At Gen Con, I was able to steal a few minutes from Bob Carty of Mayfair Games and got some interesting background on the company’s production process, as well as its latest release, Star Trek Catan.

Settlers of Catan, for which Mayfair has the United States license, has sold 12-15 million copies worldwide. Settlers is Mayfair’s most popular product. Counting everything however, Mayfair assembled 600-700 thousand games last year alone at its facility in Skokie, Illinois.

Mayfair is committed to domestic production. Currently, 98 percent of its manufacturing takes place within the United States—including even wood pieces. Plastic pieces are the last components still being made overseas.

One of the hottest games at Gen Con was Star Trek Catan, which while sold at the show is set to be a Target exclusive through the 2013 holiday season. This is an unusual move for Mayfair, which in the past has worked to support brick-and-mortar hobby retailers. Bob explained that though a Star Trek version of Catan was an opportunity that Mayfair couldn’t pass up, potential sales through the hobby channel would just not have supported the license fees required by CBS. In fact, before making the deal with Target, Mayfair had solicited it’s hobby retailers for sales estimates but found the numbers came up short.

The reach of Target and popularity of Star Trek, Bob believes, will attract new gamers and send them to hobby stores looking for more. With support of the license by the main Star Trek Catan game, Mayfair is planning additional Star Trek products for sale through those retailers.