Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Games Workshop

 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

Strixhaven Release Prerelease info

Strixhaven pre-release orders with us are due by 6 p.m. on April 11. We only have 60 pre-release kits available, 12 of each school so are limiting "purchases" of pre-release kits to 2 of each school, a maximum of 10 kits per person.  For the first time, the Set booster boxes, instead of draft booster boxes, are the booster boxes available for pickup on April 16, along with the pre-release kits and Commander Decks. Draft boosters and  boxes,  Bundles and Collector Boosters, single Set Boosters and single cards are all available on April 23.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Pokemon Availability

 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

Used Boardgames

 Picked up a stack of used boardgames yesterday, including, among others, Everdell, Villainous and Cthulhu Gloom. Out on the shelf in the used boardgame section.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Strixhaven Pre-release Packs

 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

 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

Brzrkr #2

 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

Farewell Brian Dalrymple


“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.   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. 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

Sold Outs

 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

Warhammer New Releases

 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

Candle Keep Mysteries 2

 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

 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

Pokemon Battle Styles

 Pokemon Battle Styles goes on sale tomorrow. We have a small quantity of single boosters and Trainer Kits, 3 pack sets and 10 Build and Battle kits available for sale.

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Core Game Out of Print

 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

CandleKeep Mysteries

 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

Pi Day

 We will celebrate Pi Day this Sunday March 14 (3.14) with free pie, while quantities last, and a free promo card with purchase of a copy of Math Fluxx.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Recommended Game Lists

 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 :

cooperative games

Competitive games

Games for 7+ players

Games that can be played solo

Games that work well for 2 players.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Battle Shields

 We still have 10 of the Battle shields Pre-release kits available for this weekend as well as 3 of the Shining Fates box sets. After today, the Battle Shields kits go off sale until the set releases

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Anchoring Heuristics

 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

Low Involvement vs. High Involvement

 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

Pokemon Battle Styles

 We will have the Pokemon Battle Styles Pre-release kits available for this weekend. No idea what we will charge for them yet and we will limit them to 1 per customer with 2 booster packs included per kit.

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

What Is A Heuristic?

 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

Time Spiral Remastered

 We are only getting 10 boxes of this on the first shipment so if you want one on the release Date of March 19, best let us know soon.