Game Distributor is Supplier of the Year

By Vancouver Sun
February 23, 2011

Outset Media, a Victoria based manufacturer and distributor of puzzles and games, has been recognized as Supplier of the Year by Neighbourhood Toy Stores of Canada, a network of specialty toy store retailers and suppliers. It is Outset's fifth Supplier of the Year award in eight years, and owner David Manga attributes his success to good customer service.

The company, which Manga started in 1996 as a 23-year-old commerce student, has 25 employees, 2,200 products and $6.5 million in annual revenue, with 60 per cent of sales in Canada and 40 per cent in the U.S.

"We started off as a board game company and now jigsaw puzzles are becoming much more important to us," Manga said in an interview. The company's biggest puzzle line is the Cobble Hill Puzzle Company, which makes puzzles for kids and adults. Outset Media also has created a line of Canadian artist jigsaw puzzles.

"A lot of people say: 'Why don't you do computer games?' " Manga said.

"We've never done them because they have nothing to do with board games. People who buy board games want to socialize. People who want to play video games don't want to socialize.

They are very different markets. Video games have done nothing to curtail the board game market."

Successful board games that try to crossover as computer games flop, Manga said. People who spend money on going to a movie with their family are more closely related to the board game market than video gamers, he said.

Outset Media sells to about 40 retailer outlets in Vancouver and 2000 across Canada. Some of Outset's more popular products include Qwirkle and Professor Noggin's card games.

© CanWest MediaWorks Publications Inc.

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