Card games are any types of games played primarily with cards, excluding collectible card games, but including Poker, Rummy, Bridge, and games with specialized card decks.


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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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.

Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesFor a limited time, every print order direct from Goodman Games gets a free vintage copy of Dragon Magazine.

Renegade Game Studios is giving away Byzanz.

Blue Orange Games is giving away a package of Kingdomino and Queendomino. And Board Game Revolution is doing the same.

Use coupon code “rain18” to get Paizo’s Rainy Day Discount of 10% on a single order.

Through the end of the month, $600 of LPJ Design Pathfinder products are available in one 95% off bundle ($30) at DriveThruRPG.

For the relaunch of Button Men, arriving at retail this month, Cheapass Games is giving away multiple copies through an online quiz that matches participants with the game’s criminal masterminds.

Orders placed today from HasbroToyShop ship free with promo code “LOVE2018”.

Also today (ending midnight MST), save 30% on card sleeves from Mayday Games with discount code “chinesenewyear30”.

In recognition of February holidays, Skirmisher Publishing has bundled, at a 90% discount, RPG ebooks representing Valentine’s Day, Black History Month, Chinese New Year, and Presidents Day.

A Traveller: The New Era bundle is available at Bundle of Holding. Just $26 gets you everything.

Alone in the Jungle, Flying Pig Games’ solitaire expansion for ’65 Squad-Level Combat in Vietnam, is 30% off, direct from the company through today.

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Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesMongoose has a major Traveller sale under way at DriveThruRPG. Discounts are 33-80% off.

Gypsy Knights Games is also running a sale on Traveller material, to celebrate the company’s seventh birthday.

Another sale running at DriveThruRPG is the BAMFsies Sale, celebrating superhero titles.

Superheroes are also featured in Bundle of Holding’s Heroes Unlimited offer from Palladium Books, while another offer at the site features Ulisses Spiele’s English-language translation, The Dark Eye.

Victory Point Games is selling everything at 10% off (except for Darkest Night products) in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

Giveaways:

At Amazon, Starship Merchants from Toy Vault is 71% off and Bloodsuckers from Fireside Games is 59% off.

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Today marks 10 years since Yehuda Berlinger posted the first article on Purple Pawn, a brief story about board games mentioned in the Sally Forth comic strip. I hope in that time that you’ve felt informed and entertained. We’ve tried our best to make a positive contribution. With 8,370 articles published so far!

Purple Pawn presents a unique voice in the game field, covering all types of tabletop games—board games, card games, collectibles, roleplaying games, war games, miniatures, and more. Games with modern movie tie-ins and traditional games played by generations. Games for the dedicated hobbyist, as well as the casual gamer.

Of course we report news of product releases but we also work hard to document the business side of the game industry, provide tips to the game consumer, and highlight the significant role that games play in culture and society.

Purple Pawn would not exist if not for the vision and guidance of its founder, Yehuda Berlinger. Thank you, Yehuda, for letting me keep it going when you decided to move on to other game-related endeavors!

Thank you also to our various contributors over the years: Ben Clark, Thomas Deeny, K.C. Lee, Lory Gilpatric, Phil Kilcrease, Randy Snyder, Richard Bliss, Josh Street, Rob Kalajian, Sam Mercer, and Tracy Tang! In the early days it was Yehuda as the snarky commentator, Josh as the fanboy, and me as the straight-man. Ben provided an amazing inside look at the business side of games with the Paper Money podcast. Sam gave us some cool graphics. Rob—who, other than Yehuda and I, was with Purple Pawn the longest—was of tremendous support to me personally, did a wonderful job of covering the independent publishers, and also solved many technical problems behind the scenes. Thomas, who is still with Purple Pawn, has an amazing knack for identifying the hot trends and controversies.

And of course, thank you to our readers!

As I reported before, board and card games have been known to cause seizures. But are board games also a factor in physical injuries?

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the answer is yes. Based on reports to the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), there were an estimated 28,000 game-related hospital emergency room visits between 2012-2016. Another 38,000 visits were specifically associated with marbles.

About half the patients were children under 10 years of age. And in approximately 10 percent of cases, the patients were admitted following initial treatment.

The most common types of injuries involved:

  • Infants and toddlers swallowing game pieces.
  • Stepping or slipping on game pieces left on the floor.
  • Dealing playing cards or rolling dice that end up hitting people in the eye.
  • Wrist sprains from slapping cards down on the table.
  • Games that fall off the shelf and hit people in the head.
  • Dizziness and back pain from sitting too long.
  • Numbness, bursitis, or pain in the arms, neck, and shoulders from long hours of playing and dealing cards.
  • Falling off one’s chair.

However, some of the more unusual reports include:

  • “11 year old female slipped on a playing card and slid down 20 stairs on butt”
  • “2 year old female with a plastic bone in nose from the game Operation”
  • “3 year old female was choking; swallowed one of the little plastic balls that the Hippos eat”
  • “8 year old male fell onto Jenga game blocks and hit his mouth; there was damage to hardwood floor”
  • “16 year old female; patient was home playing <REDACTED>; hit nose onto boyfriend’s knee; diagnosis nasal trauma with [nose bleed]”
  • “Foreign body pubic region; 36 year old male embedded domino in penis ‘to please the ladies'”
  • “45 year old white female at home having rough sex and playing naked <REDACTED>; partner’s knee hit patient’s elbow; diagnosis elbow dislocation”
  • “42 year old male, 1 year ago carved down piece of domino, incised penis, inserted domino piece into penis; now wants it removed”
  • “42 year old male hit in head with Jenga block playing and now has closed head injury”
  • “19 year old male complaining of shoulder pain after doing extreme motions playing Charades at home tonight; diagnosis dislocation right shoulder”
  • “51 year old male with abrasions to scrotum; notes was sitting down playing cards for hours”
  • “32 year old male playing a game and jumped up hitting light fixture to head; diagnosis lacerated scalp”
  • “13 year old female was dancing on a table when she slipped on a board game and fell and injured her right foot”

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Game Blotter - A roundup of crimes, legal cases, and when "the law" gets involved with gamesWielding a screwdriver, a robber in Osaka Prefecture, Japan stole $450,000 of Shogi game pieces from a manufacturer’s exhibit space. The man threatened an employee with the screwdriver, tied them up, and smashed the glass display cases. Forty sets of Shogi pieces were taken, some made of expensive boxwood.

Lucasfilm and Ren Ventures are in court arguing over trademark rights for the word “SABACC” in relation to card games. SABACC was supposedly the card game that Han Solo and Lando Calrissian were playing when Han won the Millennium Falcon. But that was just an imaginary game from Star Wars. Ren later produced a card game app with the same name and registered the trademark in Europe. Neither has a registered trademark in the United States.

In Bathurst, Australia, a man was arrested by police for threatening to bash a woman’s car with a mattock unless she agreed to return his board game or pay him $60.

In December, we were hopeful that the selection of Saudi Arabia as hosts for the World Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships represented a diplomatic milestone between the Kingdom and the State of Israel. Unfortunately, while Saudi Arabia did grant visas to players from Iran and Qatar (with whom the country also lacks diplomatic relations), they refused to permit players from Israel to attend. Even more disappointing, though, is the complicity of FIDE [PDF], which refused to stand up for the principles it claims to represent. Instead, the organization was satisfied with changing the name of the event to the King Salman, Peace and Friendship tournament and the promise that things would be better next year.

Organizers of the next World Chess Championship (November 11-30 in London) revealed a logo for the event that’s being called vulgar and inappropriate. World Chess says that the controversy was intentional, a way to shake up the staid world of Chess.

After discovering that a Magic: The Gathering tournament judge had been convicted of a sex crime, Wizards of the Coast has instituted a new policy requiring background checks. The requirement applies to all personnel who interact with the public on behalf of Wizards Play Network stores and tournament organizers.

Herrick Productions is suing Mattel, claiming that the toy maker stole their idea for a reality TV show. Herrick claims that it proposed a show called Playmakers, in which people submit their toy and game inventions to a panel of judges and the winner would be produced and sold by Mattel. The company did not go with Playmakers but did launch The Toy Box with a similar concept—the panel of judges in this case being children.

In the case of Shlasinger and Gerardi vs. Yarrington and Myriad Games over a failed Staten Island game shop, a federal court jury found breach of contract by the defendant [PDF] but awarded the plaintiff zero dollars in damages.

Arbiters at a Chess tournament in Spain searched an amateur participant playing above his rating and found an electronic device that looked kind-of like a television remote control. As a result, the player was ejected from the competition.

The World Cube Association has decided to outlaw all Rubik’s Cubes with logos from blindfolded solving attempts. The organization received complaints about logos on overlay stickers influencing the results of recent world record solves of 4×4 and 5×5 puzzles. Though the WCA ruled that those specific results would stand, it made the change going forward.

A doctor in Heilongjiang Province, China was fired after she was caught on video playing Mahjong on her phone while at the same time operating a CT scanner.

Police in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia arrested 46 people at an illegal Mahjong parlor where gambling was taking place.

Police in Cebu City, Philippines arrested five for operating an illegal gambling den that hosted Mahjong and Poker.

A Mahjong parlor employee was arrested in Tokyo for accosting a regular customer in the elevator and attempting to rob the elderly woman of her bag. The assailant ran away empty-handed when the woman resisted but later admitted to the crime.

In Singapore, police arrested a man for throwing things out the 16th floor window of his apartment building, including a Mahjong table that landed on a playground.

Northumbria police are asking for the public’s help in finding the person who assaulted a man playing Dominoes inside a Houghton-le-Spring, UK social club.

A Cicero, Illinois man is in custody for allegedly shooting his girlfriend 11 times during a game of Dominoes.

Shootings associated with dice games took place in Atlanta and Newnan, Georgia; Beaumont, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; St. Louis, Missouri; and South Bend and Indianapolis, Indiana. In Glendale, Wisconsin, a man was beat up at a dice game. In Gary, Indiana, a man is wanted by police for sexually assaulting a woman after a dice game.

Four youths were playing dice and gambling in the basement lounge of a Cleveland recreation center when a gun in the pocket of a 13 year old accidentally went off. No one was injured and everyone in the room left the scene before police arrived. On surveillance video, though, police noticed that another person in the room also was carrying a gun.

When accused of trying to use counterfeit $20 bills to buy lottery tickets, a man in Fort Wayne, Indiana said that he had just picked them up as winnings in a dice game.

An elementary school teacher and Chess coach in Flagstaff, Arizona was arrested on suspicion of sexual conduct with a minor. A second charge of child molestation was later added.

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Retail Games

Major League Baseball player Hunter Pence and cohost of AMC’s Comic Book Men Ming Chen opened a coffee shop and board game venue in Houston this past week. Coral Sword also has a private booth for recording podcasts and gaming sessions.

Breakfast cereal and board games are the specialties of Tiny Rick’s in Liverpool, U.K. Along with board games, the restaurant serves cereals from around the world, mixes specialty cereal cocktails, and offers a variety of other breakfast foods, such as toast and Pop Tarts.

Eve’s Coffee Shop in Thiruvananthapuram, India is a board game cafe where the board games are free. Also featured at the shop is an extensive book library and adult coloring books.

After following his new wife to the U.K., Ryan, originally from Canada, decided to open the board game cafe he’d been dreaming about for years. His shop, Hexagon, is the first such venue in Taunton.

Ticket to Play is opening shortly in Salem, Oregon. Food will be served but with evening hours only, the space is primarily for playing games.

Undergoing bankruptcy proceedings, Toys “R” Us is shuttering 182 of its stores in the United States and another 25 stores in the United Kingdom.

BC Comix is consolidating three separate locations in to one larger retail space in Genoa Township, Michigan. The new space will also allow them to host bigger game events.

House of Cards is opening a second location in Cloverdale, British Columbia. The owners plan to hold Magic: The Gathering events every day in the new space.

The owners of Bonus Round Game Cafe, opening soon in the Lakeview area of Chicago, do not intend the space as a service to established gamers but rather as a place that’ll introduce the fun of board games to new people. Wi-fi will not be available.

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Game Bandit

Game Bandit - Scouring the net to find the cheapest discount boardgames and best free boardgame prizesOnline decor retailer Wayfair is giving away the components for awesome game room: carved wood table, throne armchair, bookcase, and a variety of fantasy-themed decorative items.

In Grey Gnome Games Hot Winter Sale, get significant discounts on select games, plus free promos, free expansions, and free shipping.

Osprey Publishing’s February Site-Wide Sale means up to 70% off in all categories, books, ebooks, and games.

A Pawn’s Perspective is giving away Hero Realms from White Wizard Games.

To go with the release of its free living campaign, Modiphius Entertainment is running a sale on Mutant Chronicles books.

Darksilver Forge is giving away a Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set prize pack, which in addition to the actual Starter Set includes metal dice, a dice tray, a comic, and dungeon tiles.

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Hot Jobs in Board Games

As part of a major investment in the growth of its UK games business, Ravensburger is recruiting for a Games Product and Development Manager in Bicester, Oxfordshire. The focus of the position will be on working with inventors to develop new products for the local market, as well as adapting games from the company’s international portfolio. Familiarity with licensed products will be helpful but the work will cover family games, children’s games, strategy board games, action games, card games, and brainteasers.

The Strong and National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York needs a Vice President for Marketing and Communications. A minimum of 10 years experience is required. Responsibilities include working with senior leadership on marketing initiatives, public relations, admissions pricing, membership programs, digital strategy, and managing the museum’s portfolio of trademarks. The selected candidate will also work on the National Toy Hall of Fame and World Video Game Hall of Fame induction programs.

A European Sales Associate is wanted by Pegasus Spiele. Previous experience in sales is required. The focus will be on the Italian market, so fluency in Italian is also important.

Among other open positions at Asmodee North America in Roseville, Minnesota are Mass Market Specialist and Amazon Account Manager. For the former, the job is to develop marketing plans, manage the website editorial calendar, and oversee a staff of writers and graphic designers. For the latter, the job is to maintain relationships with Amazon and Amazon Marketplace 3rd party sellers, place orders and track inventory, forecast and monitor sales, and manage new product launches.

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