Tabletop Gaming is on the rise. Playtime’s newest trend puts a twist on the traditional board games we grew up on.
Board Gaming: The Comeback Kid
Tabletop gaming can be as simple as family board and card games found in your neighborhood toy shops, or it can be as complex as hobby board games themed to a wide variety of interests and genres, like fantasy worlds, civil war eras, stock market simulations and even wildlife animals. The allure for most enthusiasts is in the critical thinking component and the social aspect of playing.
“You have board games, like Risk and Monopoly,” said Edward Uhler, Co-Host of the Heavy Cardboard Podcast, “A lot of us stop playing those games as adults but it’s a multi-billion dollar industry that’s still on the rise and there’s all these designer board games. Everything from super casual games
to the other side of the spectrum with brain-busting, decision making games.”
Last year, board game Kickstarters raised 6 times more money than video games, fueling a market for these types of pursuits. In a world seemingly overtaken by screens, more nostalgic games and activities have been slowly weaving their way back into consumers’ lives. As Uhler advocates and explores in the Heavy Cardboard Podcast, tabletop gaming is used as a way to socialize and bring people together with shared commonalities. Its popularity echoes a sentiment permeating across other industries that are also the antithesis of mass digitization, like letterpress printing or zines. We are craving real life, meaningful interactions.
“The type of game we enjoy playing tends to be driven by thought. The things that change within the game are changing due to player decisions, so we’re exercising the mind,” said Uhler. “We hang around in a big group and have dinner. We just catch up with each other and share.”
Safari Ltd® Adds an Aesthetic Value to Gaming
While there is a rise in hobby board games, its corresponding playing pieces have remained standard in their design. Basic wood or plastic square cubes mostly serve as the representative pieces for many of these creative hobby board games. Avid players have since discovered Safari Ltd® and use its products to enhance the aesthetics of their gaming.
“I was playing a game called Dominant Species and we had nondescript wooden pieces for playing chips versus smaller animal pieces,” said Uhler. “I wanted to make it more visually appealing and more themed to the game. Safari Minis® had every animal I needed, so I replaced the pieces in the game with them. When I travel the world and play Dominant Species at conventions, people always come up to us tell us how awesome the toys look.”
Good Luck Minis® are one of Safari Ltd®’s most versatile lines. The Tiny Toys That Teach® are often used in miniature replica creations and terrariums.
“You’ve also got tabletop miniature games, which could be anything,” Uhler said. “You’ve got people who recreate famous battles to an entire terrain layout of Gettysburg. There are literally hundreds of different rule sets people could follow based on their interests, which makes Safari’s line so perfect for them.”
An Imaginative World Brought Boldly to Life
Fantasy board and role playing games like Dungeons and Dragons are part of the mainstream face of tabletop gaming. No doubt fans of iconic films, like The Lord of the Rings, have created demand for activities and products that provide an extension of the fantasy experience. There are a myriad of creative role playing games that allow players to take on the identity of characters in intricate imaginary worlds.
Safari Ltd® has been a fan favorite in this realm. The brand’s portrayal of dragons, fairies and iconic mythological creatures are noted as some of the most detailed and creative of all fantasy figurines. They make remarkable game pieces that enhance the tabletop experience.
“Safari Ltd® figures lend themselves well to tabletop gaming,” said Robert Kalajian, Editor of Purple Pawn. “Especially the fantasy series of figurines. They’re a great size for use in miniatures games and role-playing games. The best part? They’re prepainted! No assembly. No painting. They’re perfect just the way they are.”
The company’s versatile figures have simultaneously been gaining traction along with this niche market. Safari Ltd® released over 100 new figures this year with notable attention flocking to its fantasy line.
“I’m a huge fantasy and sci-fi fan, so naturally, I’ve been drawn to the more fantasy-based figures,” said Kalajian. “I’ve always loved dragons, so it’s natural I’d want to combine my love of gaming with the amazing dragons Safari Ltd® has to offer. They’re perfect for role playing games and miniature gaming!”
Every year, Safari Ltd® releases new figurines adding to its ample collections of dinosaurs, dragons, fantasy, wildlife and sea life. Do you have a great idea for a figurine? Help us bring nature’s most beloved animals to life. Submit your ideas to us on your preferred social media platform. We’ll send them in for consideration. You may just find your favorite critter on the shelves in the coming