Thursday, April 18, 2024

Legacy of Destruction

 We will host the Legacy of Destruction premiere Yu Gi Oh event this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. We would like to host tournaments but no one has shown up for the last three. If you want us to host tournaments, you need to let us know when and make sure they do not conflict with other events.

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

WotC CEO Resigns

 The CEO of Wizards announced her resignation today, effective April 26. No indication as to why. Aside from March of the Machines:  Aftermath, the company has done extremely well with only that one misfire on her watch

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

new Comics

 Our UPSe shipment was delayed about 4 hours but we did get new comics out and in people's hold files. Took a while but they got done. Also receiving FCBD books for May the Fourth.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Outlaws of Thunder Junction

 Light turnout for single player pre-release events this weekend on Friday and Saturday, with only 5 players in each event. Rather surprisingly, Sunday's 2 headed giant had the strongest turnout, with 4 teams playing. Cowboy attire was best represented on Saturday, with 3 players coming in Western garb.

We still have plenty of product for OOTJ, although we will not be putting out singles until this Friday

Friday, April 12, 2024

Cryptid books

 Surprisingly or maybe not, we have sold through books on cryptids with surprising regularity. Maybe it is the haunts of the Big Muddy Monster located only 7 miles away. Of course, as with many bipedal cryptids in the US, the BMM only made one appearance 50 years ago and has milked that one appearance for attention for decades.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Something Is Killing the Children

 got in a big collection of Something is Killing the Children back issues which are now bundled in the back issue room, except for the more expensive ones, which are currently behind the counter until we process them and a 4th print of #1 , which is up on Ebay. Stop by and take a look at them and other back issues when you get a chance.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Free Comic Book Day

 so far we have Dane Johns, Isaac Hicks, Roman Rathert and the irrepressible Brian Morris as well as the Southern Illinois Ghostbusters and Hutchinson Motorsports appearing here for Free Comic Book Day. We hope to have the Southern Illinois Roller Gremlins and Humane Society of Southern Illinois as well.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Outlaws Pre-release

 We are lining up some pretty nice prizes for the drawings at this weekend's pre-releases:  limited edition Magic poster, foil promo packs and an oversized Resplendent Angel card

Monday, April 8, 2024

Dark Tower

 Thinking about electronic games from the last century reminded me of probably the most storied of them, Dark Tower. It sold for about $40 back in 1981, which was quite a high price for that time. Over the next 30 years, complete working copies of the game got very hard to find with working ones selling for over $500. Resurrection Games reproduced the game a few years ago and even that version is selling for $220-$300.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

Omega Virus

 Picked up a working copy of Milton Bradley's Omega Virus talking electronic game. Electronic talking games were very popular during the 1990s, with Dark Tower the most sought after, still commanding a price close to $400 for a working copy. Omega Virus was available at the 1992 Gencon and I remember seeing dozens of people walking the halls of the building with a copy of the game. It was the first mass market game I recall seeing a publisher bring to Gencon.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Pokemon


 New Pokemon releasing tomorrow. We have limited quantities of the IONO Premium Tournament Collection and the GrafaiaiEX box.

Friday, March 29, 2024

Outlaws at Thunder Junction

 Pre-release weekend for Outlaws at Thunder Junction is April 12. We will have pre-release events at 5:30 on the 12th, 1 p.m. on the 13 and a 2-headed Giant at 1 p.m.   Each event costs $45, although if you prepay for 4 kits by the 7, they cost $35 each. A single kit paid for by the 7th costs $40.

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Modern Horizons 3

 

We have been checking the prices for Magic the Gathering Modern Horizons 3, releasing this summer, skipping over Outlaws of Thunder Junction, which, surprisingly, at least to me, has far more interest among our customers than Murders at Karlov Manor (We still have difficulty explaining just what Murders at Karlov Manor:  Clue Edition is.  “Where is the board” is the most common question.).  However, since Thunder Junction has prices close to those of Murders of Karlov Manor, I wanted look at the pricing for Modern Horizons 3, to see how it compared with the jaw dropping pricing for last summer’s Commander Masters. Although the prices for Modern Horizons 3 are high, at least compared to a current set of Magic such as Murders at Karlov Manor, they pale In comparison to the prices Wizards of the Coast charged for Commander Masters. T

he store will be able to sell a Modern Horizons 3 Play booster for under $15 and still make a pretty good profit, whereas Commander Masters boosters, both draft and set, still must sell for over $20 apiece to make a marginal profit. Even the Modern Horizons 3 Collector boosters will sell for a reasonable price, at least if one considers the price of a Lord of the Rings Collector booster reasonable.  After looking at the pricing for Bundles and Commander Decks, it appears prices for Bundles and Commander Decks have shot upwards, with keystone pricing for Bundles a bit over $100 and keystone for Modern Horizon 3 Commander Decks a whopping 40% up over the Commander Masters’ Commander Decks. If you want to keystone pre-release kit pricing, )yes, there will be a Modern Horizons 3 pre-release), stores are looking at right around $70. For a pre-release event, that is pricy. Unless pre-order demand spikes sharply, the store will likely take its normal number of Bundles but cut back significantly on Commander Decks and pre-releases there was already significant price resistance to the pricing on Commander Masters Commander Decks.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

HeroScape this summer

 

We have been looking forward to the re-release of HeroScape, this time from Renagade Studios, who have happily gotten the rights to most of WotC’s boardgame catalog, allowing them to get games like Axis and Allies and Robo Rally back into print (See “Heroscape 2024 Product Release Calendar”). Unfortunately, Renegade, for whatever reason, has decided to release 2 different versions of the game, a Standard unpainted version which will go into distribution and a Premium Painted version available directly from the company for an extra $100. Unfortunately the first time Heroscape released, very few people bought it as a game. Customers bought it for the miniatures and terrain, both of which were painted, which was comparatively unusual for the time. I remember a number of buyers added the figures to their collections for use in various fantasy and SF roleplaying games while Battletech players, especially, glommed onto the terrain because it fit the scale of Battletech perfectly, allowing them, and other miniatures players, to create elevation in a way that flat hex maps did not. HeroScape Sets were a great deal for miniatures players 20 years ago. I will be interested to see how players respond to the new sets, especially the unpainted and more common version.

Saturday, March 23, 2024

Disney Lorcana

 Ravensburger announced a 2 week embargo on online sales of Disney Lorcana starting with Ursula's Return. The game arrives in stores on May 17th with no sales online until May 31. Stores may list the game online and take pre-orders and prepayment and can let customers pick up the game after paying for it on the website but cannot ship mail orders until the 31st. 

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Early Release for D&D

 Wotc Announced this week that it would restart early release for D&D books, beginning with Vecna:  Eve of Ruin. Vecna releases officially on May 21 but WPN stores, such as us, will have the book on sale on May 7th.

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

National Pi Day

 For March 14 (3.14  Get it?) you will get a promo card with purchase of $25 of either Pokemon or Magic and 10% off on Math Fluxx. We will also have a limited amount of free pie available as well.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Fallout Sellout

 We got in one booster box of Fallout Collector boosters and, even with limiting it to 2 boosters per person, we sold out in less than a day. According to our supplier, this is the first Magic set in years they needed to allocate. I hope there may be a second printing of the collector boosters but, based on past experience, I doubt it.

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Fallout

 Universes Beyond Fallout goes on sale tomorrow. Wal-mart broke street date on Commander Decks, releasing them on Wednesday. We only have a few boosters for the set and are limiting them to 2 per customer.

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Will Eisner Week

 Will Eisner Week is celebrated is year to remember Will Eisner, considered the creator of the graphic novel, essentially a book length original comic book. Books such as Gender Queer, Ducks and My Favorite Thing is Monsters can be classified as graphic novels, since they are written and drawing as a self contained whole. Eisner Award winners such as Saga, Bone, Monstress and even Maus could be classified as trade paperbacks, since they were originally released as comic books, or in the case of Maus as part of a comic anthology, before getting collected into book form

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Magic Store Championships

 Due to request from several Magic players, we have moved the date of the Murders at Karlov Manor Store Championships from Saturday at 1 p.m. We have moved the Fallout event to Sunday Commander at 3 p.m.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Carpets

 Don't be surprised if the carpets feel a bit damp tomorrow. We had our semi-annual shampooing of them Monday night and it can take a day or so for them to fully dry.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Will Eisner Week

 March 1 through 7th is Will Eisner Week. Will Eisner, creator of the Spirit, is widely considered the father of the graphic novel, which is generally defined as a book length comic book, while a trade paperback is a collection of several individual comic issues which form a complete story arc. 

To celebrate, we are offering a 10% discount on all graphic novels and trade paperbacks, both used and new, through March 7th. Castle Cards may be applied to your purchase, as well as your Preferred Customer Discount.

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Dyatlov Pass incident

 Always thought this would make a good storyline for a Call of Cthulhu scenario. Something prosaic like an avalanche was probably the cause but encountering some of Lovecraft's creatures would be possible, especially in a frozen remote area like the Urals

Thursday, February 22, 2024

ConCave

 The store will set up at ConCave in Bowling Green Ky this weekend. If you are at the convention or in the area, stop by and say Hi.  Show us this post and score a free die.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Lorcana League Play

 We will continue the stopgape league through the end of Februrary, then start the season 3 league on the first Wednesday in March.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Lorcana Chapter 3

 We expect to receive Lorcana Chapter 3 Into the Inklands this Friday, Feb. 23.  Unless someone cancels their pre-orders, we will have boosters and decks for the shelf but no Troves or Gift sets. It will be interesting to see how much demand there is for this set as online prices have dropped significantly for booster boxes.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Birthday Party

 The back game room will be closed from 1 to 5 tomorrow for a birthday party. Birthday Party? Yes, we will host birtday parties for you fociues aroeund D&D, Miniatures painting, Magic the Gathering , Pokemon or superheroes. Room rental runs $200 for up to 8 people with us assisting in set up and clean up, as well as running events if you so choose.

Thursday, February 15, 2024

D&D Releases for 2024

 We finally received details on the D&D releases for this year.

Vecna:  Eve of  Ruin releases May 21. It is a adventure taking players across the entire D&D multiverse

The Making of Original Dungeons and Dragons releases June 18 and covers the history of the devlopment of original D&D during the 1970s

Quests from the Infinite Staircase, a collection of original A&D 1st edition adventures updated for 5 the edition. The adventures range from levels 1 through 3.

Player's Handbook 2024, a revised version of the 5E Players Handbook releases Sept. 17, although I would bet we will see copies for sale at GenCon

Dungeon Master's Guide 2024 will release November 12th. 

The updated Monster Manual will release Feb 18 of 2025.

Alternate covers will be available for Quests from the Infinite Staircase and Vecna:  Eve of Ruin.  No word on the others yet.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

34th Anniversary Celebration

 We will host our 34th anniversary celebration  this Sunday fromnoon to 6 with our $1000 drawing at 4:30.  OUr guests will include Cape girardeau Author Breanna Bright, local Artist Isaac Hicks, rune Reader Rachael Smith and Tarot Reader Amelia Methana.  Spend $10 with any of them and get an extra ticket for the drawing.

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Murders at Karlov Manor

 all of our instock Murders at Karlov Manor go on sale tomorrow. However, we will not be taking any trades on cards for the set until the 23  as we figure it takes about 2 weeks for card prices to settle. A YuGi Oh ! card from Phantom Nightmare that was $80 on Wednesday has dropped to $70 a day later. We do not want to take cards only to find they have dropped in value by 10 to 20% within a few days.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Quarter Century Secret Rare

We opened a box of Yu Gi Oh Phantom Nightmare booster packs today and pulled this Quarter Century Secret Rare card, whcih is currently selling online for between $325 and $350. A change I have noticed in these packs is the abscence of rare cards. There are Secret Rares, Ultimate Rares but the old style Rare cards, which just had the name of the card in foil, have vanished.

 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Magic

 Following up from the previous post, the 1 deck and 2 boosters sat on the edge of the cash wrap for about 3 months until Gencon. Magic blew up at the 1993 Gencon with people playing the game anyplace they could find a flat surface. The first person to visit the store after Gencon snapped up our Magic and asked for more, setting off an unfulfillable demand that lasted until after Fallen Empires.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Metazoo shutters

 Maker of the Metazoo TCG has abruptly shut down. The company got a lot of attention during the early years of its 4 years run with 1st edition boxes selling for hundreds of dollars. Last summer they were touting the acquisition of the Hello Kitty license and were offering a premium bundle with a MSRP of $150. Then on Black Friday weekend, the company sold those bundles for $30, really undercutting the distributors that bought into the product

Apparently, it has been at least six months since the company has fulfilled any pre-orders placed through its website. So much for its hopes of becoming the next Pokemon

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Magic

 As long as I am reminising, when Magic the Gathering first came out, our sales representative for our supplier could not explain what it was.  "Well, it's this card game and you buy decks and booster packs for it and construct a deck from them."  This was before anyone had any idea about what a booster pack was or what "Construct a deck" meant. As the encouragement of our supplier, we brought in 1 deck of Alpha and 2 booster packs. Not boxes, packs. And they sat there. And we almost forgot about them.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

D&D at WalMart

Dungeons and Dragons may seem mainstream today but it was also suprisingly widely accepted in the early 1980s. When I worked for Wal-Mart in the early 1980s, I had played D&D and AD&D in college but got rid of all my materials when I relocated. That didn't last very long of course and within a year after going to work at Wal-mart, I started playing again. However, was mildly sprised to find Wal-mart stocking the basic D&D boxed sets in the toy department. Never saw any books or modules, likely because the buyers could not figure out what they were but boxed sets were close enough to board games that the buyer could at least approximate them.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Murders at Karlov Manors

 Here is a breakdown of where to find what cards in Murders at Karlov Manor.  Melik, Refoged Researcher; Tomik, Wielder of Law; and Voja, Jaws of the Conclave will only be found in pre-release kits and cannot be used during pre-release events, although they are legal in other tournaments than the pre-release

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Ravnica Remastered

 We and disribution are sold out of Collector boosters for this set. We only have about a dozen Draft booster packs left and are not sure if we will be able to restock when we sell out of them.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Bloom off Lorcana

 

It looks as if the bloom is off the Disney Lorcana rose. Restocks of Chapter 2 Rise of the Floodborn boosters hit store shelves this week and, based on the price drop for booster boxes online, some people ordered way too many of them. Prices for sealed booster boxes are hovering in the range of $140 to $150 per box with Chapter One booster boxes selling slightly higher at about $160. We will have to see if the trend continues with the Chapter Three Into the Inklands set. From the pricing I am seeing for pre-orders of Into the Inklands, it appears this pricing trend for Disney Lorcana will continue. We are going to see pricing significantly above Ravensburger’s MSRP for the initial release of a set followed by a drop of 40% in prices upon the receipt of a subsequent release of the set. Since we only see Troves and Gift Sets at the initial release, we are still seeing them selling for significantly above MSRP, but not decks and booster boxes.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Pre-order Declines

 

. I have noticed , and have seen confirming comments from other stores, a noticeable drop-off in preorders of booster boxes, especially draft. Our pre-orders on draft boxes have dropped to nil and our pre-orders on set and collector boosters of new sets of Magic the Gathering have dropped by 80%. I am not sure how much essentially making pre-release weekend into release weekend has to do with this, but it does not appear to have helped. Online sellers cutting the price on booster boxes to $10 to $20 over costs does not help, although, since most online sells appear to adhere to the restriction that they cannot sell until the official release date, that does give brick and mortar stores a bit of a leg up. I am not sure if a week’s delay in receiving product outweighs the extra $40 to $80 the customer pays instore for a booster box. I have read of some stores eschewing the sale of booster boxes altogether, preferring to sell Magic by the pack, which offers a better margin, albeit with a bit more labor and smaller sales. A few stores have even said they opted to drop Magic and other TCGs altogether, preferring to shift their focus to other non-collectible games that generally require much less effort to sell.. if you are going to sell TCGs, and make that your focus, you must invest in a decent singles selection, play space and organized play, all of which cost extra money. Magic has gone through a slump like this before. Of course, there were not so many variations of Magic  for retailers to consider.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Star Wars Pre-release Kit

 

The store received a pre-release kit from Fantasy Flight Games for the company’s upcoming release of its Star Wars Unlimited Collectable Card Game. The kit comes with a poster, a window cling and a couple of sign up sheets for those interested in the game to leave their contact information. Foregoing my doubts regarding the viability of the game, there are a few problems with the materials I would like to point out. Before diving into those though, I do want to mention that I wish other companies would provide materials to stores sufficiently far in advance that we can use them to promote the game. That being said:

1.       Window Cling—the provided window cling is about 18’ by 12” which is a bit big to affix to any in-store glass surfaces. It is designed so that the back of the cling, rather than the front, adheres to the window. The only glass found in most stores are the front windows, maybe the door and display cases inside the premises. No store is going to want to put the cling on the front of a display case, as that obscures the view of the items inside, rather defeating the purpose of a display case. A front window or door would be a perfect place to display the cling, save for the fact that the back side is the side designed to adhere to the glass, meaning it would have to go on the outside of the door or window, where the weather will likely pull it off in a few hours, leaving it lying on the sidewalk or street. Designing it so that the front of the image clings to the window means stores can place it on the inside of the glass, keeping it on display longer.

2.       Promotional Poster—While I am a big fan of promotional posters, I am an even bigger fan of well designed promotional posters (See “A Tale of Two Posters”) which the one for Star Wars Unlimited is not. First, the poster gives the viewer no indication as to what it is promoting. It features artwork, not photos mind you but artwork of the three iconic Star Wars heroes:  Luke, Leia and Han. So far, so good. Anyone who has paid attention to pop culture over the past 50 years should recognize them, although it seems to me a photo of them would be even more recognizable. Maybe the actors or studio would not include actual character photos with the license (This happened at least once before. When Thunder Mountain Games released the Highlander Trading Card Game lo these many years ago, they could not get the rights from Sean Connor to put a photo of his character, Juan Sánchez Villa-Lobos Ramírez, on a card, so Thunder Mountain Games just used a black silhouette instead of a photo, along with the name and card effects). That is a minor caveat though. My major problem with the poster is that it tells me nothing about the product. A customer glancing at it has no idea what Star Wars Unlimited is. No mention of a collectible card game, no pictures of cards, not even a QR code an interested customer could use to find out more. Is Star Wars Unlimited a boardgame, video game, RPG, comic, graphic novel, Funko POP line? A poster is a great opportunity to sell your product or at least generate interest in it, but it has to give the customer some indication as to why they should be interested.

Maybe we will get a second promotional kit with some materials further helping to develop interest in the product prior to the release. I hope so as I would like to see the game do well.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Open Today

We are open today and will make the back room available should you need a warm place to sit or a place to recharge your phone.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Carbondale Eclipse Card

 In case you want to get an early start on your upcoming Eclipse festivities, we have a free "Carbondale Eclipse" Cards Against Humanity card. Just stop in and ask for one.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Ravnica Remastered

 We have had a few people call inquiring about pre-release events for Ravnica Remastered. There was no official pre-release for the set, as it is not a set in STandard roatation. What happened was that Wizards Premiums stores, as one of the benefits of that status, got their boxes in a week before the general release and were able to sell and run events the weekend of Jan 5th. 

We will have our draft and collector boosters in this Friday and will run a draft on Saturday the 13th at 1 p.m.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Player Materials

 I really hope WotC decides to publish more player focused materials for D&D this year. Of the four releases in 2023, only Glory of the Giants and Planescape had any player character materials. Players still bought the books but it seems a shame to shell out the $60 for a book with only a fraction of the book aimed at players, which make up the far larger segment of the market

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Deck of Many Things

 We will recieve the alterative cover of the Deck of Many Things this Friday and should have them available for purchase at 10 a.m. The regular cover, for whatever reason, has been delayed.

Monday, January 1, 2024

Internet Sales Growth Continues

 

1.       When I questioned my marketing students this past semester as to what percentage of retail sales currently occurred online, their guesses ranged from 25% to 70%. The actual figure, as of 2022, was 14% but it ticked up sharply this year, reaching 14%, with online holiday sales seeing an increase of some 58% on the Saturday before Christmas over the same day 2022. Concurrent with, or in response to, this I expect to see even more stores moving to the retailtainment model, not only selling games but offering more events beyond the card tournaments that are a fixture now. More stores will incorporate parties and food service into their model, even offering alcohol sales and consumption when local laws allow.