Daily Illuminator

January 2, 2012: Keeping Games On Shelves . . . What We Reprinted In 2011

Munchkin CthulhuLast week I wrote about our new releases in 2011. Now it's time to take a look at what was reprinted throughout the year. If you read Steve's Report to the Stakeholders you'll see that our top priority was to keep Munchkin and its core expansions in print. With a total of 28 reprints during the year, 24 of which were Munchkin-related, I think we succeeded. And not every reprint was Munchkin! By month:

January -- A powerful salvo of reprints ate at our cash flow but guaranteed that Munchkin fans wouldn't have problems finding their favorite core sets and expansions. Munchkin Cthulhu, Munchkin Bites!, and Super Munchkin were the core set reprints while Munchkin 2 -- Unnatural Axe, Munchkin 5 -- De-Ranged, Munchkin 6 -- Demented Dungeons, and Munchkin Bites! 2 -- Pants Macabre kept our supply of expansions fully stocked.

February -- Only two reprints this month, but when one of them is Munchkin Quest, that's enough. (And our next reprint of Munchkin Quest -- scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2012 -- is already at print.) Whew. Getting that out ahead of schedule clears the decks for new 2012 releases like Munchkin Conan and the new edition of Ogre. Munchkin Impossible was our second reprint for the month (and will also be reprinted again in 2012).

GURPS Mass CombatMarch -- Originally produced in PDF and then POD, GURPS Mass Combat made its way to store shelves, where it performed quite well. We'll have to try more B&W softcover GURPS releases in distribution.

April -- Only one reprint, and not even a Munchkin item. The Stars Are Right is a puzzle of a game that always eats my brain. Sales are strong and we continue to get great feedback whenever we teach it at conventions, so it was well worth keeping on store shelves.

May -- We reprinted our two biggest, non-Munchkin sellers, Illuminati and Zombie Dice. Star Munchkin reached shelves just in time for the summer blockbuster season. Munchkin players everywhere shouted "Pew! Pew!" as they fought their way to level 10 in this classic . . . or maybe I'm the only one running around shouting "Pew! Pew!" these days. (SJ note: No, Phil, you're not alone.)

Munchkin ZombiesJuly -- The Munchkin Zombies hit store shelves. But . . . the original release was only in March! It sold so well that we ordered a reprint immediately, and it barely got here in time. July also saw reprints of Munchkin, Munchkin Booty, Munchkin Cthulhu 2 -- Call of Cowthulhu, and Munchkin Cthulhu 3 -- The Unspeakable Vault.

August -- Two fantasy expansions -- Munchkin 3 -- Clerical Errors and Munchkin 4 -- The Need for Steed -- and one core set -- Munchkin Fu -- made it a light month. We more than made up for that with all of the convention travel in August.

September -- When we sent Zombie Chibithulhu to print, we took advantage of timing and shipping savings to bring the original Chibithulhu Plush back to store shelves. Plush has actually done quite well for us -- the Cthulhu Dice Bag may see new colors in 2012 -- and we'll be revealing more plush toys next year.

Munchkin Cthulhu Crypts of ConcealmentOctober -- A big month. with a total of five Munchkin releases returning to store shelves in time for Halloween. The big surprise for the month was the Munchkin Cthulhu Crypts of Concealment reprint (it sold very well when it was released earlier in the year). Joining it were Star Munchkin 2 -- The Clown Wars, Munchkin 5 -- De-Ranged, Munchkin Cthulhu 4 - Crazed Caverns, and another printing of the Munchkin Boxes of Holding.

And for 2012? The first 17 reprints of the year - yes, seventeen -- are already at the printer or on their way back to us. I'm only hoping that we've ordered enough. The 24th printing of Munchkin is 100,000 copies! But the way you munchkins keep buying them, and sending your friends to get their own, is amazing. Don't stop.

-- Phil Reed

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