Tag: Board Games

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

Congratulations to Shenanigans in Charlottesville, VA for Winning September’s Store of the Month

blueAs if it’s name wasn’t clear enough, Shenanigans is all about the funny business. Our sales representative, Bastien, recommended Shenanigans for their character! From being family owned, to having the friendliest staff, and creating a store with a little bit of everything available, there’s clearly something special about this shop! Although its filled to the brim with entertainment, Shenanigans also has the rich history to match.

Shop owner, Kai, moved from Florida to Charlottesville in the 70’s with her 4 week old son. Working as a copy writer there was never a shortage of tasks that she could lend her creative wizardry to, and add some flare. Just like mom, her son was a little go-getter. As a fast learner, he was walking by 9 months and out growing his old toys and games quicker than most. This left Kai having to travel far just to get those toys and games that were developmentally challenging and gender neutral. With other mothers in the area doing the same, it was clear the Charlottesville needed a toy store where the community could find that big city quality, and diversity, without traveling hours north. It was during these pilgrimages in search of fun that Kai saw a future for herself and family. Since she had also been looking for work with a young child, she was able to design a job with built in childcare that was just right for her. Thus Shenanigans was born!

 store 4With it’s door open for over 40 years, this shop knows fun like no other! In 1974 Shenanigans first welcomed those who sought out fun engaging toys and games without the journey. Fast forward to today where they still provide just that. Even though they aren’t the only toy store in the neighborhood, Shenanigans still reigns supreme! Kai states, “what sets them apart is their product selections”. With such a cute, little store, every item within those four walls is curated by their staff with maximum fun in mind. Knowing what makes customers squeal in delight is something that keeps the neighborhood coming back. Tailoring their selection so that games are completely original and never stale is exactly what puts Shenanigans at the top of the list!

Dr Eureka BoxAs far a Blue Orange Games, Kai would have to name Dr. Eureka as one of her favorites. Going into detail, Kai says our games have such bright and nice art and there’s always a great eye-catching factor.  But what truly lies beneath the cover is Blue Orange’s dedication to inspiring STEM and core developmental skills that don’t go unnoticed to parents. Kai motto is that “if it’s boring, it’s not educational, since they’re not going to play it”. This blunt but true statement by Kai really resonates with our product line.

Kai elaborated that the kids don’t need to think about the skills they’re gaining, but rather the fun should conceal it. When playing with building blocks, a child doesn’t necessarily know he or she is developing a basis of engineering, nor do they understand they are growing familiarity with STEM when they play a game like Dr. Microbe. Blue Orange has the same values; learning should be fun, and if kids already want to play the games then half the work is already done. Shenanigans’ philosophy is to leave the term educational out by labeling their games and toys as fun! As a type of parental shenanigans, or a method of mischievousness, kids are left having uninhibited fun without knowing that their developing better motor and strategic, critical thinking skills!store 1

When considering their success, Shenanigans is no stranger to being a community staple. Kai thanks her neighborhood for being the perfect location, as it is a region with few chain stores and many unique shops that are supported by their community. Not to mention being between two hubs of the city, Shenanigans is accessible for all, either for a quick stop in for the grand kids, or an afternoon spent exploring with the kids. Make sure to grab a copy of the original Shenanigans Coupon Book, with monthly deals such as Board Game Discount November coming up, it’s sure to be a good time! 

Working with Shenanigans has been a pleasure and we proudly award them September’s Store of the Month. As a important part of Charlottesville , Shenanigans is a place where you can find something for everyone, from the helpful staff to the perfect game. Shenanigans is always reachable via their website here or at 601 West Main Street, Charlottesville, VA.

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Game Seeker is our September Store of the Month!

Game Seeker is our September Store of the Month!

At Blue Orange Games, we can’t take all the credit for our hot games! We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our fabulous retailers who give us feedback and put energy, passion, and time into their businesses every day. This space is dedicated to a very special retailer each month in order to highlight the stores and individuals that bring Blue Orange games from shelves into homes and that do us the honor of introducing us to families in their area. We are pleased to announce that our Retailer of the Month for September is none other than Game Seeker in sunny Santa Barbara, CA!

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Bart, from our sales team, recommended Game Seeker because of their dedication to Blue Orange Games, their love of games, and their warm and friendly customer service.

In a previous life, the owner, Lisa used to be in the party planning business. She decided to open up Game Seeker ten years ago because she enjoyed working with kids and those adults that are kids at heart! Game Seeker is a gem of a store that provides Santa Barbara residents all of their gaming needs. To quote a Yelp reviewer, “It’s a place for people who love exploring new things and having a memorably amazing customer service experience.”

I had the pleasure of speaking with Ian, the store manager. He became an avid game player later in his adult life. He initially started visiting Game Seeker as a customer and found the staff to be really knowledgeable about games. He inquired about a position a year ago and is now a fixture at the store.

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Training employees is a priority for Ian, who has played every single game in the store. He’s so passionate about games that he jokes that he spends his paycheck at the store buying MORE games. As a kid, Ian was a hard core video gamer. But he found out that you couldn’t be social playing video games. However you can always get people to gather around a board game!

This interest in the community extends pass the store as Game Seeker is working with a local coffee shop which will host regular game nights. Be on the lookout for their announcements!

Thank you to Game Seeker for supporting Blue Orange Games! You’re a small but mighty store in Santa Barbara!

 

Trends in Games from Essen 2013

Trends in Games from Essen 2013

The Essen Spiel is Europe’s biggest annual event about board games. Each year, thousands of board game makers and players from all over the world gather in Essen, Germany to learn about the coolest new games on the market. Hundreds of games are shown off for the first time, giving fans a hands-on look at the future of table top games. With so many products on display, it is easy to get overwhelmed. So, we decided to compile the top 5 trends from Essen Spiel 2013, and highlight some of our favorite examples:

1. Bidding Games

Bidding Games have players bid on auction items.

Going, Going, Gone from Sronghold Games:

Chicago Stock Exchange from 1-2-3 Games:

2. Tile Placement Games

How tiles are placed next to each other determines the outcome of the game.

String Savanna from Japon Brand:

Caverna from Lookout Games:

3. Sheep Games

Sheep games feature the fluffy farmyard animals known as ovis aries:

Battle Sheep from Blue Orange Games:

Sheepzzz from Hurrican Games:

4. Train Games

Trains are cool!

American Rails from Quined Games:

Russian Railroads from Z-Man Games:

5. Video Games

This board game is inspired by a classic arcade game that you might recognize.

Whacky Wit from Spielquader:

All videos courtesy of BoardGameGeek.com