|Fantasy Flight Retailer Spotlight | Published 15 September 2011|
Our Fantasy Flight Retailer Spotlight features stores across the world that reach out to their customers in unique ways. Last week we introduced you to a New York-based retailer. Today, we’re pleased to spotlight The Sentry Box, a Calgary game and book store. Let’s hear from Mr. Lester Crow!
The Sentry Box
Address: 1835 - 10th Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3C 0K2
e-mail: [email protected]
Also follow The Sentry Box on Twitter @thesentrybox
Hours of Operation: Saturday: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Sunday to Thursdays: 11:00 AM - 6:00 PM, Friday: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Opening Doors to New Worlds
Since opening its doors on January 1st, 1980, the Sentry Box has been a Mecca for tabletop gamers of all varieties in and around the Calgary, Alberta region. As Canada’s (if not the world’s) largest independent games retailer, the Sentry Box strives every day to provide a clean, safe, and fun environment at which its patrons can meet up, play, and search for games old and new. At over 13,000 sq. feet the Sentry Box is a gamer’s paradise – one that offers games from all ranges, for all ages and, and from many different decades. The over 70,000 different items carried attest to the fact that this place has it all; and if they don’t they will do their best to procure it for their patrons.
One of The Sentry Box’s most appealing qualities, apart from the sheer selection of goodies, is the massive 2,000 sq. foot gaming area that is provided for players. This space is definitely required due to the large numbers of events held inside this wonderful world of gaming. Events range from Card Game Tournaments and full RPG sessions, to miniature battles gaming and in-depth painting clinics. Last fall they even had a feature movie use the location for seven scenes, and just before Christmas there was a wedding and reception held in the gaming area during store hours!
Gaming takes place during hours of operation, but there is also a large room for gaming sessions to run after hours... making the Sentry Box a must for the many gamers who live in the cramped city quarters and just don’t have any other space to play. Its staff strives to provide whatever help they can to the community at large and have even started running card games at one of Calgary’s downtown bars, which helps spread the word and create a much larger gaming community in Calgary. The demo library is extensive, and includes such games as Age of Conan, Settlers of Catan, Tannhäuser, and the ever popular Munchkin. With over 200 games for rent by the week, gamers can be guaranteed to find a title that suits their groups’ interests. These are also available for in-store play at no charge.
And in the Wings…
With a space so massive and products so varied it’s a good thing that the staff are all helpful and knowledgeable. It’s quite easy to find one’s self lost in the maze of miniatures, board games, and roleplaying games. Everything from children’s games to historical wargames can be found within, and the Sentry Box even has an entire wing dedicated to Historical gaming! This makes the Sentry Box one of the only non-specialized games retailers to provide such a massive selection of historically based products. That, coupled with the fact that shoppers can also find a fully stocked bookstore that carries all manner of books related to Fantasy and Science Fiction, truly marks the Sentry Box as unique. The book store is dedicated to providing information and seminars on writing and reading within the genre and even holds contests and workshops to help promote writing as a creative outlet.
Few places offer the myriad experiences that the Sentry Box does, and it is always certain that you can find somebody with similar interests lurking somewhere within the belly of this beast. A full section of the store is dedicated to collectable card games such as Magic: The Gathering; and, to a lesser extent Yu-Gi-Oh!, Legend of the Five Rings, and World of Warcraft, amongst others, and is one of the stores biggest draws. The sheer amount of people who frequent this store mark it as a must on the stop and shop list of any gamer who happens to be in Calgary.
The Sentry Box offers a full range of Fantasy Flight Games products and has a section dedicated to FFG’s fantastic products. However it wouldn’t be quite as easy to tell this if they didn’t have an FFG Media Center, due to the gigantic size of the store and the massive quantity of products on the shelves. There are talks of getting organized LCG play established and many are looking forward to the opportunity to play the vast quantity of new products that flood the store every couple weeks.
The Sentry Box has been integral in the maintaining of a healthy gaming scene in Calgary and is the city’s longest running store dedicated to the now seemingly obscure hobby of table top gaming. If it were not for the friendly folks down at the Sentry Box, Calgary’s gaming community would would be poorer for it. Fortunately, sales are booming and more and more people are finding this great store. Do yourself a favor when next you come to Calgary and stop in at the Sentry Box; you will not be disappointed!
If you are a retailer who is interested in participating in our Retailer Spotlight and having your store featured or if you are interested in more information, please contact [email protected].
I have been lucky enough to visit many gaming stores around the world and this place is #1 on my list.
Wow! This looks like an amazing place!
Wow, what an amazing looking shop!
I've seen and shopped dozens of game stores but Sentry Box has no peer. Simply amazing. Every time I visit Calgary it's on my 'must go to" list.
I've been shopping here since the early 90's and spent a few paychecks on Magic: The Gathering, D&D, Board Games and Miniatures.
Having been all over Canada, I can say that there isn't a gaming store with a larger selection, knowledgable staff, large gaming area and competitive prices in Canada.
Always shopping there and pretty much can get everything I could ever want, considering their manager goes to Essen every year to bring back the latest games.
Keep it up and I hope for many more years of gaming!
It's great to see the Sentry Box getting the credit it deserves. I've been running games at this store and the location before it for 20 years now. Mostly Tabletop games like 40K, Warhammer and most GW products as well as many board games. The gaming area is fantastic with plenty of tables and an after hours room as well. The open gaming nights on Tuesday and Wednesday are excellent for meeting new people and trying out the latest games as well as prototypes. Maybe I'll see some of you there on a Saturday.
We went to Calgary about 6 years back for a wedding of some friends of my wife and, of course, I needed to check out the local gaming scene. I found the Sentry Box and thought I'd died and gone to gaming heaven. The place is just simply amazing. I keep hoping for an excuse to return to Calgary just to get back to the Sentry Box!
I wish there was such store in my city...
That is a Cool store!!!! If I would ever "win" some money.., I would have a store like that one!! AWESOME!!!!
One too many "ands" in there :)
Thanks for Posting my Article. This place Rocks!