[Vienna-pm] Robot Turtles - a board game to teach programming

Nicholas Clark nick at ccl4.org
Tue Sep 17 03:34:53 PDT 2013

    Robot Turtles is a board game you play with your favorite 3-8 year
    old. It sneakily teaches programming fundamentals.


I am intrigued by this. Partly because someone (can't find the attribution)
commented that for an adult, children's games seem to partition either into
pure chance (E has at least one like this) or where the adult is subtly
trying to loose*. So this looks like fun, even without the ulterior motive**

So, anyway, I believe that I want to purchase one. ONE. Problem is that
with the international shipping, purchasing one is not very cost effective.
(ie $60)

There is a "3-pack", which is $120 including shipping, and a "Deca-pack",
which is $340. These look viable, as they bring the unit cost down to
something like the price of a regular new board game (eg Settlers of Catan
or Monopoly ship from amazon.de for about 30 EUR)

One niggle here is that I can read that if I were to ship stuff to the UK,
tax and import duty are both payable. It's 20% VAT on anything over £15, and
"phone us up, because we make it way too complicated with 14000 categories"%
(typically 5-9%) import duty for anything over £135

1) I don't know how to find the relevant numbers for Austria

2) If I assume that VAT is unavoidably going to be charged, at 20%, but only
   on the games, not the shipping, then the price actually isn't terrible:

   3-pack:  $80 * 1.2 + $40    = $136 = EUR 101.78 =   EUR 33.93 each
   10-pack: $240 * 1.2 + $100  = $388 = EUR 290.38 =   EUR 29.04 each

3) So, is anyone else interested?

4) What is the threshold for paying duty? And the rate?
   The UK rates work out that (I think) duty has to reach 23% before the
   10-pack is more expensive than the below-threshold 3-pack.

5) What is the charge that gets made by the delivery firm for collecting
   the duty?

Nicholas Clark

*  Somehow my grandmother was even able to loose at Snakes and Ladders, which
   is strange give that it is a game of pure chance. This takes *real* skill.
** Programming is a useful skill. E needs to go to work, so that I can
   continue to have ice cream. :-)

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