At 01:06 AM 9/7/98 -0700, you wrote:
>Rumor or no, it's stupid enough I just believe it.
>I just heard from my local RPG provider that TSR is up for sale... again. I
>may just be spreading noise on the wind, but I tend to trust the shop owner,
>we've been friends for almost six years and she's not prone to rumor
> (Ed, Carrie, Rich, etc.: I know you cannot comment, I do not ask you to)

Gah. Of course I can answer--I haven't heard ANYTHING along those lines.
Hey, things could be going on that I don't know about (there always are),
but I seriously doubt Peter A. and Wizards took all the time and effort to
buy TSR, relocate us, get our lines up and running again, and set the ball
in motion for several years worth of projects and products only to sell us
only a year or so later. Stranger things have happened, but ... JEESH!

>Wizards of the Coast appears to be trying to do what Marvel Comics did in an
>ill fated attempt to corner the market. The notion is that all retailers
>buy direct from WotC with a minimum monthly order of $700.00. Okay - some of
>you WotC upper echelons read this (Mr. Adkison, you there?). Learn from the
>past, I know it's a strange concept, but hey, corporate greed isn't worth
>destroying the RPG industry. Marvel tried the same thing with comics and
>so many small shops down in the process because they weren't moving the
>purchase every month.

Nope. Have this shop owner call our Merchant Relations department and ask
about our S.O.S. program--that's what I think she's refering to. I don't
remember exactly what S.O.S. refers to but here's what it is (as explained
to me; I don't work in sales, so I may be leaving out important points).

You (the retailer) need a product ASAP. You can't get it from your
distributor (for whatever reason), so you call up Wizards directly. You
place an order, pay for it IMMEDIATELY with your credit card, and said
product arrives 24 hours later on your doorstep. You pay a little bit more
than you would have through your distributor, plus you pay a flat S&H fee
($7.95, I think), but you get the product you couldn't get otherwise.

As I understand it, there's no pre-ordering, no minimums, and no COD. This
makes it less attractive than ordering from a distributor (IMO), since most
retailers can place big orders from a variety of game companies (why you
would want to, I don't understand ;-) and get either COD or payment terms
that don't require money up front. However, you can get products your
distributor appears to be out of or not carrying.

Like I said, the details may be fuzzy, but that's what I know. Order direct
from Wizards, pay up front, get it in 24 hours. No minimum orders, no
special perks. Call Merchant Relations for more info.

Hope that helps ... now back to your regularly scheduled BR discussion.

Ed Stark
Game Designer, Wizards of the Coast/TSR Division
Asst. Brand Manager
TSR Website: