Home Miniature house Delaware game store owner lives up to his business name

Delaware game store owner lives up to his business name

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DOVER, Delaware (AP) – Dressed in his iconic Superman T-shirt, James Jerman gave the stereotypical look one would expect from a man who owns his own game and comic book store.

But then, faster than a speeding bullet, he hit a Spider-Man comic marked with the first appearance of The Punisher – valued at $ 13,000 – and it quickly became apparent that owning Born to Game in Dover can be fun and entertaining. , this can also be serious business.

Mr. Jerman has owned Born to Game at the south end of a shopping center at 547 South Red Haven Lane, behind Piazza Mia Italian Bar & Grill in South Dover, for six years. He has another location in Middletown which has been in business for three years.


Games and comics are just something that is in his blood.

“I played games everywhere (when I was younger),” Mr. Jerman said. “It was always about community. The most important thing about opening a game store is… I have always had a family game night with my parents.

“It was something the current generation was missing, and I was like, ‘No, I wanted to bring that back. “So we have board games and the families are going to play in the back room and everything.

He added, “I used to play Gladiators, Illusions… there’s a mess of (playing) places in Salisbury (Maryland) all the way to Dover. I played Days of Knights (in Newark) for 15 years, probably.

The most popular game from Born to Game is “Magic: The Gathering” which is a fantastic card game.

“Magic: The Gathering ‘is our most popular game,” said Mr. Jerman, who co-owns his store with his wife, Samantha Ames. “Obviously, the big craze right now is Pokemon. We have Pokemon in stock and everything, where Walmart and Target are always sold out. We try to keep it in stock.

A player in “Magic” takes on the role of a Planeswalker and fights with other players by casting spells, using artifacts, and summoning creatures as shown on individual cards drawn from their individual decks.

A player usually, but not always, defeats his opponent by casting spells and attacking with creatures to deal damage to the opponent’s “life total”, the goal being to reduce it from 20 to 0.

“I’ve always played ‘Magic: The Gathering’,” Jerman said. “This is something that I have been doing probably for the last 20 years.”

FILL A GAP TO DOVER

It was this passion that drove him to open his own game store, especially after other stores in the Dover area have closed in recent years.

“That’s basically what drove it, was that a lot of stores in Dover were closing,” Jerman said. “There were still people who needed a place to come and play and chat and do whatever they wanted to do.”

Opening a game and comic book store was something he had always wanted to do, but he didn’t want to compete with his favorite store – Superior Comics – which closed in 2015.

With that store closed, Mr. Jerman decided to make a foray into the business world.

He laughs at TV shows that describe game and comic book stores like “The Big Bang Theory” always appearing to be filled with obsessed nerdy types. He said that was far from the case.

“‘The Big Bang Theory’ is probably the worst (comparison),” Jerman said. “The owner of The Big Bang Theory comic bookstore doesn’t make any money and doesn’t have any friends… I’m like no, but I get a Stuart and a Leonard and everyone comes into the store, but I also get older people who come to the store looking for gifts for their grandchildren.

“My employees all seem to come from different backgrounds and that’s what our customers are too. “

Born to Game sells collectible card games, board games, miniatures, comics, game and fantasy books, collectibles and everything related to games.

It can be visually overwhelming when a customer first walks into the store with so many different things to look at.

Crystal Burnett, who manages the Dover site, said coming to work is not like going to a regular job.

“I love working here,” she says. “It’s the best job ever because I’m very passionate about comics, which were my first love. I’ve been into comics since I was in college, so that’s my biggest passion here.

“We have a bit of everything. I love the clients, the people who come here to help people find things that they are also passionate about and introduce them to new things that I think they will like.

A PLACE TO SHARE INTERESTS

Anyone interested in the game is welcome to come and play their favorite games in the store’s dedicated games area or participate in its tournaments. It hosts five or six events a week.

“It’s just like a bowling league where you come out and play every week and just hang out with your friends and have fun,” Jerman said. “Even when I have tournaments to say ‘Magic’, we have about 20 people playing, and I’ll have five or six people who might not want to play in a tournament but they’re still there.

“They always hang out with their friends, and they make new friends, and their little group gets bigger and every once in a while they’re like, ‘Yeah, I’m going to pay the $ 5 for the tournament.'”

Individuals can purchase Born to Game memberships for $ 100 for their first year with a renewal fee of $ 60 which is valid in both locations.

Memberships take percentages off the purchase of items in the store, and members receive special products and exclusive events.

Players who win tournaments earn more card packs, prizes, and promotional items than the store receives.

“Companies know this business is community driven, so they usually give stores a discount on promotional material that I can give out to players,” Jerman said.

He said even his store, which is meant to escape the routine and the ordinary, has been hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID has been very difficult during the two months we were locked up,” he said. “I basically became a pizza delivery boy for board games, so customers would call me and I would throw (games) in my car and drive to their house and leave it on their porch six feet away. distance.

“It was a fight. As soon as we reopened, I had record sales. They wanted to come back and do everything and I was very happy about that.

You could say it was like magic.


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