Bryce’s Chessex Updates

Bryce Lickfield of BrycesDice gave us at the DMC a recent update on Chessex news.  This is a consolidation of his posts with formatting adjustment but no content changes.

“Who would like a Chessex update straight from their recent supplier news letter? It is a lot, but it was what I thought this group would like to see.”

New Dice: Dice Menagerie #10:
Four of these six colors were sold at the summer shows last year. These are Festive™ Waterlily™/white, Festive™ Pop-Art™/blue, Festive™ Sunburst™/red, and Marble Oxi-Copper™/white. They were the four most popular colors that we showed last summer at consumer shows. Added to these four are two new colors that have not been shown previously, but we are confident they will be very popular. The fifth color is a new Borealis™ color using some old material that can no longer be bought. It was found
when the new owners of the factory were going through their stocks of material after their purchase and came across some of this “Maple” Borealis™ material. From the factory estimates, we think they can make enough dice to last us 3-4 years even with fantastic sales. The sixth color has a new effect that we think is particularly surprising and stunning. We don’t want to say what it is at this time so are naming it for now as the Mystery #7 Die Color.

If anyone is interested in or doesn’t remember what the first six mystery dice colors were, they were the first six colors of Frosted dice released in 2001. We will have samples to popularize this mystery dice color at the GAMA Trade Show in March in Reno, NV. Then it will be a mystery no more. If you can believe us, though, it will be very popular. Of the few people who have seen it, it truly is a die that will make you say “Wow!”

April through June 2019: “From the Laboratory™” Polyhedral 7-Die Sets:
We have spent a lot of time in the laboratory at the German dice factory these past few years creating new colors. We now have many good colors that will be popular. Concurrently, the factory has figured out a way to produce smaller production runs. We decided the best way to introduce these colors into the market is by releasing them with smaller production runs and only making the polyhedral shapes and some 16mm d6 with pips available. Because of the shorter production runs, the retail for these polyhedral 7-die sets will be $11.98 instead of the usual $9.98. If any of these dice are really popular, we will re-release them in the future in all shapes, most likely in another Dice Menagerie. If the initial orders for these dice are more than we made, then we will allocate based on each customers overall purchases in 2018 and their percentage of our overall sales. We anticipate not needing to allocate, though. We will release around 24 colors between the beginning of April and the end of June, most likely in two
releases. After that, we should be able to release another 24 colors in the last quarter of this year.

July 2019: Gemini™ Dice #8:
We have not finalized all six of these new Gemini™ colors, but we should know them by March.  August 2019 and Beyond:  There are many more new colors of dice that we want to release this year. They include six new colors of Speckled dice, at least the before mentioned 24 more “from the Laboratory™” colors, and some dice using new effects. All-in-all, we are releasing a lot of new dice this year! Changes for 2019 from 2018
Other than the changes to the translucent dice detailed earlier, there aren’t any changes to the retail prices or the product range from 2018 to 2019 at this time and aren’t likely to be any the rest of this year. Some discontinued colors are running out of stock, though. These will be detailed in an upcoming Chessex Scoop™ publication. The biggest changes for us have been external and are mentioned later on this page. Change from “KIS™” to “Classic” Designated Name We never liked the term “KIS” for the “Keeping In Stock” dice colors. These colors have been good selling colors but not quite as good as others that end up in the Signature™ or main Gemini™ ranges of dice. The concept is to aid retailers with their purchasing decisions. There are no stock number or name changes for the dice themselves involved with this category name change.

Changes at Our Dice Factory Sources:
Last year, the German dice factory changed owners. The former owner was 96 years old and did not want to invest in expanding the production capacity of his factory. The new owners are much younger and owned a factory that made similar items. They have been able to combine the production capacity of the two factories and we have been receiving more dice than before the sale. This is wonderful news as our fill ratio has improved dramatically over these past few months and we are now able to bring out many new dice colors, ones we have wanted to release for some time. The dice factory in Denmark, where we purchase our opaque and speckled dice, has also changed owners. Sadly, the former owner suddenly passed away this past August 21st. We had been purchasing from him since 1990. He was responsible for Chessex focusing more on dice because he was the first person that made a unique and exclusive dice range (speckled, which the factory first tested in the 1950’s but never developed until we met in 1990) that we were able to offer to the market. This led us eventually making contact with the dice factory in Germany and the development of the dice ranges from them. It is pretty safe to say that without him, there would be no speckled, Signature™, Classic (formerly KIS™), or
Gemini dice ranges that we have today. The former owner’s son is taking over the factory and we don’t expect to see any drop in their production capacity. Actually, we should see a slight increase because just before the former owner’s passing, he ordered a new mold for the Tens 10 die which will increase their production capacity. We are sorry to see the passing of the former owner but are heartened that his son is taking over to continue the family business.

Borealis Update:
Change to new Borealis Maple Green Color! On our 2019 update we released that one of our new colors set for a March release would be Borealis Maple Green w/silver. Instead of silver, the paint color for the numbers will now be yellow. The new color will be Borealis Maple Green w/yellow.

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September Dice Kickstarters

September has been a busy month for Kickstarter campaigns so far.  With the Upstart line from Legendary pants having come and gone and some notable projects from Dice Envy, we still have some ongoing treasures out there to find in crowdfunding land.  Keep in mind that this is in no way a review or a comprehensive account of dicey goodness.  This is merely a test-run for an article highlighting the Kickstarter dice projects that are currently popular – or should be.  So if you enjoy this article, please let us know that you did so we’re aware that there’s interest in this sort of writing.

Now, without further ado . . . 

Top Drawer Dice (Q-Workshop)

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Q-Workshop has come to Kickstarter with some new designs in need of funding.  Among the designs are Wizard, Arcade, Halloween, Dragon Slayer, and Bloodsucker.  There are stretch goals unlocking different color options for each set, bags for the sets, and play mats.  There were steampunk dice rewards for day 1 backers, the complete set of which is now being offered as an add-on.  However, as of writing this post, there are only a couple of days left on this Kickstarter.  Please jump on fast if you’re interested in backing.

Diffusion Dice (Role4Initiative)

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Diffusion Dice is a nebula-style translucent clear die with a drop of color distributed (or diffused) throughout.  The campaign started off with 8 based colors including Sea Foam, Elven Spirits, Storm Front, Wraith, Majesty, Fool’s Gold, Cherry Blossom, and Bloodstone.  There are stretch goals to go beyond that, some of which have already been unlocked.  In addition to dice and several options for dice add-ons, the campaign is offering T-Shirts (both r4i and Dice Maniacs Club) as well as dice boxes and towers from Adventure Guild, which also include engraving options with the r4i logo and the DMC logo.

Reality Shard, Supernova, & Neutron RPG Dice Sets (Gate Keeper Games)

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Gate Keeper Games has unleashed a slew of new styles with Reality Shards, a five layer product based on previous halfsies’ color schemes.  The style follows a layered A-B-C-B-A pattern and features the GKG logo as the 20 on the d20.  Supernova die, on the other hand, are halfsies with a clear translucent stripe down the middle.  When the halfsies go “supernova,” they create a Neutron dice set for each color in the halfsies.  Neutron is a translucent clear with a stripe of color – sort of like a geometrically interesting take on the nebula style.  Finally, Inminity are 12mm pipped versions of the neutron and reality shard dice.  As if that wasn’t enough new terminology and dice to drool over, there’s also a lot of swag like pins, stickers, and Thinking Monk dice boxes.  At funding, the project unlocked two styles – Truth and Thought.  There are many more stretch goals for additional colors, almost all of which are styled after one of the first or second generation halfsies dice.  There are also a few new color combinations such as black/yellow and black/purple, coming soon to the halfsies line.

Dice Coins: 2018 2nd Release (J.M. Ward)

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Dice Coins is a popular dice project that has been on Kickstarter multiple times previously with different styles and mintings.  The company produces metal coins that spin and can be used as dice.  There is an outer ring with numbers on each coin. When the user stops the spinning dice coin with a finger, the number to the left of the finger is the result.  The dice coins come in a variety of d20s, and new options are unlocking periodically for d4-d12.  There are also two specialty coins, a d3 cerebus and an alphabet book coin.

Dragon Egg Gift Candles w/Metal D20s Inside! (Lunar Wolf Treats)

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Lunar Wolf Treats launched a KS for dragon egg candles that burn to reveal d20 metal dice of your choosing.  Candles are scented but can be unscented upon request. Each candle matches up to a d20 that compliments its style, and rewards can get you a single, pair, or multiple dragon egg candles.  There’s a pledge level for a set of seven candles that reveal a complete metal RPG set.  Stretch goals include bonus “themes” of candle/dice pairings, but the 5k stretch goal (already unlocked) opened up gift box add-ons.

Oblit-O-Tron D6 Dice – Explore the Stars! (Black Oak Workshop)

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Black Oak Workshop has returned to KS with a set of retro laser gun d6’s.  The same art is on each face, accompanied by a number.  Black is currently the only unlocked, but the project is slowly approaching the green variety stretch goal.  The dice are sparkly, and a bag and RPG set are later stretch goals in addition to more color options.  Black Oak Workshop have previously brought Light Speed dice, Bullseye dice, and the asian Dragon set of red polyhedrals, just to name a few.

Mad Dice aka Mood Dice (Trilania)

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Trilania/Mad Designs has released a color changing mood dice that functions like a mood ring in color changing.  The dice come in a 7-piece standard polyhedral set, with or without a standing bag, and as a super extended set of 19.  The project also offers add-ons for individual dice in any of the standard RPG polys.  The delivery is a bit far off at September 2019, but is due to hand painting.  The dice themselves are darker colored but obviously shift depending on temperature.

Retro Dice: D-PAD D6 – Control your destiny! (Dirty Vortex)

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Currently in need of more backers to fund, the Retro Game D-Pad dice KS is a non-numbered set of dice with symbols from old school gaming controller.  The sets come in grey, black, and pink/blue.  The sides include the select, start, direction pad, and gaming buttons like A, B, X, Y.  The project previously was hoping to unlock an accompanying RPG called Bulletproof Heroes, but changed direction and decided to offer it outright as a PDF to all backers.

Big 20 (Big 20)

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The Big 20 is a magic eight ball crossed with a dungeon master and a 90’s cell phone.  Or at least, that’s the description on the campaign page!  The Big 20 provides randomized results and can mimic any dice in a standard RPG set.  The project has big potential for visibility in gaming, but the funding goal is around 70k.  The Big 20 itself isn’t offered until the $60 pledge level, but there are also more affordable options with swag like drink cozies and enamel pins.

Wrap Up

Those are some of the more popular dice projects.  We plan to only cover those projects that are quite popular or where the creator has reached out to the DMC.  If you wish to get your project here, please contact the Dice Maniacs Club – Fanpage.  Note that these are unpaid write-ups and are not reviews of the products, but rather an overview of what’s happening in dice crowdfunding!