Wizards of the Coast’s Senior Kaijudo Brand Manager Kierin Chase talked to ICv2 this week about sales on the Kaijudo TCG, plans for the next releases, and what's going on with the TV show and online game.
We understand you had a milestone in terms of sales recently.
Absolutely. We are thrilled to report that DragonStrike Infernus (DSI) has sold out; we no longer have any manufacturer stock of that, so we’re not going to be able to fulfill any more reorders. Now there is still some in the channels that they’ll be working through, but we are officially sold out of that product.
How many sets have you done?
DSI is our fourth set that we’ve released, that’s including Dojo [Edition] and Rise [of the Duel Masters] as separate sets. We’ve additionally had another product called "The Armory" (excuse me, "The Armory" is an internal codename, I should call it the Dragon Collectors Set) that came out, but that’s not officially considered a booster release.
What has the trend been in terms of print runs over those four sets?
We’ve actually been increasing our print runs as we go. But this one was unexpected in how well it was received, and therefore it went out of our trend lines significantly. When we start looking at how well each set is (has) done, and we want to make sure we have it in the environment for a certain amount of time, we expected DragonStrike Infernus to last a lot longer than it did. And certainly not sell out right before (it actually sold out last week) Clash [of the Duel Masters] came out. So that was unexpected for us.
What do you attribute that to?
There’s a number of things that we attribute it to: increased activity that we have on our Website, including the new feature for player vs. player that we have on our TCGO; our new Year Two of organized play including the Kaijudo Duel Days (the KDDs) and the Kaijudo Master Challenges that lead up to the Kaijudo Championship in August.
We believe both of those have increased not only awareness but also participation in Kaijudo. We believe the set itself is fantastic and we believe our sets have been getting better and better, and we’ve seen that through reactions from the players as well as other people who have been joining Kaijudo. So there are a lot of reasons we feel that DragonStrike has just done outstanding for us, and we are thrilled about it.
I can talk about the first summer product that we’ve announced. That is the Elite Series --Triple Strike, which is the first of the Elite Series products. What’s cool about these is that R&D makes our competitive decks that go with every set release, and those are fun and themed and they fit the flavor of what’s going on with the set. But with the Elite Series, we wanted to make a product, a deck that was competitive right out of the package, to be something that can take on some top tier decks.
So they went back, looked at some of the best cards that we’ve had, and put them into a deck, as well as a few exclusives of the main characters from the show--Bob, Squeaky and Gargle [note, these are nicknames of the creature partners: Tatsurion the Unchained, Scaradorable of Gloom Hollow and Reef Prince Glu-urrgle, ed.]--making new versions of those.
But the coolest thing about this is it’s an all-premium foil deck with a new treatment. So for the first time ever, players will be able to find some of their favorite staple cards (the one that people can see right on the packaging is "Tornado Flame") in premium foil versions that they’ve never seen before. So we’re really excited about that product; we expect it to go really fast.
When is that coming out?
It’s coming out in July.
Is there an MSRP?
Any other product plans you can tell us about?
And then we have another set that comes out--the second set of the "Meals" block (see "WotC Teases New 'Kaijudo' Block"). We have not actually announced its name yet, but it is going to be coming out in September. And that will continue the War of the Civilizations, and multi-colored cards, multi-civilization cards, that have been seen in Clash. So we’re expecting to build on what we’ve seen out of Clash, all the successes we’ve had with events and all the successes with the surprises that we’ve done for Clash, with the next set that comes out in September.
In terms of the external context for what’s going on, we saw recently that the show is going on Netflix (see "'Kaijudo' to Netflix"); is it into the second season on The Hub yet, or when will that start?
Yes. Second season starts June 21st. That’s going to be on The Hub. We’ve been looking at animatics from the end of the season. I have to say this season, the superlatives cannot be used enough. Everything that we’ve seen from Year 1, we’ve just blown out the doors. Year 2 is just going to be outstanding, with the war of the civilizations.
We are on Netflix, it’s been doing very well there; we’re also up on Teletoon and the show has been trickling out worldwide as well. We’re on in a few additional countries – everything from France to Poland and Singapore. And we’re getting great reviews over there as well.
You mentioned a game on the Website that you thought had contributed to sales. What do you think the connection is between that and physical product sales?
We actually have a direct connection between them. To get additional cards to play in the TCGO you get code cards in the physical booster packs. And those allow you to get additional cards to play in the TCGO. So there is a direct tie between the two.
Anything else going on Kaijudo we didn’t ask about?
We’re really excited about Clash coming out. One thing I definitely wanted to say is that Clash is something we are hoping to have on the shelves for the coming future, so we will be working to make sure that if there are any shortages, that we’ll be working though those, so that people won’t have to suffer that long between. And we’re just really excited about the fan base and the great response we’ve gotten from players and stores that have done such a great job driving this brand and making sure that the rabid fan base is getting what they need.
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