|Fantasy Flight Retailer Spotlight | Published 10 June 2011|
Our Fantasy Flight Retailer Spotlight has received increasingly positive feedback; fans are excited to discover hard-working retailers across the nation who are dedicated to them and their hobby. Last week we introduced you to a New Jersey-based game store; today we’re traveling to North Carolina and highlighting Crystal and Scott Blanton’s store, The Gamer’s Armory!
The Gamer’s Armory caters to gamers of all ages and genres, focuses on providing exceptional service in-store and serving its community. Let’s hear from Crystal!
The Gamer’s Armory
Address: 683-F Cary Towne Boulevard, Cary, NC 27511
Telephone: (919) 238-4817
Online Web Store: http://www.gamersarmory.com/catalog
**On Wednesday night we are open until 10:00 for our Weekly Board Game Night!
A growing business
The Gamer's Armory opened for business in August of 2002 as an online game store. The idea initially started as a “side” business for Scott. His thought was that he could lower the cost for himself on the games he played and at the same time sell items to his friends and make a little money. However, what started out as a way to support his love of Advanced Squad Leader quickly turned into evenings full of packing and shipping products. The business started in the bonus room of a two-story house and eventually expanded. We now have customers all over the world.
With many years of online customer support and a growing demand for product, we decided to venture into the world of brick and mortar. We are very proud to say that we now occupy a 3,000 square foot retail space at one of the busiest intersections in Cary. We opened the doors to our physical store located in Cary, North Carolina on June 30, 2010.
Since moving into our space, we have tripled the size of our inventory and continue to add new product lines and products on a monthly basis. We now specialize in war games, board games, collectible and trading card games and accessories, roleplaying games, miniatures, dice, hobby accessories, modeling accessories and much more! Our main goal is to keep the historical, fantasy, card, and gaming hobby growing both online and locally and to strengthen the local gaming community!
We have always and will continue to strive to maintain an online web store, with great customer service, where gamers can order products at a discounted price for both the product and shipping. As we grow our physical store, we will continue to pursue our passion to create and maintain a local space where people of all ages, interested in all types of games, can come together and enjoy the satisfaction that comes from personal interaction!
Atmosphere and amenities
The Gamer's Armory has a fun, friendly and family atmosphere with 750 square feet of gaming space. The atmosphere at The Gamer’s Armory is family friendly and the store is a great hangout for gamers! We have tables and terrain available for open gaming, at no charge, during regular business hours and we also have a store library with samples of many popular games available for customers to test before they purchasing a game.
We are very proud of our gaming tables and terrain and think that our local miniatures gamers really enjoy having a place to play where they have a lot of quality options. Most of the terrain found at The Gamer’s Armory was handcrafted by a longtime friend of Scott’s, Kevin Whisnant. We currently have 10 tables with a variety of desert, city, grass and snow locations. Before visiting us you can see for yourself what our available tables and terrain look like; pictures can be found our website.
Our employees all have different personal gaming interests, which provides our customers a wide variety of gaming experiences to use as a resource. We think this provides a great benefit to our customers.
A deluge of activity
We host a variety of game nights, tournaments, demos and special events in our store. Every Monday night we host our weekly Advanced Squad Leader (ASL) Night to remain true to what got us started. We feel it an honor to continue to support the ASL community and customers by providing them a space each week where they can come and play and browse what we think might be one of the largest ASL collections in the world.
Although it isn’t an official game night, we also have a regular group that come in on Monday night to play Deathwatch. Every Tuesday night we host groups for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, as well as Warmachine and Hordes.
Every Wednesday night, we host our weekly Board Game Night. We have gamers of all ages and all genres in our store playing a variety of board games. In addition we also have a wide variety of card gamers. Gamers can bring their own games or borrow one from our very nicely stocked store library.
On Thursday night we currently are hosting a Flames of War Escalation League which allows participants to gradually build their army and really helps gamers get motivated to paint their models by giving extra points for painted armies. We have also just recently expanded our Flames of War section to accommodate the league.
Every Friday night, we host Friday Night Magic and standard constructed events. We are currently an Advanced Level WPN store and participate in all Pre-Release, Launch Days, Game Days and other related Magic: The Gathering events. We feel our Magic Events are a little different than other stores in our area. Most of our regular participants enjoy a more laid back atmosphere which we think promotes that gaming is fun and not just competitive.
We are proud to announce that every Saturday night we host our recently added Jr. Magic League. The League was created in April and is for youth age 16 and under. We have had a great response from the youth in our local community. In addition, one of our customers, Ryan Rhinebarger, donates his entire Saturday evening to help us with the League.
The first Sunday of every month we host Triangle Wargamers Day for our customers who enjoy playing war games of all kinds. Further, we have just recently added Ladies Game Night to our event schedule, planned for Wednesday nights. If there are events that you would like us to host, please contact us and we will do what we can to get them on the schedule.
To support our troops, during the Thanksgiving, Christmas and Memorial Day holidays we participate in “Games for Soldiers.” This program gives our customers the chance to donate new or gently-used games, comics and DVDs. For some of our store events, instead of collecting an event fee, we allow our customers to bring in a donation. Our last shipment was 45 pounds.
To support our local YMCA and to get the youth more involved, Ryan Rhinebarger, volunteers his time and assists us with hosting Magic: The Gathering demos for the after-school and tracking out programs. In the past, we have also supported our local schools by donating items for silent auctions.
For years The Gamer’s Armory has supported ASL Tournaments around the world by donating gift certificates and products for prizes. Since opening our doors in June, 2010, we have started supporting local Tournaments of all varieties by donating gift certificates and products.
A unique feature
We have recently started carrying a wide variety of Fantasy Flight games in our store. Our main push for doing so was our excitement about the Fantasy Flight Media Center. The Media Center has added a unique feature that we feel can’t be replaced. It provides our customers with all the latest information on Fantasy Flight Games’ products and the specifics about the games that we carry, or that that we have access to order. Having the ability to show a video rather than just explaining the product has really increased interest.
Thanks, Crystal! Make sure to keep watch for our next Retailer Spotlight article.
If you are interested in visiting one of these great game store locations, keep reading to find one in your local area, or see if a local store has already been mentioned. If you are a retailer who is interested in participating in our Retailer Spotlight and having your store featured or if you are interested in more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there one in Ottawa Orleans if anyone knows?
I agree 100% with the description and comments! Gamer's Armory is amazing, the environment got me completely back into games. I had fallen out of interest for a while but when I happened upon the Armory I definitely regrew my interest, and Scott and Crystal helped me add to my already large Fantasy Flight Games collection. The people are inviting and friendly, and every week I see more new faces and more new games!
My favorite perk is that when Scott isn't hard at work he sneaks away to play a game. Unfortunately, he's very easy to defeat. But they say those who can't win sell! ;-)
So come and visit!
The Gamer's Armory is certainly awesome, and is an excellent place for gamers to call their home store. I definitely don't deserve the name drops though, as there are several gamers at the Armory who do their best to recruit new players into our ranks. I'm only one of those, but I know I can speak for all of us when I say that we do what we do not just because we're passionate about our games, but also because we are passionate about the Armory. It's the single best place to play games of any kind in the area, hands down. We give our support because we want to be able to enjoy the Armory and the games we play.
Thanks for highlighting this excellent store Fantasy Flight! The Gamer's Armory certainly deserves the attention, and what better place than Fantasy Flight Games? You guys rock!
Awesome! Great to see you guys featured on here. I need to make sure and swing by still and check it out.
Very Cool Store!!!