By Cody Willoughby
ST. PARIS — If you love board games and singing karaoke, St. Paris resident David Konicki hopes to entice you with a brand new board game called “Grab the Mike.”
Marketed as “the world’s greatest karaoke-style board game,” “Grab the Mike” tests its players on musical knowledge and reaction time, requiring players to be the first to pick up the prop microphone and sing a few lyrics of each new track. Points are distributed based on the accuracy of each player’s performance.
Songs in the game are played through any streamable music app, such as Pandora or Spotify.
According to Konicki, a Miami East graduate, the origins of the game were simple, birthed from having good times with his own friends and family.
“We were all sitting around one night, listening to music,” Konicki said. “We had a karaoke machine. Basically, a song came on, and a guy grabbed the microphone three times in a row. From there, we sort of came up with rules on points to whoever picked up the mic first and sang the lyrics correctly. We started on posterboard with markers, and just drew it out. Everybody who played began wanting to borrow the game. I thought, ‘Wow, we ought to pursue this a little more.’ After that, we got it copyrighted and found a manufacturer.”
Konicki entered a partnership with friend and neighbor Tracy Carnes of St. Paris, who is retired from the United States Postal Service, in order to make the board game a reality.
“Development was pretty smooth,” said Konicki, a Troy native. “Tracy and I got with a company who helped us step-by-step in getting copyrights squared away. The hardest part was finding a manufacturer. We had to go overseas. We tried to stay here in the states, but the cost was astronomical compared to what we could get over there. We contacted some companies, and found a place called WinGo Games out of China, and they were able to do it for a price that could offer a profit.”
For design of the board and cover layout, Konicki turned to Miami County resident Mike Schultz, who operates Design by Schultz out of Dayton.
“Mike came up with the box, all of the art, and the game board itself,” Konicki explained.
The game went on sale in February 2017, and in the year since, Konicki has primarily marketed his game through social media and word-of-mouth.
“We have our website, and we also sell through Amazon,” Konicki said. “We’ve also attended a lot of shows. We went to Indianapolis to their big holiday gift show, and we actually sold out of games that we took, and had to come back home to get more. The following week, we went up to Cleveland, and had the same thing happen. We probably sold 250 units over the holidays.”
He has a history in construction work, and hopes that burgeoning sales on “Grab the Mike” will allow for a steady financial future.
“I still do construction on the side. I’ve got two kids and have to take care of them, but coming up I’d love to pursue game sales full-time,” he said.
For more information, visit www.grabthemikegame.com.