The holiday is full of many traditions, some old and many unique to each family. In my household when you sort through the delicious food and endless piles of wrapping paper, you can find our most dear tradition, Christmas movies. Movies can be a great way to grow closer as a family and more importantly can teach your kids lifelong lessons. Here are a few go-to classics that will brighten up your holiday season.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
This is hands down my go-to movie the minute the holidays come close. This 1989 classic is a must in my household. The movie stars Chevy Chase, who plays the unforgettable Clark Griswold. Clark spends the majority of the film trying to construct the perfect family Christmas. Soon you will see that the perfect Christmas can turn south quickly. I love this film and the message it brings which is that family is everything. Christmas Vacation is full of heartfelt humor that will have your family filling your home with laughter and joy. My advice is to find an edited version of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Though mostly family-friendly, there are a few scenes that have mature language.
While thinking of Christmas in my home growing up the one movie that comes to mind is Home Alone. I spent many Christmas Eves as a kid recreating scenes of this movie. I promise that parents didn't appreciate booby traps Christmas morning. Home Alone gives you a glimpse of the life of a bratty kid named Kevin McCallister. Kevin gets punished the night before a huge family trip to Paris. You can guess what happens next, Kevin gets left behind and needs to fend for himself until his family returns. As the movie progresses Kevin gains a deeper longing for family and the true meaning of Christmas. The great takeaway from this film is that sometimes you don't know what you have until it's gone. Home Alone, for the most part, is a safe movie to watch with your kids, there is minor violence, but once you get past that, Home Alone is a timeless classic.
Jingle All The Way
Jingle All The Way is one of those movies that just makes me belly laugh no matter how many times I've seen it. Howard Langston, a workaholic father, is really good at one thing - breaking promises to his family. Jingle All The Way is a story about a dad going through the longest Christmas Eve ever in search of an action figure in order to finally keep a promise to his son Jamie. Once you look beyond Arnold Schwarzenegger starring in a family friendly Christmas flick, there is a beautiful story under some hilarious moments. The message here is like many movies in the holiday genre - family is the most important part of Christmas. Jingle All The Way also exposes how foolish holiday shopping can become, a lesson we can all learn from.
All I can say about Arthur Christmas is that it is just a cute movie. In this animated feature, Santa does the biggest no-no and forgets to deliver a present to a child. Cue Arthur, Santa's youngest son. Arthur takes it upon himself to right his father's wrong. Arthur needs to deliver the package to the child before dawn. My kids love this movie, it is so darn cute and the great take away is that of never giving up. The most valuable lesson I can instill in my children is that they can do hard things and Arthur Christmas helps me teach that. This one might have flown under the radar but do yourself a favor and share this one with your kids.
The Man Who Invented Christmas
Eloise at Christmastime
These selected few are a great way to grow closer to your loved ones this holiday season. What are some of your go-to holiday flicks? Let us know down below. Most of all Happy Holidays and a blessed New Years to you and yours!
Holiday traditions change as kids go through different stages of life. So how can you create traditions that evolve, but stay...traditional? Here are a few ideas.
1. Neighborhood with lights. There seems to be one neighborhood in every community that has a gaggle of homes that go all out with the outdoor decorations. Take a drive at night. Little kids will enjoy the lights and might even fall asleep in the car before you get home. As your kids get older, make a tradition of adding hot chocolate into the mix or going for ice cream after viewing the houses.
2. Visit local displays. Living in Southern California, there are plenty of options. We would visit the Santa Monica nativity displays before it was banned by the city. ICE! or Art Below Zero or something similar generally has a presence in many major cities where visitors can see impressive ice sculptures, slide down ice slides and go ice skating.
3. Cook. Food and Christmas always seem to go hand in hand. Select something you love and make it a part of your Christmas celebration every year. Teach your kids how to make it and let them help in the fun. At our house we make Almond Toffee every year. And it ONLY gets made a Christmas. So that first batch ALWAYS makes the house feel like Christmas. And it gets less and less messy each year as they get older.
4. The Nativity. Use tech to share the Christmas story. Break out the iPad and pull up a video version of the story of the birth of Christ. It's a great way to remember the true meaning of Christmas while putting those screens to use in a quality, family-time kind of way. Here's an 8-minute version of The Nativity that is well done and about as non-denominational as you can get.
5. Games! No list would be complete without board games. You generally have a couple weeks with the kids at home and lots of extra time! Create a tradition of giving a new board game each Christmas and spend time playing those games. This is a tradition that is very easy to grow with your children. Play basic games when they're little and the complexity can grow as your kids get older. Of course our favorites include What The Film?! and Camping with Sasquatch. But by next year, perhaps there will be a few new favorites to add to the mix!
#christmas #games #neighborhoodlights #outdoordecorations #nativity #santamonica #artbelowzero #ICE! #christmascookies #almondtoffee #christmascooking #boardgames #whatthefilm #baking #christmasvacation #campingwithsasquatch #camping #bigfoot #traditions #christmastraditions
We live in a world in which our time has been taken over by screens and technology. Unfortunately, this epidemic has stretched beyond the adults in the world. As stated by the US National Library of Medicine, a whopping 68% of children under three are using screen media on a daily basis. Teenagers, on average, spend up to nine hours daily within some realm of media. If you ask me, it is time to take our kids back!
Board gaming can be the saving grace to combat the ugly face of daily media intake. We have as a company found that when we are playing a game with our families, it goes beyond just having fun. Board games can help your home and here are 3 reasons why:
1. Get to know those in your home
Too often do people find themselves more a roommate in their household rather than a solid functioning unit. Look at your own life at times. Do you ever see those in your home doing their own separate things? Board gaming can be that solid activity to get the kids to put down the Fortnite and force them to interact with those in the home face to face.
In our own homes, we have found, that if you set aside some time to meet at the table to play together you will find out amazing things about those you deem closest to you. For instance, I discovered my 6-year-old daughter had a love for singing over a game of King of Toyko. I also found out my two-year-old son loves the taste of meeples! Some of the best conversations we have had in our home have been when we meet around a good game.
Along with the fun conversation derived from getting together, we are able to dig deeper and find meaningful relationship building moments. Whether it be that you find out your child is struggling in math or is getting bullied by someone in his/her class, playing games around a table can help open up your child.
Gaming can become a relationship savior as well. We all know those teenager moments when everything a parent says is annoying; we have all been there. But granting your teen that moment of choosing their favorite game or selecting a specific character to use can grant you access to world of communication. This is done in an inviting, non-threating way that is both beneficial for the parent and the youth.
I, like you, have a strong desire to deepen meaningful relationships within the walls of my home. With that said, the inclusion of board games as a regular activity gets the whole house buzzing and adds a slow down we so desperately need in our everyday lives. Whether you’re new to gaming or a seasoned vet, there is both fun and accomplishment found in a simple night of gaming.
2. Develop character through imagination and play
If you ever want to be amazed at how humans develop, look no further than your kids. I never knew how cool that was until I became a dad. Watching my youngest expand his imagination beyond bounds is a joy to witness. Though media in moderation can contribute to the creative growth of a child, nothing, in my opinion, mirrors the creativity found in board gaming.
Whether it's becoming a screenwriter in What the Film?!,or being a descendant of one of the three little pigs in Grimm Forest, the supply of imaginative excursions is endless. Along with creativity, your child will be able to learn cognitive skills through consistent gaming as a family. With a wide array of games, you can find the perfect blend for fun and any type of development your family needs.
In my household we have been able to use gaming as a life lesson tool as well. Among those lessons is that of problem solving. Having younger children, I find it really hard to teach independence on a daily basis and with that said I love to feel needed by my child. To fill that void I have been able to use modern day board gaming to teach my children about decision-making. Even though these choices don’t leave lasting effects on the world, giving a child the power to choose an outcome is magical.
Another great takeaway can be the lesson on patience, both with others and ourselves. Through turn-taking and consequences of waiting, you can give your child a glimpse of what the real world will teach them. I have found this to be amazing in dealing with my two-year-old, though rough to enforce, when you are able to have him understand this lesson, it really is parenting made easy.
3. Practice social interaction
One of the simplest facets of everyday life is social interaction. Unfortunately, now more than ever people are overlooking this key attribute of development. Social interaction like many skills in life gets better with practice. It is so sad to see so many fill the void of speaking to one another by endlessly scrolling through a Facebook feed.
Humans were meant to feel! It is so much better to laugh with others than it is to laugh alone. Board games help me teach this lesson to the little ones roaming my home. Take my 6-year-old for instance, she grew up a timid girl afraid to speak to people while hiding behind my legs. Now to watch her explain her favorite game to new friends is beyond heartwarming. Board gaming can be a conduit of comfortability to those trying to grow up and find themselves.
Board gaming is a great tool for introverted children to be able to open up in an easy fashion. I can recall having a young guest in our home who was very quiet and kept to himself. We played What The Film?! with him which involves creative storytelling. Though hesitant at first, he was able to open up and change in real-time. My family can be the same way as this guest. Just by the simple action of choosing the right game for the right person in your home, you can grant them access to the confidence they may need to reach their fullest potential.
Though this list can go on forever, these three things are benefits I’ve found in my own home. The inclusion of board gaming in your home can make a difference and help us gain a bit more control of our homes. I can attest that a family that plays together, stays together.
#Camping #Sasquatch #WhatTheFilm #amazon #target #TOTY2018 #ToyoftheYear #geniusofplay #SocialInteraction #familygame #cardgame #GameNight #Boardgames
So you’re putting together a work party… a party with your prim and proper parent’s parents…or you personally think party profanity permanently plays poorly for proper people. Whatever your position is, potty party games aren’t for particular people.
Why is Cards Against Humanity so popular (aside from it crossing so many lines) as a party game? There’s great social interaction, plenty of laughter and you get to vote on who has the best idea!
Here are three solid alternatives which incorporate some of the same elements that we think are just as fun, sometimes feisty, but without the filth or falling prey to a bad #MeToo moment at a work function.
What The Film?! – Actor. Plot. Set. Combine one of each to make a crazy movie idea. Elaborate on the three cards played to make the best movie pitch at the table. For example, A mall Santa reluctantly becomes head of a crime family at a Freak Show Circus. But look out, there are Industry cards to turn the game upside down. This game has 400 cards with 200 of them containing beautiful custom art. Available exclusively at Target and Target.com.
Dan and Phil’s Truth Bombs – A super-simple party game where friends get to answer weird and wonderful questions about each other. For example: “If they were a superhero, what would their superpower be?” or “Which vegetable do they look like?” With 140 question cards, the game can be as tame or wild as the players at the party with the well-written questions providing the instant comedy. Available at Target and Target.com.
Escape Room in a Box – The original game that brings an escape room experience into a board game. Great for parties and working together players are encouraged to elect a leader to oversee everything, but as a cooperative game dividing and conquering will help the whole team! This Werewolf Experiment game has 19 puzzles, three locks and one hour to save your life! Available at Amazon and Target.com.
#CardsAgainstHumanity #partygames #LethalChickenGames #Mattel #BigPotatoGames #DanandPhil #TruthBombs #WTF #WhatTheFilm #EscapeRoom #werewolf #Werewolfexperiment #Escaperoominabox
Welcome. You've done it! You have ventured into the greatest hobby in the world, tabletop gaming! So, the easy part is finished now the hard part starts, discovering what games are for you. Walk down the aisle of any game store and it is plain to see the options are endless! Are you into party games like What The Film?! or are games like Gloomhaven (that will take you 105 sessions to get through) more your style?
Fret not; we are here to help ease your burden. There are a bunch of resources that are amazing and will make purchasing new games a breeze. Here are four sites you definitely need to check out.
The Dice Tower
Simply put, the Dice Tower is to board gaming, what Michael Jordan is to basketball. Headed up by Tom Vassel, these guys really know their stuff when it comes to gaming. Whether you are looking for a great review or a top 10 list, the Dice Tower does it all in a neat package. Vassel and crew's opinions are valued by many and should be your first stop on YouTube.
Watch It Played!
If there is one thing that makes me nauseous about buying a new game, it’s investing the time to learn the rules. Some of these rulebooks are like 36 pages long and yeah, "Ain't nobody got time for that." Here is where Watch It Played! comes in. Rodney Smith, the personality behind this awesome channel, is beyond inviting and a charm to watch. The purpose of this YouTube channel is to teach you how to play a certain game without even opening the rulebook. Smith's instructional videos are essential in your prep for game night. Thanks to Watch It Played! I am up and running a new game in no time.
Shut Up and Sit Down
If our hobby is supposed to be one thing, that one thing is fun. Cue Shut Up and Sit Down. Simply put, these guys are hilarious. This review channel on YouTube, bridges the gap between information and comic relief. The channel is just plain fun. If you are looking to laugh while gathering info on whether or not you should buy a certain game, this channel is for you.
Have you gone to a website to check out one thing... and the next thing you know you have lost three hours and are still on the same site? Well, enjoy BoardGameGeek.com, you will be losing hours on a daily basis. This website is the IMDb of board gaming. You can even find games before they are released, like Camping with Sasquatch. With endless forum and community created discussion boards, you are sure to find every stat and bit of data you need. Along with great information, there is a gamers best friend, the Geek Market, where you can buy games on the cheap and even trade away games that aren't really for you. The best part about this website is that it is absolutely free!
We hope you found our essential media outlet list useful. Now you have work to do, get out there and play some games!
#tomvassel #thedicetower #watchitplayed #Top10 #RodneySmith #instructionalvideo #shutupandsitdown #gamenight #YouTubeChannel #IMDb #CampingwithSasquatch #WhatTheFilm #GeekMarket #BoardGameGeek #BGG #EssentialMediaOutlet
Every year as the holiday decorations go up and shopping days dwindle down to the day of giving (or reckoning) buying and finding that perfect gift can become increasingly difficult, not to mention expensive if what you are looking for is one of those “must-have”, but out-of-stock items!
Here are our predictions: The Top 10 Hot Holiday Gifts That Will Become Impossible To Find.
10. Lethal Chicken Games: Two new games…What The Film?! a party game and Camping with Sasquatch. What The Film?! has players combine three cards: one ACTOR, one PLOT and one SET to create a funny movie. Pitch, vote, backstab, win. Camping with Sasquatch on the other hand is a light, quick card game that’s a cross between Rummy and Slapjack. Fast, fun and “furry-ous” with silly artwork, this looks to be the “next big thing” in games.
Why on the Hot List?
What The Film?! was featured in celebrity gifting suites and swag bags during various awards shows and celebrity events. It was also the offical game given out to celebrities who will appear on the 2019 season of Hollywood Game Nights (shot in early October 2018). As a new company releasing their first two games this year, the quantities produced are at or under 10,000. So when they’re gone, there will not be enough time to restock before Christmas. You can get What The Film?! now at Target.com and Camping with Sasquatch will be available on Amazon.com beginning November 1st, 2018.
9. LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle: It’s big, its detailed, it’s LEGO AND it’s Harry Potter! What’s not to love?! These sets are not just for kids any more. Adults collect them, fanatics build them and Harry Potter fans will go crazy for this incredibly intricate castle. For a more affordable option, check out the LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall.
Why on the Hot List?
Between kids, adults and Harry Potter fans of all ages pining for the ultimate Harry Potter LEGO set, this castle will be in high demand. Recently released in the last quarter of 2018, these sets are only on the market for so long and then they are retired. Try finding Indiana Jones LEGO…good luck!
8. The Incredibles 2 Jack-Jack Attacks Plush (and Raccoon): Between the “fire” lighting, the “laser eyes” lights and the “lightning” lights, what’s not to love about this adorable, but lethal baby. Possibly the biggest fan favorite Incredible, Jack-Jack coupled with a cute raccoon checks all the boxes. A toy loved by girls, boys and fanboys will be a holiday fave.
Why on the Hot List?
It’s one of the few “dolls” that works as an “action figure” as well. With the success and appeal of Disney • Pixar’s The Incredibles 2, this will rapidly disappear from the shelves to reappear for good little fanboys and fangirls on Christmas morning.
7. Num Noms Lipgloss Truck Craft Kit: If you could concoct your own Hello Kitty, but it’s functional and smells good and maybe even tastes good, then you’d probably be talking about Num Noms. The Lip Gloss Truck is one of the latest creations from this adorable scent-ilicious line of toys where one can mix flavors and sparkles to make their own personalized lip gloss.
Why on the Hot List?
Cute. Delicious. New. Existing fan-base and of couse, sparkles!
6. Star Wars FurReal Ultimate Co-Pilot Chewie: Grown men will want this doll. It’s like a Chewbacca plushie and an iPhone had a baby. Chewie roars, purrs, snores, laughs and responds based on what is happening to him through the use of accelerameters.
Why on the Hot List?
It’s already hard to find on shelves. And while available at online, reviews are already showing love from little boys, little girls and adults buying it for themselves.
5. Hatchimals Mystery: It’s the ultimate unboxing for kids and there’s just something about getting something and not knowing what it’s going to be. Hence the popularity of those themed mystery boxes that sell like crazy at Comic Conventions. These cute fluffy critters hatch, learn your name and grow from baby to kid as they’re played with, held and cuddled.
Why on the Hot List?
The mystery element is hard to resist and Hatchimals already have a track record of being a highly sought after Christmas gift with last year’s craze being the Hatchimals Pengualas.
4. Twisty Petz: Kitties, puppies, unicorns and pandas…that turn into bracelets! They’re cheap, make great stocking stuffers and it’s like a cute Transformers that you can wear.
Why on the Hot List?
It’s a quick, small, low-cost item that can fit into a stocking. Makes for a great, easy gift and it is something girls will love to play with and wear.
3. Grumblies: Pomsies rough and tough answer to their cutsie pink and purple namesake. Furball monsters have a meltdown when they’re given attention.
Why on the Hot List?
Whether or not these will catch on, time will tell. But based on the abundant success of cute interactive plushies and the comparatively sparse array of interactive tough guy plushies, we think this will become increasingly difficult to find towards the end of 2018. Need another angry plushie? Check out Lethal Chicken Games’ tough chick.
2. Fingerlings HUGS: After last year’s Fingerlings craze, they’re back but this time bigger, softer and they fart. As a full-sized plush, these Fingerlings are sure to be a hit by playing on the popularity of last year’s frenzy.
Why on the Hot List?
Parents still reeling from not being able to get their princesses last year’s toy craze are sure to remedy that mistake by getting this year’s bigger, softer, fartier version.
1. WowWee Untamed T-Rex (and Unicorn) by Fingerlings: Claiming both our number one and two spots, Fingerlings has expanded their insanely popular and cute creatures to appeal to the boys and future paleontologists. It roars, chomps and of course farts.
Why on the Hot List?
It’s cute, it works for boys and girls, the pricepoint is under $15 and it fits in a stocking. These little critters are sure to get snatched up quickly.
#ToysSellingOut #Top10 #TopTen #TopTenHolidayGifts #Top10HolidayGifts #games #fingerlings #grumblies #TwistyPetz #Hatchimals #StarWars #Furreal #Chewbacca #NumNoms #JackJack #NumNoms #HarryPotter #Lego #WhatTheFilm #Camping #Sasquatch #Film #LethalChicken #Target #gifts
We love to play games. We love to make games. Basically, we love games. So from both a personal and professional standpoint, we wanted to share our list of the best games to give (or get) for the holidays, especially for that person that may not be quite so into the heavier games. So while games like Gloomhaven and Blood Rage are both awesome games, not everyone is going to commit to a huge instruction manual or a long game. And they’re more than $25.
10. Sushi Go Party!- $19.99 at Amazon. A light, card-drafting set collection game. Pick your favorite sushi and pass the leftovers. Build the best sushi platter to win the game.
9. Exploding Kittens– $19.99 at Target and other retailers. It’s Russian roulette with cards. And without actually dying. Don’t draw the Exploding Kitten to win the game. The only downside is once you lose the game, you lose interest while everyone else is still intensly interested. The artwork is funny to read the first few times and the game can feel intense as the stack gets smaller.
8. Bang!: The Dice Game- $15 at Amazon. Cowboys and Indians, sheriffs and outlaws. Everyone has a secret role. Roll the dice to shoot your neighbor. Just be careful not to shoot the wrong person or you’ll let the wrong side of the law win the game.
7. For Sale Card Game- $24.95 at Amazon - Bid on everything from an outhouse to a penthouse and then sell them off to win the most amount of money. Whether your strategy is to be the slumlord or a highroller the artwork is funny but sadly the money is fake.
6. Bottom of the 9th- $12.99 at Target. It’s the bottom of the ninth and it’s up to you to either pitch your way to a win or guess the pitch that’s coming at you. With a very nostalgic look and a mix of male and female players this is a beautiful but fast-playing game. For an additional $13 you can get the expansion pack which includes super cool wooden peanuts and golden trophies.
5. Machi Koro– $24.19 at Target. As one of the most successful, light, city building games, Machi Koro has ultra cool retro artwork ranging from sushi bars to amusement parks. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Machi Koro can be built in less than 30 minutes.
4. Weird Things Humans Search For– $19.99 at Target only. It’s goofy, it’s current and you know we’ve all seen the auto-fill pop up and thought to oursevles…WHAT?! This is a great party game that puts the digital world we live in, into a physical board game.
3. Camping with Sasquatch– $15 at Amazon (November 2018) A hybrid of Rummy and Slapjack, this cute Big Foot themed card game is a quick and easy game with fun artwork, a bit of strategy and a dose of take that. You can be nice when playing with your kids, or be calculatingly evil when playing with your friends…or frenemies. Sasquatch cards can be played as wild cards, or played against other players forcing them to quickly slap the Sasquatch. It’s fun, fast and furious.
2. Tournament at Camelot– $23.99 at Amazon. Use arrows, sorcery, deception and even alchemy to inflict wounds on your opponents. While these high quality cards feel like you’re playing with something lifted from an ancient Bible, you’ll ultimately be the victor by mainting your health while trying to kill thy neighbor.
1. What The Film?!– $24.99 at Target only. while we’re bias to this game, it’s at the top of our list for a good reason. It’s a party game, WITH ARTWORK! The game is beautiful, spawns creativity and as Twist Gaming said, “I was laughing like a hyena the entire time. I’d definitely play this before Cards Against Humanity.” Combine three cards, actor, plot and set to create your movie. Pitch, vote, backstab, win.
Classic games such as Uno and Skip-Bo are being replaced by games with spunk and character such as Camping with Sasquatch and Exploding Kittens.
Just as classic games were starting to make a comeback, “out with old and in with the new” has become the new mantra as games such as Camping with Sasquatch, Exploding Kittens and Ultimate Werewolf are taking over with increased creativity, more extensive design and eye-catching artwork.
“Over the past few years, it’s been fascinating to see games shift from just numbers on a card to creating games with character and, well..characters,” said Alex Mackey, co-creator of the currently running Kickstarter campaign card game, Camping with Sasquatch.
While Exploding Kittens, which found its success through Kickstarter, plays differently than Uno or Skip-Bo, it is geared toward a similar demographic and it takes about the same amount of time to play. However, it has found a way to extend its brand by using off-the-wall artwork by The Oatmeal.
“It’s cool to see T-shirts, plushies and even keychains that have spawned from Exploding Kittens. If it follows the pattern of Angry Birds, it’s very possible that a movie could follow,” Mackey said.
Camping with Sasquatch is another card game that is challenging games like Uno and even traditional face cards by offering a game that is fun, quick and for the whole family, but with entertaining images. Targeted as THE game to take camping, Camping with Sasquatch is a hybrid of Slapjack and Rummy, but like Exploding Kittens, uses artwork commissioned by a comics artist.
“We designed Camping with Sasquatch so that it’s not just cute, but the characters could extend the brand with an intellectual property that can cross over into many different avenues,” said Mike Szalajko, co-creator of Camping with Sasquatch.
As games continue to grow in popularity and the market expands, expect to see not just new intellectual properties emerge, but perhaps the next pop cultural maelstrom will emanate from a game at the table.
Camping with Sasquatch is available now on Kickstarter with added Kickstarter exclusive options. The campaign ends on July 17, 2018. Visit LethalChickenGames.com for more info. Exploding Kittens and Ultimate Werewolf are available at Target, on Amazon and at retailers nationwide.
Bigfoot, Cthulhu, Unicorns and the Yeti have become the face of board games and card games for 2018.
With the increase in popularity of tabletop games and card games, the latest trend is to feature mythical creatures such as Unicorns, Sasquatch and Cthulhu amongst others.
The new game, Camping with Sasquatch by Lethal Chicken Games is the newest game to feature an elusive mythical creature.
“The phrase, camping with Sasquatch popped into my head years ago and I always thought it would be a great name for a game,” said Mike Szalajko, co-creator of Camping with Sasquatch. “So once our first game, What The Film?! was finished, we wanted to do something completely different and almost silly. So we came up with a Slapjack meets Rummy sort of game and built it around the name Camping with Sasquatch,” said Szalajko.
PlayMonster’s Yeti in My Spaghetti which won Toy of the Year award in 2017 is another game that uses a similar mythical creature to give a fun skin to their game. “If you look at Jenga and Yeti in My Spaghetti, they’re essentially the same concept,” said Alex Mackey, co-creator of Camping with Sasquatch. “But if I had to choose between the two, I’d take the Yeti any day,” Mackey said.
Mythical creatures are found on some of the most funded games and new games on Kickstarter, whether it’s an unstable Unicorn, a Frogdog or Olympian Gods.
Unstable Unicorns has been one of the most funded projects ever featured on Kickstarter. Camping with Sasquatch is hoping to follow in their stead with cartoon art reminiscent of Disney’s Gravity Falls.
“JK Rowling made sure mythical creatures made their way into pop culture and by incorporating some of those same elements into the gaming industry is a way to make sure they don’t slip back into hiding,” said Brett C. Nance, artist for Camping with Sasquatch.
“So many games have given us memorable characters such as the Monopoly banker, or Colonel Mustard,” Mackey said, “But as the industry has progressed, the imaginations have expanded far beyond a person in a bank or a library,” stated Mackey.
Camping with Sasquatch is available on Kickstarter with added Kickstarter exclusives through July 17, 2018. Visit LethalChickenGames.com for more info. Yeti in My Spaghetti and Unstable Unicorns are available at Target, on Amazon.com and at retailers nationwide.
Are you thinking about doing a Kickstarter campaign and have found all sorts of conflicting information as to what works or what doesn't?
We were faced with the same issues as we launched our first Kickstarter campaign for What The Film?!. So we went in blindly, but armed with as much info as we could glean from friends and those who had blazed the trail before us. We feel like we navigated the waters pretty well. We set a goal that was attainable, and then hit social media consistently for the months leading up to the campaign. There are a littany of other things we did, but that's not the formula I'm talking about.
I've created a spreadsheet that has been very insightful to me looking back on our past campaign. We made $10K which was...nice. Not amazing, but we did double our goal. So it worked. We more than accomplished our goal.
But even with doubling our goal, I feel like revenue was extremely tight because perhaps we didn't account for all the elements combined. Yeah, we knew there'd be shipping. Yeah, we knew Kickstarter would take a small cut (works out to be about 10%). Yeah, we knew we had production costs. But I never really put them all together to see how they would affect each other and how the number you see on Kickstarter translates to the real paycheck you end up with after all the expenses.
Going into our next Kickstarter campaign, Camping with Sasquatch, I wanted to have a better gauge of how much we would make based on hitting certain revenue levels. So here's a screenshot of a couple possible sample projections. Shipping rates are based on using Quartermaster Logistics. It includes the box, the packing and the cost of shipping.
Now there are a couple of places to potentially save money. For our game What The Film?! using a company like Quartermaster Logistics was the only way to go. We couldn't find a way to ship our game any cheaper than $10 because it was 2 lbs.
For Camping with Sasquatch, the game is lighter AND will fit into the Small Flat Rate USPS box which as of May 2018 the cost is $7.20. So you can potentially make an additional $2.20 per game if you do the work yourself (pack, label, ship). Which, with enough units sold can be a substantial amount but a lot of work.
We feel very fortunate with the success we've seen so quickly. So we want to give back where we can and share what we've learned. Here's a link to the spreadsheet. It's all formulas. So just plug in your game name, units and the sale amount and the rest of the numbers will change. You can see that even making almost $10K, there isn't a lot of revenue left. And that doesn't take into consideration the cost of artwork or the other things that went into the upfront costs of your game just to get it to Kickstarter.
If the campaign is what I would consider incredibly successful and you generate $163,800 from Kickstarter, your net is still only around $50K. If you've spent months on the project and divide that between all those that are key players, it dilutes very quickly.
If you're in it for the long haul, Kickstarter is an awesome way to get your project off the ground and alleviate some of the strains of initial cash flow. We were able to successfully launch What The Film?! and then get it into retail thanks in large part to Kickstarter. However if you're looking for a get rich quick scheme, look twice before you leap into this. Kickstarter should be because of love and passion, not a scheme or scam.
Good luck with your project and we'd love to hear any insights you may have!
Lethal Chicken Games, enforcing fun since 2017.
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