Cockroaches! Time to call the exterminator? No - time for a cockroach duel. At Schmidt Spiele, Désirée Nick and Menderes Bagci fight a cockroach duel in a cockroach costume. Presenter Jürgen Groh talks to Axel Kaldenhoven about the idea behind the animal board game.
Jürgen Groh: Greetings, Mr. Kaldenhoven! Today I'm watching Schmidt games with cockroaches! That's actually a disgusting topic. Especially on vacation, why? Axel Kaldenhoven: Well, cockroaches, on the one hand they're disgusting, but on the other hand when you look at them, they're also appealing. Jürgen Groh: Maybe at second glance! Axel Kaldenhoven: At second glance, well, maybe they taste accordingly. There are some stories that even eat them. They're supposed to be packed with vitamins. We are trying to bring vitamins into the gaming industry with the game. We've brought out a few card games under the Drei Magier brand, Kakerlakensalat, Kakerlakenpoker and now we're coming out with our first board game called Kakerlaken Duell, which is all about strategic moves.
Jürgen Groh: So the cockroaches are actually well received? Axel Kaldenhoven: Yes, cockroaches are well received, absolutely. Not only with us, because we successfully sell the products. There's something appealing about this topic and it's not disgusting, it's appealing. Jürgen Groh: Which age groups do you appeal to with these board games? Axel Kaldenhoven: Well, in the cockroach series, we are targeting families a little bit, but we are talking to children as young as 6 years old. They can play with their parents, but also with like-minded people. That's why we tend to go into the family area. Jürgen Groh: I had a look around the press forum here. There are an incredible number of apps on display - interactions with the digital world. Are you also active in this area or do you say that you prefer to stick to classic board games? Axel Kaldenhoven: We are also active in that area, but not under the Schmidt or Drei Magier brand. We have a sister company called KIDDINX Media. We market apps under this brand, we market Mensch ärgere dich nicht apps, Kniffel apps, we create our own apps there with our own characters, such as Benjamin Blümchen or Bibi Blocksberg.
For us, the topic of apps and the connection with electronics is very important, but we personally believe that an app only works if it has an added value, as we like to call it. If it's simply a supplement to the game, which you can also solve yourself using cards or a board game, then it doesn't actually bring this added value. We are currently working on a technology to develop the added value of an app in conjunction with a board game. When this is ready for series production, we will present it here at the Spielwarenmesse. Jürgen Groh: But now I'd like to know how the cockroach game works here! Axel Kaldenhoven: Okay, let's take a look over their shoulders. It's basically about two people trying to fight each other in a duel. There, Menderes disguised as a cockroach, covers up various pieces in a certain way and you have to try to get as close as possible to him using a move mechanism of the opponent. Jürgen Groh: So it's a kind of Halma or checkers, only a bit more complex I think, isn't it? Axel Kaldenhoven: Absolutely. With fewer pieces, a bit more strategic and a bit more covert and therefore basically the two-person game where you try to corner the other person. Jürgen Groh: Can you play for money? Axel Kaldenhoven: You can play any game for money, but it's more about having fun with the cockroaches. Maybe you also play for the fact that the person who loses has to eat a cockroach. Jürgen Groh: I think they're also playing for cockroaches, aren't they? Axel Kaldenhoven: Well, we served up a little something. There's something cockroachy, something deep-fried and something pickled in salt. It wouldn't be my taste, but I think whoever enjoys it should go for it. Jürgen Groh: What can we expect for a board game in the future? Where is the journey going?
Axel Kaldenhoven: We have a wide range of classic games. As you know, our mother game is Mensch ärgere dich nicht and Kniffel. We celebrated the centenary of Mensch ärgere dich nicht two years ago. Jürgen Groh: Amazing. Axel Kaldenhoven: So one game, an absolute classic, we still sell in great numbers. And you might think that every German has a Mensch ärgere dich nicht at home, but we still sell Mensch ärgere dich nicht in the high 6-digit range every year. That's one area, but the other area... Jürgen Groh: Is there also an app for it? Axel Kaldenhoven: Yes, there's also an app for it, a very successful app. You can use it to play multiplayer functions, have a look. On the other hand, we naturally develop new products every year. We come out with new games for children, we come out with new games for adults and we have a wide range of puzzles for children and adults. You may have already noticed that we have Sorgenfresser in our range, the ones with the zipper mouth. This is a very successful line that we have brought out. So successful that we are launching a TV series this fall. Twenty-six 11-minute films are coming out.
Jürgen Groh: Where can you see that? Axel Kaldenhoven: We are currently still in negotiations with 2 major TV stations. The decision will be made in the next few weeks. We will also be on air from the fall and you can already watch the first 5 minutes at our stand. These are big tasks. On the other hand - as I've just mentioned - we are the Group's rights holder for Benjamin Blümchen, Bibi Blocksberg and Bibi & Tina. Absolute classics. Bibi & Tina has a huge fan base thanks to the movie, of course, or the fourth movie that's coming out now. A new game is being released alongside the movie. There's also the witch's broom and, and, and. Across the board in the gaming world. Jürgen Groh: All of them still mean something to me too! Axel Kaldenhoven: Tells you something too, yes, wonderful. Jürgen Groh: Now I have one more question. We're expecting a star guest, what can we expect? Axel Kaldenhoven: Well, the star guest - as is the case with stars - they come a little later, so that's a bit of a buzz. We already have one star here, but unfortunately the second star guest was a little late. I'll let you in on the secret - even a star is not necessarily spared from environmental influences, but Desirée Nick is coming soon. Also in a cockroach costume and she'll be competing against a jungle king. Both will then play a game of cockroach duel. Jürgen Groh: I'm looking forward to that. Nice fair! Axel Kaldenhoven: Thank you very much, I wish you the same. All the best.