Saturday, February 15, 2014

Saturday Gift Post: The Return of Blue Orange Games.

While attending two panels about gift buying for bookstores at our Seattle conference (and speaking at one of them), I was paying a lot of attention to the advice of other folks in the field. I wrote a lot of notes down in my notebook, but unfortunately, I also then lost my notebook, perhaps do to my nervous energy about being on the panel.

One thing I did pay attention to was that many booksellers were having great success selling Blue Orange Games. We brought several of their games in for a couple of years, but then I started hearing that their distribution channel was widening. In the end, I realized that it was unlikely they were represented south of Whitefish Bay and north of the Third Ward, and with the disappearance of several kids stores in the Ward, they might not even be there now, and so we revisited the brand.

One thing we had great success with was having a oversized demo of Gobblet Gobblers out for kids to play with. We still had all the pieces for that, even with several being integrated into Stacie's window displays over the past few years, but we also had the option to get another oversized demo of Pengoloo, and since Amie acknowledged that this game is fun indeed, we decide to increase our buy to make this happen.

Many of Blue Orange's games rely on memory or balance, and Pengoloo is no exception. It's a variation of Concentration where you roll dice, and the dice colors tell you which color eggs to look for, hidden inside the penguins. For older kids, you can also steal away penguins and eggs that were already captured, if you remember what color the eggs are.

In addition to Gobblet Gobblers, we also brought back their most popular game Spot It, and a variation for kids called Spot It Jr. Animals. We'd had decent sell through on their storytelling game, Tall Tale, so that was bought too. We wanted at least one of their balance games, so this time we went with Keekee the Rocking Monkey. Last time we brought in CooCoo the Clown. I suspect the Blue Orange Games folks heard about this theory that K sounds are the funniest.

And since I was reminded at the show how important it was to take advantage of freight specials, I reached that goal by picking up Crazy Cheese, a brain teaser puzzle appropriate for Wisconsin, and Bendomino, a domino variation.

Jannis put our game display together, integrated with our last order of cooperative games from Peaceable Kingdom.

For a much, much, much, much larger selection of games, visit our friends at Board Game Barrister, with locations at Bay Shore Mall and Greenfield Town Center. And thanks to Blue Orange for providing the jpg images.

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