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Skyfox: A Gamer's Paradise

Skyfoxgames.com 86 William Street East, Oshawa. 905-720-3377

Walk through the front door at Skyfox Games in downtown Oshawa and you are faced with a wall of plushies, dozens of colourful mushroom characters, a single bright yellow Sailor Moon with eyes that follow you wherever you go, and a plethora of Angry Birds and pigs.

The store looks small at first, but the further you walk in the more there is to discover, like its own world with hidden passage ways to even more magical places. At the first entrance, turning one way brings you into a world of miniature table top games, accessories for game decoration, various reading material, and a section of the wall full of Magic: The Gathering cards.

Heading straight instead you will find yourself in a small room filled with a few playing tables, a stock of board games on the back wall and even more miscellaneous magical items behind the counter. If that isn’t enough, a door at the end of the room opens up to reveal even more playing tables for when the store holds its own tournaments.

The gaming store, established in 1985 by Marvin Paguiriga and his wife Alice, Skyfox Games was first opened in the basement of Laser Quest. “We had a little 15 foot by 30 foot space right at the very front where we could jam in tables and a couple of show tables,” said Vanessa Ogden, a retail employee. 

They moved to their current location at the corner of William and Mary street in the late 1990s.  It started out as a very small space and as the stock kept expanding, renovations were made to widen the space to incorporate all that was needed.

In many stores people are hired based on retail experience and are trained on the products, but Skyfox chooses to do it the other way around. “We have staff here who know what they are talking about,” said Ogden. “We want our staff to be familiar with the products that we sell. Then teach them how to sell it.”

“Our strongest point is our customer service, our ability to help people understand what it is that we do,” said Ogden.

Some people come into the store interested in a certain game and not know how to play it. The staff at Skyfox games will run demonstrations of the games they have in stock and give the customer a chance to try it out and learn all the guidelines that accompany it before purchasing it.

In most stores, once a type of game goes out of style it goes on sale or leaves the store and never returns. With Skyfox games the procedure is completely different. For the most part they keep everything because even though products might go out of print, or a company might stop selling a certain product people still come in looking for 10- or 15-year-old games.

Ogden explains that if someone wants to purchase a certain game that isn’t in stock, it is likely that someone else out there might want to buy the same game. So they order in a few to keep in the shelves as well because they will eventually sell.

“We’ve been forced to grow simply because our stock never decreases,” says Ogden.

They sell a variety of different games: miniature table top games, role playing games, trading card games and board games that are both difficult and simple.

“The bread and butter of our store is what is known as a trading card game,” he says. The most well-known of trading card games is Magic: The Gathering, but there are many other trading card games, such as ones based on games or TV shows.

Keenan Dutt, a Magic: The Gathering player said, “it really allows people with the same interests to meet up and play together and socialize and have an all-around good time with each other.”

It’s a very social atmosphere, explained Ogden, “as opposed to video games where you just play against a computer, you actually have to have an opponent to play against.”
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