Archive for the ‘Magic’ Category

Kings Games announces $5000 MTG Championship

January 22, 2010

Kings Games is proud to announce a $5000 Magic: The Gathering championship to be held on February 20th in Edison NJ.

Date: Feb 20, 2010
Time: Registration opens 9am, play begins 10am
Location: 81 Seymore Ave, Edison NJ
Directions: http://stmatthewtheapostle.com/node/26
Format: Standard ( Swiss style event cut to top 8 )
Payout:
Winner – $2000
Finalist – $1000
Top 4 – $500
Top 8 – $250

Vendors will be on site to buy and sell cards (if you are interested in vending at this event, please call or e-mail us at the store). Side events and booster drafts will be available throughout the day.

Additional non-Magic events on site will include Epic TCG demos and a YuGiOh Laptop tournament.

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Real Treasure in Zendikar Packs

September 25, 2009

Wow, did not see this one coming. We just found out that some Zendikar packs will include an ultra-rare old Magic card instead of the basic land. We are not talking about some lame cards either – some rumored cards include Moxes, Ancestral Recall, dual lands, etc.

Wizards of the Coast confirmed this on the judge list posting though they would not comment on the specific cards available in the packs nor on exactly how rare pulling such a card would be. “Yes, certain authentic vintage cards have been inserted in some booster packs for Zendikar.” reads the official WOTC post. These are apparently old cards, hand-inserted into the packs. They are not reprints.

Earlier this month Wizards released an update to their tournament rules. One key aspect of the rules is that judges/organizers are now allowed to play in non-premier events such as Friday Night Magic or pre-releases. Another seemed to address the Zendikar inserts directly:

“Other than basic land, only cards from the expansions of the boosters opened (and only cards opened in that player’s pool) may be used in a player’s deck. For example, in a Magic 2010 Sealed Deck tournament, any card in a booster other then the Magic 2010 game cards received by the player and basic land may not be used in a player’s deck during that tournament.”

This means that if you open that Ancestral Recall in your Zendikar Sealed Pack at tomorrow’s pre-release it is not a reason to play blue – you’ll have to wait until the next Vintage tournament to cast it. Also, in any tournament where there is a deck swap it is the player who physically opens the packs who will be keeping the vintage card.

Alara Reborn Is Here

May 1, 2009

Alara Reborn booster packs, Fat Packs and pre-constructed decks are on sale as of today. Also, don’t forget there is a Launch Party event this Saturday at 6pm! $25 buys you 6 booster packs (3 Shards, 3 Reborn) and a special promo card. Two additional packs per player will be added to the prize pool. We are also working on the singles binder for this set and should have it ready by Monday.

WOTC Invite Yu-Gi-Oh! Players to Magic Nationals

March 3, 2009

Every company is scrambling to best take advantage of the void left in high-end Yu-Gi-Oh organized play by the conflict between Konami and Upper Deck. Wizards of the Coast recently announced that any players who are qualified for Yu-Gi-Oh! nationals are welcome to attend Magic Nationals this year. See the press release here.

Wizards are actually taking a page out of Upper Deck play book here. UD awarded invites to top pros from a variety of different games to the very first Vs System Pro Circuit. Top contenders from games like Star Wars, Yu-Gi-Oh and, of course, Magic were invited. Gary Kasparov was actually on the invitation list for his accomplishments in chess, but somehow failed to RSVP.

Nationals invites are highly sought after in Magic and to my knowledge this is a first time WOTC has tried such a promotion.

Magic Core Set Changes

February 24, 2009

Wizards of the Coast announced major changes to how the “Core” Magic sets are going to be released in the future. In recent years Core sets have been released bi-annually and numbered (i.e. Ninth Edition, Tenth Edition, etc.) Going forward and starting this year, Core sets will be released every year and named for that year. So this year we will see the release of “Magic 2010 Core Set”. This may be confusing as the set will actually be released in 2009, but its the same trick car manufacturers use to have their latest models appear even more current.

What’s even more important is that for the first time since the inception of Magic Core sets will include original previously unseen cards and not just the reprints. This is intended to get tournament players who do not typically buy a lot of Core packs to want to order this product.

Core set is also going to become a greater part of organized play. A number of Grand Prix tournaments including Boston will feature Core Set Sealed format. There will also be pre-release events for Magic 2010 and the set will go on sale July 17.

Change Of Pace

January 22, 2009

We’ve been so busy with all kinds Yu-Gi-Oh! news (and occasional car crashes) recently but let’s not forget that we sell and promote other games too and talk about Magic today.

Our weekly Wednesday drafts have been happening steadily with 8+ players showing up every week so that we were able to run them as sanctioned events. Over the course of next month we plan on showing Magic some more love. Here is what we have lined up:

Satuday, Jan 22 at noon: Standard tournament for a box of Shards of Alara in prizes with only a $5 entry fee.
Saturday, Jan 31 at 9am: Conflux Pre-Release! We are partnering with Gray Matter Conventions on this one so we will have plenty of product available and will be able to run Two-Headed Giant and side events during the day.
Friday, Feb 6: Conflux releases. At 7pm we will run the sealed Release Celebration Tournament, with promos and giveaways galore!
Every other Friday in February: Friday Night Magic is back! We will run it as Standard tournaments and they will be FREE to enter. That’s right, free – just come play!
Every Wednesday in February: We are continuing our $9 drafts promotion into February so players can get their hands on some cheap Conflux cards.

February is also the month Epic launches, with pre-releases on the weekend of February 21-22. We are going to be doing a lot of demos at Kings Games starting in early February to try and build up a really solid community for this new, exciting game. By the end of the month we will have the final list of our pre-release locations, but we expect to be able to run them in five locations across NY, NJ, PA and CT.

The Return of Magic

January 10, 2009

One of the 2009 resolutions for Kings Games was to bring competitive Magic back into the store. We started off on the right note – our scheduled Wednesday night draft had 15 Magic players in it this week, which is our biggest non-premier Magic tournament since 2007. Obviously the demise of Neutral Ground is the key reason for this, and we are going to do our best to accommodate Magic players looking for a new home.

This month we are going to continue hosting Wednesday night discounted drafts. We will also host a pre-release for Conflux on Jan 31 (in partnership with Gray Matter Conventions) and host a Type 2 box tournament on January 24.

If we are successful and Magic continues growing at the store, we are going to be bringing back Friday Night Magic starting in February.

Hits and Misses of 2008

December 23, 2008

I thought it would be interesting to talk about how some of the more popular gaming lines fared in 2008.  Now I do not mean to speak for the entire industry – there are probably stores out there that sell a box of Naruto per day while it’s dead for us.  This list is based purely on how these games have performed at Kings Games over the last year.  I listed the games in alphabetical order.

BleachDead – We did well with Bleach for most of the year, but no one has come in asking for a Bleach pack in weeks.

Board GamesSteady – As a category, board games saw a real resurgence in 2007.  I’ve always been a fan and was glad to have justification to incrase our selection.  Despite this Christmas season being rather disappointing in terms of board game sales, we did reasonably well with them throughout the year.  Among the most popular board game lines are Settlers of Catan, Munchkin and Apples to Apples.

ChaoticUp – When this game was first released in 2007 it was a major failure for us.  It took a couple of months to sell the first box.  However, things have improved a lot since then.  Player base for Chaotic has been growing and we are ordering and re-ordering boxes of every new expansion. The game is not as popular as Pokemon yet but if it keeps growing at the same pace it might overtake Pokemon in sales volume by the end of next year.

Dungeons & DragonsUp – Many of the stores we are talking to are seeing role playing games in decline.  While RPGs were never our strong suit, we actually saw a solid improvement this year.  Several D&D groups meet and play at the store regularly and several others just come by to pick up their books, dice and an off D&D Minis booster pack.

HeroClixNearly Dead – We did pretty well with HeroClix up until Topps made a surprise announcement shutting down WizKids and effectively canceling all of their games.  No one’s been buying since then.  There are rumors that HeroClix will find a new home very soon.  If and when that happens we hope that the players will return, but until then the boosters are not moving.

Magic The GatheringSteady – Once upon a time, back when we first opened the store, Magic was our number one seller.  Those days are so far behind us that if we were to suddenly quit selling Magic packs and singles tomorrow it would not even cause us a serious financial distress.  I started the store at the height of my Magic tournament career.  Ironically we have basically no tournament players at the store today but a very healthy and large community of casual players shop with us regularly.  Magic sales have been steadily declining for us in ’06 and ’07 but seem to have finally bottomed out in ’08.  In fact, I expect and will work toward a significant improvement in 2009 as we are hoping to bring Magic tournaments back to the store on regular basis in the new year.

NarutoDead – I don’t think we sold more than a few packs in the last six months.  This game did well for us (and for just about everyone else) in 2007 but has stalled since.  As with Bleach, anime-based games are often very short-lived.

PokemonSteady – Pokemon is chugging along supported by interest from both young kids and the slightly older tournament players.   A few years ago this game was nearly dead.  Pokemon USA (a Nintendo division in charge of publishing the game) did a wonderful job resurrecting the game.  It consistently dukes it out with YuGiOh for the #1 TCG slot in big stores like Wal-Mart and Target.

UFSWay Down – Universal Fighting System was a slow but steady selling game for us in 2007.  It got a huge boost when Abstract Games – a store with a strong UFS community – closed and sent their players our way.  The game did well for us in the first half of the year but has declined since.  We brought in the new set releasing this week, but if the game does not pick up, I am not sure if we’ll be ordering the next set.

Vs SystemUp – Yes, that’s right, up!  Vs just won’t go away.  When Pro Circuit was canceled the game pretty much had its legs cut from under it as most of the player base were seriously competitive players.  Almost no one who plays today is from the same group of people.  The new player base is more casual, but they still love Vs System. We are still ordering new sets by the case.  The only other trading card games we do that with are Magic, YuGiOh, Pokemon and WOW.

World of Warcraft TCGSteady – We saw WOW sales dip in the second half of ’08 but it has been making a bit of a comeback over the last couple of months – there is a couple of new groups of casual players who are into the game now and they have been making up for some of the tournament players we lost earlier this year.

Yu-Gi-Oh!Slightly Down – This game has without a doubt been our number one seller for at least the last four years in a row.  It remains so today.  Singles sales are on par with the end of 2007 but booster pack sales are slightly down and tournament attendance for both local and premier events is down too.  The game is not on its way out or anything – we are talking an average Brooklyn regional going from 150 to 135 players on average – but there is a bit of a slowdown.  I wonder of the Upper Deck / Konami situation is partly to blame.

Every year tons of collectible games die and new ones are born.  This is the cycle of our industry.  There is always something exciting looming on the horizon and 2009 is no different.  Epic TCG and Huntik are both potentially exciting products that are due to launch in February/March of next year.  Undoubtedly there are many products that will be announced at Gama Trade Show in April and released in the summer/fall.   I look forward to revisiting this topic a year from now.