It’s always fun when we get new, innovative products in the shop to sample and sell. I’m not saying we get samples often (because we don’t) but we did get a great one this week when our long time friend and business guru Daryl McKay sent us a new venture he’s involved in. The new basketball game called FLEX NBA made its way to Sports Zone Toys & Comics.
Think of all your favorite battle board games over the years and combine that with current NBA superstars and an interactive technology and you’ll be on the right track.
FLEX is a board game that’s also playable on your mobile device. Actually, it really becomes spectacular when played on your mobile device. With groundbreaking technology you can hover your phone or other device over the game board and your players will come to life in 3D. Really.
The gist of the game is your players’ success hinges on the usage of his powers, known here as confidence points. The goal is to break your opponent down by eliminating his confidence little by little (or a lot by a lot) until you’re flexing on him with zero confidence left in his tank. Do that to the entire squad and you win.
The hand-drawn player tiles, called Flexagons, really pop. Each and every player tile is AR-enabled through the aforementioned app you will see your favorite players move perform and flex on their opponents. There are over 200 tile variations in the first series of the game. Take a look at the Russell Westbrook tile. And the LeBron James tile. And the Kevin Durant tile. Check all of them out.
Series Two tiles are already preselling with rookie and rising stars that don’t appear in the first series. The tiles may be attractive items, not only in relation to the game but also in general collecting circles.
The tiles (called Flexagons) have key info on the back. You will find the player’s signature moves and special abilities and a few key career highlights to use in this arms race. These attributes will be what reduces your opponent’s powers, known as “confidence points.” The goal is to take your opponents CP or confidence points to zero. When that happens, the tile is removed from the board and you keep shooting and dunking away until all of your opponents’ tiles are off the board. There are different player levels and other elements.
There is also an advanced mode that brings in a die and FX tiles that increase playability. I’m still learning about it, to be honest. This was a big part of my Wednesday, I will have you know. This was literally our shop talk.
I’m sure there are people that can explain this game better to you than I can, as we are still learning the intricacies of this new arrival. For a far better understanding of the game, take a look at the instructional video from the website.
Daryl was kind enough to send us a first minting version of the board game and a few additional single player tiles as well. I’m sure I will take it home at some point soon to “work” on improving my FLEX skills.
Honestly, the additional marketing materials are as cool as anything I’ve seen recently. The information kits, the table tents, the posters, the flyers, pamphlets, the holographic stickers, are all beautifully done.
It looks like with a little time to completely understand the game this could be a big hit in stores an online.
Our PSA 10 rookie card blind boxes are flying off the shelves. We recently worked with Daryl to get some promotional materials done up and we’re going to try and take this whole idea to the next level. We also are launching a BGS 9.5 gem box with the same premise in mind, adding a select few BGS 10 Pristine cards in the boxes.
As the graded cards come and go and time passes, we are continuing to tweak the program until we reach the best possible form. We are now adding guaranteed autographs per box, redemptions and number of other fun bonuses. We’re also getting feedback from customers and will most definitely take that into account as we move forward which might include doing sports specific boxes. We will do whatever it takes to keep our customers happy and keep this ship moving forward.
On Saturday afternoon one of our regulars was in to grab some PSA, BGS and Jersey Fusion boxes. He bought us out, one by one and grabbed every single PSA box we had as well as clearing out a case of our new BGS boxes. He bought a case of Jersey Fusion on his way out for good measure. We are getting a pile of graded cards each day and on days like that we really need them. When we are handling products like that in store they can go on a run of sales and leave us scrambling. We are trying to avoid that during this growth period.
Speaking of keeping the proverbial ship (well delivery trucks) moving forward, we are in serious talks to move the majority of our outgoing shipping to UPS. Right now the USPS gets the bulk of our shipping, upwards of 300 packages per day. We ship larger items through FedEx, as they offer better rates on larger items. We have used UPS almost exclusively for our FBA shipments and a few random packages here and there. Of course, we get inbound packages in wide varieties from all three, but UPS might be our new go-to. We meet with a representative next week to see if it makes sense for us to make the move on a grand scale.