Space Cadets Gaming Gaming to Celebrate an Out-of-This-World Birthday
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Time flies when you’re having fun, which means that the staff at Space Cadets Gaming Gaming might feel like the business opened only last week and not five years ago. But it has indeed been a half-decade since the popular local gaming retailer opened its doors to the Woodlands-area community, and this year they’re ready to pull out all the stops for SCGG’s fifth birthday.
Owner Brian McMeans fondly recalls the origins of SCGG. “For about three years, starting in 2013, I had been working with Miss Jen on growing the gaming section of our first store,” he said, referring to Jen King, the owner of Space Cadets Collection Collection. “Every month, we grew more and more, taking up more space. Finally, a few years later, extra facility space became available.”
When McMeans asked King if he could expand the gaming section into the new space, she reportedly replied, “Do you want to expand it? Or do you want to own it?” McMeans leapt on the opportunity.
“It had always been my goal to own a gaming store, and now it was not only possible, but also feasible,” he said. In May of 2016 the green light was given for him to prepare the new store, and it launched operations in November of that same year. “We chose the name using the same format - and humor - that was used when naming Space Cadets Collection Collection,” said McMeans. Apparently the original store relied heavily on consignment-selling of other people’s collectibles, so the catchphrase of “being a collection of others’ collections” morphed into “Collection Collection,” and the motif stuck with the new store. “We like to think of it as ‘Double the Name, Double the Fun,’” said McMeans.
In a candid moment, McMeans discussed the woes of convincing the shopping public to purchase old-fashioned board- and card-games in this world of electronic devices and virtual-reality headsets. Additionally, in his own words, there was “no shortage of gaming stores” in the area.
“In those early months, I didn’t allow my long-term vision for the store to go past Year Three,” he said. “To be honest, in February of 2020, it was pretty bleak.”
Ironically, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that turned the store’s fortunes - literally and figuratively - around. “The pandemic played a tremendous role in the boost of popularity of our games. Families in lockdown were inspired to revert back to the ‘good old days’ of doing things together, and that included things like Family Game Night.”
Once people began to come through SCGG’s doors, McMeans and his staff ensured that they would return time and again. “I feel that we set ourselves above the rest of the gaming-world pack because we are family-friendly as well as familiar with our customers. When you come see us, you become more than just a potential sale: we get to know you. It’s a point of pride that when you come into the store, our personal touch makes you feel welcome. We know which games many of our customers enjoy, so when they come to us we can cater their experience to their specific desires.”
With the first five years behind him, McMeans envisions a continued growth in the industry as handheld, practical gaming shows all signs of being here to stay. Additionally, he notes solid growth of his actual store and knows that expansion is right around the corner. “We’re already at 2,000 square feet and we’re still growing,” he said.
The actual Space Cadets Gaming Gaming 5th Birthday Party will take place on Saturday, November 13. “We’ll have cookies, cake, a Chick ‘N’ Cone food truck that sells some really delicious stuff, game giveaways, and people from the Sons of Arceus YouTube Channel will be there to do giveaways,” said McMeans. “We hope to see you there, to welcome you back if you’re a returning customer, and to make you feel at home where you’ll soon come back if you’re a new one.”
Find out more about Space Cadets Gaming Gaming here.