|Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles|
|22 Main St. S. 2nd Floor|
Brampton, ON L6W2C3
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Daniel Connell has played the Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME (TCG) since the Metal Raiders booster set was released in 2002. He’s a long-time fan of the Yu-Gi-Oh! brand and enjoyed trading Yu-Gi-Oh! cards throughout the years. He competed in Regional and Yu-Gi-Oh! Championship Series (YCS) events and used to plan his vacations around attending them. Now, Daniel has transformed his hobby into his livelihood and is the proud owner of Canada’s Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles in Brampton, Ontario – our Featured Official Tournament Store (OTS) of the quarter!
Daniel started his business off small with a 1-year lease in September of 2019. Business started off slow, but over time, Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles exploded in popularity. While the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of many businesses in 2020, Daniel pivoted to a tremendously successful online business model. “People were home looking for the things they love, and looking for stores to support,” he said. Sales skyrocketed, and Daniel said he emerged from the shutdown stronger than when he went into it.
After Daniel’s 1-year lease expired, he moved into a location that was more than double the size of his original store. His landlord was skeptical of Daniel’s plan to transform the 3,800 square foot space, formerly an old bar on the second floor of the building, into a family-friendly game store, but Daniel succeeded in carrying out the transformation – in a single month, no less. Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles quickly became a popular place for Duelists to play in Brampton, Ontario. It was so popular, in fact, that Daniel was forced to keep adding tournaments to the store’s schedule in order to keep up with demand. “We started with Yu-Gi-Oh! on Mondays, and the players wanted more. We added Saturdays, and they wanted more. We added a Time Wizard format tournament on Sundays, and they wanted more. Then we added another Time Wizard format tournament on Wednesdays,” Daniel said.
Daniel’s store supports casual and competitive players alike. “No matter your skill level, Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles provides space to spread your wings and soar,” he said. Daniel is starting a “Duelist Academy” program that lets new players compete for free and experiment with different Summoning mechanics so that they have a safe environment in which to learn them. Daniel also plans to expand his appeal to the competitive player base by sponsoring players and hosting larger tournaments with booster boxes or high-end single cards as prizes.
“I think the number one factor of our success is the fact that we have open communication among me, the staff, and the players. Whenever the players or staff have an issue or suggestion, the fact that they can interact with me drives great success within the store.”
– Daniel Connell, owner
Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles has been growing at a rapid pace. Daniel attributes much of his store’s growth to his attendance at live conventions. Daniel has a vendor booth and participates at these conventions to reach a large number of potential customers that he would otherwise be unable to meet. In addition, Daniel advertises his store aggressively and holds in-store promotions designed to bring new customers into the store. For example, he recently held “Bring a Friend Night,” which was a promotion in which a Duelist could bring a friend into the store for a tournament, and then the friend would be able to enter the tournament for free. Daniel also relies on word of mouth and the good reputation of Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles to help his store grow. “Word of mouth is huge in the Yu-Gi-Oh! community,” he explained. “Our Greater Toronto community all meets at the same Regionals. Word travels quickly in the community.”
Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles started off small but has continued to grow since its inception. He attributes his store’s success to one main thing: Strong communication. When asked what piece of advice he would give to other OTS owners, he responded: “Communication, communication, communication. I think the number one factor of our success is the fact that we have open communication among me, the staff, and the players. Whenever the players or staff have an issue or suggestion, the fact that they can interact with me drives great success within the store.” Daniel believes that transparency is a good thing, and that his store thrives because of it.
Daniel Connell started his business in a small store, and it has been growing ever since. The size of its Yu-Gi-Oh! TRADING CARD GAME community has exploded, and Daniel plans to expand it even more. “This is just the beginning,” he said. For all of these reasons, we are proud to name Dragon World – Cards Games and Collectibles as the Featured OTS of the quarter!