I have returned. The Gamma Trade Show in Vegas was a good learning experience. It went much better for me than the Diamond Summit that was in Vegas last year. Learned more, got more accomplished, and had more fun. Fireside Chat games presentation was a hit with me so I have ordered gaming material that they supply. Starting this week we have already expanded the games we carry. In the next few weeks we will have more and more games.
Wizkids presentation came off as snotty to me. One person brought up about not being able to contact Wizkids about an issue with Alliance. The higher up at Wizkids actually gave out his cell number. He bragged about how much Wizkids means to Alliance. Which I already figured out last year when Alliance allowed such a unprepared and unthought out program known as Con In the Store with Wizkids. Impressive I thought. Where was phone number during the Con In Your Store last year? Wizkids avoided and ignored every attempt at communication with them last year about the Con In Your Store Program. One person asked if Wizkids is going to do anything about Wal Mart’s early selling of Wizkids material. It was brushed aside with a we can talk about that after this is done comment. Yes, I know Target has been taking a lot heat for early selling but the person did say Wal Mart. And I know these two chain retailers are not the only big chain retailers breaking street date by selling early. Wizkids also stated that their online site will play a bigger roll in how much material is sent to a store for events such as the upcoming Age of Ultron Event. Meaning if ten people show up for month one and are signed up online for Age of Ultron then on a later month Age of Ultron prize support and boosters will be sent for ten players. Which did not go over well. If ten players does indeed show up for the store’s first Age of Ultron that doesn’t mean just ten will show up at later events. Last weekend we had 14 players for heroclixs over our “Mystery Event”. It doesn’t mean the “Mystery Event” was really good it means 14 people had a schuduel that allowed them to play that day. With Age of Ultron I could easily have ten players one month and twenty the next. People have anniversary’s, birthdays, family, and more that could prevent them from making a Heroclix event and then they may be able to make the next one. So limiting boosters for Age of Ultron seems foolish. 10 people show for one then 12 show up next month those extra two are just out of luck? And after so many fumblings by Wizkids over their website lanch this one is for real? I am not wasting my time this time. Another point was made over only five maps being in OP Kits now. We were told every map would increase the cost of the OP kit. One of the Wizkids reps said to the person asking the question you said you had ten players well that means the five maps cover the ten players. No, the person replied that means five people leave with out getting a map to play with later on. Which there was no reply too. Another person asked if Wizkids was ever going to do anything about getting their never ended release dates to actually be right the first time. The response was it was out of their control. That was weak. NECA having the Wizkids brand just goes to show you sometimes it’s just luck and having what people want is all a company needs. Good management and customers support is a waste of Wizkids time. Heroclix and Magic are like an addictive subsistence. One just can’t stop once they start no mater what.
Wizkids said they want to start cracking down on their prize support being sold online is why they want online sign up for their events. Which is fine but after the less than forthcoming Con In Your Store rip off event and the War of Light Event where retailers were told you should order high because Wizkids most likely will not have enough for months 5 and 6 and then come months 5 and 6 there were plenty on hand still maybe its time to be open and honest with the retailers that sell your product? If I only get ten booster of Age of Ultron as part of the event then odds are I will be excluding players in a future event which doesn’t lead to more sales. Twenty a month should be fine for the store. And even then we could have more than twenty. Imagine having ten boosters and twenty players show. The heroclix website has been around for years and Wizkids has basically taught people to ignore signing up on it. I mean seriously one of the online users name is judgesarebedwetters? This is going to lead to a better way of doing things?
And no I am not sure when Justice League Dice Masters has been pushed back to. That truly is out of my control. I mean if Wizkids can’t control their release dates how can I promote their product?
Back to the Gamma Trade show. I did learn a lot. Though my original goal for this year was to promote and push comic sales more which we are still doing. There are games out there that I think would do well in the store. Such as an upcoming Mega Man card game. The comic is a hit here with kids at the store. My Little Pony the card game. Again kids love the comic. These are games I will start carrying. We also have already added to our selection with more to come.The Dragons of Tarkir pre releases are done. The midnight one had a good crowd, the noon one had more, and the 8 o’clock one had the most. Sunday’s first pre release was a good start for Sunday pre releases.
All went pretty good. Told multiple people no outside food or drink and they took it well. Usually I am told but other stores let me.
Aaron will open at midnight Friday morning on the 27th for one hour to sell the Dragons of Tarkir set.
Starting to place orders for Modern Masters. Getting a vague idea what we should be receiving. Getting demand for a Modern Masters draft.
Usually right after a pre release I get to order the next available set. With a small paragraph of information I get to base my orders on how much Magic will sell. Modern Masters is a pretty safe bet on what to order. Meaning as much as possible. Other sets after the main block comes out can be a guessing game.
Been working non stop since returning to Iowa from Vegas. And to everyone who asked or will ask how was my vacation was it was work. Vendors try to get you to spend money. The trade show started at 8 every morning. Being somewhere by 8 and leaving at 6 is not a vacation.
That said I did actually have some fun. Even ended up dancing on Saint Patrick’s Day. Granted I checked to see if I had been pick pocketed afterwards. Enjoyed some time by the pool. Actually relaxed and let my mind drift and thought about other things than all the responsibilities in life. I thought about old friends and family and good old times.
The best part of the trade show was talking with other business owners. Some do not do anything with gaming events. The ones that dropped them all reported more profits. I will admit not having Saturday Standard has been good. Magic sales are up that day thanks to people just trading during Standard play. Now months before that standard was making money but the person that was spending the most had a falling out with another player. Having someone spend money leads to others spending money. Having people not spend money leads to other people not spending money. The player who stayed originally felt bad about what went down but weeks later said he no longer cared. I said you cost me money and again he said he didn’t care. So I just dropped Saturday Standard. Providing gaming events is a drain on time and resources. If people don’t appreciate it then it needs to be gone.
Some stores have Dungeons & Dragons but not Magic gaming. Wizards of the Coast even told a person who owned a store to come see them afterwards since that owner could not sign up for D&D events due to not having Magic events. Wizards of the Coast was going to make sure he could get signed up for D&D. Pretty cool I thought. Another store owner brought up Pathfinder selling PDFs of their products online and thanked Wizards of the Coast for not following it because physical stores can not sell PDFs of the games. I agreed with that. Pathfinder has never took off or done well at Rodman Comics. I can get two groups of D&D players but nothing for Pathfinder.
One store owner told me Friday nights at his store was for miniatures. Said his group painted and spent a lot of money so he had that for Friday nights instead of Friday Night Magic.
Also talked to a person that was a lot like me. He owned a store and had a day job. We both agreed that it saved us a ton on insurance.
And then I got back to Iowa and reality. Was hoping to talk to a friend about taking a vacation Tuesday but had to take care of a shipment instead. It was suppose to make it Monday but Fedex decided not to deliver it. Ended up Tuesday playing delivery man. Good exercise at least.
Burnt out badly. Even made a snarky comment to someone complaining about the store about maybe I just won’t renew the lease this year. I need some sleep. I need a vacation. Need a recharge. Feel like the Jim Lee Superman picture that we have on as our cover on Facebook. I have had enough.
Come next week I plan on talking with a friend about going on a vacation. Right now I am not in the mood to start with renewing the lease next month. A friend of mine told me “Rod, you just don’t quit.” Meaning I get things done, I see things through, but I also don’t stop even though maybe I should. To sign up for two more years of this I need to get the fire in my belly back and be able to fight the never ending battle. As of now the naysayers have me wondering. I need to recharge and get some peace of mind. I don’t have that right now. I am used to all the haters but apparently putting up with them and being dead tired is my kryptonite.
DC’s Convergence starts in April. I have no idea how well the spin offs are going to sell. I am a long time fan of comics and I enjoyed the various points in time that Convergence is to go back too. Heck I like Barbara as Oracle better than Batgirl. Crisis on Infinite Earths, Zero Hour, and more glad to see them revisited. Though I have no idea how much interest current fans will have of DC’s past.
Come June DC is offering some great incentives for comic stores to order their comics. Order heavy and be able to return unsold product? I can do that.
As DC focuses on past storylines Marvel’s upcoming Secret Wars does the same. Their spin offs focusing on past storylines such as Armor Wars, the original Secret Wars, Days of Future Past, and more I enjoyed decades ago but how well will today’s readership take to such spin offs?
Marvel is offering the more I order the more variants I can get along with a better discount. I of course like DC’s ability to do a full return more.
Though I admit to a weakness for the Secret Wars action figure variant covers. I would love to see a real retro Secret Wars Deadpool action figure.
I still have my original Secret Wars figures along with my Super Powers figures.
Dark Horse Comics with out the Star Wars license is getting destroyed sales wise here at the store. The various Aliens and Predator projects are not filling the void.
That said Star Wars the main books is doing great sales at Marvel. Darth Vader is doing solid business. Princess Leia is a distant third sadly. Though it is only a limited series. And at the risk of sounding sexist when I was a boy and I am assuming this is true of others roughly my age Princess Leia wasn’t our favorite character in Star Wars. We were boys. Girls had cooties back then!
Star Wars is also one of the few Marvel books that keeps people coming back for more. Meaning it isn’t just a flood of people picking up the first issue and dropping it. The first three issues of Star Wars have sold very well. With the upcoming Star Wars movie I do not see that changing.
Amazing Spiderman was the top selling monthly Marvel book for the store. Star Wars has been able to beat Amazing and may be able to giving our number one monthly book seller Batman a run for his money. Ever since the New 52 started Batman has been the number one selling monthly book for us.
Star Wars currently is a book with a strong creative talent on it. Batman has had a great creative team on it since the New 52 started. The comic industry needs better talent. Talent that can put out monthly books.
Just a few more months and Wizard World Des Moines is here!
Been typing up Projection columns for years now. What I have learned.
A lot of our comic customers read the Projections.
A smaller amount of our Magic customers read Projections. I know that because so many Magic players ask questions that have been beaten to death on Projections. Such as are you going to Wizard World Des Moines? I only bring it up every week on the website that we are going. So unless Ryan gets a change of heart on me he is running the booth and we should have a good turn out. Only convention we will be doing this year. To much time and effort for us to attend smaller shows.
Our heroclix customers are about in the middle of the two groups.
Which means I should focus future Projections more about the comic side of the business. That isn’t a slight to the Magic customers it is what it is. It is far more important to actually come in to the store and actually spend money than read what I type. Magic customers do that.
This year I have focused more on the comic side of the business. Saturday Magic is no more. Saturday Magic sales have actual grown since people do not just wait till Saturday night Magic to trade cards amoung themselves. Sundays and Mondays I debate about keeping Magic gaming on those days. After March I will reevaluate and see.
We now have play mats with the Rodman Comics logo on them. Come on in and pick up one up. Already sold some to various Magic players and even sold one to a Heroclix player.
April 5th will be Easter so we will be closed that Sunday.
April 12th at noon we will have our first Warhammer tournament! $15 entry fee. And there will be a prize.
May 2nd is Free Comic Book Day. I have ordered a ton of comics for that day. Rodman Comics logo will be printed on the DC Comics Free Comic Book Day one. Working on getting free copies of the comic to the students at Ankeny Centennial High School. Avengers Age of Ultron will be out that weekend. We will have free comics up at the Ankeny Springwood 9 movie theater. Working on other venues and locations to help spread the word.
Last year people only jokingly asked for free pizza and is every comic free in the store. Along with why don’t you do Free Comic Day like other stores? So that was a plus.
Again I look at Free Comic Book Day as a Customer Appreciation Day. It will be crowded when we open. There will be a lot of new faces. There will be a lot of people who show up just for that one day and will never be back in the store again. But for those of you who have supported the store. Those of you who like having the store available for your collecting needs. To me this is for you. To say thanks to you. To everyone who comes in every Wednesday and gets their weekly comics. To all the monthly returning customers getting their monthly comics. Come on in and get your selection of free comic books.
This year’s Free Comic Book Day offerings are:
Bob’s Burgers, Bongo Comic Free For All (the Simpsons), Boom Studios 10th Anniversary FCBD Special, Dark Circle Comics, Fight Club, DC Comics Divergence, DC Comics Divergence variant with the Rodman Comics logo, Doctor Who, Perfect Square Presents Pokemon, Savage Dragon Legacy, Secret Wars 0, Spongebob Freestyle Funnies, Transformers Robots in Disquise, 2000 AD Special (Judge Dredd), Avengers 1, And then Emily was Gone, Bodie Troll and Friends, Captain Canuk, Comic Book Legal Defense Fund Defend Comics, Comics Festival, Dark Horse All Ages Avatar PVZ Bandette, Grim Fairy Tales Alice in Wonderland, Graphix Spotlight Cleopatra in Space, Gronk and Friends, Hatter M Love of Wonder,Hip Hop 3 in 1 Featuring Cosplayers (Mature Readers),Ice Bayou Blackout, Lady Justice, Legendary Comics Sampler, March Grand Prix, Mercury Heat, Motorcycle Samurai, Overstreet Comicbook Marketplace, Phantom Special, Rabbids, Sonic the Hedgehog Mega Man unite prelude, Chakra the invincible Steampunk Goldilocks, Street Fighter Combo, Stuff of Legends Call to Arms, Supermutant Magic Academy, Tales of Honor, Teen Titans Scooby Doo Team Up, Terrible Lizard, the Tick, TMNT prelude to vengence, Valiant 25th special, JOJO’s Bizarre Adventure and Yu Gi Oh, Worlds of Aspen, and Jurassic Strike Force 5 One Shot.
That is a lot of comics. And that is less titles than last year. Which I feel is for the best. Less can be more.
Marvel’s Secret Wars 0 will be a hot comic. DC’s Divergence should be also. The Rodman Comics variant cover should be red hot. I say that biased as can be.
Hop 3 in 1 Featuring Cosplayers for mature readers might be a long shot.
Wish Image had done another Walking Dead comic for this years Free Comic Book Day. Savage Dragon is not the Image character to go with this year.
Good to see Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh comic material. That has a chance of getting young new comic readers into comics.
Simpsons is always a hit at the store so Bongo Comics Free For All is a safe bet.
Motorcycle Samaria? Ooooookay…..
What no Zombie Tramp this year? Though surprisingly that title is still being published. Which is more than I can say for a lot of the titles released for Free Comic Book Day 2014.
No new Red Giant comic material this year? Odd. Just googled it and found they have stock on the stock market. Currently worth .89 cents as I type this. Ouch.
For this years Free Comic Book Day we will be having it the same way we had it last year. It works for us. One copy of each Free Comic Book Day comic per person. No outside food or drink of course. No pizza. The movie theater will be rented for Avengers Age of Ultron of course. We will open at 11. And of course you are more than welcomed to buy comics on Free Comic Book Day from us.
Hoping you see less of me here in the next few weeks. I need a recharge. Being burnt out is not a good feeling.
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