Valentine's Day and Toyfair (After Hours) Part 1


I’m the guy who always dreads Valentine’s day. Not because I don’t care, but because I’m always worrying about something and just plain forget, and/or will wait till the last minute, see a shiny object, and THEN forget. To add icing to the poop-cake, Munchkin World was also smack dab in Midtown this weekend. Because of that, plans began for Valentine’s weekend months ago, (sort of) revolving around meeting John Kovalic and Big Steve, and getting more of our SJG stuff signed. They picked a really nice place to have the store; on restaurant row on 47th, but I still think they would have had a better turnout if they’d had it around Houston St. There’s no shortage of places to have pop-up shops around NYU and that’s really where most of their potential new customers reside. Here are pics…

The big takeaway from this (besides the autographs) was the not-announcement of Munchkin Smash-up! What I was told is that it will be a stand-alone box with 8 factions. By next year, we’ll have a Smash-Up! box the size of the Ogre Designers Edition. Oh, there was nothing there that wasn’t Munchkin, so if you love SJG and don’t like Munchkin, you didn’t miss anything.

When we found out a bunch of our Gen Con friends were here for Toy Fair we threw out an invitation for dinner Saturday night. Peter Vaughan (What the Food?!) was the first on the list and it was decided that Korean food was the best route for dinner. Our plan for the day was to hit Pier 76 for a pizza lunch and then meet up for dinner at 7. Lemme tell you about the pizza… You all know I love Staten Island pizza so I’ll skip that part. We got to Pier 76 around 1:30 and were greeted with a sign on the door stating that the restaurant was closed for a private event till 3.

It turns out that “private event” was the entire dining room full of singles having Valentine’s with each other. And to add insult to insult, they were painting wine glasses*. We decided to go in anyway, and I think they felt bad for us, so they sat Jen, Lindsy, and I at the bar. Lindsy was enjoying that part because she’s 9. I could say it was a disaster because the pizza took 50 minutes thanks to all the sad pre-spinster cat-ladies getting their little heart-shaped pizzas, but the bartender comped the pizza and a few of Jenn’s drinks. We ended up walking out of there for $17 when we usually spend around $45. She spent the next few hours feeling bad for tipping on the bill instead of what the actual bill should have been.

Sometime around when we were planning what to do for Valentine’s Day my oldest daughter informed me that her and her mother were going to North Carolina or somewhere to see our dog for that weekend and they were leaving Lindsy (the youngest) with us for the week. That removed the romance from the equation, so no sex-covered strawberries. We got home from Staten Island for a nap before the trek to midtown for Korean only to be rewarded with a call from the Korean restaurant telling us we needed to be there at 6:30… It was now 6:10 and we were in the Financial District! Apparently they were very busy and already had the table ready for us. Seriously, it’s Valentine’s Day, who the hell takes their “Valentine” to an over-crowded Korean restaurant for dinner? Our initial reservation was for 4, us and Peter, which then became 7 ( team Hogger Logger), and then the ENTIRE AD Magic booth. I’m not complaining, Jenn and I will have our Valentine’s Day the weekend after Dreamation. We ended up being like 14 people, when everyone showed an army of waiters kept bring plates of EVERYTHING. Chicken, ribs, rice stuff, other rice stuff, and cabbage that’ll burn your damn mouth out.  Mind you, we love sitting with game designers, because they’re the most creative people I’ve ever met.


JR Honeycutt even whipped out a pile of blank cards and made a Game and a Curry version of Doug, Doug, Goose, Caboose, called Doug, Doug, Goose, Caboose, Banana, Curry, for 13 players. It’s the same game except when you’re the curry you have to say “NAME, ooh spicy” in a sexy voice. We have the ONLY copy of this custom game #21. To end this portion of Valentine’s Toy Fair here are some pics of dinner.

There is a second, and possibly a third part, to this night. After dinner, we trekked to Jenn’s office with Peter Vaughan to playtest 2 games, Boomtown and Letter Tycoon.

*community crafting only leads to cat hoarding.