Somewhere, perhaps in the cinnamon-scented comfort of your favorite neighborhood cafe, or maybe beneath an evergreen canopy of leaves in a nearby park, two people are sitting down to a game of chess. This is really where the story of Wood Expressions begins, with people and the games that bring them together. Also, spoiler: there’s some Hennessy involved.
To get to know Wood Expressions, you have to first get to know the eclectic array of games the company has been manufacturing, importing, and distributing for over 41 years. These games are as ancient and modern as tastes demand, and as varied in their origins as the people who play them.
Take, for instance, their game of Backgammon, a two-player strategy game that has a 5,000-year-old history. Archaeologists have spotted people depicted playing Backgammon on ancient frescos, while the game is still played in coffeehouses in the Middle East. With their quality Backgammon games, Wood Expressions offers not only a modern recreation of a classic game of wits but a time machine to ancient Mesopotamia and the earliest known recordings of human history.
Not feeling Earth 5,000 years ago? How about a 1940s-inspired game that challenges players to shoot the moon (that’s the metal ball) across the Milky Way and drop it in the orbit of an unsuspecting planet (that’s the holes).
As you might guess, Wood Expressions’ end-players run the gamut from museum curators to retro sci-fi enthusiasts. The company even creates custom pieces based on certain historical periods, which make their way to schools and universities and are used as learning tools.
As the virtuoso must know the theme before concocting a variation, so goes the construction of certain themed games, like the following chess set with thoughtful pieces inspired by ancient Egypt.
On top of that, there’s always a desire to provide games across cultures. A great example is the company’s superior Go set, built for players of the game that has brought joy and strategic challenge to China for over 2,000 years.
A respect for cultural diversity is reflected not only in the company’s diverse staff but in the many countries that make Wood Expressions a success. Germany, China, Taiwan, and India, to name a few, all participate in this multicultural effort to create these fine games for all people and all ages.
And when Wood Expressions states they work for “all people”, they hold nothing back. As wonderful as it is that they provide games that appeal to billions of people, their company also encourages a high level of individuality through offerings in laser engraving and color printing. At the end of the day, they can customize almost everything.
In fact, customization is one of the reasons that Wood Expressions entered the promotional products industry. After creating a custom piece for Hennessy, arguably the most popular Cognac in the world, that company suggested that Wood Expressions look into the promotional products industry. The impact has been humongous, with promotional products now accounting for 10% of the company’s annual sales.
It turns out that the only thing people love more than board games is customized board games! This is never more apparent than when you consider one of Wood Expressions’ most popular promotional products, a challenging ode to creation and destruction: The Tower That Tumbles.
The Tower That Tumbles game can feature branding on everything from the box to the individual pieces. Once, for Dell, Wood Expressions printed an individual computer component on every single piece, so that players could see all of the details that go into making a computer.
The company’s attention to detail extends to areas such as social responsibility and community involvement as well. All aesthetically damaged products are donated to schools. They also donate chess sets to teachers and students for use in classrooms.
The warehouse adheres to energy efficiency standards, and the high-quality woods are sourced responsibly. Wherever they can, they do their best to have a positive impact socially and environmentally.
The culture, the history, the superior products, there are many reasons that Wood Expressions has been successful. Ron Reyes, the CEO of Wood Expressions also has his own idea of what drives the company.
“We are service oriented and quality minded,” Mr. Reyes says. “When we tell our customers that we will make something happen, we do it. We have a ‘no box left behind’ policy. Every order that is supposed to ship, ships. No matter what.”
So, what is the one game that Ron would take with him if he were stranded on an island with a friend?
“Chess! It’s the most popular board game in the world and there are numerous calculations and possibilities,” he says.
If Ron Reyes loves the concept of multiple possibilities, he’s definitely chosen the right job. From the imagination of ancient Egyptians to the Vegas poker table; for people who relax with a game of backgammon and/or compete professionally in chess, it seems that there are nearly endless possibilities when it comes to the board games created at Wood Expressions.
Interested in more Wood Expressions games? Just search for Wood Expressions, SAGE #68860, under the “Specific Suppliers” option in the product search area of SAGE Online, SAGE Web, and SAGE Mobile.