TDmonthly Magazine!
May 2006 | Vol. V - No. 5


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TDmonthly’s Top 10 Most Wanted Fantasy Games

Dungeons & Dragons Still Beats Competitors


With reporting by regional correspondent Pennie Hoover

Fantasy games are such a specialty item that most stores TDmonthly Magazine reached in April didn’t carry them at all. But since many are related to videogames, if only in tone, they may be the perfect toys to recapture the elusive boy customer age 12 and up.

Temple Buyers, owner of The Ark Toy Company in Berkeley, Calif., for example, said that she recommends the new board game Darkness Falls on Sevinpold to customers who come in complaining that their little boys have outgrown her store. “It’s still considered cool,” she said, and even brings in foot traffic from boys age 12 to 16.

Here are the fantasy games that retailers said were helping kids play in their stores. Their order does not necessarily reflect their popularity:





MSRP: $12.99
Age Range: All Ages
Launch Date: March 2006
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games



True to the head-to-head nature of the D&D Miniatures Game, the latest expansion set highlights miniatures against the backdrop of war. Per previous releases, the figures in the set are selected from key D&D role-playing game titles such as Monster Manual, Monster Manual III, Miniatures Handbook, and the Eberron and Forgotten Realms campaign settings. The set also includes an elite group of figures that come with a second, epic-level stat card, allowing players to assemble higher-value armies with which to do battle.The Booster Pack includes eight randomized, prepainted plastic miniatures, state cards for each miniature including a second-epic level stat card with certain figures and a War Drums set checklist. This set debuted in March 2006.
— Dungeons & Dragons is the best selling fantasy game at Diverzions Ground Zero, owner Tom Ray told TDmonthly. “It’s a really wide range of people that buy and play this game.”
— “D&D is still doing well,” agreed Eric, the “Sting” of Gamescape in San Francisco. “People got tired of the system, but it still sells.”
— “The #1 seller is Wizards of the Coast,” concurred Katie Davis, owner of Games Plus in Gallatin, Tenn.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7724      (added 4/26/2006)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



In this Runebound expansion, the hero players must join forces to try to stop the rise to power of one of the Night Kings of the dark god Izrador. Best of all, the Night King is not merely a game mechanic, it is another player. The Night King player can affect the outcomes of battles, send Challenges across the board to hunt down the heroes and manipulate environmental effects. The heroes must infiltrate the Night King's strongholds and destroy his black mirrors, the source of Izrador's power. Meanwhile, each time a hero must escape or is knocked out. There is a chance that the threat level will rise. When the threat level reaches 10, the Night King unleashes all of his forces on Eredane, wiping out the heroes and any who stand in his way!
— Runebound is one of the best selling fantasy games at Gamescape in San Francisco, said its manager, Eric.
— “Fantasy Flight Games is really high end,” commented Van Wilson, a manager at Phillips’ Toy Mart in Nashville. Runebound is a good seller, he added.
— Reviewers on RPG.net gave Runebound 4 or 5 stars out of 5 for both style and substance, as of April 21, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7204      (added 3/10/2006)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Based on the Arthurian legend. Players take on the roles of Knights of the Round Table who work collaboratively to defeat the forces of evil trying to destroy Camelot. The twist is that there is the possibility that one of the players is a Traitor,working against everyone else!
— “Shadows over Camelot really immerses people into the theme of playing a knight of the roundtable, so everything from the game play to the illustrations — even the way we've written the rules — makes people feel they're getting to play a knight off on quests to save Camelot,” said Days of Wonder vice president Mark Kaufmann.
— The game debuted in 2005. “On launch it sold more copies than any of our previous games …and it continues to sell very well,” Kaufmann told TDmonthly. “We've been very happy with the performance of the game.”
— “Shadows Over Camelot has done really well,” noted Eric of Gamescape in San Francisco.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 3682      (added 5/26/2005)
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Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Darkness Falls on Sevinpold is a revolutionary new board game that's fun for the entire family. Sevinpold is a world where every castle is filled with secrets, perils, powers and magical creatures; where the heroes, known as the Valiant, must play as a team against the menacing Darkness in order to win; where victory cannot be declared until the very last roll of the dice when the Scepter is reunited with the Living Throne. With excitement at every turn, Sevinpold is a game that never plays the same twice. It challenges players every step of the way and maintains their interest so they want to play again and again. With two patents pending for its distinctive movement and innovative "team play" concepts, Sevinpold has changed the way board games are played.
— “Sevinpold hits that demographic of 8 to 14,” said Darren Turbeville, owner of Toy Chest in Healdsburg, Calif. “We average a piece every 10 to 14 days.”
— Sevinpold does “very well” at Thinker Toys in Carmel, Calif., said owner Mark Phillips. “I’ve sold through two or three re-orders. It’s selling without even being demonstrated. Knights and dragons and pirates are the biggest category in the world.”
— “I love it!” enthused 11-year-old Sara Seagle. “I think it has beautiful illustrations on it.” TDmonthly's Homeschooling Roundtables families played with Sevinpold an average of seven times each from January to July 2006. VIEW ARTICLE, VIEW CHART
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 5838      (added 12/9/2005)
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MSRP: $89.95
SKU or Item #: WC03
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



World of Warcraft: the Board Game is a fantasy adventure board game based on the computer game. Two to six players can explore the misty eaves of the Silverpine Forest, the hills of the Hinterlands, or the rotten corruption of the Plaguelands. Players set forth on a great adventure, building skills and prowess while collecting equipment and artifacts of legend and power and facing the challenge of overwhelming enemies such as Kel’Thuzad and the mighty Nefarian? Above all, they must be ready to lead their faction to honor and dominance of Azeroth. The game is playable in 2 to 4 hours.
— “Mostly what I do is fantasy battle games,” said Van Wilson, one of the managers at Phillip’s Toy Mart in Nashville. He said that World of Warcraft was one of his most popular fantasy games.
— Fanatasy board game customers tend to be males of 12 and up, he added.
— Bronze hero figure sets for World of Warcraft are available separately for $69.95.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7725      (added 4/26/2006)
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MSRP: $79.95
Age Range: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Across the land, courageous heroes delve into shadowed dungeons, journey to lost cities, and explore forgotten ruins. In the darkest corners of the world, these heroes confront deadly and terrifying monsters, including skeletons, hell hounds, giants, demons and dragons. For those few who survive, the rewards are many. Victorious heroes return from the treacherous dungeons with ancient magic, bags of gold and powerful weapons and artifacts. In Descent: Journeys in the Dark, players become one of these daring adventurers. Armed with mighty weapons and powerful abilities, they venture into the dungeon to battle monsters, escape deadly traps, discover lost treasures, and ultimately, confront and defeat the evil masters that dwell in the hidden places. Will they survive the dark? Descent: Journeys in the Dark is a game of dungeon-crawling adventure for 2 to 5 players.
— “I’ve done well with Descent,” said Van Wilson, a manager at Phillips Toy Mart in Nashville.
— Like most fantasy games, Descent is long-playing, with each game averaging between 2 and 4 hours.
— Descent received 7.6 out of 10 stars, based on 578 ratings at boardgamegeek.com on April 21, 2006.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7726      (added 4/26/2006)
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MSRP: $42.00
Age Range: 12 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: General Games
American-Made



Imported from Germany to the U.S. in 1995, this European designer game is thematically nonviolent, elegant in game play and visually appealing. Players must collect and trade resources, such as wood and sheep, and build the best settlement on an island. Moves require strategic planning, and negotiating and trade are crucial elements of the game.
"The Settlers of Catan is extremely popular with boys over 12. It's a great game that’s a combination of Risk and Monopoly," was the analysis provided by Leanna Halbrecht, owner of Animations in Teaneck, N.J.
— "I'm having a lot of interest in Settlers of Catan and its expansion packs," added Amy Barrett, owner of Lasso the Moon Wonderful Toys in Helena, Mont. “Games such as Settlers of Catan … are becoming more popular,” said Owner David Campbell of Amazing Toys in early 2009. — This game has been exciting kids — and specialty retailers — for years. Its long-running status as a top seller earned it a TDmonthly Classic Toy 2007 award.

ToyDirectory Product ID#: 2230      (added 1/18/2005)
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MSRP: $44.99
Age Range: 10 and up
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Board Games



Players must decide who will rule the Ancient Earth — and beyond. In the world of Risk Godstorm, ancient faiths and rears rule. Players must battle across the Earth and in the dark regions below, harness spiritual forces to strike with devastating power, and command five ancient cultures: Greek, Celtic, Babylonian, Norse and Egyptian in a continent-spanning battle. Risk Godstorm also includes everything needed to play the classic game of Risk. It is for 2 to 5 players. It includes an Ancient Earth Game Board (20" x 30"), Underworld Game Board, 5 Ancient Armies, 5 Sets of Gods, 12 temples, 60 Faith Tokens, etc.
— Risk is the best selling fantasy game at Ambassador Toys San Francisco, said manager Emily.
— The average customer review, based on 6 reviews, was 5 stars, according to amazon.com.
— Gamepieces include highly detailed characters.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 7728      (added 4/26/2006)
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Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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