October 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 10
TDmonthly's Top-10 Most-Wanted Card Games
It's Game, "Set" and Match
With additional reporting by regional correspondents Virginia Davis, Terri Hughes-Lazzell, Christine Lebednik and Brenda Ruggiero
Set by Set Enterprises dominates the card games category, according to 32 specialty retailers who recently spoke with TDmonthly Magazine. And the company’s Five Crowns and Quiddler continue to entertain card game fans as well. It takes a Wizard to cast a spell with the popular game from U.S. Games Systems, and Patch Products has players Spitting at one another. Funstreet, meanwhile, continues to make a Ruckus. Find out other card trends in Collect These Cards.
Here's what's being shuffled in card games:
SET® ? The Family Game of Visual Perception® by SET ENTERPRISES INC.
Other products from SET ENTERPRISES INC.
SET is a board game where any table becomes the board. It is a highly addictive, original game of visual perception. The goal is to be the first to see a SET from the 12 cards laid face up on the table. A SET is three cards that are either all the same or all different in each individual feature. With no turns and no luck, SET is challenging, fast and fun!
Players 1 to 20 (or as many as can fit around a table)
Ages 6 to 99
— “It's a really great game, one that we sell day in and day out,” Sally Lesser, owner of Henry Bear’s Park in Massachusetts, told TDmonthly in spring 2007.
— Two of 63 retailers mentioned Set when asked about their overall best-selling toy or game in September 2008. Ten of 64 retailers named Set as a best-selling card game in August 2008, and more than 25 percent of 38 retailers said the same in late summer 2009. In Feb. 2010, five of 38 retailers cited it as a top-selling game.
— “[Set is] popular mainly because all ages can play it at the same time,” pointed out Greg Bonner, owner of Heights Toy Center in Little Rock, Ark., in summer 2008.
— In a late summer 2010 TDmonthly survey, 23 percent of 43 retailers surveyed named SET a best-selling card game.
AWARDS: 2010 TDmonthly Top Seller; 2007 TDmonthly Classic
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 4570 (added 9/13/2005)
Because the game has sold so well since its introduction in 1996, Gamewright released a 10th Anniversary Edition in 2006. Players will still need to discard their rat cards while collecting cat cards, but the new edition will have brand new art, more power cards and the addition of a “Super Peek” power to make the game even more fun.
— “My best-selling games are from Gamewright: Rat-a-Tat Cat. It’s so popular because it’s travel-sized, it’s just a little card game, the whole family gets involved, and the price is right,” said Julie Nicolazzo of Toy Boat in Hudson, Mass.
— "Rat-a-Tat Cat by Gamewright is our best-seller [in card games]. I think it does well because it’s a small game to learn, not overwhelming," said Lisa McMartin, co-owner of Wonderment Inc. in Minneapolis, Minn. — 19 percent of 43 retailers cited Rat-a-Tat Cat as a card game best seller in a summer 2010 survey.
— Casey Sartain, buyer for Tutoring Toy in Salt Lake City, Utah, told TDmonthly the store sells approximately 24 Rat-a-Tat Cat games each month.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 8382 (added 6/22/2006)
Wizard® Card Game Deluxe Edition by U.S. GAMES SYSTEMS, INC.
Other products from U.S. GAMES SYSTEMS, INC.
The popular Wizard Card Game is available in this Deluxe version. Not only does it come with a 60-card Wizard deck, but it also includes six individual bid indicator wheels, a core pad and an instruction booklet. The game is designed to be played by three to six players.
— "Wizard has taken off. It really grew in the last few years. Battelle is a local science company near us, and the engineers there just love playing Wizard," said Frances Finfrock, owner of Aunt Franny's Toys in Richland, Wash.
— Three of 32 retailers who spoke to TDmonthly in summer 2007 cited Wizard as the most popular card game with their customers.
— "No other card game combines such ease of learning with such opportunity for skillful play. In fact, the Wizard Card Game it is the only game that a player can consistently win regardless of the cards dealt by switching from offensive to defensive play," said Stuart R. Kaplan, chairman of U.S. Games Systems Inc.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14543 (added 8/9/2007)
FIVE CROWNS® – The Game Isn’t Over ‘til the Kings Go Wild! ® FIVE CROWNS is a five-suited rummy-style game that is a quick favorite for both avid and casual card players. It starts with 3 cards and 3s are wild, the next hand has 4 cards and 4s are wild and so on ‘til the Kings Go Wild! Make the right combinations, be the first to go out, then watch the others scramble as they get one last chance to cut their losses. Players 1-7. Age 8+
— This take-off on Rummy, only with five suits instead of four, sells well for Andy Detling, owner of Whoops! & Co. in Minocqua, Wis. “I noticed more of a return to family games this year,” said Cheri Sims, store manager of White Rabbit Toys in Ann Arbor, Mich., who said this game was one such game that families were stocking up on.
— In summer 2007, three of 32 retailers cited Five Crowns as the most popular card game. In August 2008, almost 25 percent of retailers named Set Enterprises as their top-selling card game company; 8 percent listed Five Crowns as a best-selling card game. In late summer 2009, three of 38 retailers cited it as their top-selling card game. In Feb. 2010, four of 38 retailers called it a best-selling game, selling between 3 and 25 units monthly. In an August 2010 TDmonthly survey, three of 43 retailers named Five Crowns a card game best seller.
— As of 10.25.10, this product had 5 out of 5 stars from 15 reviews on Walmart.com and was listed as the #3 bestseller in Games & Puzzles. PROS: easy to learn, fun for the whole family.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 6639 (added 1/20/2006)
A fast word game played with cards, Quiddler is designed for 1 to 8 players. Each game consists of eight hands. The first hand is played with three cards, and a card is added during each hand until the players begin the final hand with 10 cards each. The object of the game is to combine an entire hand into words of two or more letters, drawing and discarding on each turn. The first player to have an entire hand of words goes out. Quiddler is a deck of 181 cards.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5300 (added 11/2/2005)
Blink is a lightning-fast game where two players race to be the first to play all of their cards. Using sharp eyes and fast hands, players quickly try to match the shape, count or color on the cards. The first player out of cards wins. Fast and portable, Blink is instant fun for everyone.
— “Any age can play it,” said Linda Doucette, manager of Learning Express in North Hampton, N.H., of why Blink is a favorite in her store. When asked about her top-selling card games, Melissa McCollum, owner of Learning Express of Hoover in Hoover, Ala., told TDmonthly, “That would have to be Blink. I’d say [we sell] about 10 per month.”
— Two of 32 retailers who spoke to TDmonthly in summer 2007 cited Blink as a top-selling card game in their specialty stores. Three of 64 retailers named it as a best-selling card game in August 2008.
— In early September 2009, Andrew Wage, owner of Building Blocks Toy Store in Chicago, said his store sells about 10 to 20 units per month of this game.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3424 (added 4/22/2005)
Eeek! There's a moose loose in the kitchen., and another in the bathroom! In this whimsical matching card game, the goal is to keep moose out of your house, while at the same time giving them to your opponents. The player with the fewest moose wins. The game comes with 58 cards, is designed for two to five players, and takes about fifteen minutes to play.
— "I know we've been selling a lot of card games. There's a card game called 'There's a Moose in the House'. That sells really well. It's made by Gamewright," said John Beutler, associate at Tinkerz Toy Shop in Coeur D' Alene, ID. Beutler told TDmonthly that he sells about a dozen a month of the zany card games from Gamewright.
— " 'There's a Moose in the House' is consistently one of our top selling games, due in part to the hilarious artwork featuring photo-realistic Moose juxtaposed with various rooms of the house — the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom — as well as to a game play that equally entertains parents as well as children," said Jason Schneider for Gamewright.
— There's a Moose in the House received an average 4.5 out of 5 star rating from 12 customers on Amazon.com for bringing absurdity and fun not just to children but also to adults! Many found its rules and directions to be a little difficult to learn, but most agreed that once you get the hang of it, you can't stop enjoying it. (9.14.08)
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14545 (added 8/9/2007)
This deluxe version makes for a more sophisticated evening of UNO. It also makes for the perfect gift. Designed for two to ten players, and taking less than thirty minutes to play, one of America's most recognized family games comes in elegant tin packaging for style and sturdiness. It also comes with score pad and pencil so that there's a winner to be declared at the end of each fun game.
— "UNO by Mattel" was the best-selling card game in the store of Michelle, manager at Whippersnappers in St. Simon’s Island.
— Two of 29 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly in the summer of 2007 said that UNO was a customer-favorite card game in their stores.
— "UNO is the number one card game in America and now fans of the classic game can experience an entirely new version with UNO Deluxe. The new version features a wipe off scoring system, a removable draw and discard tray, and a premium box that folds out for easy scorekeeping," said Michele Sturdivant, Director of PR, Mattel Brands.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14546 (added 8/9/2007)
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Writer's Bio: Dennis Furlan is a freelance writer who lives just outside of Toronto, Canada. He works on a variety of writing and editorial jobs with clients and publications worldwide. Dennis is proud to be part of the TDmonthly team, serving as a regional correspondent for the northwestern U.S. Read more articles by this author
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