Fishers business booms during Gen Con

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- Starting Thursday, more than 60,000 fantasy-gaming enthusiasts will converge on the Indiana Convention Center. Gen Con is back in town for the 15th year in a row. Now, one local business owner is turning his passion for gaming into a booming business at the gaming convention.

Tom Anders is from Fishers and opened his business, Impact Miniatures, thirteen years ago. For the past eleven years, he’s been selling his products at conventions, including Gen Con, along with an online store. He designs and manufactures specialty role-playing game dice and miniature board game figurines.

“My company makes about a quarter of a million dollars in sales every year,” said Anders, who credits his success with booming interest in role-playing board games.  Anders said Gen Con is by far the biggest of the five conventions he sells at every year.

“In four days, I should sell as much as much as I would in one to two months of my online store,” said Anders.

The self-starter, with a degree from Valparaiso University and a background in computers, designs each die and figurine himself at his home in Fishers. He then outsources the designs to a company in St. Louis where they are mass-produced.

For a sense of just how popular the market for those items is, all you have to do is head downtown this weekend. There you’ll find more than sixty-thousand gamers, all sharing love for a kind of pastime Anders said a lot of people may have forgotten.

“Video games are great but you don’t tend to interact with each other,” said Anders, “whereas with the boards and cards and role playing games, that, at its core, is that old school human interaction.”