September 23, 2018

TDmonthly Magazine

October 2007 | Vol. VI - No. 10

Collect These Cards

Classic and New Games Stack Up

By Alison Marek
October 2007

“The Xeko cards [by Matter Group] – that’s the one I’d emphasize.” Scott Loveless, Toys That Teach
The plethora of card games on the market makes it difficult to distinguish one from the other, 32 specialty retailers told TDmonthly Magazine, though classic decks for Old Maid, Rummy, Gin and Go Fish still make the “cut.” New trends include collectible packs that emphasize the environment or are matched with other types of toys, such as Ganz’s Webkinz trading cards.


The eco-friendly trend has invaded the playing card industry, at least according to one retailer.

“The Xeko cards [by Matter Group] — that’s the one I’d emphasize,” Scott Loveless, owner of Toys That Teach in Bothell, Wash., told TDmonthly.

Birdcage Press also makes cards that emphasize the environment by including rich color photographs and educational information.

“Their artistic cards have been well received,” said Phil Wrzesinki, owner of Toy House and Baby Too in Jackson, Mich.

Card games involving the computer or a virtual world are trendy, noted Shirley Reilly, owner of Let's Play in Hillsboro, Ore., and Donna Sedgwick, owner of The Toy Mill in Tiverton, R.I., also pointed to the “Webkinz phenomenon,” which has now moved into trading cards.

Of course, collectible card games such as Pokémon and Yu-Gi-Oh still have their audience, retailers said.


In addition to the classics and those on TDmonthly’s Top-10 Most-Wanted Card Games list, retailers had a variety of favorites from Gamewright, University Games and Cranium.

Slamwich, which I just got in from Gamewright,” is doing well for Cheryl Richmond, owner of Punkin Doodles in Havre, Mont.

The Killer Bunnies series by Playroom Entertainment is getting picked up by bigger kids at Amazing Toys in Great Falls, Mont., said Owner David Campbell, while small fries are slamming down Bye-Bye Balloons by International Playthings, according to Jane Beck, owner of BJ Beck’s Toys in Cedarburg, Wisc.

Both kids and adults have been ringing up Julie Manning, owner of Two Boys Toys in Palmer, Mass., hoping to get their hands on Jungle Speed by Asmodee. “It’s a card game with a totem pole in the middle,” she explained to TDmonthly.


While it’s hard to pinpoint a new hit, classics sell steadily and there are plenty of novel games to keep the interest of your customers. Here are the card games retailers say get played:

Whoonu by CRANIUM INC.

Whoonu by CRANIUM INC.This game gets players guessing — and celebrating — each other’s favorite things. Players must choose between very different experiences and items while other players must guess their selection. It recently won an Oppenheim Toy Award. 3/17/2006 (MSRP: $14.95; Age: 8 and Up)

Xeko Mission: Costa Rica by MATTER GROUP LLC

Xeko Mission: Costa Rica by MATTER GROUP LLCCosta Rica is the setting for the second Xeko adventure. Meet the fearsome jaguar, the intelligent bottle-nosed dolphin and some of the most amazing birds, turtles and frogs in Mission: Costa Rica. (Watch the Xeko Mission: Costa Rica Video Watch Video) 6/13/2006


Jungle Speed by ASMODEE EDITIONSIn 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. (Watch the Jungle Speed Video Watch Video) 6/15/2006 (MSRP: $19.99; Age: 7 and Up)


SWAP! by PATCH PRODUCTS INC.In this lightning-fast game, players must quickly try to get rid of all their cards. Players must attempt to match colors on cards, swap hands and race to slap the pile. This product is a National Parenting Center Seal of Approval Award winner. “The slapping and exchanging of hands adds a new dimension to today's card games,” Patch Products Inc. Public Relations Manager Barbara Uebelacker told TDmonthly. Launch date: 2003.
― Swap is a good seller for Lisa Bennett, owner of Peacock Feathers in Needham, Mass., she told TDmonthly in summer 2007. 9/4/2007 (MSRP: $6.99; Age: 7 and Up)

Dutch Blitz Card Game by DUTCH BLITZ GAMES CO.

Dutch Blitz Card Game by DUTCH BLITZ GAMES CO.Conceived by a German eye doctor to teach his daughter how to count and identify colors, this game has been around for about 40 years and people just keep on coming back for more.
— Greg Larson, owner of Larson's Toys and Games in Columbus, Ohio, told TDmonthly in 2012 and 2013 that Dutch Blitz was one of his top-two best-selling card games. 12/9/2004


Yu-Gi-Oh! Starter Deck by UPPER DECK ENTERTAINMENTThose itching to get in on the dueling action craze of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX now have everything they need to get started. The Starter Deck comes with sweet “Elemental Hero” monsters as well as a visual beginner’s guide that instructs beginners in the ways of dueling the Yu-Gi-Oh! way. The set comes with 40 distinctive cards, so the game can begin as soon as you're ready. The starter deck is a perfect way to get friends in on the Yu-Gi-Oh! action, too.
— Chris Walsh, owner of The Whiz Store in Westborough, Mass., told TDmonthly that Yu-Gi-Oh! is one of the lines in his store that's popular with boys ages 4 to 8. 9/6/2007 (MSRP: $9.99)

Slamwich by GAMEWRIGHT

Slamwich by GAMEWRIGHTKids flip and stack this clever loaf of cards to build slamwiches and double deckers. Tomato, lettuce, tomato ... slap! The player who gets there first will win the pile. But he’ll have to catch the thief and stop the muncher from stealing a stack of cards. When he’s out of cards, he’s out of the game. The first player to collect all the cards wins. Slamwich teaches reading readiness skills, such as visual discrimination and sequencing. While kids are flipping and stacking cards, they're actually learning how to recognize a series, make combinations, and anticipate what might happen. "Slamwich includes bread-shaped, die-cut cards. It's a fast-playing card game. It's also Gamewright's first card game," said Jason Schneider, product development and marketing manager for Gamewright.
—    Rosie Morris, manager of Whiz Kid Toys in San Luis Obispo, Calif., told TDmonthly to watch out for Gamewright, naming Slamwich as one of their hottest 2006 sales items.
—    "We have a lot of card games from Gamewright. One of the better ones is Slamwich," Shirley Reilly, owner of Let's Play in Hillsboro, Ore., told TDmonthly. In an August 2008 survey of 64 retailers, storeowners reported average sales of about a dozen per month. Six named Slamwich as a best-selling card game.
— In August 2010, five of 43 retailers surveyed cited Slamwich as a best-selling card game. 11/27/2006 (Age: 6 and Up)

Killer Bunnies Violet Booster by PLAYROOM ENTERTAINMENT

Killer Bunnies Violet Booster by PLAYROOM ENTERTAINMENTKiller Bunnies is a fast-paced, action-filled card game, in which players must try to keep as many Bunnies alive as possible, while eliminating opponents' Bunnies. The problem: Opponents are armed with weapons and will stop at nothing to keep players from winning the game, which can get dreadfully vengeful, horribly nasty, hilariously messy and just plain fun. Killer Bunnies are back again and sporting new Specialty Bunnies, which make taking double turns a snap. The Violet Booster Deck adds another 55 cards to an existing set, plus a clear 20-sided die. (Watch the Killer Bunnies Violet Booster Video Watch Video) 3/27/2006 (MSRP: $12.00)

Pokémon Trading Card Game: Diamond & Pearl – Mysterious Treasures by POKEMON USA

With these new Diamond & Pearl Pokémon cards, players will discover new game-play options such as Pokémon with Berries, new Fossils and a parallel set with holographic images. The collection is compatible with previous releases, includes more than 120 new cards and features two theme decks, “Armor Fortress” and “Skull Charge.” Each booster pack includes 10 randomly inserted game cards. 9/7/2007


Bye Bye Balloons by INTERNATIONAL PLAYTHINGS LLCPlayers shuffle the cards and deal them out equally. The Spinnerific is placed on the table where all can reach it. The player with the most blue clothing, for example, spins the Spinnerific first. When it stops on a balloon, players can discard one matching card. They take turns at spinning. The first to get rid of all their cards wins the game. Variations of the game can be played.
— "We have Bye-Bye Balloon from IPI that does well with 3-year-olds," said Jane Beck, owner of BJ Beck’s Toys in Cedarburg, WI, when asked by TDmonthly about hot-sellers in her store. 8/7/2007 (MSRP: $7.99; Age: 3 and Up)

Webkinz Trading Cards by GANZ

Webkinz Trading Cards by GANZKids can collect, trade and play awesome games with these cards. The first series of Webkinz Trading Cards includes 80 base-set cards featuring favorite Webkinz pets, characters, items and recipes to collect and enjoy. Kids can also collect three exciting subsets of cards: Challenge Cards, Curio Shop Curiosities and Webkinz Doodlez. Each set comes with 10 packs of cards and six cards per pack. Other amounts and booster packs are also available.
— When asked about the current hot-seller in her store, Kate Tanner, owner of Kidstop Toys & Books in Scottsdale, Ariz., said, "Webkinz of all kinds —from the Googles and Chihuahua to the trading card games and booster packs."
— “I would probably have to say any Webkinz by Ganz accessories,” Bill DeFusco, owner of Toyz Toy Store in Chesire, Conn., told TDmonthly, when asked about what he predicted would be his store’s most popular stocking stuffer. “Whatever accessories for Webkinz can be found—lip glosses, body spritz, trading cards.”
—Eleven of 58 retailers who spoke with TDmonthly cited Webkinz accessories as highly popular stocking-stuffer items. 7/27/2007

University Games - Dr. Seuss 4–in–1 Card Games (Tin) by UNIVERSITY GAMES

University Games - Dr. Seuss 4–in–1 Card Games (Tin) by UNIVERSITY GAMESThis four-in-one card game assortment is based on four of Dr. Seuss’s most popular books: The Cat in the Hat; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; One Fish, Two fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish!; and Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose. Each card game in this family-fun assortment can be learned in five minutes. Launch date: September 2007. 9/4/2007 (MSRP: $9.99; Age: 4 and Up)

Amazing Places: National Parks by BIRDCAGE PRESS

Discover 52 amazing national parks as you play dozens of card games. Collect canyons, mountains, caves, deserts, and other amazing places as you play "Go Fish" and read fun park facts on each card. Or use this complete 52-card deck to play all your favorite card games. Launch Date: February 2007.  (Watch the Amazing Places: National Parks Video Watch Video) 12/11/2006 (MSRP: $9.95; Age: All Ages)

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