Yep…shockingly enough, this has been a tough year. We’ve been working super hard to keep afloat till things get to something vaguely resembling normal. In the meantime, this year, we need as much of your holiday business as you can spare.
Part of that is a good thing both ways. Instead of focusing on gifts to open basically at the end of x-mas, think about gettting some game to play with the family/friends during the time you are together (or needing something good to keep from missing what the holidays normally look like.) To that end, we’ve hand picked a number of games that we know will do the trick. These can be ordered online and curbside pick up is Tues-Sunday, 4-6 (0r more when we are around…you can always call the store to check.)
Ok, we’ve had over a half a year of skeleton holidays and rain-checked birthdays and celebrations. And now we have to give up Halloween? Not on my watch, at least not having it be another disappointing memory. I’ve picked out a number of appropriately creepy, but more importantly interesting and engaging games, so we can give a good shot at transforming this from being another in the disappointment memory collection to being a night (or weekend) full of actual, face to face fun.
A bunch of these games are coop games to play with each other against the game, and a few are big, epic adventures that will be the game equivalent of page turners.
Oh, and one more thing. I know trick or treating is canceled, but every bag that is sold this weekend will come with a heaping (and well sanitized,) handful of Halloween candy.
(Besides…it will be good to have a break from the constant checking of the election polls.)
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange pick up or drop off of your stuff, and I’ll be around from 12-5 Thursday, Friday and Saturday for pick up (probably more, but at least that.)
[NOTE–All Ikoria product is preorder to be delivered on or after May 15th.]
Oh man, do I hope this works… I’ve been working all week to get the webstore online so we could do sales for Ikoria in the middle of the duck and cover in place time.* So here’s the deal. We are doing a combo of Curbside and Delivery when the stuff comes out on Friday mostly because we don’t really know what the rules are gonna be on a day to day basis. A couple of things:
Safety First…REALLY. We are doing curbside and delivery only…Don’t show up at the store to buy stuff. I love you guys dearly and do NOT want people hanging out in anything like a line at the store. The online store is hear so we can either drop the stuff off or come to the curb to the car and bring it to you.
We aren’t even pretending that we know what we are doing or will be able to pull this off without some sort of major “whoops”. Please be super patient with us, and if you are not sure if something come through or have a question, email at email@example.com and we’ll get back when we dig ourselves out.
We are doing Ikoria Loot bags, which are combos of stuff. These are based on the Magic loot bags we have already been doing, but upgraded for Ikoria only. The Silver is two Prerelease kits at $60, the Platinum is a booster box and two Prerelease kits and bonus older buy a box promos. We aren’t doing much in the way of discounts, cause frankly, we need every $$ we can get right now. Instead, I’m tossing in bonus goodies like promo cards and packs. When we get to some of the more significant loot bags, we are gonna say thanks for supporting us by upping the extra goodies levels appropriately. We appreciate every bid of business you throw our way, but for those with the means to give the store above and beyond thanks, including some very limited items. Any Diamond level or above bag (and the first 25 orders over $400) will get the exclusive full art foil Godzilla card. The Utimate Diamond Black Ultimate loot bag, for which there is and will only ever be one, includes, among many other things, the only one of the giant Garruk’s Axe (Nerf) and the 2017 SCDC Promo set with he Nicol Bolos print on a full uncut magic sheet.
Regardless of what you get, I do have a suggestion to make up for the fact that we don’t get to come play together for the prerelease. Take your prerelease kits and turn them into an at home sealed league. Then each day, give each person a new pack to open to add to their card pool. Each of those packs is gonna end up way more fun that way and you will be able to squeeze a lot more fun per pack. I want your business, but I also want to be able to give you guys something with some joy in it to do with each other during all this.
You can do the sealed with buddies over zoom to, but it requires one thing…the honor system for real. It’s way to easy to cheat without anyone looking at what your are doing so it is a great time to remember that the playing is way more important then the winning and loosing, and that being honorable is not just adding serious power to yer insides, but makes you someone other people like playing with.
Here is the official unofficial way we* are doing things at D20 (for the moment) that is designed to keep everybody safe, give people a way to keep from going nuts that doesn’t involve screens, and trying to keep in business. *(not we, ok there is really nobody here but me and the pooch.)
Where: delivered to your car or at a distance outside the door
When: Pretty much whenever I’m here, which is a fair amount. Just call and check (510-522-2109).
I’m not going to do regular hours because I don’t want to have any “time” I open up that might get more then one person hanging around at a time. Call first and I’ll get things ready for when you get here.
We are doing cash and credit cards and I’m rounding up the amounts so we don’t exchange any cash. To keep thing safe for everyone, no customers are coming in the store, so that means no singles, either buying or selling. Normally we spend a lot of time trying to help figure out what games are good for each person. I’ll do that on the phone if I can, but the real way we are dealing with that are the Mystery Loot Bags. Having said that , we are making some that are for younger kids vs adults and over, and if you let me know if there are a bunch of you or just two, I’ll see what I can do to help.
Trying to keep things (me) from drifting off into the timeless aether. I can’t tell you how much I miss seeing people in person.
First off…as a fellow owner of a game store, I need to say something about Gamestop’s decision to stay open with the argument that we were “essential” businesses. NO!…No, no, no, no, stop complaining you utter irresponsible whiners, NO! Ok, look, I understand the panic of wondering if your business can survive this kind of thing. I get those feelings too. But if someone came up to me today and said that my folks were sick and the only way to keep them alive was to close the store for a month or two, I wouldn’t even think about it. So if we need to get bored out of our skin in order to keep this from spreading to even one unnecessary grandma or grandpa, then we’re doing it, even if it puts the business at risk.
Having said that, we are gonna try and do some things to both help folks from getting too stir crazy and to see if we can find some rent money under the cushions. We are doing “knock up” business…basically knock on the door if the light are on or call before you come and we can come out to the curb. Since we can’t have people do browsing, what we can do is bring stuff to the door. So that means Specific games if we have them in stock or the next batch of our mystery loot bags. The bags are $60-tax included, and have between $80-120 retail worth of games.
Just to be very clear about the nature of these bags. They are currently the vast majority of our business, and even that like a 10th of our normal business. We really appreciate the concern for our survival and will need the help, IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT. For those customers who are struggling too, reach out to us. The other purpose of the loot bags are to give us a chance to keep from going stir crazy without the mental bad side effects that can creep in with too much screen/phone time. If you are in $$ trouble too, reach out to me. I’m going to put together some bags for our customers who are hurting too, and for those, pay what you can, and if that is nothing, talk to me. Normally we’d all be helping each other out, but in this instance, I’m the one with unopened, uncontaminated stuff. The one cavet in that if you can’t afford $$, just pay it back in kindness. And this isn’t true for most of my customers but I gotta say this anyway, I’ll only have a limited number of the kindness bags, so make sure they are there for folks who need ’em. We need to count on each other right now, so small does of do the right thing go a long way.
I’m also working on variations to the loot bags. These will include:
Magic Loot bags for sealed fun.-
Silver Chaos Loot Bags: $50 (12 random packs—good for 2 person 6 pack sealed, or 3 people 4 pack mini sealed.) Plus mystery bonus $50-80 value
Gold Chaos Loot bag: $100 (A pair of random prerelease kits and a mystery bundle. Plus a mystery extra magic goody.) $120-160 in value.
Platinum Chaos Loot bag: $200 ( A booster box, fat pack, two prerelease kits, and an extra surprise worth at least $50)$230-270 in value.
Diamond Chaos Loot bag: $500 ( A booster box, one of the Analogy sets, Archenemy, 4 prerelease kits, 4 brawl decks and a Conspiracy booster box, and whatever else I decide to toss in.) $550-800 value
And for D&D folks, we got all the basic books back in stock, have the new book in now. and are putting together a set of painting loot bags. These will be $60 and include mini figs to practice on and dedicated D&D paint sets.
Give us a call before you come over to see if we (I’m) around. I’ll be in during the day on Saturday and Sunday with the exception of when I go take the pooch to the dog park. Other then that, I’ll be in the store a lot doing various long ignored jobs. It feels super weird to not be having regular store hours…I worked very hard to take those hours as a promise from me to you guys, but we live in strange times at the moments.
BTW…here is a story that I wrote about that first shelter in place week.
Mystery Loot Bags. These are bags that we are selling for a suggested donation of $60 that have at least 3 or more games with a retail value between $80-$120. (sometimes with bonus demo games thrown in. These are $60 including tax, so if you have cash, give us a call about 5 minutes before and then when you are down the street and we will bring it out to you.
Ok…two problems with a common solution.
The next month is gonna be a tough one for us as a store as business drops to the floor.
Its a stir crazy time for people who are home from school or work.
We know that new board games are a great solution, and we will be here to give good recommendations, and will work hard this week to see if we can try and become able to take orders online and but for now, we are doing officially unofficial curbside/at the door delivery as a way to keep things safe and still do what we can for you and to stay alive. .
If you can, we really appreciate the support over the next little bit. It means a lot to us, and this way we can be here when this is all done.
(This is a mostly a repost…but hey…we’ve been doing the same thing every year)
New this year….We not be offering any savings for our sales this year…we’re doing Givings instead. Instead of trying to out cheap Amazon, we’re opting for going for being good people. There has been way too much of the opposite in the world these days. And the best way I know to deal with selfishness and bullying is with fierce kindness. So from now till the end of the holiday season, I’m gonna ask that you save a little chunk of your gift $$ to spend with us, and in exchange, when you buy gifts from us, together we will give more gifts for those who are a little short of random kindness. Spend $50 or more, put a $10 gift into the big box, $100 and put up to a $20 gift, etc. We have a bunch of great games and goodies that we’ve hand picked for the holidays, including good games for getting everyone off of screens for both thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays.
We are Closed for Thanksgiving…Open at 1pm on Friday the 29th. (maybe earlier depending on when I can get back…but that will be bonus.)
Black Friday =Family Friday
Every year. I do my traditional Thanksgiving thing, and stand up against the marketing Tsunami and become a foolish business guy.
I’m not going to be part of the industry that has done such an amazing job of implanting in our minds that it is SHOPPING time, that we have forgotten that this is a day where our family/friends have often traveled a big distance, are together and don’t have to go to work. Don’t go shopping on Friday (or Thursday night, etc). Not in the stores, not on line, none of it.
Go play!!! Sure, I’m the board game guy, so that’s my auto suggestion, but go for a walk, hike, de-dust the football (and stretch first..those of us who’s memories of being 12 are a few times older then being 12.) But go goof with each other, and have some (gasp) fun! Relax, go back to the leftovers a bunch of times when no one is looking. Or just chill out.
I’m not saying we don’t want and need yer business. We absolutely do. Competing with the near cost prices of Amazon means that every sale from customers who appreciate that we are creating a home for community more then anything else is absolutely key for us. (So save some of your gift money to spend with us). But it does mean that I’m not going to make my sales last 45 minutes so you have no choice but to leave the house in order to get them. We’ll be doing sales all week , but we’ll base them on how many we need to sell at that price so, you can come in this weekend, or next week, etc.
Our big thing is to make sure that we listen and can point you to things that will actually be fun to play and make people happy. (And no fake reviews either. Ok…that was a little shot at Amazon…couldn’t help myself.)
Coming…list to a page of our recommended gifts for this year, as well as any other special stuff. But for right now, just think about special stuffing. (Ok…if you come into the store today, you can get some great games to play over the holiday.)
Back in stock…4 copies of Xanthar’s Guide to Everything–the special Edition!!!
Harry Potter Hogwart’s Battle-Cooperative Deck Building Game: We’ve sold through 3 orders of this great cooperative deckbuilding game that has you take the role of Harry or his buddies to battle to keep the minions of he who should…well you know the rest, from taking over different locations before finally defending the school itself. SOLD OUT
Potion Explosion: My favorite find at this year’s Comicon. This game features a real life bejeweled affect
Evolution,Evolution Flight, and Evolution Climate Change. The first Evolution is one of our staff picks, a great game where you are trying to evolve the most species, eat the most food, or go carnivore eat the most of your opponents
players chose one of (currently) three factions from the Star Trek myhos and go exploring the galaxy in their own particular, how do you say, style. (The Federation gets their success from exploration, the Klingon’s can, literally, not back down from any chance at glorious combat, and the Romulans, slip around, not letting you know which way they decide to go.
The Pandemic folks have a slate of 3 great offerings beyond their normal great coop “Let’s keep the world cured and happy, despite itself” race against unpredictable time game. Pandemic Iberia just came in yesterday. And Pandemic Cthulhu is a great variation that uses the same game play pattern, but somehow feels like a whole new, and very fun game. And then there is probably my fav. game from last year, Pandemic Legacy. Legacy games are this new concept that basically says “what if what happened in the board game we just played today stuck with the game forever…like the board changed, the rules changed, the world changed.” It’s not only super fun, but is one of the best games ever for building a regular game night. There are twelve sealed packets or boxes in the game that get opened each subsequent time you play, so instead of “what should we play tonight” you get “man, what’s going to happen next?!?” Just great…
Kill Doctor Lucky: This is a great game that was out of print until the creator finally hammer-locked the rights back from an utterly disengaged publisher. It’s the exact opposite of Clue….take a minute and let that process. 😉 Yep, instead of trying to find the homicidal miscreant, you are trying to get alone with the wandering doctor where no one can witness your evil doings and grab those honors for yourself.
On top of all those, there are new versions/add-ons for