Let’s talk crane & merchandiser games

How your prizes drive revenue 🤑

You know you need to keep your redemption area well-stocked with prizes that are guaranteed to please your guests, but what attention are you paying to your crane and merchandiser games?

Including these games in your mix can be a profitable game room tactic, but just like your redemption program, they require the right strategy to pay off your investment.

There are two key elements to how much play a particular crane or merchandiser will generate:

1. Quality of the prize 
2. The win rate you set on the game

A better quality prize will make guests want to play, but they’ll stop playing if they can’t win. It’s essential to maintain the right balance of the two.

Winners make players! Ultimately, it is important to balance the perceived value of the prize and the win rate for the player; because the more expensive the product the fewer winners there will be and vice versa. A player must deem the prizes as “worth it” for the money and chance of winning.

Product Selection

So, how do you pick prizes that will encourage guests to play, but won’t throw off your cost of goods sold?

Factors to consider when selecting the right prize:
1. You don’t want the prize to get caught on another spindle or in the bottom of the machine.
2. Make sure it’s full, but relative to the machine. The product shouldn’t be getting hung-up on each other. Example: Barber Cut has wide open spaces, so small prizes don’t look good.
3. The size needs to include both the dimensions of the prize & the loop to hang it with.
4. A larger variety of prizes can be used in merchandisers than in cranes. You can more easily incorporate top retail items such as POP! vinyl figures, headphones, or licensed electronics such as iPods.
5. A good rule of thumb is to keep the prize value under $100 so players can win.
6. Different states have different regulations for prize value.

If you want more crane and merchandiser best practice recommendations, as well as information on merchandising your redemption area, check out our Merchandising 101 eCourse!

Cranes vs. Merchandiser product selection
When picking items for your crane, we suggest sticking to one type of item. For example, plush that is all the same size, or balls that are all the same size. For merchandisers, however, you are given more freedom just because of the nature of the game set up.

To attract guests to your merchandiser games, you’ll also want to include varying types of items at different price ranges — don’t forget, this is different than cranes. It’s important to keep in mind what you want the game payout to be when deciding the price range of the prizes.

Our Favorite Merchandiser Kits?

So where do you start? It can be difficult picking out prizes for your merchandiser games. Luckily, we’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you. We have Merchandiser Kits available, which include strategic prize mixes and come ready to hang in your games with an assembled hook already on the prize. Check out some of our newest kits on the block:

320701 | Star Wars® Pop!® Figures 12pcs Hanging Kit

The Daily Dot says this about Funko Pop figures:
“Funko Pop vinyl figures are some of the most popular toys available in the marketplace. You can’t go into a toy store, comic shop, or even a Walgreens without finding them. They’ve become a cultural sensation, stretching across multiple genres and franchises including, Star Wars, Batman, Game of Thrones, Star Trek, Harry Potter, you name it.”

You know including Star Wars product in your redemption program is important. Including this new Star Wars® Pop!® hanging kit in your merchandiser games will also reinforce to your guests that you can offer them trendy prizes that they want to win!

Star Wars’™ toy licensing alone has generated $12 billion in sales. This gives your business the perfect avenue to profit based on popular social movements such as movies. Get your piece of the Star Wars® toy revenue pie!

Our Pop!® merchandiser kits come with a hook, ready to place directly into your merchandiser games.

320565 | Firefly Wireless Portable Speaker 8 pcs Hanging Kit

As our lives continue to be more and more on-the-go, why not bring your tunes with you? These new Firefly Bluetooth® speakers are a perfect non-licensed, yet high-quality prize for your merchandiser games.

A good practice is to theme your crane and merchandiser games so that guests can have more choice in picking their potential prize. These Bluetooth® speakers would work great in a tech or electronics prize theme.

320713 | Transforming Cars Hanging 12 pcs Hanging Kit

Just like Star Wars®, The Transformers™ trend continues to be popular thanks to Hollywood with movies scheduled to be released through 2019. Incorporating non-licensed, movie-themed product in your cranes alongside their licensed counterparts will increase the perceived value of the game without breaking the bank.

Looking to strengthen your crane merchandiser games’ strategy as a whole?

There is a lot that goes into managing these games in your game room. Things like cost of goods sold, payout percentage, win rates, merchandising standards, and the quality of prizes are all factors that need close attention if you want to run a profitable program.

If you think your crane and merchandiser program might be a little out-of-date, we would love to do a game-room audit for you. If you’re looking to incorporate crane and merchandisers into your game room for the first time, we’re here to get you started on the right track. Give either of our Value Architects a call!

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This article is by Tabatha Bender, a Connection Crusader at Redemption Plus.

Insights Empower is a collection of thoughts & insights to inspire, educate and connect the Family Entertainment & Bowling Center industry. From the team at Redemption Plus, est. 2017 🎉

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