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Monday, October 20th, 2008

Archives Games



birthweek | war hero and home & naabs | progress report



Haiku Reviews

W. :|

Warning: This is not
a comedy. It's an ad
for Jim Beam Whiskey.

Also: Religulous


Theory on Brontosauruses


Tirade's Choice

Cake Wrecks


"My father was given a Fluxx deck, and the whole family fell in love with it. When I asked a friend to pick me up a deck at a local store, he also got Chrononauts for me, which we loved even MORE -- so this year, I'm doing all of my Xmas shopping from Looney Labs!!" -- comments included in order #90577



a few India photos, random commentary


Monty Python Fluxx is Here!

IT'S the moment we've all been waiting for: Monty Python Fluxx has arrived! This has been the busiest shipping week we've ever had (by far) and our warehouse did a fabulous job of getting everything sent out. We only have 768 decks left - out of the first run of the 13,408 Monty Python Fluxx decks we received. Wow that's a lot of pre-orders! And a large percentage of the orders that shipped out this week contained all sorts of our other games too, since we've been taking consumer pre-orders in our webstore for over a month and stores and distributors are restocking for the holidays. We shipped a LOT of games this week. I'd like to send a big THANK YOU out to Brian and everyone else at our wonderful fulfillment partner, Print Mail Communications. These guys are top-notch, we could not recommend their services more highly.

If you pre-ordered a Monty Python Fluxx deck directly from Looney Labs, you probably already have it by now, and it's now starting to show up -- and rapidly sell out again -- in game stores everywhere. So please go buy a copy from your local game store!

It's all so exciting I could just about eat an albatross! It's exciting because Monty Python is perfect subject matter for a Fluxx game, and this is the most excited I've ever seen people get about one of our new releases (even including Zombie Fluxx). But another thing that makes this new release particularly exciting is the new packaging... which brings me to the subject of our new production partner, DeLano Services Inc. Please don't worry about that 768 decks left number I mentioned - DeLano will have 10,000 more decks over to our fulfillment partner (PMC) by early November.

When you get your Monty Python Fluxx deck, take a close look at the box, shown here in this new product photo. As you can see, it's a two-part box, with a bottom and a lid, instead of the single-piece tuckbox we've been putting our card games in for 11 years. Although we remain committed to our belief in keeping our game boxes small, we also acknowledge that smaller packages are more troublesome for retailers and less eye-catching for consumers, so we need for our boxes to be as big as they can while also still being as portable as possible. Like an animal puffing itself up to appear bigger during combat, we've been seeking ways to make our packaging look bigger without really being all that much bigger.

Our first attempt in this regard was with Zombie Fluxx, which we put into a side-by-side style tuckbox, but as anyone who's put a copy of Zombie Fluxx back into that box knows, it's kind of a pain to use. Kristin had looked hard at the idea of a two part box when we published Zombie Fluxx last year, but the increased production costs were prohibitive and we decided to try the industry standard side-by side-tuckbox instead. But we were very unhappy with that box, and over the past many months, while I've been developing and playtesting the game, Kristin and the production team at our new printer have been refining a universal packaging system that is going to transform our entire product line.

With Monty Python Fluxx, we've taken our packaging to another level. A key element in the new system is the box itself. While most two-part boxes of this sort consist of a chipboard box with a printed wrapper glued on top and folded underneath, the two parts of our new box are both made more like tuckboxes with a single printed sheet of cardstock cleverly folded and glued together. They've been masterfully sized to be tight enough to cling together so that the box stays in one piece during routine backpack usage, while also coming apart easily enough when opening is desired.

But here's the best part. This new box size is going to be used for just about every game in our product line. The next print run of Zombie Fluxx will be in this box, as will the next print run of Fluxx. And next year, both Chrononauts and Aquarius will be reprinted in this box. For Monty Python Fluxx, the box includes a cardboard insert that creates a little wall inside to separate the two parts of the deck. But even a game with a thin deck, such as Aquarius, can be packaged in this new universal box; it just means we have to include a different insert, one which creates a space for just one deck by boxing off a little bit of dead air. Yes, this does violate my long standing no-dead-air policy, but it's a small price to pay for being able to rework all the games in our product line with a uniform packaging style.

How soon will other games start appearing in this new format? Some will be soon, others gradually over the course of the next year or two as stock runs out and reprints are needed. New games -- even Pink Treehouse -- will be packaged in the new box. We apologize for the lateness of Pink Treehouse, but it will be here soon -- just in time for the holiday shopping season. [Rainbow and Xeno Treehouse sets are still being packaged in tubes, and we will continue to stock empty tubes in our webstore.]

A final note on Monty Python Fluxx: To help retailers promote the game in their stores, we made another 11x17 poster for the game. (They came out looking great, as you can see from this photo of Brian, our Warehouse Manager, who took a break from shipping orders to pose for this shot.) All consumers who pre-ordered their copies of Monty Python Fluxx from us were sent a copy of this poster with their order at no charge! (And for anyone else who wants one, they're a dollar in our webstore.)

AndyThanks for reading, and have a great whenever!


Thought Residue
Last year, we decided the burden of updating this site every Thursday was just too much, and shifted to an every-other-week approach. That made a big difference, but I've still been finding it really hard to get these updates done on time. Also, a lot has changed in cyberspace since we began this webzine, and since I'm now using LiveJournal, FaceBook, and Twitter to provide much more frequent reporting on my activities, I've decided to give up on trying to keep the WWN to a routine update schedule. From now on, the Wunderland Whenever News will be updated on random days at irregular intervals as warranted by availability of time and new content. If you want to be notified when updates occur, just sign up for the announcement mailing list or use the RSS feed.

Ten years ago, I wrote "Although I hate the telephone, I'll be tempted to get a cel phone if they ever make one that works like a speakerphone and has a gold metal flip-top." Well, it's been done, but not yet in a mass-marketed version, and I'm not about to spend $500+ for a custom-built job. Anyway, I now have the most amazing cell phone ever, the iPhone, and it includes a speakerphone mode, so all I need now is for it to look more like a communicator. Chris Freeman has answered this call halfway, with an iPhone ap called Kirk's Communicator, but this is just a toy. I'm still waiting for the functional version, which will over-ride the regular telephone interface with Trek-style graphics. But even that would be insufficient, since software can only do so much. The ultimate iPhone accessory would be a hard plastic case (not unlike many iPhone holsters already on the market) with a flip-open golden grill cover. It would really be quite perfect, since the iPhone is already about the size and shape of the bottom half of a communicator. I wonder how long it will be before such a product is created.
Speaking of toy communicators, I see that there's a new version of this classic item on the market. I've written before about the problem with toy communicators, i.e. that no one answers back when you try to talk into it, and this new version addresses this need with a host of digitized voices you can make it "respond" with. But I have to agree with the reviews I've read, which ask why in this day an age such a sophisticated toy is hamstrung when it could have worked like an actual cellphone. I remember yearning for a set of Trek-style walkie-talkies that were advertised on TV in the seventies, which didn't really look like communicators and were much too big; now I can get one that looks perfect but doesn't really do anything. So the waiting continues, but one way or another, I expect my dream of a fully-functioning Communicator replica to become a reality someday.


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Last Modified: Apr 20 2014 at 14:25