booster boxes close at 6 p.m. on November 8th. After that the price will increase from the pre-order price of $129.99. You will be able to pick up your draft booster boxes on Nov. 13.
Wednesday, November 4, 2020
We really have a glut of gaming products hitting the market and really have had for the past few years. It is to the point, though, that only a web based store can offer every thing that comes out on a monthly basis and even then, stocking them all would tie up a whole lot of warehouse space, meaning that they likely receive an order, forward it on to the publisher, and then take possession of it to ship onto the customer. What brings me to this conclusion? The current issues of Meeple Monthly and Game Trade Magazine.
I did a quick count of the number of games and expansions offered in each, not counting novels and non-fiction books or miniatures figures, and came out with over 120 different items. Of course, publishers want to produce new products for their customer base and there are some customers, not many, unfortunately, who will buy everything that releases new for a game. If we count in miniatures and books, we are looking at somewhere in the neighborhood of over 150 new items each month. That works out to about 1800 to 2000 new gaming products every year. That is a lot of products for the market to absorb. Online stores have infinite shelf and display space to display products but for the brick and mortar store, carrying that many new products on top of perennial selling products like D&D, Catan, Betray at House on the Hill, Fluxx, Dead of Winter, Munchkin, Gloom, etc. (though some companies are considerately making the FLGS job easier by offering exclusives to chain stores such as Target, Barnes and Noble and Walgreens, meaning we don’t have to worry about stocking them, but that is a subject for another column).
So we have a lot of games that already sell on a regular basis AND we have about 1500 or so new products releasing every year, more than the market can reasonably absorb. A rule of thumb is that approximately 10% of the products released during a year will still sell 5 years for the date of release, meaning that of those 1500 products releasing this year, only roughly 150 will still be sought by customers 5 years from now.
The trick, and the job of the retailer, is to figure out what customers will want. If word of mouth starts trending on a product and we start seeing mentions of it in the mass media, such as what happened with Catan (popular among gamers in the know since the 1990s) and Cards Against Humanity, customer will come in asking for the game. The other thing really driving game sales is the TableTop effect, expanded to other media. A game appearing on TableTop or Watch It Played or getting lots of attention at GenCon creates awareness among other customers, creating positive word of mouth and driving sales.
The problem occurs when neither of these situations happens. A publisher sells a game through the channel and the distributor and retailer have to decide whether to stock it or not. If they do and it doesn’t sell, it winds up on a distributor’s sale list or the retailer’s clearance table, which unfortunately happens way too often.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
We expect the next D&D book Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, to arrive on Nov. 17th with two different covers. We have ordered heavily on the alternative FLGS cover but if you want to be sure of getting one, put in a preorder.
We are taking pre-orders on Commander Legends through Nov. 8th. Draft booster Boxes are $129.99 and Collector Boosters are $274.99. We expect Draft Booster Boxes to arrive for pick up on Nov. 13 and Collector Boosters on Nov.20th.
Sunday, November 1, 2020
The Carbondale Main Street Candy Scavenger Hunt was a resounding success with some 150-200 kids running from store to store to get the candy placed on table outside of them. The staff had made up several hundred bags of treats and ran out about 3:30 in the afternoon. Happily, we at the store were also giving out candy and had bought a couple of extra bags which we gave to the Main Street staff to replenish their tables. Incidentally, the store had about 70 trick or treaters over the course of the day, starting out about 10 a.m. and petering out about 7 p.m.
Drove through downtown after 9 p.m. and only saw two groups of costumers walking around. A couple of the bars may have been having "private parties" inside as a few people were hanging around outside a few but there was no "Open" sign on.
Saturday, October 31, 2020
Here are some interesting Halloween related links for you to browse on this holiday
What is the Most Popular Halloween Candy in Your State? In Illinois it is KitKat
Friday, October 30, 2020
What's in a Commander Legends Draft Booster?
Every Commander Legends Draft Booster Pack contains two legendary cards. Some are reprints of classic commanders, others are among the seventy-one potential commanders introduced in the set.
Commander Legends also debuts a special kind of foil—foil-etched cards with beautiful metallic frames. In some Commander Legends Draft Boosters, you can find a foil-etched showcase legend or regular foil borderless planeswalker.
Each Commander Legends Draft Booster contains 20 Magic cards + one ad/token, with two legends, at least one rare, and one foil.
What's in a Commander Legends Collector Booster?
Collector Boosters are a shortcut to the coolest cards in Commander Legends.
Collector boosters are the only Commander Legends booster packs where you're sure to find foil-etched legends—there are two to three in every pack.
Every Commander Legends Collector Booster pack contains five legendary cards, with at least one showcase mythic reprint.
Not found in any other Commander Legends booster packs, Collector Boosters contain at least two extended-art cards, with a chance of up to five.
They also include up to six assorted rare and mythic rare cards, with a minimum of four rares in every pack.
Here's a breakdown of what you'll find in a Commander Legends Collector Booster:
- 2 extended-art cards (1 C/U and 1 R/M)
- 1 foil-etched showcase legendary mythic
- 1 foil-etched showcase legendary R/M or foil borderless planeswalker
- 1 foil-etched showcase legendary uncommon or foil-etched showcase Prismatic Piper
- 1 foil rare or mythic rare (30% chance of extended-art foil)
- 2 foil legendary U/R/M
- 2 foil uncommons (each with a 20% chance of being upgraded to a foil extended-art common or uncommon)
- 5 foil commons
- 1 foil token
Thursday, October 29, 2020
I WALK WITH MONSTERS, releasing in November,is a thrilling, brutal, gorgeous rural horror story unlike anything on the stands. This comic seizes hold of you from the very first page, and never lets go. The first issue sets in motion the monstrous conflict toward which the series builds, and there’s no escaping until the grim conclusion. It’s perfect for anyone who enjoys Something is Killing the Children, Gideon Falls, Harrow County, The Autumnal, or any other character driven horror.
I WALK WITH MONSTERS is written by Paul Cornell (Saucer State, Action Comics, Wolverine), drawn by rockstar artist Sally Cantirino, with colors by Dearbhla Kelly, letters by Andworld, and design by Tim Daniel.
1. Could you describe I walk with Monsters in one sentence?
2. Fans of what type of books will like I Walk with Monsters?
5. How many issues is the story? Is this a miniseries or ongoing?
6. Paul, Who are some of your influences, both in the comic field and in other media?
Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Turning right on Oakland Avenue where it intersects with West Main Street and heading north will soon bring you to Oakland Cemetary. While Oakland Cemetery is older and has the mystery sarcophagus which visitors can see at any time, Oakland Cemetery has far more incidents of ghosts and just downright strange incidents. Both J. C. and Luella Hundley, whom you might remember from the earlier article on Hundley House, as is Hundley’s son (and prime suspect in their murder) Virgil. There is at least one zinc tombstone in the cemetery. Zinc proved a popular material for tombstones for a period in the 1870s as it was cheaper and easier to form than granite and did not oxidize like bronze. However, stones made from it are hollow and thus more susceptible to damage than granite or bronze work is. With some searching, oblong depressions can be found along the north edge of the cemetery in blocks 80, 81 and 82. This marks the area of a Potter’s Field where transients and those too poor to afford a funeral and stone were buried, generally in a cheap wooden coffin. As the coffin decayed, the ground above it collapsed forming the depression. During the late 1800s, when the ICRR ran along the north side of the cemetery, if a hobo or transient was found dead on the train, workers would wrap them up and, when the train passed by a local cemetery like Oakland, pitch the body off the train into the cemetery, where it would receive a pauper’s burial the next day. Those unfortunate souls may account for the ghostly lights that passersby at night on North Oakland have reported seeing floating along the north edge of the cemetery and over the abandoned ICRR railbed (tracks were removed in the 1990s). In case you fancy a short road trip, similar lights have been spotted along the railroad tracks near Boskydell and Makanda.
There have also been reports of a young woman dressed in white seen walking among the stones on the eastern side of the cemetery. This may related to the stone of Thelma Wise, age 26 at the time of her death. Her stone, also in the eastern part of Oakland, reads “Murdered by Unknown Hands”, though official records indicate she died a suicide in Chicago and returned by her family to Carbondale for burial.
There is also the Schwartz Mausoleum, also located in the eastern section of the cemetery. People have reported it illuminated from inside after dark as well as finding the doors unlocked on occasion. One story tells of a young man who, while in the cemetery after dark (don’t do this, it is a violation of Carbondale city ordinances), saw the lighted mausoleum and found the door open. Bravely, or foolhardily, he entered only to see the image of a young woman in a stained glass panel at the other end of the crypt turn and look at him. Naturally, he passed out, only to wake the next morning on the cemetery grass outside the mausoleum . Up until about a decade ago, a visitor to the mausoleum early in the morning (after 6 a.m. , remember those ordinances), a visitor would often find holy candles and cards on the low steps leading to the door. However, in recent years, either those who left them have stopped or the city has been much more diligent about removing them.
So take your pick: glowing lights, ghostly woman or spooky mausoleum. Just be sure to visit Oakland Cemetery during daylight hours and content yourself with watching from the road after dark.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Not only is this the time of year for big holiday game purchases, like Star Wars Armada from Fantasy Flight, Fortune and Glory from Flying Frog or Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calith from Games Workshop, any of which will set you back $100 or more, but the season also calls for smaller presents as well, for stocking stuffers, secret Santas or gift exchange. For these, you want a game that provides a lot of fun without melting down your pocketbook. Here are some suggestions:
1. Love Letter from AEG. This is Castle Perilous Games & Books Selected Stocking Stuffer of the Season for several reasons. First, Love Letter is a lot of fun, plays quickly and offers quite a bit of replay value, especially with the number of variants that AEG has released. In addition, it boasts a great price point at $9.99 for the basic game and only $10.99 for the Batman, Hobbit and Adventure Time variants. There’s even a Letters to Santa version if you want to get really thematic. Add in that the game is attractively packaged in both boxed and clamshell versions and you have a great stocking stuffer.
2. Timeline from Asmodee. Gnome Games picked this one as its Stocking Stuffer of 2015 for the same reasons Castle Perilous Games & Books chose Love Letter (In fact, Gnome Games selected Love Letter as its Stocking Stuffer for 2013). Timeline comes packaged in an attractive tin that fits neatly into a stocking, has an equally attractive $14.99 price point and offers plenty of replayability. Add in the fact that it actually teaches a bit of history and you have an all-around great choice.
3. Fluxx from Looney Labs. At $16 to $20, Fluxx is a bit more expensive than the first two options but still comparatively cheap and comes in a wide variety of variations. You can buy Nature Fluxx, Stoner Fluxx, Star Fluxx, Cthulhu Fluxx, Pirate Fluxx, Batman Fluxx or even, should your tastes run that way, just plain Fluxx. The number of Fluxx games make it relatively easy to find a version that would appeal to anyone on your Secret Santa or gift exchange list. In addition, since the rules change with every game, even with every hand, Fluxx, whatever version you buy, offers immense replayability.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Sunday, October 25, 2020
Got curious as to what had happened with Unofficial Halloween this year so took a drive around last night about 10 p.m. Saw one good sized house party on West Main but nothing along South University or S. Illinois. did see one couple waling on Illinois dressed as Deadpool and an angel but no indication as to where they were heading. I did hear that a number of students were out Friday night in costume but assume they were heading to private parties as nothing looked open on the Strip
Saturday, October 24, 2020
New Games Workshop releases for Halloween
This week we release Warcry Catacombs, the latest edition of skirmish warfare in the Age of Sigmar!
We also release a Warcry Catacombs Board Pack and Warcry Carry Case, together with four new Warcry Warbands.
An from the 41st Millennium, we release the long-awaited Space Marine Terminator Chaplain Tarentus. We can only get 5 of these for Halloween release so if you want one, be sure to pre-order it.
Gang warfare on Necromunda goes to the next level – literally – with the release of the Gang Stronghold scenery set!
The Orlocks receive an update with the House of Iron book, together with Gang Cards, Orlock Dice and a brand-new boxed set of Orlock Arms Masters and Wreckers.
The battlefields of the future shake again with the release of the Adeptus Titanicus Rulebook, together with the Crucible of Retribution expansion and Open Engine War Cards Pack.
And, from Black Library, Warcry, Blood of the Everchosen, Inferno! Volume 5 and Warhammer Horror: The Reverie.
Friday, October 23, 2020
Thursday, October 22, 2020
Faner Hall, named after SIUC Professor of English Robert Faner, who died in the 1960s, stands like a wall on the SIUC grounds as if it divided the old part of campus from the new. Dedicated in 1975, a campus legend says it was designed so as to frustrate any student protestors who attempted to take over the building as the administration could quickly seal off individual sections. A classic example of the Brutalist style of architecture popular at the time, the building houses many of the departments comprising SIUC’s core curriculum-anthropology, philosophy, English, criminal justice and economics among others, and if the stories are true, at least one ghost.
According to those who have reporting seeing, the ghost appears as a female student in her early twenties, with shoulder length brown hair, wearing a striped sweater (not the Freddy Kruger type), jeans and carrying a book bag. According to the story explaining her presence In what is after all a building of relatively recent construction, she fell, slipped or jumped from an upper floor of Faner onto the concrete plaza below. Of course, given the style of Faner’s construction, it would be very hard for anyone to fall from an upper floor of the building and a search of news records unsurprisingly turned up no reference to any such death. Still the stories persist and were fairly common on campus during the 1990s
Encounters with the girl generally took place during the evening and most often involved custodial staff cleaning up after most students and faculty had department for the day but enough students were in the building for evening classes that seeing one more did not seem out of place, at least at first. The most common stories involved a custodian sweeping in the hall, the girl walks past, the custodian turns around and the girl is gone. Another common story involved the cleaner sweeping the hallway, again the girl walks past, this time in the same direction. The girl turns a corner, the janitor follows a few seconds later and the girl has vanished. Granted, anyone who has ventured into Faner knows how easy it is to get lost in there, but it is not bad enough that someone can vanish in less than 5 seconds.
The best story of the Faner ghost involves one of the women’s bathrooms. A custodian was in it cleaning, when a young woman walked in and, ignoring the cleaner, entered one of the stalls and closed the door behind her. The woman went ahead with her work and finished cleaning, except for that one stall. Some fifteen minutes had passed and the custodian realized the girl had not emerged. Wondering if there was a problem, she walked over to the stall and asked “Excuse me, are you OK?” No response. She knocked on the door. The door slowly swung open , revealing the empty stall.
It appeared the Faner ghost might have departed the building, as no new stories about her cropped up for several years. Then on one of last year’s Haunted Carbondale tours, one of the participants said she had worked as a staff member for one of the departments in the building and had, as part of her job, worked late a number of evenings in the building. On several occasions, she heard a knock on the office door and opened it to find no-one there. At least twice, she opened the door to see a young woman walking away, not responding when she called after her. Maybe the Faner ghost does still walk the halls of the building after all.
A student was killed during the construction of Faner Hall when a load of construction materials fell on him, but since the DE story reports he was a fraternity member, it is doubtful he returned as a girl carrying a backpack.
Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Just in time for Halloween, it's the Ogre Zombie Painting Contest. Pick up one of our Ogre Zombie Paint Night kits, paint it up and post a picture in this event by 9p.m. On Oct 30. People will have until 6 p.m. on Nov. 1 (All Saints Day) to vote for their favorite paint jobs by liking the pictures. Figure with the most likes receives $20 in store credit. 2nd place gets $10. Gentlepainters, grab your brushes.
Tuesday, October 20, 2020
We are now taking pre-payment for Commander Legends. Draft Booster Boxes through November 8, or when wer run out of our allocation, are $129.99. Pre-release sets of 6 boosters are $30 for sets of 6 boosters if you pre-order 4 or more sealed deck sets. Pre-release sets of 6 boosters in quantities of 3 sets or less are $35 each. WOTC is not offering boxed pre-release kits as in the past, just the boosters.
Monday, October 19, 2020
Sunday, October 18, 2020
Releasing this Saturday from Games Workshop
This week the Necrons are reinforced with Ophydian Destroyers, the C’Tan Shard of the Void Dragon, the Convergence of Dominion and the return of a classic – the Necron Monolith.
But they’re not along as the Space Marines receive relief in the form of the Primaris Techmarine and Hammerfall Bunker.
And, from Black Library, Warhammer Chronicles: Elves brings together the works of Graham McNeill, while Nexus and Other Stories is a great introductory title for anyone just starting out in the hobby.