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A recap of some of my travels for – Ad Magic/Breaking Games

By Shari Spiro

Lots of exciting stuff went on in the past year and a half –   and a lot of it was due to manufacturing that went on over in China for Ad Magic/ Breaking Games and in Washington State – where we have Ad Magic Print and Play Games. This past year I got to start off my year with a trip to Hong Kong and China.  I am always a bit hesitant about traveling because there is a lot more involved than just packing and leaving – but this time I had myself pumped for a really quick – but effective trip.

First  I went to meet electronics people in Hong Kong – as we were all (and still are) super excited to say that Breaking Games is the worldwide Distributor and Manufacturing Partner in Boogie Dice – the world’s first sound activated electronic dice.  These dice are really amazing – but the manufacturing requires precision and so I went China along with the designer Nimrod Back from Tel Aviv –  to be sure that they are going to be manufactured perfectly.  They are still being developed but now they are getting very close to being put into production. As a matter of fact Nimrod was starting off 2017 by heading back over there to fine tune some of the Boogie Dice manufacturing elements.  WAIT until you see the phone interface for the Boogie Dice gaming system!!

While there – the Hong Kong Toy Fair was going on – and I was also excited to meet and have great dinners with the plant owners of two of our plants involved with aspects of Cards Against HumanityExploding Kittens, Secret Hitler and Joking Hazard.  Secret Hitler required some special care  – as it was being prepared for manufacturing – so the timing was perfect for working on that game as well.  Since then close to 100 thousand Secret Hitler games have been shipped out.  I have finally gotten to play a few games of Secret Hitler in its entirety – previously every time I had tried to get in on one – I have always been too late and the tables had been completely filled up.  It is – by all accounts – simply amazing and it was on my New Year Resolution list its for 2017 along with working out more and biking more. I finally got to play it on the JoCo Cruise.  Amazing game – kudos to the Secret Hitler team.

At the the giant Hong Kong Toy Fair – which I had always wanted to see –  I met with the Klask guys – KLASK is an absolute blast – and we now carry KLASK in sports bars, cafes and trade show locations all over the world _anywhere there is a trade show and a table.  This game is ridiculously fun and cool and I just love it.  I am – as per my usual – not the greatest at it – but I do win from time to time which keeps me coming back for more.

Also I was lucky as I mentioned – to have traveled with one of the most brilliant people – Nimrod – the inventor and lead partner on Boogie Dice.  We met with electronics people over in Hong Kong and China  – which was a new area for me – and another important reason for the visit.  After the super success of the meowing boxes for Exploding Kittens – I am now very excited to get into more electronic game parts and I can say that we have quite a few new electronic games in the midst of development at this point – and I find it very exciting!!

Then my plant managers wanted to drive us to Shenzhen after Hong Kong and honestly I had missed seeing them. They are the sweetest people and they wanted to make sure I was looked after in China  – for one thing they know where to eat to keep me from getting sick  – (they only eat at certain places which is the way to go in China as otherwise you need to sterilize the chop sticks and bowls with boiling water which is a pretty tough (but possible) thing to do in the middle of a restaurant – they also taught me that.  Otherwise I generally live on superfood bars with bottled water and tea while traveling in that part of the world.

The people from my plant are a very warm extended family. I have been working with some of them for over 10 years.  One of the very talented ladies over there – who overseas the making of some of our really cool boxes – was pregnant at the time –  so I wanted to see her – and she has since had a sweet little baby girl.  I would love to say I have been avidly studying Mandarin with Rosetta Stone since my trip – however it is simply not true – My Chinese is still really not great –  even though I  tried to work with a Chinese Tutor.  Now – if only Chinese were actually Spanish !!  I am great in Spanish!

Even though the flight is enough to beat you down and mess up any sense of time – over 32 hours in travel including airport – the extended trip really is a give and take between seeing great people and the very long trek of getting there.  I wanted and needed to go and at the same time – I don’t ever look forward to the actually steps involved in getting there.  I will say that once I am in a foreign country I am always amazed on a daily basis and in awe like a little kid traveling for the first time.  Differences and similarities in cultures world wide never cease to amaze me.

I also went to Essen Germany, Australia and New Zealand.  Those trips were based around trade shows rather than manufacturing facilities and were both a lot of work and a lot of fun.  After Essen I got to finally see Amsterdam and that was a place I had always wanted to visit.  After Australia I got to see New Zealand – one of the most beautiful countries in the world – and was lucky enough to pass through one of the loveliest of places – days before the earthquake there.

I have a ton of pics to post – but I will say that in 2017 I am planning to spend most of the year staying put in NJ.  I have a lot of things to do here – since we just got our new warehouse – and plenty to keep me busy right in my own office.   Thats the plan. Plus I have a new office to move into and a lot of things to organize in a growing company.  All good – and all requiring my personal attention – so if you don’t see me at a trade show – that is why.

Looking back on last few years and all of the world traveling I did to build the brand and get some unique projects off the ground gives me a great sense of accomplishment.  I am lucky I got to see all of those places.  I promise to post some pictures!

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