Games Company is Spying Out Success
What is the brand-new Strategic Space looking to accomplish at Toy Fair 2008? And why is the NYC-based company a good candidate for TDmonthly Magazine’s Toy Frenzy! documentary? Read on to find out, in CEO Mark Salzwedel’s own words:
Strategic Space just started publishing in September, so this will be our first Toy Fair. And unlike a lot of new publishers, I will not be attending with just one game to sell, but six.
I have been to two other shows (TGIF in September and Chi-Tag in November), I’ve placed magazine ads, and I’ve personally called on every toy and game store in the New York City area in the past few months.
I am deeply in debt, but I have angel investors ready to swoop in with tens of thousands of dollars as soon as I can show them some big orders, and I’m hoping that will happen at Toy Fair.
MEETING THE WORLD
I have a couple of my games under consideration for Dutch, French and German translations, and I’m getting ready to market 4th Corner with Spanish instructions to the Latino community.
Probably the most mainstream and likely breakout game of the 2008 list will be Master Spy. It’s got lots of custom-molded plastic, so I’m having it made in Hong Kong to save money. I should have a prototype at Toy Fair.
Each of up to four players gets a tray that opens up to reveal two matching pegboards (similar to traditional Battleship). Each player secretly places five pegs in various peg holes representing their spies’ starting locations.
SPYING FOR FUN
Every turn, each spy moves one peg hole (not diagonally) and the player must announce the hole they’re moving out of, or the hole they’re moving into. If they announce they are moving into a hole that is occupied by an opponent’s spy, the opponent’s spy is captured.
Whoever has the most captured spies when any player loses his or her last spy is the winner. The one exciting twist is that at the end of every player’s turn, a die is rolled that could mean recruiting a new spy, retiring a spy, or defecting (trading trays to the left and getting a new set of spies to direct)!
I think I might be a good subject for the documentary because I live in Manhattan, so you’d be able to film/photograph me in my design studio, at my warehouse in Brooklyn, and going to and from the Javits Center by public transportation!
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view) MSRP: $29.95Age Range: 8 and upSKU or Item #: SSG-005Launch Date: September 2007Gender: Boys And Girls
In this adaptation of the classic game “Battleship,” up to four players place five pegs in their upper pegboard to represent their spies' secret locations. At each turn, all the spies move and announce either where they were or are, attempting to capture enemy spies. At the end of each turn, a spy could be subtracted or added, or all players may have to manage a new group of spies. Master Spy is “a fast-paced, simple strategic game that tests your memory and cunning at a high price point that is still a great value,” CEO Mark Salzwedel of Strategic Space told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16497 (added 12/7/2007)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view) MSRP: $19.95Age Range: 6 and upSKU or Item #: SSG-006Launch Date: July 2007Gender: Boys And Girls
Up to six players deploy spaceships from the space station and send them out into the galaxy, waiting for permission to colonize various star systems. The first to colonize four star systems wins. Players can learn names and characteristics of stars, and the rule book teaches principles of astronomy and astrophysics. Young children able to take direction and match colors and numbers can easily play along. “A colorful board and card deck and easy rules make this an easy buy with parents and teachers, whether they want to spark an interest in the universe or just want to create imaginative fun,” CEO Mark Salzwedel of Strategic Space told TDmonthly. Launch date: July 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16498 (added 12/7/2007)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view) MSRP: $19.95Age Range: 8 and upSKU or Item #: SSG-004Launch Date: May 2007Gender: Boys And Girls
In this multiplayer strategy game, each player sends five followers out onto the wheel-shaped board of Samsara, dividing four moves per turn between them. One player’s followers absorb other followers, making them harder to be absorbed themselves. When a player’s followers have absorbed enough other followers, they can send others out of play (to nirvana). The winner is whoever controls the most followers when someone loses his or her last. Variant rules provide various levels of difficulty. “For game players that abhor dice and card decks, this game is very easy to learn, very difficult to master,” CEO Mark Salzwedel of Strategic Space told TDmonthly. Launch date: May 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16496 (added 12/7/2007)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view) MSRP: $19.95Age Range: 8 and upSKU or Item #: SSG-002Launch Date: September 2007Gender: Boys And Girls
It is the year 2050. Radical animal rights activists have released a mutant strain of strong, fast, intelligent and aggressive deer headed for suburbia. A player (elite hunter) must bring back his or her quota of the mutant deer before any other player does. But, the deer can attack the hunters, too. The game is for up to eight players, who use dice to move and resolve attacks between the hunters and deer. “This game has a fun theme and is easier to play than most strategic combat games,” CEO Mark Salzwedel of Strategic Space told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16494 (added 12/7/2007)
Wholesale Price: (Log in to view) MSRP: $19.95Age Range: 8 and upSKU or Item #: SSG-003Launch Date: September 2007Gender: Boys And Girls
In this adaptation of the classic game “Clue,” zombies have followed players into a deserted mansion, and they must avoid them, find a key and escape. If the zombies get a player first, he or she turns into a zombie and must try to stop the other players from escaping. This light and entertaining strategy game is for up to six players. “With the growing popularity of zombie games, this is the easiest multiplayer strategy game to learn and has the unusual twist of having players turn on the others if they have been caught,” CEO Mark Salzwedel of Strategic Space told TDmonthly. Launch date: September 2007.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 16493 (added 12/7/2007)
Mark Salzwedel is a bona fide Renaissance man. He has been a reporter for newspapers and magazines in St. Paul, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He previously worked as a developmental editor for HarperCollins book publishers. He has appeared in several movies and TV shows and maintains a membership in the Screen Actors Guild. He has ghostwritten several bestselling spiritual autobiographies. And lately, he’s been launching a new game publishing company, Strategic Space, Inc. (http://strategic-space.com) Read more articles by this author
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