Card Pusher Games – Breaking the Rules

Two certainties come with card and coin pushers:  They make a ton of money and the cards and coins are not cheap.  There is a way to help alleviate some of this pain though.  I am going to use Wizard of Oz by Elaut as an example.   The goal is to get all 7 character cards.  This is quite a feat as there are only 4 Toto cards in a box.  So what happens is that your guests keep their cards and take them home in the hopes of getting Toto cards to complete their sets.  These walk away cards are costing you money.  You end up having to order more and more boxes to keep up with the frustration.  Then the day that the 20 boxes of cards that were so desperately needed finally arrive… here comes a guest with 50 sets to turn in.  It is an exercise in frustration and very hard to balance.

The Typical Wizard of Oz Set

There are 2 filler cards in Wizard of Oz.  They are a picture of the game itself and a group picture of the characters.  Then there are 6 character cards that are quite common and 1 that is very rare (Toto).  The game rules say that to claim your awesome ticket award you need to collect the 7 character cards.  We need to break these rules to be both advantageous to us and our guests.  What we do is create our own set.  You make the set the 6 common character cards and the filler group card.  Then you make one of the characters a little less common.  I put 12 Dorothy cards in a hopper.  The set is a lot easier to get and guests can redeem the set for 1500 tickets.

So what do I do with Toto you ask?  Great question!  I make him his own set.  Get a Toto and turn him in for 3000 tickets!  I put 6-8 Toto cards in a hopper.  This has made it where my walk away cards have really lowered and I do not order Wizard of Cards anywhere near as much as I used to.  Individually cards can be turned in for 50 tickets each (with the exception of Toto). 

This was the first step in making my pusher games much more profitable.  I have used this formula for all of my pusher games and it has not only helped make the games much more profitable but also very much more alluring and exciting for the guests.  Do not skimp on the cards in the hoppers.  Having nice cards keeps them dumping credits (dollars, quarters, tokens, points etc.) into your machines.  Also make sure not to have the same cards in a row.  That bores the guests quickly.  Even if they were Toto cards!

Willy Wonka – Custom Ruleset

Now let’s really break the rules!  The next thing we can do to really up the ante and get our guests really salivating is to make our own cards.  Yes you read that right, cards unique to our location!  I have done this in 3 phases.  I will share the first 2 with you in this article. 

The first custom card that I made was a female version of my mascot for Wizard of Oz.  She is called Dorothy Greta.  All the ones afterwards were my mascot Willy the Dragon.  I have Pirate Willy in Blackbeard’s Bounty, Willy Square Pants in SpongeBob, One Eyed Willy in Minions and Willy Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka.  They were a lot of fun to make and the guests enjoy them tremendously.  I put one in each game hopper on weekends and very busy days.  They redeem for 5000 tickets each.  I considered making a superset of them but then I would have a walk away issue again. 

After that I made letter cards that spell out my mascots name: W I L L Y.  If you got them all (I put 6 per hopper) you could get a plush Willy or 6000 tickets.  Talk about fun!  People LOVE them!  They normally go for the 6000 tickets…. Or 1200 tickets each (to prevent walk away cards). 

Letter Cards

I really hope this article gets your creative juices flowing and that you might implement these ideas and enjoy the fruits thereof.  If you do please email me to let me know!

In the next article we will cover barcoding our cards and kiosk options that really save on redemption time and labor. 

Please email me at [email protected] with any comments, suggestions or inquiries.

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