Sometime last year, I met a guy through Twitter, and later at GenCon. His name is Chris Urinko and he is an extremely passionate person. His drive for things he believes in is unmatched and he has brought that ferocity to Daft Concepts. Last year, Chris had an idea: custom made wood and acrylic bits for gamers. With the price of laser technology dropping, Chris surmised that he could offer custom cut bits at an awesome price. He started polling game designers on Twitter to see if they had any needs he could try to meet.
Almost a year later, I needed him. I had just changed Hedeby dramatically and it was time to add custom dice to the game. I passed some files on to him, his partner did some work, and what came out the other side was awesome. Custom engraved, plastic dice, which look and feel as professional as any other dice I have seen… and all for a great price! I didn’t need to have a minimum order size. The dice didn’t have to all be the same size. I was honestly blown away by the outcome.
A few weeks later, Chris asked if I’d take a look at their upcoming Kickstarter stuff and give my opinion. I gladly accepted, and a short time after, I received this awesome collection of awesomeness.
What they have come up with is a line of themed (or blank, but that’s boring) gaming accessories that snap together. I received a dice tower, dice cup, dice cradle, a bunch of dice, and some business cards. Most of what I received has a ninja theme (which looks great) but they threw in a few extra dice of the other themes as well.
The dice tower is a pretty awesome piece. Mine does not have the cork lining, but that is an option. The dice tray becomes a lid for the tower when you break it down, which is cool if you want to store your dice inside the tower. When put together, it’s a very sturdy piece. I believe mine is glued a bit, but I’m not positive. I pulled the back of to look inside and it came apart begrudgingly. I don’t think it’s ever just going to fall apart.
The dice cup is fine. I like rolling dice with my hands, but if dice cups are your thing, this one is pretty sweet. It’s cork lined, and fits the hand nicely with a slim profile. I really like how they were able to cut ridges in the plywood to bend it in an ellipse. As a woodworker, I’m impressed by that.
The dice cradle is one of those little touches that I love. It is really a multi-purpose box, but it is cut to fit their dice perfectly. I can see myself using it to store counters, or miniatures as well. The lid sits on the box just right. You don’t have to push hard, so it doesn’t “lock” into place, but it’s snug enough that it doesn’t just fall off.
That little tiny die is the business card die for size comparison.
The dice are cut exceptionally precise. When snapped together, they are quite difficult to pry apart. They gave me a good mix of wood and acrylic dice to look at. The wooden dice are nice… maybe a bit difficult to read with the artwork along-side the numbers… but the acrylic dice are awesomeness. They are bright and very legible. They feel great in the hand. They make a neat sound when rolled.
I wasn’t aware that I would be receiving business cards, but Chris went ahead and sent me a few of those as well. These rock. If you want something unique to hand out, this is perfect. The dice snap out easily (but won’t fall out accidentally) and snap together very firmly. I started to try and pry them apart with my fingers, but gave up.
This package was a super awesome gift. If you are in the market for these sorts of products, I can highly recommend them. You will not need to do any finishing work to the wood (unless you really want too) and everything assembles quickly by hand. I’d recommend a few dabs of glue on anything you are going to transport or use a bunch, but you may not need it. Chris tells me that they are hoping to buy a bigger laser with the campaign funds which could result in even cleaner, crisper images. Everything looks awesome to me as is, so I’m confident it would be even more attractive.
These products are currently only available on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/732415737/daft-dice