I’m a hipster. Not even going to bother denying it. Despite never owning a record player before in my life, I was almost immediately swept up in the current vinyl craze and began my own collection of movie soundtracks to very carefully mount on my apartment walls. And then when a friend of mine introduced me to the complexity of the German-influenced tabletop games, I drank that Kool-aid too, attending a weekly board game night in New York City and exposing myself to the breadth of the industry. Until now, the only reason I haven’t gotten broke is because I treated it as an either-or scenario. Money spent on movie paraphernalia was money I couldn’t spend on a fun new board game, and vice-versa.

But now that my favorite vinyl company has gotten into the board game business, well, I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to do. In a new press release, movie poster giant Mondo announced that it had partnered with USAopoly subsidiary Project Raygun to release a board game adaptation of John Carpenter’s The Thing titled Outbreak at Outpost 31. According to the press release, the tension and mystery of The Thing is recreated as players race to discover who among them are infected in the hidden identity game play engine.” For the art, the company has commissioned past Mondo poster artist Justin Erickson. I’ve included a few examples of his work below:

Now if you’re one of those people who thinks that board games are still no more complicated than Monopoly and Stratego, think again. Back in 2015, FiveThirtyEight noted that the increasing popularity of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter had led to a renewed popularity of board games. This was supported by a 2016 study by online publication ICv2 that suggested the hobby game market grossed nearly $1.2 billion dollars  —  that’s billions with a ‘b’  —  in 2015. And as board games grow, the established players have been able to snap up exclusive rights to film and television properties. Fantasy Flight Games, for example, has done wonders with its line of Star Wars tabletop games.

There’s a nice bit of synergy in Mondo jumping into the board game market as well. It wasn’t that long ago that Mondo was in on the forefront of the revitalized vinyl market, and much like in that industry, Mondo’s access to world-class artists and appreciation for analog pop culture makes them the perfect home for a new video game vertical. If Mondo is able to push USOpoly beyond their standard practice of tweaking pre-existing games to accommodate a new creative license, it’s possible that Mondo could lay claim to the vast cross-section of film fans who like their movies to be seen in theaters and their games to be played on a table with a beer in hand. As always, it’s a very exciting time to be a movie nerd.

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