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August 2006 | Vol. V - No. 8
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On the Road With Asmodee

How to Bring a Brand to Market With a Van, a Trailer and Hard Work


Asmodee Editions LLC is an established French company that’s been around for 15 years and takes in over 17 million Euro a year. Having conquered the Continent, they were getting a volume of requests for their product in the United States. So they sent Stephan Brissaud, vice president of sales and marketing, over to plant the brand in the New World. This is his story of how he came, he saw and he sold games told in his own words.

We were getting more and more requests from retailers in the U.S. They really liked the quality of our products. So two years ago we started a trial program, translating three or four games and came over to attempt to market them through channels.

We found, after a year and a half, that the best way to market them was to do it ourselves, so in December 2004 we opened offices here in America. We took three games to start with. Jungle Speed was a bestseller in France, selling more than 150,000 units there alone. We hoped to imitate that in the United States. Wooly Bully was also a good seller in France. We kind of cherry-picked our catalogue, looking for the cream. The Werewolves of Millers Hollow was the third.

They were all family oriented, which was a big part, and what we know calls to the best, core market. We started with role-playing games, a niche, a tip-of-the-iceberg. We had no brand recognition at first. There were two challenges: build a brand and establish a network of customers from nothing. We had no prospects.

With the help of the Internet, a fabulous tool, we built a prospect file. I bought a van on E-bay and a big trailer, filled it with games and have been on the road for the entire year. And it worked.

The beginning was pretty tough. Each game had a retail price of $20, so it was hard to build a profit. A small retail store would only take two or three, so it would be a $70 order. But in the first six months, we got a break.

Christophe Boelinger, the Dungeon Twister designer, trusted us to distribute it in the United States. He was negotiating with a big American company, but because we were a key partner in France he took the challenge to trust us.

Dungeon Twister sold out at once and needed a new print run. On top of that, we released a new game, Mall of Horror, a zombie game. A thousand copies sold in one day. Since then, our Christmases have been good and we fulfilled our pre-orders. We are now having the enviable problem of keeping the stock in.

Our first office was in Pennsylvania, but I live in Seattle. We’re hoping to relocate there. We have new games coming out: Mission Red Planet, an exploration game. Very exciting. All the customers are giving great feedback on the quality of design.

Our in-house studio designs all the new products, and they are very talented people. They pay lots of attention to all the play, but particularly they make sure of the quality and design.

It’s been a great time, and I’m hoping we’ll just keep growing.





MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



In Jungle Speed, you must rely on your keen sense of observation and quick reflexes. The wooden Totem sits in the middle of the table, waiting for the player with the fastest reflexes to snatch it up and win the game. Each player is dealt a hand of cards. In order to win, you must be the first player to get rid of all of your cards. Each turn, all of the players reveal one of their cards. If two cards are identical, those players must make a grab for the Totem. The faster player then gives his or her cards to his or her unfortunate adversary. To add to the difficulty, certain cards are almost identical, which can trick a hapless player into grabbing the Totem by mistake — a grave error. Other cards force all players to make a grab at once, change the method of play or otherwise add to the difficulty.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8271      (added 6/15/2006)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
Age Range: 7 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Wooly Bully is easy to learn. You place large square tiles representing terrain in an effort to build the largest pasture for your sheep, while thwarting the efforts of other players. The twist is this: since all players keep their identity (color) secret, no one knows which sheep are yours until you decide to tell them.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8272      (added 6/15/2006)
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MSRP: $19.99
Age Range: 10 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



The tiny town of Millers Hollow is stunned by the discovery that it harbors werewolves, who, under the cover of darkness, kidnap and devour townsfolk. The townsfolk have organized to unmask any of their neighbors that are really monsters-by-night … then lynch the beasts to remove their evil presence from their quiet little town forever. To discover who the fiends are, a meeting is called, bringing together all of the townsfolk including some remarkable characters, such as the town psychic, a group of local hunters, as well as two lovers, a police captain and a nosey little girl. This diverse group will lead the inquiry and decide the ultimate fate of the town.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8273      (added 6/15/2006)
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MSRP: $44.99
Age Range: 14 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



The goal is not to kill the greatest number of zombies but simply to survive. Players must flee from place to place while zombies try to devour the inhabitants of this cursed town. Each player controls three characters: a gorgeous blond, a big guy and a thug. Each one will gather a certain amount of points at the end of the game. Each place in the mall has different characteristics. It may contain varying numbers of characters and may give some bonus items, which will aid in survival. Mall of Horror is a simple game with very fast actions. The main challenge is to manage the movements of the three characters and negotiate with the other players because Mall of Horror is mainly a game of diplomacy ... and betrayal.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8274      (added 6/15/2006)
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Age Range: 11 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Dungeon Twister is a strategy board game for two players. Each player controls a team of eight explorers who must escape the dungeon through a rotating labyrinth of rooms. Even though the explorers possess amazing powers, including the ability to pass through walls, throw fireballs, shatter metal and regenerate body parts, escaping the dungeon will require every resource they have.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3703      (added 5/26/2005)
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MSRP: $44.99
Age Range: 10 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



The year is 1889. The Paris World's Fair is the most popular place to be, and the masses marvel at the latest technical achievement on exhibit. Meanwhile, the big industrial trusts, supported by their governments, are planning their next step — the conquest of Mars and the mining of the fantastic ores found in its subsoil. In Mission: RED PLANET players control one of these big corporations. They try to recruit the best scientists and astronauts and launch rockets both to explore the planet and to take control of the most promising places before anyone else arrives. Spies and armed forces are also required since this unexplored world is full of secrets and dangers. It exists many thousands of kilometers away from the nearest journalists, socialists and other such troublemakers resulting in no-holds-barred competition.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6398      (added 1/6/2006)
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Writer's Bio: Mark Zaslove is an entertainment industry veteran in developing content (writing, directing and producing television and feature films) for the major studios, including Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. A two-time Emmy Award winner for writing and recipient of the Humanitas Prize (for writing uplifting human values in television and movies), Mark is also Head of Content Development for Nice Entertainment. Read more articles by this author

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