You have half an hour to enter the 31st anniversary drawing. Items 14, 15, 16, 17 and 20 do not have any tickets on them.
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.