Gamers make up a shocking chunk of the population and many of them, share a deep passion for the pastime. In fact for many, gaming is not only a hobby, but a way of life. As we can see at conventions and meet-ups around the world, gaming is a community brought together by the enthusiasm of fans.
No-one understands this better than Sean Gailey, CEO and co-founder of San Diego-based gaming merch company J!NX. J!NX serve gamers with clothes, toys, accessories and more produced in-house by a team of passionate designers featuring some of the biggest gaming brands including Overwatch, Halo, Rocket League and many more. On their online store, they go further featuring products from across the world of games to their worldwide fanbase.
Eager to learn more about this exciting brand, we sat down with Gailey to find out the story.
Can you give us a brief overview of who J!NX is, and what you do?
Jinx is a San Diego, California-based leader in gaming products. Founded in 1999 by myself (Sean Gailey) and Tim Norris, J!NX produces clothes, toys and accessories for some of the world’s largest video game licenses. Complete with an in-house J!NX Brand, we have been rapidly expanding in the gaming market.
Can you tell us about how the business got started?
In the early days of J!NX, we made clothing for hackers. We eventually shifted focus to both gamers and geeks. The word geek represented a very small, niche market. By proudly proclaiming that we are geeks, we were making a statement about unabashedly loving things that the world historically scoffed at. However, the word geek became ubiquitous. Everybody is a geek now. The market is saturated. While we still love Star Wars, comic books and Dungeons and Dragons, we decided to focus exclusively on video games, our one true love.
Gamers are a passionate bunch and very hungry for new products, why do you think this is?
As a hardcore gamer myself, I am constantly looking for ways to celebrate my love of gaming. I choose to play games over TV, books and movies, and I read gaming news as a fan. Products relating to video games, like the ones we create here at J!NX, give fans a means to expressing their love of gaming with those around them.
Your e-store sells a number of toys from different manufacturers, do you think that toys are an area that is growing or is it still a very niche thing?
I believe that toys and collectibles will always be popular and continue to grow. If you walked around our headquarters you would see our offices and desks covered in them, including my own!
You currently have a small selection of J!NX brand toys, including a really cool Witcher 3 Geralt figure, is this an area you plan on expanding on?
Absolutely. We’ve developed a large number of toys over the years for licenses such as Minecraft, Halo, Witcher, among several others. I’m sure as J!NX continues to grow and expand, so too shall our toy offerings.
What game franchises have you not worked with that you would like to work with in the future?
That’s a difficult question to answer, as there are almost too many to count. What I can say is that we only make products for games that we play ourselves. It is this level of authenticity which shows through in the products we develop and resonates with our fans. I guess you could say that it is one of the keys to our success.
Your latest commercials featured internet comedy group Mega64, can you tell us how that collaboration came about?
We have been fans of Mega64 for some time now, and have supported one another on various passion projects. The moment we decided that our brand launch video needed to portray both our love of gaming as well as our sense of humor, selecting Derrick (Acosta) as the lead role was a no-brainer.