Toys and Games is a thriving industry with new companies emerging to offer unique items every year. This year the BC Games Company debuted at the New York Toy Fair. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, BC Games offers various styles of games, extension packs and various language versions to consumers through both retail and educational channels.
Michael McCrady is the Business Operations Manager for BC Games. Michael has been in business since 1998 and holds a BS in Business from the University of Phoenix which he received in 2003. Michael is experienced in executive management, certified as a Project Manager, holds many certifications in the technical industry, and is formerly employed by Microsoft Corporation. Michael is a veteran of the US Air Force and a half marathon runner who is training for his first marathon in May of this year. Recently, he spoke to the Examiner about BC Games:
Meagan Meehan (Examiner): When was BC Games started and why was that specific name chosen?
Michael McCrady (M.M.): BC Games was founded in January of 2015 by Bill Barber, with the help of some close friends who knew business very well. BC stands for “biblically centered”, which simply means that we strive to ensure our games are family friendly.
Examiner: Right now how many products does BC Games sell?
M.M.: Currently we have 23 games to offer to consumers and retailers. This includes additional expansion volumes and especially multiple languages. Several of our products come in English, Spanish, and French.
Examiner: How do you think up ideas for your products? For example, do you ever work with inventors?
M.M.: We focus on creating our own designs, but as we grow we see others who can benefit from our experience in the marketplace. If we were to encounter a game that fits our business model, and who would like to be represented in our product line, we certainly consider it. One of our products, “The Great Debate” was designed by Dave Ferguson, and fit in our business model. Dave has been in business for a few years and approached us to include his product. After reviewing it, we agreed.
Examiner: To date, what has been the most rewarding part of working with BC Games?
M.M.: We have been very fortunate in having a couple of awesome investors who saw that we could provide the quality we spoke about from the beginning. From a player perspective, the reward has been the reception of our games by every demographic. It shows that we have been successful in creating games that appeal to all diversities and backgrounds. From a business perspective, getting to know the industry has been a highly rewarding challenge. The most rewarding part of that is the networking between like-minded business people. Most are always ready to help, and most have experiences to share to keep you from hitting a wall moving forward. Another thing that game businesses will do is to connect smaller businesses with the channels to help them thrive. I cannot tell you how many times I have needed that one contact to help me accomplish a business venture, and the last show I attend another vendor offers the “exact thing” I am looking for.
Examiner: Where do you hope BC Games will be in ten years?
M.M.: We have proven we can cover a broad swath of the game industry with our products to the delight of consumers, but growth must be handled very delicately to ensure we continue thrive enough to support expansion. Our current goal is to continue to expand our product line and continue to look for new talent in both the business and design worlds to add new perspectives to our products. We intend, during that time, to offer our products to retail and distribution businesses both at home and abroad.
Examiner: What advice would you give to someone who is striving to enter the toy industry?
M.M.: Plug yourself into groups who can help you move forward. For instance, get involved with a design group to review and test your product. Feedback from like-minded individuals is GOLD but remember that you do not have to agree nor take all their “suggestions”. They will be blunt. Expect to be challenged to do better, even if you did your best. Do not stop. Even when things look like they will never get traction, keep moving, because you are most likely on the brink of moving to the next level.
Do not expect success, whether at a show or at a retail location. Not everyone can see what you see in your game. If it is done well, they will eventually be calling you. Keep moving to find the next opportunity, and keep cultivating the ones you have. Look for strange retail places to promote your item. There are thousands of niche markets out there. Just one can help you get the traction you need to keep moving forward. Do not expect people to come to you. Get out there and find who is hungry, like you, and wants to work with you. The others DO NOT MATTER! Always keep a positive attitude during presentation, even if people are walking away while you are talking. Sometimes they are testing your dedication, and will turn around if you are serious. Be ready to negotiate. You may think your item is worth $50, while buyers may think it is worth $20. Even if you make $5, but you get orders upwards of 100,000 a year….well, do the math.
Examiner: Are there any upcoming events that you would like to mention?
M.M.: We will be at The Great Homeschool Convention in Fort Worth, Texas, in March and at ASTRA in Denver, Colorado, in June.
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To learn more about BC Games visit their website, Facebook and Twitter.