Rolling for Initiative is a weekly column by Scott Thorne, PhD, owner of Castle Perilous Games & Books in Carbondale, Illinois and instructor in marketing at Southeast Missouri State University.  This week, Thorne offers some of his thoughts on the recently delivered Star Wars: Unlimited TCG promotional kit.

The store received a prerelease kit from Fantasy Flight Games for the company’s upcoming release of its Star Wars: Unlimited TCG (see "'Star Wars Unlimited' Product Line Deets").  The kit comes with a poster, a window cling and a couple of sign up sheets for those interested in the game to leave their contact information.  There are a few problems with the materials included int he kit that I'd like to point out. But before diving into those though, I do want to mention that I wish other companies would provide materials to stores sufficiently far in advance that we can use them to promote the game.  That being said:

Window Cling.  The provided window cling is a bit too big to affix to any in-store glass surfaces.  It is designed so that the back of the cling, rather than the front, adheres to the window.  The only glass found in most stores are the front windows, maybe the door and display cases inside the premises.  No store is going to want to put the cling on the front of a display case, as that obscures the view of the items inside, rather defeating the purpose of a display case.  A front window or door would be a perfect place to display the cling, save for the fact that the back side is the side designed to adhere to the glass, meaning it would have to go on the outside of the door or window, where the weather will likely pull it off in a few hours, leaving it lying on the sidewalk or street.  Designing it so that the front of the image clings to the window means stores can place it on the inside of the glass, keeping it on display longer.

Promotional Poster.  While I'm a big fan of promotional posters, I'm an even bigger fan of well designed promotional posters (see “A Tale of Two Posters”), which the one for Star Wars Unlimited is not.  First, the poster gives the viewer no indication as to what it is promoting.  It features artwork, not photos mind you but artwork of the three iconic Star Wars heroes:  Luke, Leia and Han.  So far, so good.

Anyone who has paid attention to pop culture over the past 50 years should recognize them, although it seems to me a photo of them would be even more recognizable.  Maybe the actors or studio would not include actual character photos with the license?  That is a minor caveat though.  My major problem with the poster is that it tells me nothing about the product.  A customer glancing at it has no idea what Star Wars Unlimited is.  No mention of the product being a TCG, no pictures of cards; not even a QR code an interested customer could use to find out more.  Is Star Wars Unlimited a board game, video game, RPG, comic, graphic novel, Funko POP! line?  A poster is a great opportunity to sell your product or at least generate interest in it, but it has to give the customer some indication as to why they should be interested.

Maybe we will get a second promotional kit with some materials further helping to develop interest in the product prior to the release.  I hope so as I would like to see the game do well.

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The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of