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Subject: Game stores in Amsterdam rss

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Elle Ell
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Any recommendations for board game stores in Amsterdam? I will be flying through from Sept 20-24th and I'd like to pick up some international editions of games that I haven't been able to find in the US.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Zaandam
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The Gamekeeper and Schaak en Go 'Het Paard' are your best bets. There are a few more stores scattered around the city (American Book Center, Scheltema although I'm not sure about this one as I haven't been here in an eternity and it has survived an insolvency in the meantime, and Sport en Spel) but their offerings are limited. The ABC does tend to offer more US releases though... at a price, of course.

If you are able to travel around for a bit, there are stores in Haarlem (Spellenhuis), Hoofddorp (Walhalla) and Hoorn (Spellenhoorn) you could visit as well. Haarlem and Hoorn are nice cities for a stroll, too.

Enjoy your stay.
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Peter dR
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Walhalla does not exist anymore.
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Ruud
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Living in Amsterdam, I am not sure if any one gamestore is 'worthy' of a recommendation. To be frank, I use an online retailer for my gaming purchases.

The Gamekeeper only has mainstream games (FFG/Z-man etc) and those at a hefty price tag. Schaak en Go 'het Paard' specialises mostly in chess and go, and has a very inconsistent/patchy offering of boardgames. Some GMT, but I guess that's not so rare if you're from the US.

Do you have specific games you are looking for? Maybe Utrecht (which has several gaming stores and is close by 25-30 minutes by train) is an option?
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Maarten D. de Jong
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I find Schaak & Go to be more interesting than The Gamekeeper, to be honest. It all depends on one's interests, really.

I thought something was up with Walhalla because its website was gone. Oh well.
 
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Teeka
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Yeah, I used to frequent the Gamekeeper before online stores were a standard thing, but I never go there anymore. Just not worth it in terms of price and collection.
What I remember is that it would often be full of screaming 14 year old MTG kids too, and a shopkeeper who could be in a very bad mood sometimes (think Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons). No idea if that's still true though.

Schaak en Go/Het Paard can have a rare game in stock from time to time, but that's no sure bet at all. I tend to pop in every now and then and come away with something good maybe once or twice a year.

If there is a possibility for you to visit Utrecht, I would recommend The Joker way more. A good collection and a shopkeeper who's a real enthusiast.
Though IIRC (haven't been in quite a while) they don't carry the biggest Dutch publisher/translator 999Games, so if that's what you mean by international editions you actually should go to the Gamekeeper instead.

But that all said, you don't happen to have friend living here? If so, you might be better off buying from an online store, having it delivered to your friend and picking it up there.

Good luck, and enjoy our beautiful country!
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Frankly, if Utrecht is a possibility, then my advice would be Neverneverland (located 200 m away) before The Joker. The latter I find rather pretentious. You may find something unusual there in the 2nd hand cabinets, and truth be told it was the only store where I ever found a copy of Antiquity (not knowing what it was I didn't buy it, stupid me), but if you're after the regular stuff then Neverneverland is the better choice.

Utrecht is also a nice city for a nice stroll, and it's only half an hour away by train from Amsterdam. In short: there's plenty of opportunity to visit brick & mortar stores.
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Wolf
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Another vote for Utrecht. 5 years ago, there were 3 friendly good game stores within 50m of each other. All better than those in Amsterdam, specialised in European, American and LARP.
Also, a Comic Book Store right across the canal.
 
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The Doctor
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If Utrecht is an option, then I'd recommend Subcultures above all others.

The Joker is perfect for second hand games and a talk about why 999games is not their favorite, and the occasional rare find. Neverneverland is great for mainstream titles (for example from 999games which The Joker refuses to carry) in the way you'd go to a large chain of shops for your regular fixes, but Subcultures is a real treasure cove. It has a wide range of games, from Euro to Ameritrash, and even miniatures. And together with it's Roleplay & LARP shop across the water (Lost&Found) it's just great.

The interior of the shop is amazing, with all kinds of cupboards hammered to the wall, hidden areas above and behind the shelving, games everywhere! Stained glass depicting something that seems to be from Mice&Mystics (but isn't). It's a little bit like Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, for boardgames. And with an owner that loves to add story and drama to your shopping and gaming experience.

If you visit Utrecht, this shop should be on anyone's list of places to visit, and if you love boardgames and are in Utrecht, you should be executed instantly if you don't visit this one ;)
 
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Elle Ell
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Looks like I will be making a quick trip to Utrecht.
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Teeka
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Teeka wrote:
a real enthusiast.
cymric wrote:
rather pretentious.
In this hobby, I guess sometimes there's just a thin line between the two.
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Teeka wrote:
In this hobby, I guess sometimes there's just a thin line between the two.
The two are not mutually exclusive.
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Morten K
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cymric wrote:
I find Schaak & Go to be more interesting than The Gamekeeper, to be honest. It all depends on one's interests, really.
Same here when I visited them in January. I found a lone copy of TAMSK still in shrink at Schaak Go which I think was pretty cool. A place where you might find something unexpected.
 
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Sjoerd Sindram
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I'd argue Schaak & Go isn't that great either: I tried discussing some board games with the owner, who said she in reality never plays any board games (all she said she does is play bridge (the card game). No opinions, no recommendations based on any play, and no experience about the actual board games. Can't fully comprehend why someone would own a store, yet know so little about their own merchandise shake
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Ruud
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swizard wrote:
I'd argue Schaak & Go isn't that great either: I tried discussing some board games with the owner, who said she in reality never plays any board games (all she said she does is play bridge (the card game). No opinions, no recommendations based on any play, and no experience about the actual board games. Can't fully comprehend why someone would own a store, yet know so little about their own merchandise shake
Like the name implies, Schaak & Go is (mainly) Chess and Go store.. Boardgames are an aside.
 
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Teeka
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Ruud2009 wrote:
swizard wrote:
I'd argue Schaak & Go isn't that great either: I tried discussing some board games with the owner, who said she in reality never plays any board games (all she said she does is play bridge (the card game). No opinions, no recommendations based on any play, and no experience about the actual board games. Can't fully comprehend why someone would own a store, yet know so little about their own merchandise shake
Like the name implies, Schaak & Go is (mainly) Chess and Go store.. Boardgames are an aside.
Well, when I first went there, it was to buy a Chess computer for my dad. She had no recommendations or information on that either. whistle
Luckily there was this teenager at work there too, who did know some useful stuff.
 
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Sjoerd Sindram
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Yea, it's very easy to defend her as 'its a chess and go store'. Like Teeka said, they hardly know anything about that too. Seriously, their knowledge is shamefully limited on almost everything they sell.
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Ruud
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My experiences there are a little different. Maybe I talked to a different staff-member than the owner? In any case, the owner did seem disinterested. Like I said a little higher up in the thread, I don't feel that any store in Amsterdam is worthwhile.
 
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Maarten D. de Jong
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Ruud2009 wrote:
... I don't feel that any store in Amsterdam is worthwhile.
But if you are there, they sure as heck beat Bart Smit, or V&D (or what's left of it), or the American Book Center, or Scheltema (or what's left of that).

(I haven't been to that sports & games-store on the Ceintuurbaan in ages... how that nowadays?)
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Teeka
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cymric wrote:
But if you are there, they sure as heck beat Bart Smit
Almost everything does. I have no idea how that chain stays in business, let alone have that many stores across the country. They always seem to be that 5-10% more expensive than another store that sells the same toy/game.

cymric wrote:
or the American Book Center
Yup. Which is a shame. I used to be able to get some nice rare games there.

cymric wrote:
(I haven't been to that sports & games-store on the Ceintuurbaan in ages... how that nowadays?)
Judging just from the store window (I pass by it on the tram to work): Catan, Monopoly, Stratego, darts, and cheap skateboards.
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Sjoerd Sindram
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cymric wrote:
I haven't been to that sports & games-store on the Ceintuurbaan in ages... how that nowadays?
Very limited. They too, seemed very uninterested in their own stock. The 2 employees I talked to seemed to be only about sports. Made me wonder why they carry the board games in the first place.
 
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Spencer C
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Teeka wrote:
Judging just from the store window (I pass by it on the tram to work): Catan, Monopoly, Stratego, darts, and cheap skateboards.
This is more or less exactly spot-on. (Was in there recently)
 
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Teeka
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UanarchyK wrote:
Teeka wrote:
Judging just from the store window (I pass by it on the tram to work): Catan, Monopoly, Stratego, darts, and cheap skateboards.
This is more or less exactly spot-on. (Was in there recently)
Heh. Well then, my daily non-desire to get off the tram and check the store out was justified I guess. Shame, it's quite a good location.

swizard wrote:
They too, seemed very uninterested in their own stock. The 2 employees I talked to seemed to be only about sports. Made me wonder why they carry the board games in the first place.
I have no idea why people run /work in a store like that. If what you're selling is not every-day stuff (like toilet paper or whatever), you should always know what your product is and want to try and make a sell, right?
 
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Maokai
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Hi everyone!

I'm going to visit Amsterdam in a couple of days, and because I don't have enough time to reach Utrecht, I'm looking for stores somewhere around Dam square.

Is The Gamekeeper and Schaak en Go 'Het Paard' still exists? any new stores perhaps (as this topic is quite old?). They don't have board-games where I'm coming from and shipping is pretty expensive, so I might be able to find something even if it is slightly more expensive than online stores.

EDIT: I'm not counting online stores at the moment, as I'm arriving to Amsterdam tomorrow, and I doubt anything will reach in time to the hotel before I live (Monday's evening).
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Ruud
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Hi Maokai,

The Gamekeeper and Schaak and Go 'Het paard' do still exist.
The Gamekeeper can be very expensive though.

A bit out of the center (but easily reachable by tram/metro from Central station (Dam square is close) is the new store Friends & Foes. Friends and Foes is located at the "Van Woustraat 202" (https://goo.gl/maps/N89sFQmF7DD2).

In my opinion, it's easily the best gamestore in Amsterdam. Very good prices and a large assortment of english hobby games (GameSalute, Z-man, FFG etc).
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