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As people find recreation at home during the pandemic, Grand Slam finds its market

Grand Slam
Grand Slam

Board games, particularly tabletop games, were rising in popularity before the pandemic began. With families at home together and people looking for an escape from computer screens, it follows that board games would become even more popular. And Kodiak’s own Grand Slam Toys and Games has been here to feed the need.

“Board games can just enhance that family time, give people a common goal or a common activity that they can sit around reconnect with their family,” said Zach Koehler, co-owner of Grand Slam.

He says that the pandemic hasn’t done much to slow the rising interest in board games.

“I want to say about five or six years ago, there was a huge resurgence in what I term- and what a lot of people term- ‘tabletop games.’ When you hear the phrase board games, you think of Monopoly, or Sorry, or Chutes and Ladders or any of those classic board games. Tabletop games have exploded,” Koehler said. “They’ve kind of shifted the focus from the simple, roll the dice, move a piece, get to the end of the game, kind of game… and they’ve exploded into role playing games, like Dungeons & Dragons, they’ve exploded into cooperative games, where you sit around as a team. And it’s you as the players versus the game itself.”

Classics like Dungeons and Dragons tend to hang around, but Koehler says there are some games in particular seeing greater interest in the pandemic.

“Ironically, a game called pandemic, in where you play as a group of scientists trying to find the cure for four diseases before it spreads across the planet,” Koehler said.

Grand Slam Toys and Games is a small business, with many of the stresses that other small businesses in town have faced during this health crisis. Kodiak did a lot of its holiday shopping local last season, and it goes a long way for Koehler and business owners like him.

“The only thing that I want to say is thank you to the community. The Kodiak community has just really rallied around all of the small businesses here. You know, before in normal times, it’s easy to go on Amazon and buy what you want and get it shipped really quickly. With kind of no thought to “maybe I could get that in town,” Koehler said. “But lately, like there have been so many people that have, especially over the last Christmas season, that have vowed to shop local, and they did all of their Christmas shopping from all of our local businesses. And it has been it’s been really nice to see the community rally around us.”

For those interested in finding a board game for their family at home, or perhaps a puzzle to amuse themselves with, you can reach them at, or in-person at their store at 1420 Mill Bay Road, Suite A.