Thursday, February 23, 2012

This Week in Comics - Valiant, Star Trek, Night of the Owls & More!

I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer.

Weekly Comics Update

I got a phone call...

 ... from the folks at Valiant Comics. I can't tell you much about the newly-resurrected company (I've been sworn to secrecy), but I'm pretty impressed with the people working behind-the-scenes. That said, the conversation was pretty frank: Dark Horse's attempted ressurection of the line wasn't very successful here, mostly because of lateness. Fortunately, Valiant has made timliness a priority, and has a good plan for success. There'll be more announcements about Valiant over the next couple weeks, but you can read a little more about their first offer here.

The new 52 Second Wave...

... will be up on Comixology within the next 7-10 days. I'll have more about this next week.

Night of The Owls... coming. Going to be a great storyline, playing with all of Scott Snyder's creations. For those of you not reading it, All-Star Western is doing a great job of tying into the back-story of Gotham. Great, great book, you should take a peek if you haven't already. (Special thanks to Loyal Reservist James P. for the reminder!)

It's been a couple weeks since...

...I mentioned SAGA, the new series by Brian K.  Vaughan. It's "Star Wars meets Game of Thrones". Have I quoted that yet? Probably. Anyways... you need to buy it. Go look here.

I loved the Abrams remake..

... of Star Trek. True, there was a little too much lens flare going on, but the casting was spot on, great script, great special effects, and a great story. Thumbs up all around. When IDW announced that they were publishing an ongoing that would tie in to the movies, I rolled my eyes a bit. "Sounsds like a cash grab to me", I muttered. However, when the book shipped, I was suprirsed to find out that the writers from the movie were involved in the story, and that they had come up with a twist. Each story is only a couple issues long and is a modern retelling of TOS episodes, featuring the new cast. That was intriguing enough to get me to try out the first couple issues, and it's really good! Color me surprised (and a bit wrong), but this is a great Star Trek book, for anyone who liked the old series, the new movies, or anything in-between. I'm a DS9 man when it comes to the tv shows, but this is definitely winning me over fast. I've marked the first issue down by 50%, so if you want a copy, I'll throw one in your folder. Highly recommended.

Next week's books..

... are here.

Be good.


Scott McGovern
Comics Manager
Dragon's Den



Dragon's Den
2600 South Road
Poughkeepsie Plaza
Poughkeepsie, New York 12601

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Dragon's Den Players of the Year for Magic Update

We have been running a Player of the Year for Magic in the store since the beginning of the year.  We have broken the this award into four different categories: Free Standard, Competitive Standard, Legacy, and Limited.  As we have been running this almost 2 months, I thought I'd post a quick little standing of the top 8 players so far for each category.  So with 10 more months left to be a part of the Player of the Year here at the Dragon's Den, you should come in and play!

Free Standard: Top 8 of 136

Rank Name Points Matches
1 Elijah Vanaver 118 50
2 Niko Peone 96 40
3 Mike Cox 72 37
4 Scott Fish 72 43
5 Evan Odden 72 53
6 Dave Oppenheimer 66 34
7 Alex Sherman 58 28
8 John Franczak 57 31

Competitive Standard: Top 8 of 37
Rank Name Points Matches
1 Steve Carpenter 39 19
2 Kevin Jones 36 15
3 Doug Kimball 29 11
4 Alex Sherman 25 16
5 Scott Fish 21 16
6 Carl Naumann 19 12
7 Will Cuttler 18 8
8 Daniel Stockton 18 11

Legacy: Top 8 of 32
Rank Name Points Matches
1 Paul Lake 45 19
2 James Rynkiewicz 38 15
3 Frank Kick 30 14
4 Casey Madrick 30 15
5 Janene Andersen 24 14
6 Darryl Moss 21 12
7 Rich Cali 21 14
8 Nicholas Albonese 15 8

Limited: Top 8 of 129
Rank Name Points Matches
1 Paul Lake 27 10
2 Alex Sherman 26 10
3 David Haass 24 8
4 Marcos Martinez 22 14
5 Kevin Jones 21 7
6 Mike Cox 21 10
7 Brooke Schieffer 19 9
8 Doug Kimball 18 7

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Monday, February 20, 2012

NYC Toy Fair 2012

Well, we attended Toy Fair 2012 in New York City at the Jacob Javits Center.  It was an incredible event with more to see then I could imagine.  There were incredible deals, new games, old games, and so much more.  While the event is still fresh in our heads, we are going to try and put some of the info into a blog AND add pictures... Just to let you know, many things we could not photograph so we will do what we can.

Activision: Activision had a gigantic booth set up for Skylander!  More to the point, the new Skylander Giants expansion coming out this fall!  We got a chance to check out a quick demo of the game and got a really cool limited piece to the game, a metallic purple Cynder!  We have started to get Skylanders in the store, and the individual figures have been flying off the shelf.

Spinmaster: So many great products, so little space to write about them all. Tech Decks and Flick Trix bikes are very cool!  These toys allow you to do tricks with skate boards and bike using your fingers.  Appfinity and Appmates are two new products that they are releasing currently for the iPhone and soon on the Droid.  These items will allow you to play a driving game with a special steering wheel, play a shooting game with a gun attachment, or remote control a helicopter.  They also carry Redakai, a 3D trading card game.  Very different design, and fun to play.

Calliope: Tsuro is a hot game!  It is a game of paths, and if you have not seen this game, then it is time to take a look.  They are also in the process of creating a new version of the game and hopefully we will see it soon!  Got 'Em is another new game from Calliope.  This game involves boxing in your opponent and moving your pawn to safety.  We will have both of these games in stock very soon... hopefully once Toy Fair is completed.

GIANT Microbes: If you need something intelligent and fun, then check out GIANTMicrobes.  They have key chains, vinyl figures, and plush figures of your "favorite" viruses and bacteria magnified 1,000,000 times.  Some of the favorites they have created are common cold, kissing disease, MRSA, brain cell, chickenpox, and mad cow.  This company has even created special collections just for the holidays, namely Valentines Day, Halloween, and Christmas.

Funko: Funko makes really cool vinyl figures and plush figures all based around popular pop culture!  They make these for DC, Marvel, The Hobbit, Disney, and so much more.  We currently carry some of their products, but we are excited to see all the new product that is not in the store yet. 

Neca: Heroclix is one of the Wizkids products now made by Neca.  Heroclix is coming on strong and with some many great licences like Lord of the Rings, Street Fighter, Marvel, DC, and Halo, it is no wonder.  Thier newest line is a Star Trek ship to ship miniatures combat game.  Another new game from Wizkids by Neca is Quarriors, a dice building game with a new expansion on the way.  Licenced merchandise like Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Fall-out, Halo, and more.  They make action figures, wall scrolls, bags, and so much more.

Monogram: Monogram creates many different products that use different licencing.  They carry far more then we carry, but here are some of the ones we do carry; Marvel, Nightmare Before Christmas.  They use the licence to make glasses, banks, travel mugs, key chains, and so much more.

Kotobukiya: This company makes some fantastic vinyl figures.  Most of them are done as beautiful women and they cover lines such as Mass Effect 3, Marvel, DC, Star Wars, Tekken, and more!  This figures are fantastic with gorgeous detail.  They also have a fantastic line of silicone ice cube trays and chopsticks.  In this line they have Star Wars, DC Comics,  and are introducing Alien.  We have carried some of these products, but are now going to be getting NEW ones in March.

Mayfair: We stopped at Mayfair, and had a fantastic conversation about some new and forward thinking ideas.  They gave us a ton of information about the Settlers of Catan National tournaments. We now understand what we can and cannot do, so we are ready to start running qualifiers for this great game! We also learned about a store-specific commercial.  They have some fun characters on their website who will be a part of the commercial and we are excited to get copies of these.

Fantasy Flight: This company creates many differnet board games, card games, and role playing games.  One of the newest games to come out soon is Star Wars X-Wing.  This is a miniatures tactical space combat game.  Star Wars Living Card Game is also coming out sometime this year.  They did not have much information on this as it needed to be redone slightly.

Cryptozoioc: Stopping at Cryptozoic was mixed.  They had some fact sheets, but not much else to see.  Here are some of the big high-lights that we saw.  They are planning several releases for Deck Building Games including Clash of Champions for World of Warcraft, DC Comics (part of the Cerberus game engine), also a Hobbit/LotR deck building game.  They are also working on a Hobbit/LotR board game, hopefully coming out next year.

Nassau Candy: Jelly Belly, Branded/Licensed Candy, and bulk candy is what we saw at Nassau Candy.  They things we really thought were great would be the Angry Birds, Mario, and Decade in a Box candies.  So many great candies, and we even got a sample of their salt water taffy... which was fantastic!

Ata Boy: Magnets, Buttons, Stickers based on Princess Bride, Happy Bunny, DC, Marvel and Retro images.  What more can I say, other then I want them in the store!  So many great pop culture references and images.  We are looking forward to carrying more of this line. 

Royal & Langnickel: This company creates and sells paint brushes, palettes, and paints.  We are very excited to find a company that sells high quality paint  brushes at a very reasonable price!  We will be carrying their line of brushes.

Asmodee: Dixit is one of those games that is an instant favorite.  The art is fantastic and the game is about giving clues and bluffing/misleading your opponents.  Timeline is a new game from Asmodee.  It is a fast game with some great history lessons to share with the players.  7 Wonders, with its several expansions, gives you a fast paced game where you get to influnce one of the great civilizations of the world.  This company makes some fun and fast games.  Not a lot of time, check out Asmodee.

Hexbugs: They have a brand new item, Moshi Monster Bobble Bots!  This is based on an online game that is HUGE in Great Britain, especially among girls.  They have created this item using the Nano technology.  They can be purchased in single packs, with houses, and with buildings.  Hexbugs has also introduced several great holiday lines.  Each one has a removable piece for the holiday; rabbit ears for Easter, antlers for Christmas, and a glow in the dark skeleton frame for Halloween!  They also packaged them differently; Easter eggs, ornaments, and a coffin!

Konami: Yu-Gi-Oh!... What else can I say?  Well I guess I can comment on all the different product coming out.  We will see Ra Yellow Mega-Pack, Premium Collection tins, a new Starter, Galactic Overlord, and Hidden Arsenal 6.  We will also get a very cool product, Battle Pack: Epic Dawn!  This new pack will give players the chance to play Yu-Gi-Oh! in a sealed format! 

Tenzi: This was a fun, super fast dice rolling game.  The game was very simple to learn, and for a only $15 you get 40 D6 pipped dice! They come in 8 different colors, 4 to a pack. We had a blast playing this game, and managed to get all the dice on one side in 26 seconds.

Wood Expressions: We already carry many of their items, but are going to expand the depth of the product. They sell very common games like chess, checkers, solitaire, backgammon, cribbage and Chinese checkers. However, if you're looking for something like Shoot-the-Moon, Mah-Jong, Cathedral, Labyrinth and Mancala, they've got that too! We carry Wood Expressions for every customer type, from those who spend $15 on a beginner's checkers set to $150 for the collectors who want a carved marble chess board and pieces.

Set Game: Are you looking for a quick an interesting game?  Are you looking for a game that will really push you to think?  Then check out these games from Set: Xactika,Quiddler, Five Crowns, and Set!  We demoed and played all 4 games in about 20 minutes.  Now we did not finish the games, but we played several hands of each.

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Friday, February 10, 2012

GIZA The Great Pyramid

In this new 2-4 player game by Mayfair, you play as the leader of an Egyptian city. Pharaoh is concerned that his Great Pyramid will not be finished in time for his journey to the Underworld, and needs the help of his best cities in supplying additional labor. To win the Pharaoh's favor, you must send more laborers to complete the Great Pyramid than the other players!

When you first open the box, you will see the rulebook and the game board. The rulebook is 12 pages long, and is extremely detailed, perfect for those who have never played a board game. It includes information on Game Setup, Components, How To Play, Executing Turns, Scoring and Game End. It even has a very helpful scoring table for use during the game.
The board itself is a work of art. Not only is it beautifully done in neo-Egyptian artwork, but it is a  hard 1 piece fold-out.  In my experience, this eliminates people losing the separate board pieces or bumping into 1 half of it.

Underneath those are the Player Aid Screens (left side) and the tiles and tokens (right side). Each player gets 1 color-coded reversible screen, 3 Art Tokens for decorating the Pyramid (red), 8 Food Tokens to prevent Worker starvation(green) and either 8 or 10 Worker blocks, depending on whether your game is 2 or 4 player. There are also Sled Tiles (large yellow) and 50pt. Victory Markers (yellow/green/brown). Each of these are very important during game play, so I recommend getting a Ziploc to keep them in.

Lastly, there are the worker pieces and the plastic pyramid itself.  The small wooden blocks represent your Workers, and are color coded for up to 4 players, and coincide with the reversible Player Aid screens. There are 16 of each color, for a total of 64 Workers. However, there is also what is possibly the coolest part of this game: The Great Pyramid! Once your Workers have slid all the Pyramid pieces of 1 Tier into place, you use your Art Tokens to decorate that Tier. While everyone who bids Art Tokens toward the Pyramid win Victory Points, the player who bids the most will get more VPs. Once the Great Pyramid is completed, players will add up all VPs, and of course, the player with the most wins the game!

And there you have it, another awesome resource game from Mayfair. While this game is a bit more complicated than either Settlers of Catan or Steam, I like the fact that they are creating more challenges for their loyal players. Sean, Dave and I will be at Toyfair 2012 in NYC this Sunday and Monday, and I can hardly wait to see what new boardgames Mayfair has cooked up. Be sure to look for our Toyfair update on Tuesday when we return!

Stasi "Dengirl" King

Monday, February 6, 2012

Unpacking the Dragon's Den

So many people who do not live local have asked us what the store looks like and what type of product we carry. So not wanting to keep everyone in the dark, here is an unpacking of the Dragon's Den!

As you walk down the hall of the Poughkeepsie Plaza, we are located at the end of the hallway at the North end of the plaza. 

When you look into the store, you will find many great items located on our island.  You are also presented with a choice, left or right...

If you walk straight in and look in the front two cases you will find some interesting items, including bumper stickers and ...

and CANDY! Notice that most of the candy is branded!

So I decided to turn to the right and make my way along the comic book wall.  We have a nice lite display for the comic books, all sorted alphabetically from left to right with tabs behind all the new books.At the end of the rows of comic books, there is a lite display with all the comic glasses, banks, and pop fun figures.  We carry Marvel, DC, Image, Dark Horse, and more.  If you are looking for comic books, then you might want to browse our wall.

Opposite the comic wall, and inside the island you find all the collectible card games (CCG) and sports cards.  This is where all the boosters, starters, and singles for the different CCGs.  This is also where you will find the card sleeves, deck boxes, and play mats.  With games like Magic, Yu-Gi-Oh, and World of Warcraft we have plenty of CCGs for the players to enjoy.

Rounding the corner by the BCW spinning rack which houses top loaders, penny sleeves, and binders, you see the gaming area. We can set the area up in multiple configurations for card games, miniature games, or role playing games.  Across the back wall of the gaming area is a wall of board games and card games as well as Yoda above one of our demo video game systems.

Right in the corner of the gaming area is our role playing games (RPG) section, which usually has a table set up for RPG games. We keep our boosters of miniatures, RPG books (New and Used), and maps.  We carry many different RPG titles like D&D, Pathfinder, Legend of the Five Rings, Eclipse Phase, and so much more!

At the back of the island, facing into the gaming area you find our miniature paints, dice, CCG binders, some play mats, and darts.  Oh, yes DARTS!  So many people play in leagues in the area, but there are so few places to find flights, shafts, tips, and other dart accessories.

The wall opposite the comics and around the other side of the island you find miniatures and video games.  Starting at the back of the store, you run into the miniature section of the wall.  We carry game companies such as Games Workshop (Warhammer and Warhammer 40K), Privateer Press (Warmachine and Hordes), Spartan Miniatures (Uncharted Seas, Dystopian Wars, and Firestorm Armada), and some other titles like Battletech, Malifaux, and Infinity.

As you move down the wall, you will see all the video games, and video game systems.  We carry new games as well as retro.  Looking for Nintendo (Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Gamecube, and Wii), X-box, X-Box 360, PlayStation (1, 2, and 3), Sega (Master System, Genesis, CD, Saturn, and Dreamcast), or even Atari... we've got it!  We also have a tech in the store who can fix most problems with current and older systems.  In the island across from the wall we keep the hand held games.  These range from the original Nintendo Gameboy to the 3DS.  We also have PSPs, Sega Game Gears, and even a Nomad!

Right next to the register we have some more snacks.  Here we keep some of the really cool imports from Japan and Ireland!  Drinks, candies, chips, and cookies! We also have energy drinks in this case, as well as in the mini fridge right behind the counter if you want one cold.

So now you have had the grand tour.  I did not have space to put in all the pictures of the store or all the cases, but I wanted to leave some mystery or intrigue so that you are enticed into stopping by and checking us out.  And if you are curious, we run events on those tables every night of the week, and you should check out our calendar for more information.

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Battletech Introductory Box Set

Did you ever play Battletech when you were growing up?  Do you remember FASA? Have you ever desired piloting a giant 'Mech into combat for the glory of your House or Clan? Then you need to check out the Battletech Introductory Box Set!  This new introductory box set is now being produced by Catalyst Game Lab, who also makes some other great games! We at the Dragon's Den felt that it was time to break this open and play a round or two.

We got the box set out for the store, now that it is available at one of our distributors.  As several of us remembered the game from our youth, we were excited to give the new intro box a try.  We went very basic with a light mech each... well, they had 50 tonnage mechs and I had a 40.  We went with the very basic/core rules and did not worry about heat or ammo.  Steve, Tom and I had a blast and after immobilizing me they turned on each other, with Tom winning the event!

The pieces are all made out of plastic, and are single cast... except for the 2 premium pieces Thor and Loki.  The board is more like a board game board, but is printed on both sides to give you 2 double sided maps for more play options.

While we were playing, Stan got into painting the pieces and gave each one a quick prime coat of either Red, Grey, or Silver.  The pieces we were using ended up blue as did the Thor.  The Loki got a separate color and we went with green.  We may have gone with some Marvel Comic colors with that...Thor blue and Loki green!

So as we have several copies in the store, with the pieces all base coated, then you should come in and give this great game a try.  We now have several copies of the game as of when this blog was posted.


Sean "Striderlotr" Banks

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nintendo LaserScope

Have you ever wanted to play Duck Hunt on the NES and not have to use the gun?  How about firing at those ducks by saying "Bang," "Shoot," "Die Duck, Die," or "Kablow!"?  Then you need to give this a try!

The Nintendo LaserScope by Konami is a voice activate firing system.  It was designed to work with the different shooting games that Nintendo produced to work with the Zapper.  It made it's debut in 1990, so it is now 22 years old, and looks great still. If you noticed, the headset also has speakers built in, and YES it is in stereo. 

Now there were some down sides to really cool device.  The mic would sometimes pick up background noise and fire with what ever it heard.  It also has a limited range as you need to plug the headset into the Nintendo in the controller port, and on the side for the sound.

Oh, and in case you are wondering... YES we have one in the store as of when we posted this blog entry!

Sean "Striderlotr" Banks