Product in their warehouse and not in the distrubution chain is *not* making them money which is where the issue lies. Stores don't want to carry single stashes because the concept is counter to what customers expect at retail. (It would be like selling checkers in three packages - the red pieces, the black pieces, and the board.)
This is also a lower entry point for stores to stock Treehouse versus Icehouse. Before, they had to purchase multiple cases of pieces before they had a product they could sell as a complete game. Now, one case is all you need. The single "game in a tube" is perfect for POP displays and the bright colors attract attention. Less money to spend and less shelf space needed makes Treehouse an easier decision for retailers (and a lower risk for stores who want to give it a chance). It also opens the door for larger retailers like Borders who generally can't understand products that aren't one SKU to a game.
Three other facts to consider:
- Direct-to-consumer sales for Looney Labs only accounts for 20% of their total sales. (http://www.looneylabs.com/OurCompany/Investors.html
). To keep products out of the distribution channel for 80% of their customers can end up costing them money.
- The pyramids are currently expensive ($1 per 15 of a single color -
) and slow to make (limitations of the mold require pyramids to be hand cut from the runners) which gives any Icehouse product a narrow profit margin. While they do get a bonus by selling direct to gamers (since they get to keep the wholesale markup for themselves), they still aren't going to move as much product as their distributors.
- Rainbow Treehouse is *sold out*. By keeping their existing single-color stashes, they are choosing to not make money by selling them as Treehouse sets. While long-term you are correct, at this moment offering single stashes would directly cost them money.
Truth be told, I'm not a huge Treehouse fan myself. (I discovered Looney Labs through Chrononauts and that continues to be my all-time fav.) I do, however, see this is a huge success for Looney Labs. At ChiTAG last year, I had a huge purchase rate off of demos because the game moves fast and people like that they could turn it into more games later if they chose. They were buying one game with the promise of more.
Also - keep in mind that if Treehouse continues to be a runaway success, Looney Labs can finally afford to retool the molding process which makes pieces cheaper and easier to produce which makes it viable to return to keeping single-stashes around.
I obviously can't speak for the Looneys, but I honestly don't think this is the end of single stashes forever. Right now, however, this is the best use of their resources.
On 8/2/07, swandive78@xxxxxxxxx <swandive78@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Thanks for your time.
However, my statements stand, including the comments on the misconception that not making stashes available, in and of itself, somehow makes more money for the Looneys.