If I Owned A Game Store Part 3

I’m not joking when I say a person can literally go bankrupt buying dice these days. There are so many sizes, shapes, and flavors of clickity clack goblin math rocks on the market it’s not even funny.

There are a lot of nuances to game retail that many people fail to consider, especially early on.

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I’m not joking when I say a person can literally go bankrupt buying dice these days. There are so many sizes, shapes, and flavors of clickity clack goblin math rocks on the market it’s not even funny. Yes, plenty of pro manufacturers to go around. And then for an added bonus there are so many artisans making their own beautiful creations. Let’s talk about Dice.

I’ve seen sets of dice made from moon rock that retail for hundreds of dollars. I’ve seen other stones and crystals cut into polyhedral dice that run close to $100. That’s a lot of money to have sitting around in the shop waiting to sell. Honestly, I don’t know how FLGS owners really feel about that.

It’s kinda like that $100 Magic: the Gathering single sitting in the case that might end up being a tournament prize eventually. It’s pretty to look at, but do I really want to shell out that kind of money as a customer. I get a set of solid obsidian dice, or I can buy a pack of really high quality resin dice that look exactly the same as obsidian for around $12. Hmmm…

The dice market has become more complicated over the last decade or so. I can remember a time when there were four major dice manufacturers: Chessex, Armory, Gamescience, and Koplow. Now? I follow dozens of Instagram accounts for dice makers. Etsy shops all over creation. I can buy one pound bags of random single dice on Amazon for $30-ish.

A pound of dice broken up and sold as single dice for $0.99 is a pretty shiny profit and it’s pretty much a guaranteed add-on purchase for a lot of gamers. Sets near the checkout for around $9.99 are a similar purchase. There’s money to be made selling dice in a FLGS, but it’s important not to drop too much money on them going in if I want to stay in business for more than a week.

Tasty math candy, but DO NOT EAT THE DICE!

Dice Accessories are another growing market over the last decade or so. I’ve watched it grow from simple felt lined wooden trays to leather and felt trays with snaps that fold flat when not in use. There are dice cases, vaults, and compartmented dice bags now. Heck, there are even dice towers and dice jails to be found.

Again, there are plenty of folx out there on Amazon, Etsy, even Ebay that have their dice-related wares up for sale. But, that leather dice case/play mat for $14.99 is awfully tempting as an upsell for the retailer. Dice freaks like me have a hard time saying “no” to cool stuff like that. The black leather one had to come home with me. As as retailer I think it’s best to approach all of the cool dice accessories with cautious optimism and balance sales with product line expansions.

A well-lit case near the cash register is probably the best place to sell dice. The more out of sight the math rocks are, the more likely they are to get stolen before they sell. It’s tragic that someone would do such a dastardly thing, but it happens.

Another interesting thing I would do in my FLGS is try to get one of those huge Chessex bins to allow people to customize their own sets. I saw one of these at The Source in Minneapolis MN and bought more dice than I originally went in there for. That’s also where I picked up a very nice set of Dungeon Crawl Classics Dice. It was a good trip up there. Can’t wait to go back. That bin really stuck out from a seller’s point of view, though.

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Dice are one of those things that sell pretty darn well at conventions, as I recall. People forget their dice and D&D starts at Table 13 in ten minutes! What to do?

“Ack! Oh, wait. Jeff’s Game Box sells plain $5.00 dice sets in the Huckster’s Room. Just go grab some and be right there. You can also get a cute Dragon Baggin for $14.99 to put them in. Shweeet!”

I’m telling ya, dice and dice accessories can really come in handy in the right place at the right time. I’ve been there on both sides of that discussion. Even at conventions where gaming isn’t the focus, it’s possible to sell dice and dice games. I worked for a company that kept selling out of LCR and Pass the Pigs at the International Pork Producers Expo at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Turns out people want something fun to do after they’ve been grilling pork chops all day.

Next time, we’ll talk about the elephant in the room. Yup. We haven’t discussed selling boardgames yet. Lots to talk about there, too. Setting up a FLGS is a LOT of work mentally and physically. Planning ahead is the key to success.

Thanks for being here. Please stay cool and hydrated. I appreciate you!

Doing Some Cleaning When I Found…

Much to my surprise, Crystal Caste Dice is still around as a company. I love any dice that are unusually shaped. These dice are epic! I nearly fainted when we found these.

A bunch of my cool old stuff!

Good old Crystal Caste dice. Note the shapes.

I’m well known for tripping down memory lane. Deep cleaning my basement has yielded buried treasure on an epic level!

Much to my surprise, Crystal Caste Dice is still around as a company. I love any dice that are unusually shaped. These dice are epic! I nearly fainted when we found these.

Some companies have not fared so well over the years, but these guys are still around making gorgeous dice. I was really surprised to find these as I thought they were lost in the move 13 years ago. Turns out they were hiding in a box full of cords and outlet strips.

I unearthed a second relic of old from the bygone days of yesteryear.

This one is kinda crazy. Back in my game store days, this kind of thing was pretty common. I used to hang onto stuff like this for nostalgia and the cool art. I think there might even be a couple of old Chessex catalogs around here. I used to memorize those.

I sorta yearn for these days sometimes.

At the rate I’m going, I’m just going to end up running a 2nd Ed AD&D game again or getting into Castles & Crusades from Troll Lord Games. Troll Lord has a nice website, but no shiny catalog with cool logo. I still have my T$R shirt around here somewhere. (*Note the $ represents the dragon emblem when I type it out.)

The last part of the stroll down memory lane is Warhammer Fantasy Magic.

My kids wanted to latch onto this one.

I was a fan of the FRPG long before I went to college, so I had a pretty good idea how it all worked. I had gotten into Warhammer 40K prior to playing fantasy for the first time. Orks are my 40K army. Undead are my Fantasy army.

Not only are the Undead fun to play in that game, but they’re incredibly fun to paint, too. Not to mention skeletons are pretty easy. I also like 40K Necrons for the old Tub Thumpin rules. (I get knocked down, but I get up again…) Being in command of an undead army in any game is a rush, especially about the time you get to start raising more army.

I keep my skeletal catapults and skeletal crossbowmen on display along with a few other things.

Thanks for wandering down good old memory lane with me today. I hope your week is going well. I appreciate you. More content is on its way. Game on!

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