Weekly Store Update: 25 July
Nothing better to beat the heat than with a tabletop game in a nice, air conditioned comfortable room, am I right? Good thing we have so many ready to go for you or your game group! Another wonderful week in the books here at SVG, with a solid restock, new items added and some hot preorders. There's some news too!
Hello there, and welcome to the SVG Newsletter! If you're new to the Newsletter, I'm Eric, and Wendy and I own and operate Stone Valley Games. I'm responsible for "the computer stuff" so I'm generally the one penning this. Let me show you around. The top portion here contains our shop news, with articles that impact the hobby that we love and some SVG news too. If you want to skip all that and just jump to the games, slide on down to the bottom of the post to see the restocks, new items, and preorders we laid in last week.
In some industry news, Southern Hobby Supply, a wholesale gaming distributor, was acquired by Entrust Global Group. Southern Hobby is the leading North American distributor of sports cards and trading card products and has been in gaming distribution for over thirty years. They support over 1,000 hobby and specialty stores. Like ours.
Southern Hobby was one of our first main distributors, and their headquarters is just a few hour drive away from us in Nashville. Convenient. With the acquisition of Southern Hobby, Entrust now almost reaches $1 billion in annualized revenue. Not too shabby. Entrust plans on leveraging Southern Hobby's current market share, and expanding their branches globally in collectibles and gaming. Seems like that will be easier to do with Entrust, as Entrust already has a strong presence across eight countries.
What does this all mean? Well, it seems like a good fit for Entrust as they also recently acquired Beckett grading / authentication brands and DragonShield products manufactured by Arcane Tinmen. However, as we have seen with the 2014 merger of Asmodee with Fantasy Flight, some of that 'home town goodness' may not make the cut. It's a big jump going from the master of your own reality to having to answer to folks who ONLY look at the bottom line. In any case, it's too early to see what changes will come...but rest assured change is coming. Regardless of all of that, we hope to maintain our good working relationship with Southern Hobby.
We are constantly on the lookout for promising smaller publishers pushing good content. We ran across The Merciless Merchants a few years ago and really dig their RPG products. We currently carry their The Palace of Unquiet Repose for Old-School Essentials and I checked in with them to see what was up. Malrex gave me the inside scoop. He complained about the incredibly magnetic force around the pool and its effect on his Merciless Merchants, but progress was still being made across all his efforts. He talked about a huge project in the works, one that may take two years or longer to pull together, and he hinted that part of the title will have something to do with Coppercore. Coppercore is their own developed fantasy world in an area located around the Dragonback Mountains that they have been writing adventures about for over thirty years. Now THAT is going to be something magnificent once complete.
In the 'much sooner than that' category, he's working on an OSRIC adventure about ready to head to Kickstarter, he's just waiting on artist availablity. This adventure will also be converted into OSE and 5E. Interestingly, Malrex was going to avoid conversions, but after he worked with OSE for Unquiet Repose he liked the layout so much they are not only going to convert this one, but future work will be focused on OSE from the very beginning.
Finally, they are currently playtesting an adventure that will most likely go straight to DrivethruRPG, but he's willing to work a physical copy / PDF deal with us just like we have with The Palace of Unquiet Repose. That title is still in development, but it will most likely have Cave somewhere in there. It's being developed by someone Malrex identifies as brilliant...so we're intreagued.
HERO OF THE DAY
It may shock you, but website design is not my regular swim lane. So, when we receive constructive criticism or ideas we will generally at least take a look at it. Some of the ideas won't work because of our platform or something technical...but sometimes I just haven't thought of it or didn't know it was an issue. So, a few changes to the webstore went into effect last week. First, we changed the general hyperlink color to a darker one to make it a bit easier to see against the light blue-green backdrop. We went from 'sand' to 'wet sand' for those interested. Yes, our website maintains ocean / beach colors as it's one of both of our favorite places to visit. If wet sand still isn't quite right, I'm thinking about maybe...angry ocean. Thanks for telling us about your issue Roy!
The second was in response to our discussion on the RSS Feed issue we'd been having, culminating in last week's fixing of the issue. It was suggested that we add the RSS Feed to our Follow Us section at the bottom of the webstore homepage. Another great suggestion! Really helpful for those who enable and follow RSS Feeds from all over the internet - now it's easy to add ours too. So, you'll notice there's one down there now. Thanks for the suggestion Steven!
SAD BUT TRUE
I always have a few projects on the back burner just waiting for either the physical shop or more employees, or both. An interesting example of one rose its head from the murky depths of 2020 when last week Ana from Draco Studios reached out to see how were were doing with our Legendary Dragons commercial license. Well, talk about zero ROI as we say in the business; absolutely no Return On Investment with that endeavor, as I relayed back to her. Now, we really like Draco Studios, great folks who are building their own reality one game at a time. They are big-time into miniatures, roleplaying games, now branching into board games too. You'll see them lighting up Kickstarters. Now, if you haven't heard about or seen Legendary Dragons, you should check out that link for some perspective.
When it comes to the Legendary Dragons product line I've done all of the legwork. I sorted everything with Draco Studios. I found a build partner with Jose Velazquez of Prototyping and Manufacturing Works (PMW) who previously worked with us on our mini obelisks and our dice towers. He agreed to build the dragons to order, and we'd have some completed as proof-of-concepts. He and I worked out the costs involved, and had the product line figured out...and then COVID hit which put a stop to our collaboration. Then, throughout the year more and more folks started finding us, making things busier and busier, and our Legendary Dragons build slowly faded away before it ever materialized. However, there's a opportunity there for future growth, and you may one day see those dragons rise after all!
THE WRAP UP
Did you notice the not-so-subtle theme around my article titles this week? Having fun! Below are the Restocks, New Items, and Preorders added to the shop last week. You can click on the item to learn more, and many of the products have review and gameplay videos so you can see the game in action. If you're visiting our page and you'd like to keep up with our giveaways, sales, new products, and articles like this one just create an account here. Once created you will be subscribed to our newsletter and become enrolled in our loyalty system, instantly earning 50 Stones that you can use on your very first order. A Stone? One Stone is equivalent to One Cent. That doesn't sound like much, but you earn 2 Stones for every dollar spent and 5 for each product review, so though it may seem small, those savings add up fast! Redeem your Stones upon checkout, and they can save you up to 10% off your cart total. Loyalty Matters!