Friday, December 30, 2022

How to Publish Your RPG

 If you ever plan to publish a print copy of an RPG, Indie Press Revolution has some tips for you.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

New Years Eve

 As usual , we will stay open for board and card gaming until midnight on New Year's Eve. We will have pie and the makings for ham and cheese sandwiches.We are running a Shadowrun game from 5:30 to 8:30 but the spots for it are all filled.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Pokemon Trades

 Due to the number of fakes floating around in the market, we are going to pass on taking in trades on an Pokemon cards that list for over $100. We do not have the market for them and do not want to spend the time and energy to make sure they are  not fake.

Monday, December 26, 2022

4 Reasons we Generally do Not Back Kickstarters

 While not as hot as it was about a year ago, Kickstarter is still used by a lot of independent companies in the gaming industry, primarily independent and small press publishers, to publish new releases.  Top tier publishers, such as Paizo, WOTC, Fantasy Flight, Konami, Bushyroad, etc., don't use Kickstarter or other crowdfunding sites to crowdfund new releases as their current cashflow is strong enough to not need to do so.  A number of these projects offer retailer levels designed to allow/entice retailers to participate in the Kickstarter, generally by offering multiple copies of the game at a discount from the planned MSRP, along with any stretch level goals.  Last year, Reaper Miniatures ran an incredibly successful Kickstarter with Vampire levels for consumers and Undertaker levels for stores.  We, and a lot of other stores, bought into that project, but for us, it was the exception, rather than the rule.  Here’s why:

1)  Crowded marketplace.  When I checked earlier today, there are 386 game projects listed on Kickstarter alone. While we have a strong customer base here, there is no way we, or most stores for that matter, have the market to absorb that quantity of new releases, must of which will fund in the next 30 days but not arrive for six months to a year after the backing period ends.  This leads to #2.

2)  Cash flow.  Just like publishers, retailers struggle with cash flow as well.  In the publisher's case, however,  they get the the money up front and they spend it to produce the product.  In the retailer’s case, if we fund a product, we front the money now, tying it up for several months until the product ships, removing cash from our accounts for six months or better, until we, and everyone else receive it, leading to #3.

3)  Lateness.  There is a better than average chance that the publisher will not meet their projected shipping date.  An analysis by Ethan Mollick of the Wharton School of Business of over 48,000 Kickstarter funded projects  found that over 75% of  publishers missed their release dates.  To cite one example, Steve Jackson Games, which has a great track record of meeting release dates for their Munchkin game and other non-Kickstarter releases, used Kickstarter to fund a designer's edition of Ogre. Funding for this ended in May of 2102, with a projected release date of November 2012.  It is now September 2013 and the 5500+ backers still have not received Ogre.   Lateness may work for consumers who have a passion for the project and will wait.  Stores don’t have that level of flexibility given the number of product we stock.   In a way, this leads to #4.

4)  Market saturation.  Aldo Ghiozzi of Impressions Game Distribution Services, who has worked with small press game publishers for a number of years, is one of the most knowledgeable people I know regarding the field of independent gaming distribution.  According to Ghiozzi, the average RPG release, either via Kickstarter or through distribution, will sell between 150-250 copies ( A year ago or so, Kickstarter had a halo effect whereby RPGs published through it might sell up to double the amount they would if sold straight into distribution.  This effect appears to have subsided though) with maybe another hundred sold direct through the company's website or at conventions.  A  boardgame from an independent publisher will sell about 600 to 700 copies, 1000 or more copies only if a runaway success pulling in over $300,000.  Ergo, if a company's RPG Kickstarter pulls 300 backers or a boardgame does 600, that pretty much saturates the expected market for that particular product.  Only in those few rare cases (Cards Against Humanity, FATE, 13th Age), could a store expect to sell more than the publisher already has.

5)  Discount.  In order to survive, retailers have to sell products for more than we pay for them. In order to justify buying a Kickstarter project for the shelf, we need to buy it at a deeper discount that offered to purchasers of a single copy.  Most Kickstarter creators, understandably cannot or will not do this, both to avoid annoying those backers paying full price and because to do so would cause them to lose money on the project, neither outcome desirable.

Friday, December 23, 2022

D&D Movie

 I see the newest D&D movie is scheduled to come out in March. I expect it to do OK the first weekend but then have a drastic falloff in attedance after that becuase, How do you make a D&D movie. D&D is   a  set of rules. This is the same problem Hasbro had when it greenlit a Battleship moive. Battleship is a game, there is no emotional involvement. You can make a My Little Pony or Transformers movie as you have characters that you can build a story around. You cannot build a story around a  set of rules.

Thursday, December 22, 2022


 Although we are open regular hours today, there will be no "Gaming with Gary" tonight due to the weather. Have not heard yet if the DM will show for Dungeons and Dragons.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Art Spiegelman

 Art Spiegelman, best known as the author of Maus, was interviewed about it and his other works on today's Morning edition. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

AD&D 2E Decks

 One of the more useful items TSR came out with for 2nd edtion AD&D were the boxes of cards for the various spell using classes. As the number of spells grew, it became handy for the plaeyrs to have cards listing the individual spells, componests, casting requirements (Though most people ignored them). If I remember correctly, TSR released 4 decks, one for wizards, one for clerics, one with magic items and one with psionic powers, likely the least used of the card sets. Strangely, despite demand, the company never did yelease a Deck of Many Things, save as an insert in an issue of either Dungeon or Dragon magazine.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Darkwing Duck

A letter from the writer of the new launch of Darkwing Duck:

I am the terror that flaps in the night!

I am the scribe who pulverizes puns!

I am the writer who dares to tackle your childhood nostalgia and bring it forth for you to share it with a new generation!

I am writing Darkwing Duck!

I’m so excited to have been asked to take on The Masked Mallard, especially with such GORGEOUS art by Carlo Lauro and I’m even more excited to share it with you. I was a child of the 1990s who watched the Darkwing Duck television series with my little sisters. The humor and the action had me hooked then and continue to hook me now. As a writer who has been lucky enough to write many of the Big Caped Crusaders in my comics career, this opportunity to poke LOVING fun at the genre with a character who takes it as seriously as the brooding-est of vigilantes was too delicious to resist.

As I said, I grew up with Darkwing in the 1990s and now, like Drake Mallard, I’m a parent myself and have to grapple (pun intended) with my superhero life and my life as a mom. This is a part of Darkwing that I wanted to explore more as I delved into this arc: Darkwing Duck as caped crusader AND dad. Gosalyn is as brilliant and feisty as they come, a combo that is every parent’s simultaneous dream and nightmare. The potential for fun and antics are ENDLESS!

This series is a perfect way to introduce a new generation to the character we all know and love while also keeping true to the essence of what we, the founding generation of St. Canard have always known and loved. I can promise you will see many of your favorite villains from Magavolt to Bushroot along with beloved sidekick, Launchpad and pillar of the community Herb Muddlefoot. And for you goth romantics out there, yes, Morgana Macawber still has Darkwing’s heart clutched in her cold, pale hands.

Join me for what I can promise will be a lot of laughs, a lot of action, and even a few inside jokes just for us. I may not have the ego of Darkwing - but I am confident you’ll have a great time!

Let’s get dangerous!
Amanda Deibert

Wednesday, December 7, 2022


 For those of you who like fast moving games and dice games. Suitable for 1 to 6 players, each player pulls a set of cards with different alignments of dice on them. The object is to roll dice, attempting to mach the numbers and patterns rolled with the alignment on the card. Matching a card clears it from the set in front of the player. The players have to remove all of the cards within 10 minutes in order to defuse the bomb. 

The game does have a phone app that provides a snarky timer with sound effects, but the game does not need the timer in order play. Great replay value and a great little game at $29.99

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Lights Fantastic Parade

Downtown streets in Carbondale will close at 5 p.m. this Saturday and reopen about 8 p.m. for the Lights Fantastic parade. Travel through downtown will prove problematic during that period so plan accordingly

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

New GW Battleforces

 Here are the new 40K Battleforces for 2022 releasing Dec. 9th. Price is about $209.99 each. Let us know by Thursday if you want any of them or the new Necromunda items

40k Battleforce Kits - These can be ordered individually.
54-19 - Imperial Knights: Chainbreaker Lance
43-65 - Thousand Sons: Court of the Crimson King
43-74 - Death Guard: Council of the Death Lord
55-29 - Imperial Fists: Bastion Strike Force
55-31 - Raven Guard: Ravenstrike Battle Force
52-50 - Adepta Sororitas: Sanctorum Guard
01-19 - Adeptus Custodes: Watchers of the Gate
59-29 - Adeptus Mechanicus: Elimination Maniple

59-30 - Adeptus Mechanicus: Technoarchaeologist - Single mini - HQ. Previously available in a Blackstone Fortress kit.

301-10 - Necromunda: Escher Cutters
301-11 - Escher Vehicle Gang Tactics Cards
300-07 - Escher Gang Tactics Cards
300-02 - Necromunda: Escher Ash Wastes Dice

Black Library
BL3062 - Primarchs: Heirs of the Emperor - Anthology - Hardback
BL3052 - Hammers of Sigmar: First Forged - New Release - Hardback


 Steam Forged Games has a new series of blog posts taking a deep look at different fantasy creatures. This week is Orcs

Monday, November 28, 2022

30th Anniversary Promo Card Packs

 We still have several of the 3 packs of the 30th anniverary promo cards so, while they last, spend $50 on Magic and get one of them.

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Black Friday Specials

 Black Friday Weekend Specials while quantities last

Buy 5 bagged and boarded comics from the back issue room, get 5 free
Spend $10 on Pokemon, get a promo Pikachu card. Spend $50, get the card and a Pokemon binder. Spend $100 and get the card, binder and a Pokemon playmat. Spend $200 and get all three and a Pokemon tablemat. Limited quantities
Buy any new hardback D&D book and get a D&D logo dice bag
Buy $50 worth of Magic and get a set of 3 30th Anniversary promo cards. Buy $100 and get the cards and a Magic promo pack. Buy $200 and get the cards, promo pack and a foil promo pack.
Cadia Stands Astra Militarium Army Set for Warhammer 40,000 on sale

Monday, November 21, 2022

Scarlet Witch

 New Scarlet Witch series coming in about a month. Get pre-orders in now to make sure you get a copy.

On FOC tonight is the new ongoing series kicking off with SCARLET WITCH #1! Steve Orlando and Sara Pichelli cast their collective creative spell on readers with this new dawn for Wanda Maximoff. The series will follow Wanda after she’s pledged to use her chaos magic to help those in mystical need. Her first case? An entire town is descending into madness! What’s causing everyone to lose their minds? Or who? Wanda will venture into the community to track down and face this insidious threat!

Friday, November 18, 2022

Brothers' War Launch Tournament

 We will host a $20 booster draft for Brothers' War at 1 p.m. on Nov. 19.  Al particpants will receive, while they last, a set of the new Magic 30th Anniversary cards.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Loyal Retainers

 We were sent in a Chinese "Loyal Retainers" card as one of the 30th Anniversary promo cards. Since we only got one of them, we will make it one of the prizes in the Brother's Ware Pre-release drawing on Nov. 12 at 1 p.m.

Thursday, November 10, 2022


 A letter from the writer of the new Gargoyles comic:

Allow me to take you on a little journey…

Back in 1991, my team and I at Walt Disney Television Animation, began developing a little show called GARGOYLES. Originally inspired by Disney’s Adventures of the Gummi Bears, it started life as a comedy-adventure series about cute little multi-colored gargoyles (with names like Amp, Coco, Lassie and Ralph), who woke up in the late 20th Century to battle a comic villain (in the Captain Hook/Duke Igthorn-mode) named Xavier and his evil gargoyle henchwoman Demona. We were extremely enthusiastic about this show and pitched it to Michael Eisner, Chairman of the Walt Disney Company.

He passed.

But we still thought there was something in the notion, so we went back to the drawing board. We created the character of Goliath to lead the Gargoyle Clan and put the entire GARGOYLES development through the prism of who Goliath was, coming out the other side with, fundamentally, the television series that ended up airing on stations across the U.S. and elsewhere. We were extremely enthusiastic about this new version of the show – coming up with idea after idea – and pitched it all to Eisner.

He passed.

But by this time, a lot of folks at Disney thought we might be onto something. So, we went back to the drawing board for a third time, to figure out what GARGOYLES was missing. Ultimately, I decided it was missing nothing. The problem wasn’t the show; it was the pitch. We had thrown everything and the kitchen sink into it. We had to simplify, bring it back to the core ideas. We tossed a lot of stuff out of the pitch that did eventually get into the show. (The Pack? Out. The Mutates? Out. Etc.) And we focused everything on the core relationship between Goliath, and his human friend, Detective Elisa Maza. One last time, we pitched the series to Eisner – though to be honest, I kinda thought he’d toss me out of the boardroom for pitching it yet again.

But this time, he bought it.

With Eisner’s backing, we made two seasons of GARGOYLES for television syndication. And years later, I wrote an eighteen issue “Season Three” for Slave Labor Graphics. But GARGOYLES is my baby, and I’ve been desperate to get back to the series and its large and wondrous cast of characters for over a decade now – as have our extremely loyal fans, who’ve never allowed the show to fall out of the zeitgeist. Now – thanks to Disney, Dynamite, Nate Cosby and George Kambadais – we’re back for “Season Four” with Goliath, Elisa, Demona, Xanatos, Brooklyn, Lexington, Broadway, Bronx, Angela, Coldstone, Coldfire, Owen, Fox, Alexander, the Pack, the Mutates, the Clones, and new or newer characters like Katana, Gnash, Fu-Dog, Egwardo and Dino Dracon. I can’t wait for both old fans and new readers to see these stories and adventures, to resume this long and wonderful journey…

Thanks for hopping aboard,

Greg Weisman

November 2022

Monday, October 31, 2022

New 40K releases

 Looks like space Dwarfs are back in 40K army lists.  Here are what is coming out. Let us know if you want any

30k Horus Heresy / 40k
31-59 - Legiones Astartes: Predator Support Tank

Leagues of Votann - 40k
Previously available in the Leagues of Votann Army Set:
69-01 - Codex: Leagues of Votann
69-10 - Hearthkyn Warriors
69-11 - Hernkyn Pioneers
69-14 - Einhyr Champion
69-03 - Uthar the Destined

Released for the first time:
69-09 - Hekaton Land Fortress
69-05 - Cthonian Berserks
69-04 - Einhyr Hearthguard
69-08 - Brokhyr Thunderkyn
69-12 - Brokhyr Iron-Master
69-07 - Grimnyr
69-15 - Combat Patrol: Leagues of Votann
69-06 - Sagitaur
69-17 - Leagues of Votann Dice Set
69-02 - Leagues of Votann Datacards

Black Library
BL3022 - Eisenhorn: The Omnibus - Paperback
BL3019 - The Successors - Reformat - Paperback

Friday, October 28, 2022

Haunted Illinois

 Another book by Troy Taylor, Haunted Illinois covers many of the same locations and stories Taylor recounted in his Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories. This one does add stories from the Illinois River Valley and some more from the Alton region but is probably best for the compleatist or for someone who wants to save a few bucks.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories

 Another book by Troy Taylor, this 372 page book contains well over a hundred stories of ghosts from throughout Illinois. As it should, Chicago gets a section of its own with the rest of the state divided into Northern, Central, Southern and Southwestern Illinois. Southwestern Illinois gets its own section because Taylor lives in the town of Alton and hosts tours of reportedly haunted locations in the community. In southern Illinois, the Old Slave House gets a chapter, as do Hundley House and the spooks of Dug Hill, located between Ware and Jonesboro on Highway 146. A good general introduction to the better known ghosts of the states.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Monsters of Illinois

 In stock now, Monsters of Illinois is a 122 paperback looking at reputed monsters of Illinois. Written by ntoe paranormal Troy Taylor, Monsters of Illinois looks at the Mad Gasser  of Mattoon, Big Muddy Monster, phantom Kangaroos, out of plce panthers and the Piasa Bird. For only $13, this is a great introduciton to Illinois cryptids.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Brehm FIreworks

 In case you would like to start your week of Halloween festivities off with a bang, Brehm Preparatory School will host a fireworks show tonight at 8:30, celebrating its 40th anniversary.  First 100 kids to attend get a treat bag. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Haunted Illinois

 Currently for your paranormal pleasure we have Monsters of Illinois, Big Book of Illinois Ghost Stories and Haunted Illinois in stock, all by Troy Taylor, who has written about Illinois ghosts, monsters and weird stuff for over 2 decades.

Thursday, October 20, 2022


 We have a collector interested in all of our out of print Ravenloft supplements so have pulled them all from our eBay store until the middle of next week. If you are interested in any of them , we will still be glad to sell them to you but you will have to contact the store instead of buying them off eBay.

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


 WotC  did not have much expectation for the Unfinity set as there was no Buy a Box Card. Nor were there Set boosters, Commander Decks or pre-release kits. Ah well, at least there was a Launch Party and card.

Hopefully this will be the last of the Un sets. We have seen very little interest in the last two sets and abscense appears to have not made the heard grow fonder.

Friday, October 14, 2022


Just a reminder that SIUC Homecoming is tomorrow and downtown Illinois and University will be blocked off from Mill Street to Cherry Street.  Should be cleared out by noon thought.

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Unfinity Cards

 Reading reports of problems with the Unfitity set card stickers.  Either the stickers fall off after about the 2nd use, which rather detracts from using them in a game or they stick too well to the cards with palyers unable to pull them off or leaving residue on the cards. Maybe using the sticker on sleeved cards would solve the second problem. Not sure what to do about the first.

Thursday, October 6, 2022

40K commander Decks

 Receveived 4 cases of the 40K commander decks today and one of the Collectors edition. We will have the decks available Tomorrow, along with Unfinity boosters and the new starter for D&D. The Collector version of the 40k Commander Decks is selling for about $900 for all 4 decks so will sell that one as a set.

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Magic 30th Edition

 WotC announced today the company will release a 30th anniversary set of Magic on November 28th. It reprints a number of cards from the early years of Magic including Moxes , Dual Lands and, yes the Black Lotus. All cards will have a 30th annivesary treatment on the back, making them non-tournament legal and a booster box will sell for $999

Monday, October 3, 2022

Out of Stocks

 If you are lookingf or a particualr board game and we do not have it, especially if it is a recent one, it is likely out of stock. We are seeing month's long out of stock of popular boardgames. The Night Cage for example has been out of stock for about 4 months and Alice is Missing for two. We do work to restock when we can and keep any eye on arrivals but they do take a long time.

Monday, September 26, 2022

Pre-release Events

 With the change in pre-releases with the upcoming Brothers' War set, i.e. allowing all Brothers' War products to be sold by WPN stores at the start of pre-release week, including singles, we will se most of the sales from Launch Day shifing to Pre-release day.

I also expect, given that WOTC is really pushing drafts on pre-release weekend, that WOTC will slowly phase out pre-release kits in favor of booster drafts. Pre-release kits are more expensive to assemble than booster drafts and I could see WOTC dropping them as a cost savings measure. After all booster drafts and sealed deck tournaments were commone at pre-release for years before the arrival of the pre-release kit.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Brother's War

 WOTC just announced today the end of the pre-release. Well, not in actuality but starting with Brother's War, stores will be able to sell everything Brother's War related on the first day of pre-release week. That means not only booster boxes and pre-release kits but single packs and even single cards. However, single cards from the set will not be legal for tournament play until the actual release date. Print Brothers' War products will also be available a week before the set goes live in the Arena app.

Wednesday, September 21, 2022



1)      When we opened, every game store worth its salt had an Osprey book spinner rack and likely also a selection of historic miniatures, as well as some shelf space devoted to Avalon Hill, Victory Games and SPI wargames. Today, Osprey racks are scarce as hen’s teeth, historic boardgames are limited to Memoir ’44 and Axis and Allies and, should you find historic miniatures in a store, they likely consist of Flames of War, Sails of War and Wings of War. Most historic boardgames and miniatures sell at wargaming conventions or over the Internet.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

dominaria United

 Rest of our Dominaria United order should arrive on Monday. We are finally getting the Commander decks as well as a restock of draft and set boosters as well as bundles.

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Jumpstart pre-release

 Just a reminder that we are running Dominaria United Jumpstart pre-releases until Friday. Fro $20 you get 2 jumpstart packs, whcih are replacing Theme Boosters, and 1 Set Booster.

Friday, September 2, 2022


 No not telling you how to get to the store, although if you need them you can find them here. I am talking about the type of directions on how to use a promotional item a publisher has sent us. Granted, a store can use it anyway it wishes but too often the publisher, and the trading card game companies are especially bad at this, toss their promo items into a box and ship them out without including any information on how they would like them used. Granted, they probably have already informed us via email but having a paper in the box listing what should be int there and how they would like us to use them would certainly help.

Similarly, having packing slips with costs included with shipments would help speed up processing. It is truly a pain to open a box and find a packing slip inside with no information as to cost or MSRP. This means we have to go back to the internet and see if an invoice was sent to us or, as in hte case quite often with Asmodee, go to their website and look up individual information on the cost of the product. Including paperwork would be quite a timesaver.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


 Appears that the newest legal dodge going around is checking websites to make sure they are ADA compliant, notifing the owner if they are not and threatening a lawsuit over non-compliance. Although we did not receive any notices about non-compliance, we went ahead and made our website compliant today. Better to be safe and follow the law, then be thousands of dollars sorry.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Chaos Space Marines

 For you Chaos Space Marines players, here are the upcoming CSM figures and new Codex. If you want them at launch, get your orders in by August 25. 

CHAOS SPACE MARINES: POSSESSED Plastic Box 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 60.00 70.00

43-83 99120102147 501192116542-1 CHAOS SPACE MARINE: ACCURSED CULTISTS Plastic Box 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 50.00 60.00

97-51 99120115002 501192116325-0 COMBAT PATROL: CHAOS DAEMONS Plastic Box 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 150.00 180.00

97-02 60030115007 978183906797-6 CODEX: CHAOS DAEMONS (ENGLISH) Book (HB) 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 55.00 65.00

97-52 99229915015 501192117766-0 WARHAMMER 40000: CHAOS DAEMONS DICE Dice 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 38.00 48.00

200-83 99220909008 501192116610-7 BLOOD BOWL: SNOTLING TEAM DICE SET Dice 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 18.00 24.00

200-89 60050909004 501192117471-3 BLOOD BOWL: SNOTLING TEAM CARD PACK Cards 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 30.00 35.00

202-03 99220909009 501192116611-4 BLOOD BOWL SNOTLING PITCH & DUGOUTS Board Scenery 27-Aug-22 03-Sep-22 50.00 60.00

Friday, August 19, 2022

Dates for Upcoming Magic Releases

 We’ve just found out a whole lot about the Magic schedule!

·        September 9        Dominaria United (previews starting 10/18)

·        October 7            Unfinity and Warhammer 40,000 Commander Decks

·        October 14          Magic the Gathering CCG: Game Night - Free for all

·        November 4        Challenger Pioneer Deck 2022 (moved from October)

·        November 18      The Brothers' War

·        December 2         Jumpstart 2022, Starter Commander Decks, Brothers’ War Gift Edition bundles

·        Early 2023            Dominaria Remastered (no preorder info yet)

·        Later in 2023        Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, returning to Phyrexia, and a whole lot more (no preorder info yet, check out this article for more info)

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Wizards presents

 In case you want to watch, here is the video from Wizards discussing Dominaria United, D&D One, and the relaunch of Dragonlance later this year.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Yu Gi Oh Dark World Structure Deck

 Here are the contents of the Dark World Structure Deck, releasing December 2

BOX BREAK: Each deck contains 5 Ultra Rare cards, 3 Super Rare cards, 37 common cards, 1 Double-sided deluxe game mat and dueling guide

Darkness returns this winter with a brand-new Structure Deck: Dark World*


Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World first debuted in the game-shaking Structure Deck: Gates of the Underworld and its return is now nigh! Structure Deck: Dark World brings this notorious theme back to the human world with a slew of new features! Here’s just some of what you can expect:


Reign-Beaux, Overlord of Dark World has received a promotion! This new form of Reign-Beaux Level 8 monster with 3000 ATK can Special Summon itself from the Graveyard (GY) simply by returning a Level 7 or lower “Dark World” monster from your field to your hand. If it is discarded to the GY, you can add a Level 5 or higher “Dark World” monster from your Deck to your hand, and if it was your opponent who forced you to discard, watch out…


Reign-Beaux isn’t the only one who’s been waiting for this day for over a decade! The great dragon lord Grapha has a brand-new form as well! The new Grapha is a Fusion Monster Summoned using Grapha, Dragon Lord of Dark World and any other DARK monster. You can Summon it with a new Spell Card that lets you Fusion Summon by discarding cards, triggering the effects of any “Dark World” monsters used as well as other powerful DARK monsters like the “Danger!” monsters. While this new Fusion Monster is on the field, you can hijack an opponent’s Normal Spell/Trap Card or monster effect, turning it into a discard effect that unleashes your “Dark World” monsters’ true power!


This new Structure Deck is playable right out of the box – the Dark World army awaits you!


Each Structure Deck contains:

5 Ultra Rare Cards

3 Super Rare Cards

37 Common Cards

1 Double-sided Deluxe Game Mat/Dueling Guide

Boardgames Overstock

 We are not currently taking any used boardgames until the end of the month or we sell down some of our current stock. We have too many for the shelf space and have run out of room to store them. 

Once traffic picks up again, we will start accepting them for store credit or cash.

Monday, August 8, 2022

Horus Heresy

 Here are the figures for the new Horus Heresy Set . We put in orders this week for release on  August 20th so if you want any, let us know by Thursday afternoon.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Beadle and Grimm Dice

 Mildly bemusing that the Beadle and Grimm dice sets spend a lot of valuable package space describing the character class for each dice instead of actually showing the dice. The number one question we have with these dice is: "Uh, what do they look like?" We finally printed out a picture of one of the sets and posted it behind the dice, jsut to give people some idea as to what they are getting. If you are selling a product and its image is very important, be sure to put a picture of it on the package.

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Used Boardgames

We are holding off on buying or giving store credit for used boardgames for the next 2-3 weeks. We have too many in stock currently and need to sell down some in order to make space to take in more.

Monday, August 1, 2022

Dominaria United

 Here is Wizards' first look at Dominaria United. It appears that Jumpstart boosters will replace theme boosters. As with regular Jumpstart boosters, players can take two boosters and shuffle them together to make a playable starter deck. Great as a n introduction for beginners but, as with theme boosters, I do not think there will be much interest in them among more advanced players.

Friday, July 29, 2022

Power of the Elements

 Power of the Elements Premier Event for Yu Gi Oh takes place this weekend. While quantities last, $20 gets you 5 booster packs, field center card and entry into the drawing for the playmats.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Causes of the Current Inflation

 Prices were going to start falling as the money from last year’s stimulus checks worked its way through the economy but with the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russian exports, expect to see them moving up again. Sanctions against Russian mean there are sanctions in place on their international trade against three of the major oil producers in the world:  Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.  The world’s economy has been doing OK with the sanctions against Iran and Venezuela but Europe, last time I checked, gets about 40% of its oil from Russia. The US, currently the number one oil producing nation in the world, has promised to ramp up oil production to help fill the gap left by the expected loss in Russian oil production, although the sanctions may provide exceptions for energy, which makes them much less effective. According to S& P Global Platts, about 75% of the world’s sunflower oil comes from Russia and Ukraine and  just under 25% of its wheat supply comes from the two countries, so disruptions in the supply from both of them will mean further, and longer term, price increases in the food supply. Food is a necessity, games and comics, luxury items. When it comes to how to allocate dollars as prices rise, food will (usually) take priority over entertainment. Although it is doubtful we will see the double digit inflation rates of the late 1970s, the current 7% rate still triples the numbers we have seen over the last 20 odd years and will likely continue for most, if not all of this year.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

A Brief History of Kickstarter


Kickstarter launched in 2009 out of frustration co-founder Perry Chen faced when he ran into difficulties promoting a concert and turned to the Internet for funding.  Finding lots of interest among internet users wanting to support creative types, Kickstarter started as a way for those interested in art and music to provide support to the artists creating it.  Kickstarter supports the company by taking 5% of the proceeds of projects that successfully fund.  For those of you that don’t like Amazon, grit your teeth when you fund a Kickstarter project as Kickstarter uses Amazon to process pledge payments, with Amazon taking another 3 to 5% of the contributions for the handling.  Since launching, Kickstarter has had about 61,000 projects posted to the site and processed over 215 million dollars in pledges   but didn’t hit its first million dollar funding until this past February, when a proposed solid aluminum iPod dock , originally looking for $75,000, raised $1.4 million.  The most successful Kickstarter campaign so far has been for  the Pebble, a watch with programmable faces.   Pebble Technologies originally sought $100,000 to produce 1,000 of the watches and would up collected about $10.3 million, selling about 85,000 watches, enabling the company to add 6 people to its staff within two weeks, tripling the company’s size.

The attention garnered by successful Kickstarter projects such as these, and the Reaper and Giant In the Playground projects, obscures  the fact that posting a project to Kickstarter is nowise a guarantee of success.  In fact, according to Kickstarter, roughly 9% of all projects posted to the site receive zero pledges.  Less than 35% of game projects and 32% of publishing projects successfully fund (the most successful category:  theater.  Over 60% of theater projects launched on the site have successfully hit their funding levels).  Very few Kickstarter projects reach levels that attract the attention of the media, with only seven so far breaking the $1 million mark, as far as I can find.  The most successful Kickstarter projects fall into two categories, 1) they come from companies that already have a base of support for the project and are able to drive support for the project by pushing it relentlessly to that fan base or 2) technology blogs or other media sources find about the project, view it as novel or innovative, and start talking about it, creating awareness of it among potential funders.

There is also the problem of, what happens if a project funds but never gets produced.  In the early days of Kickstarter,  projects were typically musicians seeking funding from fans so they could produce another album.  Today,  aKickstarter project is much more likely a developer  seeking funding by preselling a product before producing it.   According to the terms of service on Kickstarter, if this happens , the creator is supposed to refund all money fund to the backers but the company provides no method for doing so on the website.  Since  Kickstarter never has the funds for a project, operating solely as a facilitator between creator and funder,  the company’s position is that it does not  give refunds and all negotiations must take place between creator and backer. 

According to a recent story on NPR (, the designer of PopSockets, an iPod case and cord designed not to tangle while dancing, raised about $18,600 from 520 backers, last February.  Now, the money is gone, spent on legal and manufacturing fees, with no PopSockets to show for it, none likely to appear, and a host of unhappy backers.    Creator David Barnett eventually refunded about $1300 to 40 of them, which only made the 480 unpaid backers even unhappier.

The problem, really, is that Kickstarter is not set up to police itself, similar to eBay in its early days.  The side only does cursory investigation of projects before allowing them to post and, while the terms of use do constitute a legal requirement for the creator to produce or refund, there is no mechanism on the site for enforcement.  All legal disputes are between creator and backer and, given the size of many pledges, backers likely don’t feel it worthwhile to involve the law.

For the moment, Kickstarter is the premier source for crowdfunded projects.  However, unless the company develops better mechanisms for policing itself, it likely will lose that position to a similar website that provides stronger protections for funders.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Double Masters 2022

 Restock of Double Masters 2022 draft boosters arrived today, plus we have commons uncommons, and rares as well as 4 Collection boosters available. If you playered in Sunday's draft, we have your packs held back for you and you can pick them up with an ID.

Monday, July 11, 2022


 Dungeon Crawl Classics Day is this Saturday July 16. Anyone coming in can take one copy of the DCC Quick Start Rules and the 2022 Adventure Pack and puchase copies of the Limited edition DCC Day adventures. WE have a limited number of last years items. You can get one of those by earning 4 stamps on a Castle Card, which would be easy to do with all of the used DCC modules we have in stock.

Monday, July 4, 2022

Independence Day

 Open until 9 p.m today.

Stop in today and select one from a table full of independent small press RPG supplements. Get one more with your preferred customer card and 1 for each 2 stamps you earn on a Castle Card. Yu Gi Oh players may take a free promo card from the selection offered and one more for each Lost Art Card they get today.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Battle for Baldur's Gate

 Commander Legends:  Battle for Baldur’s Gate, the new set for Magic the Gathering released recently  and the results for us, at least, have proved underwhelming, which seems a pattern across game stores with most reports fewer attendees than for a normal pre-release, although several did report selling out of all available product by the end of Saturday. Here, our Friday night event went off with better attendance than expected but no one showed for the Saturday event, even though the other stores running events locally did not start their until later in the day. Here are a few reasons I think we are not seeing the numbers for a normal Magic  Pre-release:

1. This is not a normal Magic pre-release. Although Commander is arguably the most popular format, drafting is a version for which few players opt. Couple that with the variations implemented in a Commander draft that differ from both regular draft and Commander and that can put people off.

2. Too soon. Streets of New Capenna released just a little over a month ago and Double Masters 2022 streets in early July. As I noted before, that’s an awful lot of Magic for the market to absorb in 3 months’ time. (See ‘A Swell of Magic and RIP Scott Bennie’ )

3. Drafting new sets. Anytime a player drafts, they make the choice of either drafting to play or drafting for value, i.e. keeping the expensive cards they open, even though they will not work well in the deck. Unless a player keeps a close eye on spoiler lists and Magic pricing sites, they will not know if the rare they just opened is worth a buck or 30 bucks. That uncertainty will put off some players until they get a better feel for the value of the new set.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Alta Fox Proxy Fight


After my interview with a reporter from NPR for a story about the proxy battle brewing inside of Hasbro (See FCBD Rating Problems, Hasbro Responds to Alta Fox), I came away learning one thing and getting reminded of another:

1)      Reporters spend a whole lot of time talking with their interviewees and only a fraction of the material discussed appears in the story. The reporter, Wailin Wong, and I spent just under an hour discussing Wizards of the Coast, Hasbro, Dungeons and Dragons and the proxy battle Alta Fox has brought seeking seats on Hasbro’s board. From that material, only about 45 seconds worth made it into the actual story. Wong said, when I asked after listening to the story, that was not atypical. She had conducted 2 hour interviews for Planet Money with only a fraction of the material making it into the published work.

2)      Everybody, and I mean Everybody, likes to talk about their characters. One of the reasons Wong asked to get assigned to this story is that she plays D&D so, of course, we spent several minutes discussing her 5th level druid and my 3rd level cleric.  Everyone likes talking about their character and their adventures. However, unless you are well acquainted with them, do not do so in stores with the store staff. Not everyone is as fascinated with your character as you are, and the staff cannot readily walk away (See Did You Know People Still Play Boardgames).

I    Incidentally, the attempt by Alta Fox to put three of its nominees on the board was, as Hasbro put it, "soundly defeated".


Thursday, June 23, 2022

4th Edition was Ahead of its Time


At least in one respect. Let me back track a bit. Among other topics, I discussed the various editions of Dungeons and Dragons with a reporter last week and the topic of the generally vilification of 4th edition. I can find people who wax nostalgically over their 1st edition half elf fighters (myself included), who still seek out and want to play in 2nd edition campaigns, who avidly purchase any 3rd and 3.5 handbooks on which they can lay their hands and, of course, 5th edition has sold fantastically since it released last decade. 4th edition, meanwhile, gets very little love as most of our customers refer to it disparagingly as WotC’s attempt to migrate video game concepts into a table top RPG and failing spectacularly.

I never had quite the distain for 4th edition that a lot of my customers did. I found it an interesting attempt to merge boardgame concepts with tabletop RPGS, though running the published modules proved problematical as whomever designed them opted to drop the linear progression of most published modules and instead separate encounters likely to involve combat into their own section of the book, meaning extra flipping back and forth for the DM. Still, I found the published adventures playable.  Creating homebrewed adventures proved more problematical.

However, there is one concept that 4th edition introduced that was far ahead of its time and that was the idea of Dungeons and Dragons as a spectator event. Granted, people had watched other people play D&D in the past for generally not for very long, just until a spot opened up for them. Setting up games for one group of people to play while another watches has come into its own with streaming programs such as Dimension 20, Dungeons and Daddies and, of course, Critical Role.

However, in 2011, D&D 4th edition and the Wizards Play Network introduced the concept of the Lair Assault. The WPN positioned the seven Lair Assault scenarios and extremely challenging adventures designed for 2-4 players to finish in a couple of hours. However, the idea behind Lair Assault was that the scenarios, while short, were designed to be so difficult to complete that those players would have to attempt them multiple times, leaning from each attempt, before completing them. However, it was the concept of encourage non-players to come watch that, locking back, I found unique. The focus on RPG play, to that time, has always been on participation. The  WPN, in its directions for Lair Assault, encouraged stores to recruit their best local players to participate and invite other local players to come watch top-tier players attempt an extremely challenging adventure, in effect having one small group playing through the adventure while another group got the opportunity to watch a master class in RPG play. I am not sure how other stores did with the program. I would assume not well, since it only lasted for two years and we found it quite difficult to recruit the same players to come multiple times to play through and complete the adventure and I only remember one person coming in to watch the game, but still the basic concept, though flawed, was there. It just took the advent of the Web and the development of podcasting techniques which made it relatively easy for anyone who wants to put their own gaming sessions online.

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Talk 0f the Town and Free RPG Day

 Scott will be on WDBX tomorrow at 10 a.m. CT to talk about Free RPG Day and the place of Carbondale in the history of Dungeons and Dragons

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Effect of Inflation


Prices were going to start falling as the money from last year’s stimulus checks worked its way through the economy but with the war in Ukraine and sanctions imposed on Russian exports, expect to see them moving up again. Sanctions against Russian mean there are sanctions in place on their international trade against three of the major oil producers in the world:  Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.  The world’s economy has been doing OK with the sanctions against Iran and Venezuela but Europe, last time I checked, gets about 40% of its oil from Russia. The US, currently the number one oil producing nation in the world, has promised to ramp up oil production to help fill the gap left by the expected loss in Russian oil production, although the sanctions may provide exceptions for energy, which makes them much less effective. According to S& P Global Platts, about 75% of the world’s sunflower oil comes from Russia and Ukraine and  just under 25% of its wheat supply comes from the two countries, so disruptions in the supply from both of them will mean further, and longer term, price increases in the food supply. Food is a necessity, games and comics, luxury items. When it comes to how to allocate dollars as prices rise, food will (usually) take priority over entertainment. Although it is doubtful we will see the double digit inflation rates of the late 1970s, the current 7% rate still triples the numbers we have seen over the last 20 odd years and will likely continue for most, if not all of this year.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Double Masters 2022 in Baldur's Gate

 According to this article, foil versions of single Double Masters 2022 cards have appeared in Battle for Baldur's Gate Collector Boosters. Reddit users have posted images of Emrakul, the Aeons Torn and Kozilek, Butcher of Truth which they allegedly found in the Collector boosters. WOTC has neither confirmed nor denied the reports but this is not the first time it has happeend. In the past, for example, cards from Zendikar Rising appeared in packs of Double Masters. One of our customers that purchased a pair of Collector Booster boxes did not find anything immediately apparent but did say he noticed a few cards with symbols differing from thos used on the Battle for Baldur's Gate boosters.

Friday, June 10, 2022

Role Playing Game Day

 The city will proclaim June 25 as Role Playing Game Day in Carbondale at this Tuesday's city council meeting

1. Preliminaries to the City Council Meeting

1.1 Roll Call

1.2 Citizens' Comments and Questions

1.3 Council Comments, General Announcements, and Proclamations

1.4 Proclamations for Juneteenth, Feed My Sheep Day, and Role Playing Game Day

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Horus Heresy

 If you want a copy of the new Horus Heresy from Games Workshop, we need to know by 4 p.m. today as that is when we have to submit final numbers. Unless we get a huge order for the games, we will only have a couple of the rulebooks available and none of the minitures as those are tied to our inital order quantities.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Kill Team Moroch

 Kill Team Moroch releases this Saturday. We still have a couple of copies available for pre-order

Kill Team: Moroch (102-06)

• The second Kill Team expansion, packed with terrain, new rules, missions, Spec Ops and miniatures!

• The new Blooded Kill Team includes various operatives with new weapons and rules available for the first time. The Phobos Strike Team Kill Team provides Space Marines with a host of new upgrades and equipment to create a fully armed Kill Team of precise armoured stalkers.

• Approximately 65% additional value

Thursday, May 26, 2022


 Let us know if you want to pre-order a copy of #1. If you do not like it, bring it back and exchange it for any other Vault title 

MINDSET is a new sci-fi thriller series about mind control, written by me, with last year's Eisner-winning artist John J. Pearson, letterer Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou, design by Tim Daniel, set to release June 29th. With variant covers by Department of Truth's Martin Simmonds, Dani, Tom Muller, Chris Shehan, Christian Ward, Jacob Phillips and David Mack.

SYNOPSIS: When an introverted tech geek from Stanford, with dreams of changing the world, accidentally discovers a form of mind control, he and his friends do something unexpected – they put the science into a meditation app to help users break their addiction to other manipulative technologies and platforms. But after their rags-to-riches rise, a wake of murders and a series of mind games, their Mindset app replaces all rival social media and achieves a cult following of a billion users, and they must ask the question – are they helping people or controlling them?"

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Astral Radiance

 Pokemon Astral Radiance goes on sale tomorrow. We have Elite Trainer Kits, booster boxes and packs and a few Build and Battle kits left.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

GW New Releases

 Releasing from Games Workshop on 5/28  Limited quantities available

Combat Patrol: Adeptus Custodes (01-18)

• A perfect way to start or add to an existing collection at a great value price

• Contains 18x plastic multi-part, multi-option miniatures: 1x Shield-Captain, 1x Vexilius Praetor and 3x Custodian Guard (01-07), 3x Vertus Praetors / Shield-Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike (01-12) and 10x Prosecutors / Vigilators / Witchseekers (01-08)

• Approximately 52% added value

US $150/ CAN $180

***You can find these images on our GW Retailers' Site:***

Adeptus Custodes Blade Champion (01-17)

•1x multi-option HQ choice for Adeptus Custodes in games of Warhammer 40,000

• Previously only available in the Shadowthrone Battle Box

• A great purchase alongside Combat Patrol: Adeptus Custodes

US $38/ CAN $48

***You can find these images on our GW Retailers' Site:***

Genestealer Cults Reductus Saboteur (51-68)

• 1x multi-option Elites choice for Genestealer Cults in games of Warhammer 40,000

• Previously only available in the Shadowthrone Battle Box

US $35/ CAN $41.50

***You can find these images on our GW Retailers' Site:***

Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Echoes of Doom (80-41)

• A brand new Battle Box for Warhammer Age of Sigmar, containing 42x plastic Citadel Miniatures, 7x of which are brand new, alongside a Campaign Booklet, Core Rules Booklet and a Token Board

• Includes 10x Sylvaneth miniatures and 32x Skaven miniatures at excellent value

• Approximately: 85% Added Value

US $195/ CAN $230

***You can find these images on our GW Retailers' Site:***

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Dungeons and Dragons Tarot Deck

 The new D&D Tarot Deck arrived today. Strangely, although it is written by one of WotC's game designers, Adam Lee, the publisher, Clarkson Potter, opted to go with Fred Gissubel for the art. Although Gissubel has done a lot of work in the comic field, it seems rather strange not to go with an artist more associated with Dungeons and Dragons.

It is a standard style Tarot deck and does come with a guidebook for reading tarot, so you do not need extensive familiarity with card reading in order to use it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Metal Dice

 Just a reminder that, if you spend the money buying one of the cool sets of metal dice we have on display (or buy them some place else) a dice tray is probably a good investment. These are metal, after all and rolling the solid ones can certainly damage your tabletop. In addition, especially if you purchased one of the hollow sets, rolling them on something hard could damage the dice. Purchasing a felt line dice tray is a good investment if you want to keep your metal dice in good condition.

Also, because of their heft, metal dice tend to roll further than you may be used to with plactic dice and a dice tray will keep them corralled in front of you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Chaos Knights Army Set

 Here is what you get in the limited edition Chaos Knights Army set. We currently have three available:

Warhammer 40,000: Chaos Knights Army Set (43-80)
• A must have purchase for Chaos Knight fans
• Contains 3x new Chaos Knight miniatures as well as 50x Datacards and the first opportunity for customers to get their hands on the new 9th Edition Codex: Chaos Knights, designed with an Army Set exclusive textless cover
• This limited box not only provides hobbyists with the chance to get their hands on brand new Chaos Knights early but is also an excellent value proposition at 30% Added Value

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Monsters Of the Multiverse

 the next monster book for D&D 5th edition arrives on May 17, Monsters of the Multiverse. There is only one cover for the book as WOTC decided to release the alternate cover last January as part of the rules set that included alternative covers of Tasha's Cauldron and Xanathar's Guide to Everything. We still have a couple of copies of the rules gift set so if you want  all of the covers, that is the only way to get the complete set.

Monday, May 9, 2022

Alta Fox

 Venture Capital company named Alta Fox is pushing Hasbro to spin off the WotC Division of the company. Essentially, Alta Fox thinks WOTC is more valuable on its own than as part of Hasbro and that the value of the company will increase if freed from the strictures of Hasbro. Doubtful that will happen in the near future as Alta Fox just started pushing for the spin off a couple of months ago and Hasbro's boards is quite set against it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Magic Pricing

 WotC has announced a price increase in Magic products, starting with the Dominaria set releasing this fall. Ergo, you can expect to see an increase in the prices of Magic products starting with October. the price has held steady for the better part of the past decade so, given recent inflation, a price increase is not out of line. Still I do long for the days of $2.45 packs of Magic back in the 1990s.

Monday, May 2, 2022

Free Comic Book Day

 Join us for Free Comic Book Day. Come in and get 2 free comic books from the tables in the back. Get one more for:

Showing your Preferred Customer Card
Coming in costume
Wearing your Castle Perilous Shirt
Each stamp you earn on a Castle Card
Spending $10 with our Guests: Marz Stardust, Jeremy Graves, Dane Johns, and "Doc" Smith.
Roman Rathert, host of "Uncle Jerk's Comic Shop" on YouTube will be here from 10 to whenever talking comics.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Marvel Fortnite

 For those Fortnite fans out there,  Marvel has a Marvel/Fortnight crossover coming out early this Summer, much like last year's Batman/Fortnite crossover.   Here are a list of the in game items available when you purchase each issue of the comic

  • FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR #1 – New Spider-Man Outfit - Exclusive to comic buyers for a limited time!
  • FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR #2 – New Iron Man Wrap - Exclusive to comic buyers for a limited time!
  • FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR #3 – New Wolverine Pickaxe - Exclusive to comic buyers for a limited time!
  • FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR #4 – New FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR Spray - Exclusive to comic buyers!
  • FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR #5 – New FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR Loading Screen - Exclusive to comic buyers!
  • Plus any fan who redeems all five codes will receive a new bonus FORTNITE X MARVEL: ZERO WAR Outfit!


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Hacky Sacks

 Just got in hacky sacks, a reproduction of the original 1960s Whamm-O versions. We used to see quite a few college students kicking them around on campus but the sight has been much less common in recent years. Hopefully we will see more students kicking one around the North Washington concert venue. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Streets of New Capenna

 The Streets of New Capenna Pre-release takes place this weekend. We will have one pre-release on Friday at 5:30, replacing our regular Friday Night Magic Game, then we will have one pre-release at 1 p.m. on Saturday and a 2-headed Giant Tournament at 12:30 on Sunday. Currently we have spaces in all three open along with a few draft booster and Set booster boxes available.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022



Wizard of the Coast’s Eventlink software locked up again for several stores during Friday Night Magic this past Friday. While the outage was much shorter than during the pre-release for Kamigawa:  Neon Dynasty (See Rolling for Initiative:  “Kamigawa Neon Dynasty” Pre-release and the Perfection Fallacy), it still occurring during a tournament using software that does not have any options for running the event offline and does not allow you to manually enter match results. WOTC fixed the problem after about 10 minutes, which is much better than the 60 minutes during the Kamigawa Neon Dynasty pre-release but when you have players waiting for their next round parings and the TO has to either put everyone into an alternative tournament program or run the event on paper, a 10 minute wait is 10 minutes too long. Wizards of the Coast says they are looking in the problem and will make fixes but an offline option would sure help.

Thursday, April 14, 2022


 We will be open regular hours on Easter Sunday with Magic Commander casual play at 3 p.m. and an Easter Egg Hunt starting at noon. We will have Easter candy hidden around the store and 33 Easter eggs. You may get as much Easter candy as you can find but only one Easter egg and you must bring the Easter egg to the counter to have it opened. Opening it before you bring it to the counter means the prize ticket inside is void.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

A Little Knowledge (about Comics) is a Dangerous Thing


One time, we had a customer bring in some comic books for us to look over. He was curious as to how much they were worth. Among the books was a copy of Infinity Gauntlet #1, signed by George Perez, with a certificate of authentication. After a few minutes of research among various comic prices sites, eBay and Amazon, we told him it was the most valuable book in the lot, but that the price was all over the place, with sellers pricing it anywhere from $25 to $160. His response “Oh, that’s  all?” The customer figured that 1) all of the interest in Avengers:  Infinity War would have driven up the price of the book and 2) he had heard such high prices paid for first issues of books that he had set an anchor point for the value of his book at a much higher point than the price people were currently willing to pay for it. In this case, a little knowledge was indeed a dangerous, or at least disappointing, thing.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Anchor Points


Although we focus on boardgames, cardgames, TCG and miniatures, we do carry comics as a sideline and participate in the annual Free Comic Book Day. I will leave it to other stores that focus more heavily on comics to discuss the ins, outs and successes of the event. However, an incident took place that got me thinking about behavioral economics and one of my favorite concepts therein, the anchor point.

I have mentioned the concept of the anchor point in past columns. Anchor points come into play when a business sets a price on a product in a category either higher or lower than normal which then causes consumers to re-evaluate their perceptions of the price on other items in the category based on the high or low priced item.

For example, Wal-mart often uses the anchor point to create a perception of low prices on everything within a category by reducing the price abnormally low on just one item. By reducing the price on, say, a TV to $149.99, the company sets a low anchor point for the other TVs it sells. The anchor point Wal-mart sets on that particular TV is lower than the price a customer would find on that particular television wherever they shopped. Wal-mart then prices its other televisions similarly to what other retailers sell price them but, because of the low anchor point, the other televisions are also seen as lower prices.

Anchor points are often used with high priced products, making them seem cheaper. A few years ago, during the GAMA Trade Show, I had the opportunity to have dinner with a couple of other store owners at Gordon Ramsay’s Steak. Now, when I typically go out to eat, I will spend $10 to $20 on a meal. However, at Steak, the average entre runs about $100. When a Porterhouse steak sells for $117, it makes the roasted chicken breast at $36 seem like a steal. Very few people order the Porterhouse steak. It is there to make other items on the menu look much more reasonably priced and lower customer resistance to purchasing them.

This is why I like to have expensive Magic cards on display at the store. We very seldom sell them but having a card in the case selling for four figures makes that $25 Mox Amber look much more reasonably price.

Saturday, April 9, 2022


 Not game related but as we do sell comics and graphic novels, the recent uptick in interest in the Maus graphic novel bemused me.  For those who missed the story, a Tennessee school board voted unanimously to pull the book from its library shelves, over the protests of teachers who used the book in their discussion of WW2 and Holocaust, due to obscene language and a tiny picture of the author’s mother, who committed suicide in a bathtub. This news shot Maus back to the top of Amazon’s best seller list and, from what we have seen in the store have heard from other stores, more customers have asked about and bought the book in the past week than have in years. Wil Wheaton is asking his social media followers to buy a copy and ask the shop to lend or give it away to some who asks. Stores nationally have reported more sales in the past week than in the past couple of years.  Nothing sells like controversy.