Column by Scott Thorne
Posted by Scott Thorne on July 26, 2021 @ 3:27 am CT
Wizards of the Coast Reveals Product Line for 'Magic: The Gathering' 'D&D' Set"). I found it interesting to see far less crossover between the two genres among our customers than I (or probably Wizards of the Coast), had expected. Your mileage may vary, as the old saying goes, but here, 90% of all Adventures in the Forgotten Realms sales went to regular longtime Magic: The Gathering players. We had one Dungeons & Dragons player pick up a couple of boxes, and our customers that play both were quite happy to see the Magic treatment of a number of cards. However, we did not see any significant increases in sales as a result of the crossover.
The promotional items were met with a "meh" as well. People playing with physical cards in a physical tournament did not seem much interested in a free Arena code or the Icewind Dale module that comes in the Dungeons & Dragons Essentials Kit. The combo card binder/grid paper notebook was pretty cool, but no one really knew about it or asked about it. I've noticed that the problem with most promotional items produced by publishers is that the customer never knows about them until we tell them about them. We have a sign up promoting the free promo figures for King of Tokyo, bookmarks for Munchkin, and promo cards for Fluxx, and our customers are always surprised to get one when we give them one with purchase. Happy to get one but surprised, which indicates to me that most promotions by publishers to the customers fall on deaf ears.
We are seeing something similar with Friday Night Magic Arena, which has now morphed into Midweek Magic. A nice idea, but we have to remind our customers each week to participate and even then, we don't get consistent play from the same customers. We usually get requests for codes from two to three people a week, meaning that the whole sheet of codes we get from Wizards of the Coast gets unused. Again, a nice idea, but woefully underused by the customers. Heck, even WotC’s Fabled Passage card, which stores were supposed to give away with the purchase of $50 worth of sealed Magic product, did not gin up much interest.
There have been a few promotions from companies that have created interest, and more importantly sales, during the past few months. Those have come from WotC and Konami, and appeal to the collectability and uncertainty that drive sales of both Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh!:
Promo Packs (WotC) and Tournament Packs (Konami). Offering these as promotional items with minimum purchase of sealed product significantly drove sales of releases from both companies. Knowing they were getting an extra sealed pack of cards to open will often push customers who were hesitant about spending more on sealed product. Boardgames and RPGs? I am still thinking on promotions that might drive them. Any ideas? Send them to email@example.com.
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