Outset

Half My Life

Was working a little late last night, preparing for a presentation I am giving today to our local Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Vancouver Island Chapter. And I realized something that surprised me a little.

World Puzzle Day

World Puzzle Day is an interesting event. Founded in 2013 by Günther Simetsberger of Austria, this year marks the event’s 7th season. Unlike what the name might suggest, the event is held over a two-month period. Competitors (let’s call them puzzlers) from around the world compete to assemble as many puzzles as possible. Puzzlers are ranked based on the total number of pieces they assemble.

Unexpected Conversations

 It has been a very very busy year at Outset Media. When things get busy, it’s far too easy to delay tasks that aren’t urgently required. And often these tasks get delayed… and delayed… and delayed… and eventually never get done.

Posting a new blog is definitely one of those “sure-would-be-nice-but-can-wait” type of tasks. In fact, it had been so long since my last posting that I was about to pull the blog off our website.

Hong Kong Toy Fair Review

We just returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Hong Kong Toy Fair.  There must be something about me and travelling to Hong Kong, as once again the flight to Hong Kong was delayed, this time for 4 hours in Vancouver.  But I think it builds up the anticipation and excitement!  Plus, after reading toy expert Richard Gottlieb’s blog and his delay at JFK airport for 18 hours, my delay doesn’t sound so bad (even though there was another 3 hour delay on the return trip).

Big Changes Coming to Outset

The New Year is always a good time for resolutions.  One resolution should probably be to blog a little more often.  Last year, I managed only two postings.  But with today’s blog, we have already tied last year’s number… and it’s only the 11th of January.

But this blog isn’t about resolutions - it’s about big changes happening at Outset - and there are indeed a lot of big changes coming to Outset this year.  Changes that will help our company keep growing.  Here is a list of the top four changes for 2018:

NPD data for 2015, toy sales are up

Earlier this year, I blogged about the revenue growth at Outset.  My exact words were, “we know that the market for board games and puzzles didn’t grow by 30%”.  While that statement is true - thanks to the NPD Group we now know exactly how the industry performed in 2015.

We are in the Smithsonian

There are those retail locations – that due to their prestigious name – are places you want your product being sold.  Last month, we finally placed our games into a Smithsonian gift store.  More specifically, ‘American Trivia Family Edition’ board game was placed in the museum shop at the Smithsonian’s American History Museum.

Time to renew my mobile phone

Consumers of BlackBerry phones have been jumping ship to Apple and Samsung in record numbers.  Last week, both investors and the press were quick to jump on the latest sales figures from Research in Motion (RIM).  Some of last week`s headlines were blunt and brutal:
 

Magazines and the game industry

Apparently working for a board game company must sound pretty interesting.  When people find out what I do for a living, it usually prompts a whole host of questions.  Have I ever heard of Settlers of Catan?  What is my favorite game?  Did I invent Trivial Pursuit?  What is that game called in that brown box with those pieces and that board?  But the two questions I get asked the most often are:

Do people really still buy board games?

Do we sell video games?

The end of an era at Screenlife

Earlier this year, Screenlife announced it would be shutting down its operations. Makers of the popular “Scene It” board games, Screenlife was an important fixture in the North American market.

A brief history on Screenlife. The company released to original “Scene It” game back in 2002. Adding DVD technology into a board game format was new and exciting. With slick production value and excellent marketing, the game was an instant hit. Entertainment behemoth Paramount Pictures purchased Screenlife in 2008.

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