We have not raised our prices on cardboard storage boxes for several years but the latest shipment of card storage boxes has increased in price as has most cardboard and plastic. The price on the card storage boxes has increased by 50 cents on the single long box and by $1 on the shoebox and larger boxes.
Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Here is the latest from WOTC regarding in store play. Basically, stores in North America currently cannot run sanctioned in-store events. We cannot report any sanctioned events to WOTC and cannot run an in-store pre-release tournament, even unsanctioned. Unsanctioned pre-release events are banned because pre-release materials can only be used at official pre-release events and the only official pre-release event is the Strixhaven Pre-release at home. Ergo, you can get the pre-release kit and run an even at home, but not here.
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
We never brought in any of the Funko boardgames, since the POP figures included with the games are not full size figures. However, if you are a POP collector and are looking for some of the small POP figures, or just want to try out the game, we have sever in the used game section now: Batman, Harry Potter, Rick and Morty and The Golden Girls. I would love to see the Golden Girls go up against a few of Batman's villains.
Tuesday, April 6, 2021
For some reason, WOTC has under produced Strixhaven Draft boosters and we have gotten severely allocated on them. Currently, it looks as if we will receive one case upon release. Plenty of Set and Collector boosters, of course, but draft boosters will be highly limited.
Monday, April 5, 2021
DCC Day is June 26 and we have just signed up for this year's DCC Day kits. We will have 20 copies of the free DCC Day 2021 Adventure Pack and 20 of the $9.99 DCC Day 2021 Limited Edition Adventure
Sunday, April 4, 2021
If you want to preorder Strixhaven at our pre-order prices, we will need you to put in your order and payment by next Sunday, April 11. Draft boxes are $109.99, Set boxes are $129.99 and Collector booster boxes are $274.99. Pre-release kits are $25 and you will need to select which School you want. We are limiting your choice to a total of 2 from each school, so you can order up to 10 kits but only 2 of each type. You can pick up your pre-release kits and Set boosters on April 16, while the other Strixhaven items can be picked up on the 23rd. WOTC has told us that draft boosters will be short supply for the first couple of weeks after the release date.
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Friday, April 2, 2021
Received an email from someone complaining about the pictures of kids we post on the store website who receive store credit from our "Great Games for Great Grades" program. They were not bothered about pictures of the kids on the website (We always get permission and NEVER tag them or use their names). Nope, the problem was that the kids in pictures from the past all have masks and the emailer was complaining about us "dehumanizing" the people in the pictures.
Of course, the person who emailed us through the store website included a fake email address so we were unable to respond to them.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Wednesday, March 31, 2021
Here is what is going on with Games Workshop, as far as we can tell. Early during the pandemic, the entire company shut down and restocks were unavailable. Around early May, they started again and shipments were pretty timely. Now for the last two months, restocks of regular products have taking 2-3 weeks to arrive. New releases arrive on time but we, for the past month or so, have had to start putting new release orders in the Thursday or Friday before the release date to make sure they arrive by Saturday.
Part of the problem is the supply chain. GW prints all of their books in China so restocks of books, once they sell out, are taking 4 to 6 months to arrive. Restocks of miniatures take about 1-2 months to come back into stock.
GW also says that, due to COVID social distancing, they are short staffed at their Memphis warehouse so shipments take longer and require more lead time to get packed. However, we have not seen similar problems with our other suppliers who still manage to get our ordered out on a timely basis so not sure how much credence to give this.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Sunday, March 28, 2021
Here is what we know on Pokemon availability: essentially nothing. We have standing orders with 2 distributors to send us whatever they can, which is not much. There are so many people looking for Pokemon that anything that comes in gets bought almost immediately. Flippers (people who buy the product at MSRP to resell it at a higher price)are following trucks to Wal-mart and Target to clear their shelves of new Pokemon boosters as soon as they hit the shelf. The demand, fueled by high prices paid for single Pokemon cards, vastly outstrips supply
We are breaking open at least one box boosters everytime we get one in, just so people who just want a few boosters have the opportunity to get some. However, we generally only find out we are receiving Pokemon about 2-3 days before it ships so we do not take pre-orders since we do not know what is coming or when it arrives.
Just thought you would like to know why it is so hard to find Pokemon boosters.
Saturday, March 27, 2021
Friday, March 26, 2021
Here is what is inside each Pre-release pack. While Quantities last or april 18th, they are $25 each or $20 each for 4 or More. After April 18th they are $30 each
What's in a Strixhaven Prerelease Pack?
It's time for fans to choose their college and get enrolled! There are five versions of Strixhaven Prerelease Packs, all themed around one of the five colleges:
Silverquill (Black/White): Stylish wordsmiths who master the magic of words, from inspiring battle poetry to biting arcane insults.
Prismari (Red/Blue): Artsy elementalists wielding fire and ice with spells that are spectacles of raw creativity.
Witherbloom (Green/Black): Witchy biologists who brew herbal concoctions to control the essence of life and death.
Lorehold (Red/White): Adventurous historians who bring the spirits of the past to life and call forth magic from ancient tomes.
Quandrix (Blue/Green): Quirky math magicians who study patterns and fractals to command and multiply the forces of nature.
Each Strixhaven Prerelease Pack contains 5 Strixhaven Draft Boosters, 1 Strixhaven College Booster (Rare/Mythic Rare card is from the Prerelease Pack's college), 1 foil promo-stamped Rare or Mythic Rare from the set, 1 Magic: The Gathering Arena code (in select regions), and 1 Spindown life counter.
Thursday, March 25, 2021
Campus Comics, located for years on South Illinois and more recently on East Main Street, has announced they are closing their Carbondale location and moving to a new spot in Murphysboro on Walnut Street near Murphysboro's Liberty Theater. Apparently opening under a new name as well.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
OK. here is the deal with Brzrkz foil Cover #1 and issue 2. If you buy the foil cover of #1, there is an insert. Hang onto it and your issue of number one, bring in both when you purchase Brzrkr #2 and you get a free copy of the 8th printing of Something is Killing the Children #1. Clear?
Monday, March 22, 2021
“Hope everyone has a great day”—Brian Dalrymple.
The above is one of Brian Dalrymple’s favorite farewells. I was shocked Friday when I opened up my social media and saw he had passed away. https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47899/r-i-p-brian-dalrymple Numerous people had already posted tributes to his life and expressions of sorrow at his death. As of this writing there is no word as to the reason, save for “natural causes”. I had known Brian for a couple of decades, primarily through meeting with him at various GAMA Trade Shows. I remember the cheerfulness with which he greeted everyone, the smile and especially the hat. Brian could easily be picked out of any crowd just by his white fedora. He was also well known for the length of time he had spent in the game industry and his willingness to work for the betterment of the industry.
I had the opportunity to work with Brian on a GAMA project a few years ago, which gave me a greater understanding of both his willingness to volunteer on assorted projects and to work to improve the industry. At the time I had been talking about the increasing influence of Kickstarter projects on the gaming industry and had asked if GAMA had a position on them. https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/36691/rolling-initiative-crowdfunding-the-future-distribution GAMA responded ”No we don’t. Would you like to write one?” Having been neatly outmaneuvered, I said yes and Brian almost as quickly volunteered to work on it as well. Michael Stackpole would up taking lead on the paper but Brian did much of the writing. I have no idea whatever happened to the finished product but I do remember how quickly and enthusiastically he threw himself into it.
During several years of turmoil at GAMA, Brian remained a calming and steadying influence who never had a bad word to say about anyone and about whom, to my knowledge, no one ever had a bad word to say. His nearly 2 decades of service on what could sometimes be a fractious Board of Directors is tribute to that.
Looking over the comments and tributes posted about him on Facebook shows a person who was deeply integrated into the game industry and the Florida gaming community, both as an RPG writer and as a game retailer, co-owner of one of the oldest gamecentric stores in the country. He had spent decades building a community for gamers in central Florida, especially for those who were outcast, whether by school or family. One writer indicated they knew of at least 10 people who had contemplated suicide who were alive today due to Brian’s intervention. That is quite a legacy to leave behind.
Brian also loved to talk, rather to converse. He had that trick of making you think, while you were talking with him, of making you think you were a brilliant conversationalist when much of it was due to the way he would listen and respond to what you said. A number of people remarked on how easy he was to talk with and how an hour’s worth of conversation felt like only minutes had passed.
Some of the eulogies posted are a couple of sentences long, others are a full page. Brian Dalrymple will be missed by a lot of people and that is as good a tribute as any.
Sunday, March 21, 2021
Just to let you know we have sold out of TimeSprial Remastered, White Dwarf #482 and the alternative cover of Candlekeep Mysteries. We do still have some boxed sets of Pokemon Battle Styles and Shining Fates but no single boosters.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
We are getting a limited number of Piety and Pain boxes for release next weekend. Limited as in two and one of them has been spoken for already. We also got highly allocated on the other items and GW ran out of the Blood Bowl materials before they could even get out this week's email
This week we release The Starblood Stalkers, a brand new Warband for Warhammer Underworlds
We also release Codex: Drukhari, together with themed Datacards, Dice and the Drukhari Combat Patrol box set.
Charadon: Act 1 – Book of Rust, the new Piety and Pain Battle Box, and the Plague Purge Crusade Mission Pack.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Well, we ordered pretty heavily on the Candle Keep Mysteries alterative cover, getting in a full case of 14 copies. We have sold through 9 copies in one day. Pretty impressive for a non-player focused book. I imagine, given that Von Richten's Guide incorporates player material, it will sell even better.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Candlekeep Mysteries arrived today. It contains 17 short adventures, one designed for each level from 1st through 16th all revolving around a book or using a book as the kick off to the adventure. We currently have plenty of the alternative cover but likely will not be able to reorder it once we sell out.
Sunday, March 14, 2021
Saturday, March 13, 2021
It is really had for me to generate excitement for the new expansion for your RPG or board game when the core book or game is out of print. Arc Dream publishing just announced several supplements for the Delta Green RPG but the core books have been out of print for months. It is really hard to seen an expansion to the game to a customer when I cannot offer them the core rules. Same goes for boardgames like Wingspan and Root. I figure it is more fun to design a new expansion for the game and to write up new materials but the industry runs on having the core product in for people who are looking for it.
Thursday, March 11, 2021
If you want to take a look at the new D&D book Candlekeep Mysteries, we will have copies available for perusal tomorrow, although the book does not got on sale until Tuesday. We have 5 of the regular cover and 14 of the FLGS covers available.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
Monday, March 8, 2021
We have updated the recommended game lists at the store and have added a few. Now we have lists of games that you will like if you are looking for :
Games for 7+ players
Games that can be played solo
Games that work well for 2 players.
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Saturday, March 6, 2021
The anchor point or anchoring heuristic is a heuristic often used when you have very limited information when you are making the decision. You mind uses what information it has as a basis for making the decision. For example, when looking up at the sky on a dark starry night, you are asked if you can see more or less than 100,000 stars. Then your are asked how many stars you are looking at. Since you have already been given an anchor point of 100,000, you generally will base your estimate off that number and guess, 1,000,000 or even 100,000,000 but likely far less than the actual number of close to 2 trillion.
Similarly this helps explain the current demand for Pokemon. People hear of a single Pokemon card selling for $480,00. Since they know little else about Pokemon, that becomes the anchor on which they base their estimation of how much other Pokemon cards are worth. If they get more information about the value of other Pokemon cards, their brain incorporates that into its store of knowledge about Pokemon and uses it for future decisions.
Thursday, March 4, 2021
In a post earlier this week, I made a reference to low involvement items. There are both low involvement and high involvement items. The customer has little invested in low involvement items so spends little time thinking about the decision, often relying on heuristics to make the decision: "Hey, there are some Magic packs. I like Magic. I will buy one." Low involvement items do not have a major impact on the consumer's life and their effect is generally fleeting: "Do you want to play a game of Catan?" "Sure.". Comic books are often a low involvement item as their comparatively low price makes picking up the first of a new series to check it out a low risk decision.
High involvement items make more of an impact on your life, such as a house purchase, choice of college or even deciding to purchase a new game with which you are unfamiliar. Since learning a new game can take a considerable investment in time and learning, most people do not buy a game with which they are unfamiliar on impulse. They spend some time researching and thinking about it before making the purchase. Of course, once they purchase it and find they like it, purchases of future expansions become a low involvement decision.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
In another of my occasional posts on consumer behavior and , sicne I have used the term before, I wanted to look at what a heuristic is. I have said that it is a decision rule our brain uses to help make decisions more quickly and easily and it has the following characteristics:
1. Only some information is considered when making the decision
2. Some information that might be useful in making the decision is ignored
For example, one possible heuristic would be "I enjoy worker placement games more than other games." If I hear that a new worker placement game has arrived at my FLGS, I am going to want to take a look at it while I would pay little to no attention if I heard that a new dice game had arrived. However, if I heard a new dice rolling worker placement game arrived, I would want to take a look at it.
Using heuristics allows us to make decisions in a number of areas without too much effort, at the cost of overlooking items that might interest us, since generally we only use them in low involvement decisions.
Monday, March 1, 2021
Sunday, February 28, 2021
Saturday, February 27, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
New series coming from Vault Comics at the end of March. Let us know if you want a copy and that helps us set out orders:
THE REGISTER PITCH:
A modern, neon-soaked Wild West road trip about a witch named Yonna cruising the Southwest as a band of bloodthirsty biker vampires, The Hounds of Love, hunt her scattered coven for the source of all magic: witch blood. A blend of action, lore, and Americana.
PERFECT FOR FANS OF:
Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Gods, Rat Queens, Crowded, Moonstruck, Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
A modern, Wild West road trip about a witch named Yonna cruising the Southwest as a band of bloodthirsty biker vampires, The Hounds of Love, hunt her scattered coven for the source of all magic: witch blood. From the critically acclaimed creators of The Modern Witch Tarot Deck and Long Lost comes WITCHBLOOD, a blend of action, lore, and Americana-perfect for fans of Buffy and American Gods.
WITCHBLOOD #1 hits store shelves on March 31st, 2021.
Written by Matthew Erman (Dark Crystal, Power Rangers, Long Lost), drawn by Lisa Sterle (Submerged, The Modern Witch Tarot, Long Lost), colored by Gab Contreras, lettered by Jim Campbell (Giant Days, The Plot), and designed by the master himself, Tim Daniel.
Thursday, February 25, 2021
Wizards has decided to make Magic sets themed around Lord of the Rings and Warhammer 40,000, although no idea yet if they will be Secret Lair sets like Walking Dead or alternate art cards like the Godzilla cards were. We probably will not see these until 2022 at the earliest though.
Tuesday, February 23, 2021
As Magic players know, for the past few years, stores have been able to sell booster boxes of the new set starting the date of the pre-release through the actual release date. In the past, those boosters have been what WOTC now calls Draft boosters. For Strixhaven, WTOC has announced that North American stores will receive Set boosters for pre-release week sales, instead of draft boosters. Prize support for the pre-release will still consist of draft boosters but no draft boosters will be available for sale until the release date.
Monday, February 22, 2021
Well that did not last long. GW did say it was moving to an every other week schedule for new releases but we have a new release arriving this Saturday and some Kill Team releases arriving on March 6. Given how slowly Kill Team has moved here, we will not order any for the shelf but will take special orders on it to have them here on March 6th.
Sunday, February 21, 2021
Black Library Celebration Day: Captain Uriel Ventris (55-42) $35
• This faithful recreation, based on classic Black Library artwork
• A single posed plastic miniature for use in Ultramarines Space Marines armies in games of Warhammer 40,000
• Rules for using Uriel Ventris in games of Warhammer 40,000 included in the box
• Brand new novel featuring the Captain Uriel Ventris
Saturday, February 20, 2021
Well we sold out of all of our first shipment of Shining Fates in about 4 hours. We will receive more but have no idea when. Pokemon is shipping out the remainder of our orders in three, that is three, additional waves later this spring
Friday, February 19, 2021
A heuristic is a decision rule we use to help us, well , made decisions such as "I like pizza". When deciding what to each , that I already like pizza will influence the decision. We use a number of heuristics in order to help us make daily decisions so that our brain does start from scratch ever time it has to decide something.
The familiarity heuristic says that things we judge things that are familiar to us as more important or more likely to happen than are things unfamiliar to us. You can see an example of this in this year's Super Bowl between Tampa Bay and Kansas City. Oddsmakers gave Kansas City the edge because of their play this year and their younger quarterback. However, if you asked the average person with only passing familiarity with football, they would have picked Tampa Bay. Why? Tom Brady. Not because of his skill but because they had heard of him. Familiar with something makes us think it is better , so we are more likely to select it and quite often, we are right to do so. If something is not "important" or "good", it does not attract our attention and we do not remember it.
Thus Pokemon, D&D and Monopoly (yes Monopoly) dominate sales in their categories in the mass market because the average customer is familiar with them. If I have heard of it, it must be "good".
Thursday, February 18, 2021
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Just got a revision on our numbers for Pokemon Shining Fates. Our initial order has been cut in half and not sure if it will get cut again and if, due to the weather, we will receive it by the release date. Ergo we are not taking pre-orders or pre payment for any of the Shining Fate sets.
Saturday, February 13, 2021
Coming out next Saturday for Age of Sigmar
Friday, February 12, 2021
Congratulations to Sara Erickson on her promotion to VP of Marketing at Renegade Game Studios. https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47350/erickson-promoted-renegade-vp I have been lucky enough to know Sara since her Iello days and figure Iello made a smart move first by hiring her, then Renegade made a smart move by hiring her from Iello and now another smart move by promoting her. She is a great marketer and spokesperson and should really help Renegade develop their Hasbro properties.
Thursday, February 11, 2021
Well, we got in 3 boxes of Vivid Voltage this week and sold them immediately, before we even had any time to put out single packs. Next box that arrives gets opened and put out for packs first. We did order some Pokemon models and a new toy that looks a lot like a Lego set, only it comes with the colored blocks needed to build a Pokemon figure. Hope to get them in before early spring.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
Tuesday, February 9, 2021
Why have a Power 9 card or an Evolutions Charizard in your store, ever if you know your target market is such that they will never purchase it? Two reasons: 1) there is always the chance that someone will buy it and 2) it serves as an Anchor Point.
An anchor point is an item in your store that is priced significantly higher than other items you stock in its category. The high priced item makes the other items look reasonably priced by comparison. The price on a Revised Tundra makes a Valki, God of Lies look cheap by comparison and reduces the customer's resistance to what they otherwise might consider a high priced card. At a GAMA Trade Expo out in Las Vegas a few years ago, the $100 and $125 prices on some of the steak dinners made the $40 chicken dinner I ordered seem a bargain by comparison. When ordering wines, the wine list will usually contain a $200-$300 bottle which makes the $30 to $50 vintages seem a value, making customers much more open to ordering them.
Monday, February 8, 2021
An email I received from game industry veteran James Mischler looked back at TSR/WOTC’s history and makes a more persuasive case for a purchase of WOTC by a suitor outside the game industry: Penguin/Random House, Hatchette, Harper Collins, Simon and Schuster or Macmillain, the five big fiction publishers. We will need to take a dive back into the history of TSR and WOTC to understand why though.
Though TSR is best known, at least in our industry, for the D&D and related RPG lines, it was better known outside of this market for its line of fantasy novels, dating back to the mid 1980s with the launch of the first Dragonlance Chronicles trilogy, arguably launching the modern fantasy novel. By the time TSR filed for bankruptcy in 1997, it had published some 242 fantasy novels and a plurality of all fantasy novels sold in the US bore the TSR imprint, many reaching the NYT and USA Today best-seller lists.
Unfortunately, the company’s very success led to its bankruptcy. There are two markets for books: the direct market and the book market. The direct market, in which most game stores operate and with which TSR had the most familiarity, buys products at a certain discount, pays for those products by a certain date, and keeps them. The book market operates under a returnable model. Distributors and stores buy the product at a lower discount, 35 or 40% rather than 45 or 50%. This gives the publisher greater profitability per book, putting more cash in the bank, but also leaving them liable for refunds if the book does not sell. This is what happened to TSR in the late 1990s. The company had expanded heavily into the book market through deals with publishers, acting as distributors, such as Random House and Harper Collins and, when those deals proved not as profitable as hoped, left TSR on the hook for hundreds of thousands more in returns than the company had in assets. https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/33818/rolling-initiative-empire-imagination-gary-gygax-birth-dungeons-dragons Mischler thinks this was part of a concerted effort by Random House to drive TSR into bankruptcy, allowing Random House to pick up the TSR catalog at a fraction of its value but Lorraine Williams, who owned TSR at the time, stymied that by negotiating a sale to WOTC instead.Now, while D&D sales have increased greatly, novel publishing by the company has dropped from the massive numbers of the 1990s and early 2000s to about 4 dozen or so books over the past decade. Any book publisher would love to get its hands on WOTC/TSRs back catalog and a steady revenue produce
Sunday, February 7, 2021
Magic Theme Boosters End—Based on sales, I expect to see WOTC quietly shelve Theme Boosters. Unlike Draft, Collector and Set Boosters, we have seen very little interest in Theme boosters since the first set in which they were released. Here, interest was so low, we did not order any Theme boosters for the last two sets and never had a customer enquire about them. WOTC has tried to drive interest in them by including cards that are not available in other boosters but players appear willing to buy those cards individually instead of buying a booster with 34 other cards of a color they do not want to play or are common enough that they are available in other sets. Here’s hoping they drop the Theme Booster and come out with a good beginner set instead. I lost track of how many Arena starters and Deckbuilder Toolkits I could have sold over the holidays.
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Our supplier has informed us we will be getting small restocks of Vivid Voltage and Darkness Ablaze boosters, sometime later this month. In the meantime, we have received a number of Pokemon collector boxes that come with boosters and oversized collector cards.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Wednesday, February 3, 2021
When running a business, one has to assume a certain level of risk, the possibility of loss or injury, and tolerate a certain level of it as well. As a business person, you are risking your money and have to make decisions based on how much of it you are willing to risk. Generally, successful business people have a higher tolerance for risk than people who opt not to risk.
One way to estimate your tolerance for risk is the coin toss through experiment. Assume someone offers you, along with others, the change to toss a coin. If it comes up heads you get $100. If it comes up tails, you receive nothing. How much would you pay for the opportunity to toss the coin, knowing that the high bidder gets to flip the coin? Given that the expected value of the coin toss is $50 (the average of $100 and $0, the closer to $50 you are willing to pay, the higher your tolerance for risk. When I ran this by my students, the avarge amount they were willing to pay was $20, with some going as low as a buck and some as high as $45
Tuesday, February 2, 2021
No Major Conventions for 2021—The same problem affecting Organized Play will likely preclude any large conventions until next year. Lining up convention space, getting guests and organizing lodging and events takes a lot of organization and again, given that 1) conventions do not want to have an outbreak of COVID-19 during their event and 2) we are not likely to see the virus under control until summer, which is prime gaming and comic convention season, I doubt we will see large events take place. However, I would not be surprised to see comparatively small local and regional events attracting a few hundred to a thousand or so take place. Speaking from experience, it is possible to pull together a small convention with a couple of months lead time. https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/46244/rolling-initiative-how-host-convention-during-epidemic However, I would expect the organizers to take quite a few precautions in order to keep attendees safe and we will probably see these continue until 2022. https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/46290/rolling-initiative-how-host-gaming-convention-during-epidemic
Monday, February 1, 2021
No Organized Play Until At Least Third Quarter—At least not from the major companies. There are a few companies that are currently offering some form of organized play but the major ones, WOTC, Konami, and The Pokemon Company, have indicated they still plan to hold off authorizing in-store Organized Play for the foreseeable future. None of them want to deal with the negative publicity that would accompany an outbreak of COVID-19 at any sanctioned event, whether in-store or at a professional level event. Once a vaccine gets widely distributed, the likelihood of the virus spreading at large events drops drastically. Best guess from what I have read is that we will see most of North America, Asia and Europe vaccinated and the virus under control by early summer so, although we may see in-store play start up by then, due to the logistics of running a large event, the companies may plan them but I would not expect to see any launch before September and maybe not until 2022.
Sunday, January 31, 2021
Yesterday's post does tie into what types of games are appropriate for a store to stock and what qualifies a store as a “family friendly game store” , a significant topic of conversation amongst game stores mid decade when Cards Against Humanity sales boomed https://icv2.com/articles/columns/view/31544/rolling-initiative-rpgs-cah-ygo-philosophy-store. Store owners discussed as to whether to stock Cards Against Humanity and its offshoots or not. On the one hand, we had store owners who saw themselves in the position of gatekeepers and curators, working to select the best games available for their customers and , while they did not dispute the right of those other games to exist, did not want to expand their product mix to include the new “offensive party game” category. On the other hand, other store owners looked at the demand for CAH and its offshoots and decided that given, the number of calls received weekly for the game taking the money made much more sense than continually telling customers they did not stock the game and sending them to Amazon.
It would appear that, given the trend in the offensive party game category, those store owners that decided to add Cards and its ilk to their product mix made the right decision early on. With Cards available for purchase in Barnes and Noble and Target alongside Jenga and Harry Potter merchandise and dozens of games that adopted the “judge format” popularized by Cards Against Humanity (and before that by Apples to Apples but the CAH publishers never mention that) in both safe and “Not Safe for Work” formats, such as Exploding Kittens and Unstable Unicorns, it is not surprising that, if there is enough customer demand, a poop or other bodily function themed game will, with little discussion, make it onto store shelves.
Saturday, January 30, 2021
Well, given that the most popular toys in 2020, and the most popular item in toys for last year all featured poop, I guess it is not too surprising to see games coming out in the hobby channel with poop as a major feature of gameplay https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/47402/pegasus-spiele-reveals-poo-poo-pets-release-u-s-hobby-channel Mass market games, primarily aimed at kids, have featured poop and other gross out topics such as farting, pimples and boogers for a couple of years now so I guess hobby channel games , wanting to attract kids, who have loved gross things for decades, should look at this as a trend worth following, though the most successful of these games appear to focus on the tangible or audible aspects, rather than the game play. Dunno if there is a market for these sort of games in the hobby channel as the only ones I remember having any success were Breaking Games’ Poop and Neat Games Too Many Poops which sold OK but not great. Personally, I would much rather see Euro Games’ Grass or Khemper Games’ Weed or Deluxe Weed become much more readily available in the hobby channel. We sold hundreds of copies of both over the decades before the legalization of cannabis (and still sell quite a bit of Stoner Fluxx) in many states. Now that its use is much more widely accepted and legally available at the state level, though still illegal at the federal level, seeing a game company make a strong push to bring either or both back into hobby distribution seems a timely move.
Friday, January 29, 2021
Thursday, January 28, 2021
Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
If you are running a business and are the sole proprietor, or running it as an LLC or some other form of ownership which relies on one person to handle most of the business operations and decisions, you have what is called a "key person" and need to decide how to handle what will happen in the situation that person is not able to carry out their duties.
The thing that got me to thinking about this is a local Carbondale business, Chicago Hot Dogs, which has operated in downtown Carbondale for two decades and is now up for sale. One of the owners, Sang Eun Lee, died in a boating accident last November and without a plan to handle continued operations, the business is up for sale as it appears his wife does not want to or cannot handle the business alone. So if you are a small business and the sole owner, do you have plans for what happens if something happens to you?
Something to consider is "key person" insurance, which is insurance that pays out in the instance that someone designated an indispensable part of the business becomes unable to perform their duties.
Monday, January 25, 2021
If you pre-ordered any of the Death Guard items they arrived today and your order is held behind the counter. As noted earlier, we got allocated on several items but will see if the have come back into stock tomorrow
Saturday, January 23, 2021
Friday, January 22, 2021
Our shipment of the new Death Guard codexes and related materials is running late. Typically, we would have received them by now and have them processed and out for pickup and purchase on Saturday but due to the vagaries of the supply chain, they have not arrived yet. .In addition, we have heard that a number of stores got allocated on the miniatures and codexes. Our rep did not say anything about this so we hope that we receive our full order.
Thursday, January 21, 2021
For those of you who have been waiting on Brkrkr, here is the latest update
- BRZRKR #1 will be delayed 1 week for FOC and On-Sale Dates to ensure retailers have a PDF and all cover assets, along with additional marketing support, to make an informed decision.
- New FOC Date: February 1, 2021
- New On-Sale Date: February 24, 2021
- 1:1000 INCV Variant has been added, which will be illustrated by Jonboy Meyers and signed by Keanu Reeves.
- DEC208555 BRZRKR #1 C & DEC208556 BRZRKR #1 D will be FULL FOIL, open-to-order variants of the Rafael Grampá and Marks Brooks covers, respectively.
- These two covers will be on-sale March 10, 2021 to ensure allocation does not occur for retailers who place orders for these items.
- We have added an additional 1:100 INCV, 1:200 INCV, and 1:500 INCV for this issue and more information and cover art will be revealed throughout next week!
Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Whenever the semester starts I always send out an email to the students about the concept of the "perfection fallacy". The perfection fallacy is the belief by people that everything will always work out perfectly. A classic example is starting your car. You walk out in the morning, put your key in the ignition and 99 times out of 100, it starts up perfectly. What do you do, though, on those extremely rare occasions when the key does not start the car? Keep turning it in the hope that eventually it will catch? Pound the dashboard and yell curses as if that will do any good? Do you have a back up plan for the rare times when that happens? Is the Uber app installed on your phone so you can call for a ride? Do you have a friend you can call to give you a lift?
In the case of a game store, what do you do if that order you expected to arrive does not show up? Most of the time they show up when expected but what do you do when they do not? Do you have a phone number to call to see where your product is or do you have another project to work on instead of checking in the shipment?
A common example I cite to students is setting aside time on Friday to finish up assignments, then finding out the internet crashed or they feel sick or their kids are sick? What happens then? The best way to avoid falling prey to the perfection fallacy is to plan ahead. If something has a deadline, endeavor to start it ahead of the deadline so that, if something interrupts, you still have time built into your schedule to accommodate the delay.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
This look at Hasbro sales for the third quarter is pretty interesting. https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/46853/big-gains-hasbro-gaming-q3. Total sales for the company are up 11% for the year, including a 19% drop in April , May and June https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/46203/hasbros-total-gaming-sales-down-19-q2 and a 40% increase in WOTC sales in the first quarter https://icv2.com/articles/news/view/45666/hasbros-total-gaming-business-up-40-q1. D&D sales for the third quarter are up about 20% and Magic sales are up “double digits” , although the company did not specify what percentage of those revenues came from digital sales of the product line. So looking pretty impressive so far for the year and, based on the interest showing in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and Commander Legends, not to mention Commander Legends Green, I expect to see Hasbro/WOTC closing out the year up by double digits.
Monday, January 18, 2021
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. We have ordered heavily on Candlekeep Mysteries but not as Heavily as on Tasha's
Saturday, January 16, 2021
Releasing Jan 23. Please let us know if you want one by this Monday night at 9 p.m. as we put the order in on Tuesday and will go light on them, esp. the Data Cards.