Cheeky Camel InteriorQatar has its first game shop, Cheeky Camel, opened by a pair of gamers who have day jobs in the petroleum industry. Though on weekdays it’s only open in the evenings, the store seems to host a pretty active gaming scene in its upstairs play space.

Stay2Play is a service in Calgary that sets up restaurants and bars to host board game events. The company provides a library of games, training of staff, and publicity. So far, there 16 locations participating.

There’s a business in Milwaukee that’s planning to open a single venue to serve both video gaming and Chess tournamentsI don’t even

The Game Boutique in Youngtown, Arizona is relocating to a larger space, with expanded hours, and a different name. What’s now called The Orc’s Lair will have a grand opening event July 1st.

Playopolis Board Game CafeAlso opening in July is the Playopolis board game cafe in Rochester, UK.

A new game store will be part of the revitalization of the Bradford Mall in Bradford, Pennsylvania.

Brewpoint Coffee Company in Elmhurst, Illinois already had small selection of board games for its customers but is now partnering with local Tyton Games shop to run weekly board game nights.

For nightly Ramadan break-fasts, the Almaz by Momo restaurant in Dubai serves up board games along with a North-African themed buffet.

The Ampersand Hotel in London has a game room with a variety of board games.

At The Den, a cafe in Sebastian, Florida that from the description seems to define “eclectic”, board game nights feature live music.

There are Backgammon sets in the guest rooms and giant-sized Connect Four and Jenga in the outdoor lounge of Hotel Zephyr on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco.

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Privateer Targets Online Discounters

privateer-press-logo.gifPrivateer Press is joining the list of companies with sales policies that aim to limit discounting by online retailers. But while the usual approach seems to be to restrict sales to approved retailers, Privateer is making a list of sellers it calls “free riders”.

Online retailers who have little meaningful contact and offer few or no services of value to player audiences undermine the stability of the market by selling product at discounts well below the retail value. They are depending solely on the efforts of independent brick-and-mortar retailers to offer those services that they do not in order to keep their business model alive. This model of business is widely recognized by experts and the justice system as “free riding” and is viewed in the hobby game industry as crippling and anticompetitive.

Under the new policy, Privateer, best known for the miniatures games Warmachine and Hordes, will delay deliveries to distributors that sell the company’s products to anyone on the free rider list.

Privateer’s Free Rider Policy went in to effect April 4th.

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NPD logoAccording to retail data compiled by The NPD Group, the games and puzzles category scored top growth statistics among toys for 2015. U.S. sales of games and puzzles grew 10.8 percent, compared to 6.7 percent for toys overall. Following games were vehicles at 9.7 percent and building sets at 9.4 percent. The youth electronics category came in last, shrinking at a rate of 4.9 percent.

Content was a key driver behind the growth of the toy industry in 2015. Whether it be a movie (Star Wars, Jurassic World, Minions, and Avengers), television show (Paw Patrol), app (Minecraft), or a strong YouTube following (Shopkins), all of these properties with ties to content were top contributors to the growth.  “Movies” in total outperformed the market in 2015, growing by 9.4 percent. With the early release of Star Wars toys on Force Friday, Star Wars managed to become the number-one property for the year, with over $700 million in sales. It also brought in more sales and contributed more growth than Jurassic World, Minions, and Avengers combined.

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NPD logoThe NPD Group reports that the recent holiday shopping season saw U.S. retail sales in the game and puzzles category up a healthy 9 percent. Still, that lagged somewhat behind building sets, which grew 13 percent, and youth electronics, which grew 11 percent.

Annual sales in the overall toy industry grew 4 percent to $18.08 billion in 2014, compared to $17.46 billion in 2013.

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NYC Munchkin Pop Up Store

shoulderRSteve Jackson Games is opening a pop-up Munchkin store in New York City, February 13-15, right around the time of Toy Fair 2015. The store will be called Munchkin World NYC, and will be at 353 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036.

Steve Jackson games has posted a schedule of events taking place at the store on their website.

Since I’ll be in the area, I’m going to try and make it over to check it out, get some pictures, and see what kind of craziness SJG has in store.

Get it?


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MunchkinSteve Jackson Games has announced a pop-up store in New York City to coincide with Toy Fair NY 2015. In addition to items in the Munchkin line, the store at 353 W. 46st (between 8th and 9th Avenues) will feature a open gaming space, a three-day Munchkin Invitational event, and signings by Steve Jackson, John Kovalic, and Andrew Hackard.

Munchkin World NYC will open on Friday, February 13, 2015 and close Sunday the 15th. Toy Fair NY 2015 runs from February 14th through the 17th.

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Fantasy Flight Games will be opening the Fantasy Flight Games Center on November 1st as part of the company’s move to a newer headquarters. The center is a gaming retail store, including a café, gaming space for over a hundred players, and a dedicated event hall. The first major event scheduled at the new facility is the second annual World Championship Weekend, featuring tournaments for several of the company’s living card games and the X-Wing miniatures game, on November 7th and 8th. In July, the company began moving the office space and consolidating the warehouse into a nearby building. Located directly across from the new headquarters, the Fantasy Flight Games Center is located at 1975 Country Road B2, Roseville, MN.

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