Games, Comics, and Adventure
A spotlight on All Things Fun!, a New Jersey-based game store
Our Fantasy Flight Retailer Spotlight continues to grow, with more retailers participating every week. Last week we introduced you to an Oregon-based game store; today we’re spotlighting a New Jersey retailer: Ed Evans and his store All Things Fun!
All Things Fun! is a game store that offers hobby gamers a growing world of exciting options and opportunities. Or in Ed’s own words...
All Things Fun!
- Monday: 2pm - 9pm
- Tuesday - Friday: 12pm - 9pm
- Saturday: 11am - 8pm
- Sunday: 12pm - 6pm
A new business
Over the years my wife and I had opened dozens of retail stores for other people. Finally, we decided we wanted to bring something new and a little bit special to the marketplace, so we started to pull together products from the comic, gaming and toy industries. We knew we wanted to create a business that would welcome not only fans of the comic and game worlds but to expose the general public to the world of hobby gaming and comic book merchandise, and that's how All Things Fun! came to be.
All Things Fun! is New Jersey's premiere game and comic retailer with over 2,500 square feet of games, comics, toys and pop-culture collectibles. In just under seven years we've stocked all kinds of neat, fun products that you won't see displayed in the big box merchant stores. Currently, All Things Fun! stocks over 1,800 game titles on average, 1,500 graphic novel titles and has a permanent 50 foot long display with over 250 comic book titles fully face-out. We have a huge and ever changing assortment of comic and pop-culture themed T-shirts, hats and other apparel items. You'll find action figures, toys, hobby supplies and so much more.
An engaging group
One of the things we knew we wanted to support was in-store events. Our second day open we hosted an event with 24 participants and we've never looked back. At this point All Things Fun! hosts an average of over 80 events every month with multiple events every day of the week. These events can be as simple as a card game tournament to as exciting as a game sneak preview or an author and artist signing.
Over the years several of our events started to take on more meaning for us and our community. Every Wednesday we host our Open Board Game Night and that has evolved to become our All Things Fun! Board Game Club. We have a great mix of folks that come out to play, from traditional board gamers to families and folks that just want to have fun. We have a large supply of recent games available for use and customers can bring their own games to play as well. Also, once every month we spotlight a game and demo it during Open Board Game Night as it is a great way for players to learn a new game. Our only rule for Open Board Game Night is that any games played must be in-print and available. In this way when someone falls in love with a game we can get it for them. Of course, our demo games are also in stock.
Last Summer, we celebrated a great first for the club. Two of our regular members that met at the store during Open Board Game Night were married. While the marriage wasn't performed at All Things Fun!, the happy couple had decorated their wedding hall with Meeples and the ceremony was performed by myself!
One of our favorite events is our annual Board Game Auction held every June. This year it's being held on Sunday, June 26, 2011. This is a chance for customers to clear out their closets of old games they aren't playing and to get credit toward new games they want. For a month before the event, players bring in their lightly used games. We verify to make sure every game has all of its parts and pieces. And then on the day of the event we host a live auction. All proceeds are paid to the store and people that brought in the games are given credit for the games sold. It's a great way for folks to get some credit for new games and for others to get some great deals on used games. The event itself is so much fun that we stream it live on our website.
Over the years All Things Fun! has also helped our local community. We've hosted several game tournaments where all of the proceeds went to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Just last Thanksgiving All Things Fun! hosted the largest game-based food drive in the nation for the FoodMachine Food Drive. Together with our customers we raised over 3 3/4 tons of canned food for the South Jersey Food Bank. This was important to us as we had made special arrangements with the Food Bank to ensure every last can would make it to local area tables in time for Thanksgiving.
All Things Fun! also hosts several free game-themed learn-to-play events at area libraries throughout the year. Additionally, we donate comics and organize events at three local county libraries in support of Free Comic Book Day every May.
A terrific exchange
But that's not all! We recently opened our Used Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Book Exchange. We are always bringing in new categories that we think might be of service to our customers. In this section customers bring in their lightly used Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror books for credit which they can use toward other books in the exchange. We've only just begun accepting books and building the section and folks seem excited to have another reason to visit All Things Fun!
All Things Fun! also produces two different internet shows. The All Things Fun! Podcast is a monthly family-friendly, audio show that reviews and previews game product coming out in the marketplace. On the air since 2005, the All Things Fun! Podcast has over 3,500 listeners all over the world. It's available on our website and on iTunes. Last year we started a Vidcast, which is a 20 minute weekly video show previewing new comics and products. The show is available every Wednesday and focuses on that week’s new comics. The response to the show has been tremendous and so that is why this Summer we'll be adding a segment on kids' comics. The All Things Fun! Vidcast is also available on our website and on YouTube.
An intriguing draw
We created a special Fantasy Flight display at the beginning of our board game section with the Fantasy Flight Media Center right in the middle of the planogram. The combination of the product display and the FFMC is a huge merchandising draw. New customers are drawn to the graphic display and it's a great icebreaker for customers not familiar with board games while existing customers use the device as a reference for more information on new Fantasy Flight titles.
If you are in our region come see for yourself why All Things Fun! is the area's premiere game and comic retailer!
Thanks, Ed! Make sure to keep watch for our next Retailer Spotlight article.
If you are interested in visiting one of these great game store locations, keep reading to find one in your local area. If you are a retailer who is interested in participating in our Retailer Spotlight and having your store featured or if you are interested in more information, please contact [email protected].