Vancouver couple's new board game gets some play

Husband-and-wife inventors’ Bull’s-eye scores points with retailers

By Cami Joner, Columbian retail & real estate reporter

Published:

 

Where to buy Bull's-eye

Bull’s-eye retails for $29.95 and may be purchased at:

Dice Age Games, 5107 E. Fourth Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

Kazoodles, 13503 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

Learning Palace, 7809 N.E. Vancouver Plaza Drive, Vancouver.

Walmart’s Get on the Shelf Contest

Where to vote: Get on the Shelf Contest.

Voting starts: March 7.

Games are serious business for husband-and-wife inventors Douglas and Nilda Loriz of Vancouver.

Their board game Bull’s-eye has gone from the idea stage to national distribution in three years. But it’s still a long way from catching on, according to the couple, both 47. They have so far convinced 60 stores to carry the fast-paced word game and already sold about 700 units of Bull’s-eye, which retails for $29.95.

By comparison, more than 250 million copies of Monopoly have been sold worldwide.

“We are competing like a speck of dust among the giants, Mattel and Hasbro,” said Nilda Loriz, who co-owns DNA Family Games, a company she and her husband created to market the game.

The Lorizs expect to sell even more units of Bull’s-eye now that the word game has been picked up by Alliance Game Distributors, one of the largest companies of its kind in the nation.

“The tedious part is going from store to store to store,” Nilda Loriz said.

However, she acknowledged the company has benefited from its early-stage efforts to peddle the game through store visits, toy conventions and game-night demonstrations at toy stores and public libraries.

“We are just starting to get known in the stores,” she said.

Bull’s-eye loosely resembles Scrabble, requiring skills in spelling, mathematics and logic. It also is unlike Scrabble, which allows the “word mavens” to dominate, because Bull’s-eye requires strategy and luck. Parents can play the more challenging version while their children play the easier form.

“In this game, you have to work hard to compete with your child,”

Nilda Loriz said, adding that the game takes less time to play because players don’t have to wait for a turn.

“Our game is like a dart game in a word game,” she said.

The Lorizes continue to contact store owners and websites that review board games, such as http://boardgamegeek.com.

“I don’t think we will stop contacting all the stores and Internet retailers until, hopefully, someone is really going to notice our game,” Nilda Loriz said.

She estimated the company has invested about $40,000 so far on the game’s patent, copyright and trademark, along with its design and initial production of 1,500 games.

Loriz said DNA Family Games is not yet a profitable company.

“But it usually takes years before you even break even,” she said. “For us right now, if we sold our games, we feel happy and very lucky.”

That could change quickly if Bull’s-eye does well enough in a new contest that has companies vie to be sold by mega-retailer, Walmart.

The Lorizes have entered the Bentonville, Ark.-based company’s Get on the Shelf Contest, which allows anyone in the United States to submit an online video pitching his or her invention. The public will have a chance to vote online for products they’d like to see in stores.

Three contest winners will have their products sold on Walmart.com, with the grand-prize winner also getting shelf space in selected stores. Loriz said DNA Family Games met the Feb. 22 submission deadline. Online voting will take place in March and April.

“It would really help a small business like ours,” she said.