(By Keith Avallone, PLAAY Games)
If you've ordered a game from us in the past couple of weeks, you've noticed that it came in a honest-to-goodness game box instead of the telescoping, lighter-weight two-piece utility boxes we've been using for the past few years. This is the culmination of a long process which began a couple years ago, and we're very excited that it's finally a reality...
The new boxes have a somewhat slimmer profile and feature the familiar game cover and backside labels with new standardized printed side labels featuring the PLAAY logo and colors (see photo). From a customer standpoint, this means several positive things. First, your game will arrive in a cardboard shipping container instead of a bubble mailer. Second, you'll no longer have to peel label backing and apply side labels to your game box, the game box will arrive ready to open and play. Third, you'll get stronger, better storage for your game components. Fourth, if you want to give a game to someone as a gift, it will now make a much better first impression.
Some gamers might perhaps want to acquire the new boxes for their existing games, and we're trying to work up a plan for that. The problem is that it will cost more to mail a box (between $6 and $9) than it will to buy the box (around $4). I don't think anyone wants to pay $10 for a new box. I know I wouldn't However, there may be a way to package a box purchase with another purchase in such a way that there wouldn't be need for additional shipping. Or, perhaps get a free box with any purchase over $50. Working on it. Let us know if you have an idea, or to "make us an offer we can't refuse!"
Speaking of postage: because the new boxes weigh significantly more than the old ones, and because they're now shipped in carboard containers instead of light-weight bubble mailers, we have had to increase the cost of some games to accommodate the new heavier shipping weights. Believe me, I dislike doing this. When I launched PLAAY Games, I scrupulously limited the shipping weight if all base games to 13 ounces or less, in order to minimize shipping costs. A 2010 edition of HOCKEY BLAST or SECOND SEASON could be shipped anywhere in the USA for less than $3.50. Now the same games require as much as $9 in postage. Last fall's upgrade of the baseball and football games pushed both over the one pound threshold, so those games' prices have already been adjusted. The bowling and roller derby games have been increased from $29 to $36 postage-paid, the lacrosse and Canadian football games from $36 to $39, and the other games to $44 to reflect these new shipping expenses.
To help counter the extra outlay, I've expanded to four the number of pro teams that come with a new base game, from the previous two. It's my hope that adding a couple more teams, along with the better-quality boxes and components, will reinforce these games as solid values.