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Building for game maker Fundex set for July auction

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One of the last remnants of the bankrupt Fundex Games Ltd. company—the headquarters building it occupied in Plainfield—is set to be sold at auction in late July.

Fundex, once the sole distributor of the game industry’s second-most-popular card game, Phase 10, folded late last year. Propel Equity Partners, parent of Plymouth, Mich.-based Poof-Slinky Inc., the maker of the iconic Slinky, paid $1.7 million to purchase Fundex in December.

“They took possession of the inventory after the sale closed, and that was all they needed,” said K.C. Cohen, a local bankruptcy attorney still representing Fundex in its liquidation.

The building is set for auction July 31 and will be sold regardless of the amount of the highest bid, said Jeff Doner, vice president and managing broker of Indianapolis-based Key Auctioneers.

“It’s got about anything anybody would want in a state-of-the-art distribution center,” he said. “We think we’ll have good interest in the property.”

The building technically is owned by 1570 S. Perry Road LLC, established by Fundex owner Chip Voigt and named for the building’s address. Fundex began occupying the building upon its completion in February 2007. The company signed a 21-year lease that was to expire in 2028, court records show.

Voigt listed the building before the bankruptcy for $5.2 million and lowered the asking price to $4.9 million before taking the building to auction. About $3 million is left on the mortgage, said Jeff Hester, a lawyer representing Voigt in the bankruptcy.

The 102,400-square-foot structure includes 15,000 square feet of office space on two floors and sits on more than 10 acres of land. A 1.75-acre pad has been built to accommodate a 50,000-square-foot expansion.

Other features include an on-site workout facility, eight loading docks and a 100-space parking lot.

The building is well-configured but actually might suffer from its large amount of office space, said Andrew Morris, a partner at the Summit Realty brokerage. Most companies locating to Plainfield’s industrial parks do so for large amounts of distribution space with little need for a lot of offices, he said.

A prime example is the former Galyan’s headquarters building that has had trouble through the years attracting office tenants, Morris said.

“You have a limited pool of prospects interested in owning [the Fundex] building in the Plainfield marketplace,” he said.  

Fundex’s bankruptcy represents a steep fall for the company that once had 50 employees, and offices in Hong Kong and New York. Besides Phase 10, its other popular games included Gnip Gnop and What’s in Ned’s Head?

What’s in Ned’s Head?, which lets children remove fake items like moldy cheese, vomit and a rat from a stuffed head’s orifices, won a slew of awards and helped make Fundex a growing player in the game industry.

Three years ago, Fundex boasted annual revenue of $25.8 million, according to court documents. Revenue, however, fell by nearly half, to $13.3 million, in 2011.

Some of its financial problems likely could be attributed to the loss of Phase 10, which is now distributed by Mattel.
 

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