Happy New Year!
As 2016 wraps up and 2017 starts, it always drives me to look at the numbers for the year and make projections for the next year. CategoryOneGames had it’s best year in business and hope to keep that momentum going into 2017. We couldn’t have done it without all of our great customers and relationships we have built throughout the years. You all deserve a big Thank You! for the great 2016 we have had.
A big part of our success this year lies with the selling of all of our product and rights to sell the Star Wars CCG game to the Star Wars Players Committee. This has been our best selling game since we started and taking the game off of the site removes a big part of what we are as a website. It has definitely been missed but has opened up time and inventory space for other games to get more attention and new games on the site.
We picked up a new Star Wars game and are fully supporting the TCG version made by Wizards of the Coast (WotC). This game used images and characters from all of the Prequel movies as well as the original trilogy. There is a group on Facebook that is basically their Players Committee called the Independent Development Community who continue to make new cards and designs for the game. Currently we don’t have a large supply of cards for the last few sets and the game is fully on our buy list, so if you have a collection of these you want to trade in or sell or if you want to move your whole collection, let us know.
A big surprise was how popular the new the Final Fantasy TCG has become. In August I got a call from my GTS rep saying that the Final Fantasy game was coming to the US and if I was interested. This is a game that had been popular in Japan for over five years and being a big Final Fantasy fan myself, I was excited to support the US release. I think we were the first ones to advertise the US release of the game online. The first wave of the first set, Opus I, sold out immediately and now finding a box will cost you over double the MSRP price. The second wave of Opus I is expected to release sometime in late Jan or early Feb but we have already been notified that the release will be limited. Don’t expect prices for the first set to lower anytime soon. Opus II is expected to release in March with Opus III expected to release later this year and I’m already almost sold out of all of my pre-orders available for that set. We plan on carrying singles for the game and currently have them on our buy list but do not have any in stock. If you would like to trade or sell your collection, we are ready to work with you.
2016 saw C1G attending more local conventions with booths at Comic Con Fan X, Gaming Con, Fear Con and Eagle Mountain City Street Fair. Each event was very successful for us where we are able to improve our retro video game business. This is something we plan on getting onto our website eventually, it is much easier for us to do CCG cards on our site than video games at this time. Eventually retro video games will be a big part of our website.
We are already scheduled to be at the 2017 Comic Con Fan X and are looking at options of attending conventions outside of Utah for the first time.
After doing local conventions and seeing what a need there is for stores carrying retro video games we are seriously looking at opening a store dedicated to retro gaming in Utah. The idea is to make a store like the Fallout Games chain of stores in Phoenix Arizona. They carry toys, Legos and a wide range of retro gaming items. We would probably do this same theme but with more CCGs and local gaming tournaments. It’s something we have been investigating this past year and might make a move on it in 2017. There are a few locations we have looked at and hope to make a move this next year if it fits our business goals.
One thing I really want to do is get a new logo for Category1Games with the 1 highlighted. I mentioned Fallout Games above and their logo is great. I need something like that, something that sticks out and people see it and think of our store. Especially if we move into a storefront.
Star Trek CCG has been our biggest CCG singles seller. The game has seen a lot of support on our end including all of our back inventory full graded and now on the site and a larger desired quantity on the buy list for the game. We have also tried to have a decent selection of boxes for the game in stock and a few videos on our Youtube channel showing box breaks. Star Trek 2E did really well through the end of summer and then took a dive in sales starting in September. I’m not sure why the game fell off so heavily but there was definitely a sharp decrease. Both Trek 1E and 2E saw a total price remodel during the year. We compared our pricing to all other websites and eBay ended listings, took the lowest price on each card and used that for our NM pricing. We have the best pricing for this game on the internet.
Lord of the Rings had a slightly better year than 2015 but still was not near 2014 and previous years sales. 2017 should be a very good year for LOTR as we are doing a lot for the category. I made a big mistake by accidentally removing the Fellowship of the Ring and Mines of Moria sets from the site sometime around October. I fully nuked them on accident and am just now updating them and they should fully be on the site soon. I’ve posted before a large amount of LOTR cards we had from collections and have just never had time to get them on the site. Well they currently are just about there. Almost everything is graded, it’s down to alphabetizing and combining them with current inventory and updating the numbers on the site. We are also pricing each card against all online competitors and using the lowest price as our pricing for NM cards. This means that we will already be matching the lowest price for our best condition and our Lightly Played and Moderately Played conditions will be much less than any other online seller.
Star Trek TCG by Fleer was added near the end of the year. This was the game based on the original Star Trek series and had two sets available for it and a few Promos. The game has great images that are good to get signed by the actors from the show.
Games like Ani-Mayhem, Overpower and The X-Files sold well when first added to the site this past year while steadies like Young Jedi, HorrorClix, Aliens vs Predator and Terminator continue to do well.
Some of the games that have been on the site for a while are going to see some updates this year. This includes pricing and inventory, boxes/packs/starters added, full sets and common/uncommon sets, images updated or added, reorganization or change to the layout or just fully adding all the cards for the game. This list includes Middle Earth, Doomtown, Star Wars Miniatures, WWE Raw Deal, Axis and Allies Miniatures, FullMetal Alchemist, Fight Klub, World of Warcraft, My Little Pony, Naruto, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and VS System.
2017 will see a lot of new games added to the site after we have fully updated all of our existing games. Getting something like VS System and WWE Raw Deal fully on the site are more of a priority than adding new games. Once we get through this massive LOTR update it will be mush easier to figure out what needs to be handled next. A game like World of Warcraft or FullMetal Alchemist are going to see a big updates in having more sets available to purchase from and all the sets on the game on our buy list.
Middle Earth will probably see the next boost of inventory after LOTR is done. We have a decent amount of items sitting in boxes not on the site right now that we have gotten through collections and that all needs to get onto the site.
While we sell on eBay, all of our items are cheaper on our website and you also can get discounted or free shipping in the US and your return customer discounts on our website. We have a few customers that prefer to buy from our eBay store though instead of our website, especially in the Star Wars Miniatures and Axis and Allies category.
After not finding much success before, we decided to upgrade to an Anchor Store on eBay in December and it has done much better than expected. The last time we had an anchor store on eBay it didn’t really make enough to justify the cost but this time it has done really well. This might be because of the time of year or it might just be that people are returning to eBay.
The biggest challenge we face is keeping the momentum going into 2017. Can Final Fantasy continue to be a strong seller or will Square Enix destroy the game before it gets started? I continue to hear that the video game bubble has burst….is that true? Will there continue to be a strong following for the games we have on the site currently and are going to be adding to the site? Lets hope that all of these things work out and we continue to see growth in the gaming industry.
Happy New Year from our team here at CategoryOneGames.