Community Newsletter May 2021

What’s happening in the Gamers@Hart community at the end of April, and what do we have to look forward to in May?

Here’s a glimpse!

Plans to Reopen

At the end of January we explained our plans to reopen in summer, with the ending of social distancing restrictions.

Things are still going well!

At the end of April we’d sold 1050 items, breaking our target of 1000. By the end of May we hope to be up to 1500. The reason we’re doing this is, in part, to raise the money we need to get a new building – but at the moment we’re focussing on increasing the stock we sell. As you may remember, being mainly a cafe, our game selection was relatively small. In the future we’re going to be selling a much larger, much wider selection of games – and we’ve already doubled the number of lines we stock since January!

This increase in sales has mainly come from new customers who have found us on – and keeping that up will help us to be sustainable into the future.

We’re also starting to think about our next step – finding a new building. Step 1 will be to find a temporary place to store our stock safely, that we can also use as a shop and a small play space. This probably won’t be our new permanent home. Step 2 is to find a community space we can use regularly for events from June onwards. Step 3 will be when we’re confident we have the income to pay for a snazzy new building 🙂

If anyone knows of a possible space we could use to begin with, please let us know!

These are pretty tough goals – so a huge thank you to everyone who has helped us get so far along!

Lockdown Family Support

With People’s Meeples we’re continuing to find funding for literacy boxes. More and more evidence is coming out that some children are particularly disadvantaged by missing schooling, in particular literacy seems to have suffered most – in fact, vocabulary (which we target with the games in our bundle) is really suffering in primary age children.

We had our Easter ‘Boardom Busters’ virtual holiday club in April. We had nearly 50 children, over 20 families, all taking part in getting games and food. We hope to hear from the council in June if we can do something similar in summer. You can read all about our family’s adventures here.

Top Selling Items of April

So what’s been selling well for us this month?

Our top 5 look like this:

Our biggest sellers are all sold out: Strixhaven Prerelease packs for Magic: The Gathering, Pokemon Battle Styles 3-booster packs, and Dune Imperium.

But some of our most popular items are still here:

  1. YuGiOh – Ghosts from the Past. We were lucky to get as many boxes of this set as we did – this set of reprints invites you to jump backwards in time! This 132 card set contains 45 new cards and 87 reprints, including anime favourites. Cards such as Dark Magician and Black Luster Soldier make a return. Armed Dragon LV10 sees its first reprint since 2006!
  2. Keyforge: Dark Tidings was released this month, and the boosters have been flying out! Keyforge is an amazing idea – instead of buying collectible booster packs and building a deck, each pack you buy is a whole deck that you play with! Jump straight into the action!
  3. Pokemon 25th Anniversary Oversized Boosters – a rare set of collectibles, a pack of three large cards to make the 25th Anniversary of Pokemon.
  4. Wingspan – a perennial favourite. Attract birds to your nature reserve, and reap the benefits. As we know – the world of ornothology is hyper-competitive, and this games proves it. The recent reprint saw a glut of sales in April.
  5. Marvel Champions: Gamora Hero Pack. Marvel Champions is a living card game – you get a regular update to the game with new cards based around particular heroes. Gamora is a preorder- she isn’t going to be with us until May/June, but she’s already popular!

What have we been playing in April?

What’s hit the Hart family table this month?

Those that have been the biggest hit include:

Genotype – we’re fans of science games, and Genius Games do them the best. Genotype is a work placement game fresh from Kickstarter. You’re attempting to genetically manipulate pea plants to conform to your standards of beauty (that’s pretty much what you’re doing). You do this through stacking the odds in your favour with particular tools, or making sure there’s no pesky purple flowering varieties in your greenhouse where you’re trying to propagate white flowers. Or, maybe you want to mess with your rival pea-growers by sneaking green-podded varieties next to their yellow-podded pea plants.

It’s way better than I made it sound. If you missed the kickstarter, at some point it’s coming to retail!

Just One – we rediscovered this game recently as one that’s really fun to fill in 30 minutes. Take turns guessing the clue in this cooperative word game.

Isle of Cats – another classic, released a couple of years ago, but regularly gets back to our table. A mix of drafting and tile laying, for centuries the gaming world was crying out for a puzzle-strategy-cat-rescue-crossover, and we finally have it.

What have we been backing on Kickstarter?

We regularly look for the next big thing on Kickstarter.

Here’s a selection of games we’ve backed in April, which will come to you later in 2021:

CanvasGloomierAfter the Empire Deluxe (we already have the retail version here)