About Click Clack Lumberjack
In the past few days there has been a little confusion about a game we USED to distribute. We originally started distributing this in 2011 under the name Tok Tok Woodman. I say distributing and not licensing because we were never given a licensing deal from the designer when we agreed to start distributing nearly 10 years ago now. We were a relatively new company and the game was also quite new and we felt it would be a great partnership. We always wanted a licensing agreement or at least a distribution agreement in some form that might spell out the nature of our relationship, the terms for payments and other details, but that never materialized.
We went more than 8 years just asking for new print runs and paying the stated costs for each reprint. Sometime in the process the designer, Justin Oh turned over the management of the title to Korea Board Games (KBG), a Korean company, who we met with several times each year to consider new games and offer them our games for licensing. We eventually picked up other games from them including Coconuts, Coconuts Duo, Bling Bling Gemstone, H.I.D.E., and Yummy Yummy Pancake. In fact it was just shortly after taking our order for 5,000 copies of Yummy Yummy Pancake in June 2019 that we met with Korea Board Games on the last day of GenCon on August 4, 2019. It was fated to be our last meeting.
Rather than meeting with Jerome or some of the other representatives of KBG we had developed relationships with, we met with a single representative who was new to the company and who didn't seem to know much about our relationship. The meeting was pretty short as no new games were presented and no new business was discussed other than to inform us that as there was no licensing or distribution agreement in place that our relationship with KBG for both Click Clack Lumberjack and Coconuts was over. Of course that was their right to end and we had no recourse since we were never given a contract, but we did ask why it was ending.
We were told it was due to a lack of providing KBG with timely sales report and maybe another reason or two but this new representative wasn't clear on what the details might be. We pointed out that there was no reporting requirement obviously since there was no contract and no expectations beyond buying copies of games as we needed more were ever explained. What really floored us is that we were told that KBG had already decided to sever ties with us back in June but that they wanted to wait until GenCon to tell us so we would take Yummy Yummy Pancake. We left feeling like KBG had sent a new guy to deliver the bad news and that all those contacts we had been dealing with simply didn't wish to attend such a meeting, which of course is understandable. No one likes to deliver bad news.
Post Meeting Follow Up
A couple of weeks after GenCon KBG emailed us back to further clarify things, saying in part:
"Coconuts and Woodman are our best products. We have very special feelings about them. Now, we are looking for a better partner for US market. I think we give you enough opportunity. It is not for money. As I told you once or twice, our company has enough money. We are the partner of all major companies such as Mattel, Spin Master, Asmodee and so on."
Fair enough, we didn't ever have a license to make the game and really we have no recourse since there was never a contract. Case closed. We did email KBG in early April to let them know we had sold out of Coconuts but never heard back from them after that. As far as Mayday is concerned the case was closed and that is the end of the story.
Company Structure Details
One final detail that is salient to this story is that while Mayday was still a part time company before 2011 and even after it was incorporated in early 2011, it was co-owned by Seth Hiatt and his then wife, Paula. The structure of the company continued that way even through Seth and Paula's divorce in 2018 after 24 years of marriage. Paula continued as an owner even after the divorce so while Seth continued to run the day-to-day operations of Mayday, he also opted to start a new company in 2018 where he would begin to focus more of his efforts toward putting new products. This new company is called Imperial Publishing and is 100% owned by Seth. Imperial is now becoming more well known for its card sleeve line (Sleeve Kings) and its first game, Red Outpost, which was released in 2020. Throughout 2019 and most of 2020, Imperial Publishing continued to operate independently of Mayday Games as the owners of the two companies was different. Imperial paid Mayday rent, employees tracked their hours for each company separately and everything was separate due to ownership percentages of the two companies being different.
In late 2020 Seth re-acquired the minority equity in Mayday Games and is now the full owner of both companies. Yes they started out and continue to be separate legal entities with separate tax filings and separate books, but Mayday now considers Imperial Publishing to be a "sister company" since both companies are under the same ownership. This is why the two companies still exist separately, but now often help one another out with newsletter posts and cross-promotional items.
Mayday Games does not have any claim and has never asserted any claim to Click Clack Lumberjack or any of Justin Oh's other games, but Imperial Publishing did begin development on Bamboo Bash back in December 2019. The details of that development and their Kickstarter are more appropriately handled at their blog HERE.
Anyone who claims "Mayday Games" is doing a remake of Click Clack Lumberjack is just incorrect, the development of Bamboo Bash has always been totally separate from Mayday Games and that detail was very real during the majority of the time the development was underway.