Game shops bring something magical to the crowds

By Eric Norwood Jr.
CNJ STAFF WRITER
enorwood@pntonline.com

It is often said that you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure. However, the owners of Card Crazy and TG’s Hobby Shop in downtown Clovis are thriving doing just that.

Both shops specialize in selling popular fantasy-based card games such as Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh, and others. However, the biggest draw for both businesses is the card game Magic: The Gathering. The object of the game is to collect trading cards of wizards with different powers, and “battle” opponents with their respective decks. The game has been around since the early 1990s, and now has a thriving secondary market and a sanctioned professional league.

Courtesy photo It isn’t uncommon to see 30 or more people inside of Card Crazy past midnight on the weekends playing the card game Magic: The Gathering. TG’s Hobby Shop pulls in about the same amount of customers on the weekends as well.

Courtesy photo
It isn’t uncommon to see 30 or more people inside of Card Crazy past midnight on the weekends playing the card game Magic: The Gathering. TG’s Hobby Shop pulls in about the same amount of customers on the weekends as well.

“Magic is our most popular game by far,” said Jorden McEldowney, owner of TG’s Hobby Shop.

Magic: The Gathering and other games like it have locals gathering for hours at these two locations, which are friendly rivals. Located just blocks from each other on Main Street, both businesses are popular with local Magic players.

“Some of our tournaments last past midnight,” said Card Crazy co-owner Eric DeLeon.

Tournaments with the opportunity to win prizes are popular at both stores, which is part of what draws people in. $5 is the price to enter most tournaments at both shops.

What makes Card Crazy and TG’s Hobby Shop businesses unique is that the owners and customers share a hobby that continually bring them together. These usually evolve into friendships.

“A lot of us will travel to tournaments in Dallas or Amarillo together,” said McEldowney, who said he sees most of his business from more experienced players and military Magic enthusiasts.

“People love these games, and they can come here and play with multiple other people of different skill levels, and they can get better too,” said A.J. Tyler, co-owner of Card Crazy.

Card Crazy, owned by a trio of 20-somethings, draws a much younger crowd.

“Sometimes, it doesn’t even feel like I’m working because all of my friends come by and play with us,” said Card Crazy co-owner Ryan Hudson.

McEldowney remembers being a fan of Magic: The Gathering as a child, and having only his brother to play against. Now he has his own place to play and work.

“I discovered they had stores like this, and I made 20 new friends. I didn’t have to play with my brother anymore. This place is for those people,” said McEldowney.