Monopoly Mario Kart

Today, Hasbro releases a second Nintendo-based Monopoly game, Monopoly Gamer: Mario Kart. Property spaces include Rainbow Road and Bowser’s Castle. Player tokens include Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, and Toad. In this version, landing on or passing the Go space starts a race between players for the Grand Prix card.

The Mario Kart edition of Monopoly Gamer is available today at GameStop for $25 and will find its way to additional retailers this summer. Power Packs with player tokens for Bowser, Rosalina, Shy Guy, Metal Mario, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi (each with unique special powers that trigger on a Power-Up Boost die roll) will release in the fall.

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Hot Jobs in Board Games

Green Board Games (High Wycombe, U.K.) is looking for someone to fill the position of National Account Manager. The job entails a wide range of responsibilities, including new business development, managing stock levels, and product development.

Panda Game Manufacturing has several openings, including one for an EU Account Manager, one for an EU Project Manager, and one for a Senior Shipping Specialist. Most Panda positions allow remote work from home. The EU positions require non-English language skills. And the shipping job requires experience with international logistics.

The Broken Token (Escondido, California) needs a Laser Operator and a Shipping Associate. One makes the products, the other sends it out to customers. Pay for both is $11 per hour.

With a recent infusion of investment cash and plans for expansion, TCGplayer has a number of job openings: Product Managers, Software Engineers, Database Administrators, and Shipping & Receiving Specialists. The openings are mostly split between Syracuse, New York and Atlanta, Georgia. A few of the Software Engineers can be remote.

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TCGplayer has received a $10 million equity investment from Radian Capital. The company says the money will allow it grow staff while it expands its collectible market portal and retail support service from CCGs to board games, roleplaying games, comic books, sports cards, and video games.

Mayfair Games is closing up shop and has sold all its remaining game assets, as well as its majority stake in Lookout Games of Germany, to Asmodee North America. Lookout will continue to operate as a design studio of Asmodee.

Spin Master has signed a distribution deal with Toysmith for a variety of toy brands, including games and puzzles from Spin Master’s Cardinal subsidiary. The arrangement, which takes affect in June, will see Toysmith as exclusive distributor to the specialty market for the covered ranges.

North Star Games has instituted a minimum advertised pricing (MAP) policy, which is “non-negotiable for all North Star Games’ resellers and will be strictly enforced to ensure the continued value of its brand.” The company also issued a statement saying that, effective immediately, except for two unnamed parties, all sellers will be restricted from participating in Amazon’s Third-Party Marketplace. North Star promises to monitor product listings and suspend or terminate the accounts of those sellers that do not comply.

Hasbro has signed on as the master toy licensee for Power Rangers (Saban Brands), UglyDolls (STX Entertainment), Super Monsters (Netflix), and Top Wing (Nickelodeon), though only the announcement for Power Rangers specifically mentions games.

According to NPD, Mattel’s UNO card game was the top selling game in the United States in 2017.

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Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesDriveThruRPG is holding its annual GM’s Day Sale with thousands of titles 33% off. A similar sale is taking place on Dungeon Masters Guild.

In recognition of many new customization options, BoardGameTables.com is giving away winner’s choice of up to $3,500 in customized game table.

Closing up its online shop, Funagain Games is running a warehouse clearance sale.

Renegade Game Studios is giving away Lucidity: Six Sided Nightmares.

Cryptozoic is giving away three copies of Cult, which the company is currently funding on Kickstarter.

Brawlin’ Brothers is giving away Einstein and the Genius Expansion from Artana.

The Carboard Republic is giving away The Last Garden from One Thousand XP.

Bundle of Holding has brought back an earlier deal for Unknown Armies.

Save an extra 10% on sale and clearance items today from Miniature Market with promo code “DEALS10”.

Get a free set of dice with the purchase of any overstock item from Dog Might Games.

The Giveaway Geek is giving away Terraforming Mars from Stronghold Games and Byzanz from Renegade Game Studios.

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Toy Fair 2018—Winning Moves

First up on my tour of the Winning Moves Toy Fair booth was a classic brought back to print by the company, Pente ($20 retail, available now). Reminiscent of Go, the goal in Pente is to either line up five in a row of one’s own pieces or capture five pairs of an opponent’s pieces.

Next was Monopoly: The Card Game ($11, now). This is neither the same as Monopoly Deal, nor the last Monopoly card game produced by Winning Moves. Instead, it’s more like a cross between Monopoly and Gin Rummy. Players can trade cards but to go out their hand must include at least one complete property color group. Card sets have a dollar value based on the properties in the namesake and the first player to a set dollar amount is the winner.

After that, Winning Moves was showing Classic Rummy Tiles ($15, now). It’s the company’s generic version of Rummikub with stadium-style tile racks.

Finally, there was the new Rubik’s Tower ($17, now) a 2x2x4 non-symmetrical version of the cube puzzle.

Kevin Siembieda, President of Palladium Books, posted a public update to the Robotech RPG Tactics Kickstarter stating they will not be able to produce the Robotech RPG Tactics Wave Two rewards following the expiration of the Robotech license. The campaign for the Robotech RPG Tactics game raised nearly $1.45 million in 2013 to produce a miniature wargame based on the version of the Robotech anime owned by Harmony Gold USA. The license, which was held by Palladium for thirty years, has expired and is not being renewed.

As part of the loss of license, Palladium is liquidating all Robotech products, including their roleplaying game book line and all pdfs of the original game line’s material on DriveThruRPG.

Siembieda writes about the many delays and the unseen costs Palladium encountered while attempting to fulfill the project: recreating 3d sculpts that were incompatible with the manufacturer’s production process and increased shipping costs. In January of 2014, the company decided to split the numerous sculpts and rewards into two waves of project. After having delivered the planned first wave, “the Kickstarter money was gone.” Palladium Books estimated that producing the second wave of rewards would have cost them up to $625,000.

The company is offering to substitute already-produced product in place of the second wave rewards they did not create, but say backers would have to pay for shipping. “We estimate shipping to all 5,000+ backers around the world will cost $120,000-$160,000; and, at this point, Palladium Books just does not have the resources to cover that expense.” This exchange is offered only while supplies last or March 20, 2018, whichever comes sooner.

In an earlier update to the campaign, Palladium wrote “By Kickstarter’s terms of service, we are obligated to deliver on the rewards we have promised, and we will do that…. If the time should ever come that Palladium Books cannot fulfill the terms of our Kickstarter project, we will of course offer refunds, as we would be required to do by Kickstarter.”

August will see the retail release of the Lego Ninjago Stormbringer set, a robot dragon programmable with Lego’s Boost system. Suggested retail price is just $40.

Boost is an icon-based programming system designed for builders as young as seven. Programming takes place entirely in a mobile app environment.

Stormbringer can walk, move its head, roar, and shoot bolts from its mouth.

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Transformers TCG: Details and Accessories

Hasbro’s new Transformers Trading Card Game is scheduled for release in September. Though little else has been revealed publicly about this WOTC-developed game, I did get a look at some prototype product in Hasbro’s New York Toy Fair showroom. No photos but here’s what I learned…

In the game, Transformers are represented by oversized cards with bot versions on one side and vehicle versions on the other.

While not active yet, the official website will be TransformersTCG.com.

The contents of 2-player starter sets will include:

  • 4 foil Transformers cards
  • a 40 card battle deck
  • damage counters
  • turn order card

So, one battle deck for two players. Does that mean opposing players share a battle deck?

Also at Toy Fair, Ultra Pro said it is working with Hasbro to ship accessories (such as card folios and deck boxes) in time for the game’s launch.

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Toy Fair 2018—FoxMind

Headlining FoxMind’s new crop of games is Manhattan ($40 retail, available now), a 1994 Spiel des Jahres winner that the company is bringing back to the North American market. The new version is brightly colored with translucent building pieces but plays exactly the same as the original. That is, a hand of cards gives players options for where they can place their buildings. Control of the nine spaces in each of the six cities goes to the player who’s stacked the most building levels there. And points are awarded for controlling the tallest building in each city, the most spaces in each city, and every individual space.

Even older but now with a new board, bigger marbles, and a better box insert is Abalone ($33, now). In this game players use lines of their own marbles to push their opponent’s marbles off the board. Two marbles can push one; three marbles can push two or one.

EyeDentify ($15, June) is a quick-play, spotting game. As each card is turned over, players want to be the first to find something in the displayed picture that matches the shape or color on the back on the next card.

In The Potion ($10, July), players start with two each of three ingredient tokens. Then the dice are rolled for a potion recipe and each player secretly holds out one of the tokens. If when the tokens are revealed the number matches the recipe exactly, then those players can put their tokens in the bottle. The first player able to discard down to one ingredient token is the winner.

Quirkies ($15, June) is a kind-of pattern matching game with cute monster cards. There are nine monsters in a 3 x 3 grid. On each of their turns players must put down a card on a matching monster and if that placement creates three-in-a-row of the same background color or symbol, they score a point. The first to five points is the winner.

Finally, following on last year’s baseball game, FoxMind is releasing this year Sports Dice Football ($12) with similarly simple dice-based gameplay.

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The Broken Token will begin shipping this week a series of modular dice tower kits, each with a unique thematic design, including stairs, bones, pachinko, and others. The modules can be mixed and matched for a single dice tower up to several feet high.

One module even has a dice-shaming cage, so poor performing dice will have to watch their fellows tumble by.

On the backside, each module has a cutout for wall-mounting. And two bases are available, one standard in which the dice roll to the front when the tower is on a table, and one side-mounted so it doesn’t stick out when hanging on the wall.

Prices for the individual kits range from $10-22.

The Broken Token currently lists five tumbling sections for sale. Others will be listed soon, including a clockwork section with moving gears.

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