How cool does that look? Today, we’re taking a look at one of the most sought after of dice accessories: the affordable and small dice tray! The gents and gentettes over at Aggro Box (or Aggro Boxes – both are acceptable I’m told) have married two of my favorite things – beautiful wood and affordable, stylish options! Let’s start the review.
Coming out of left field, stumbled onto by complete accident, I was concerned at the quality a $20 dice tray could manage. Finally getting two in hand, I’m happy to report you need not be concerned.
The all-wood frame of these boxes are quite straight forward. The darker red-hued wood is cedar, a very aromatic and easy-to-work-with option. The other is the pale outer layer of red ceder – that has had a few thousand volts of electricity pumped through it. Much like the PC of the player I gave it to!
There are no mechanical fastenings, which kinda sucks. I know wood glue has come a long way in the past ten or so years, but I hardly ever trust it. I think it was a smart choice here, and we’ll get to that very soon, but know that if a corner breaks or a seam begins to show – you’ll probably need to replace the box or cut away old glue and try your hand at reattaching it. From my test – neither tray has shown any sign of weakening at the seams!
As with many hand-made boxes – no two are perfectly alike. Sanding depth and wood grain can skew dimensions of these boxes by a few millimeters. For companies like Wyrmwood, touting premium gaming accessories – they need to machine each and every corner to be exact, but Aggro Boxes has some lovely flavor and unique qualities that are pleasing to the woodworker in me.
Finally, each tray sports a foam insert – high density, I believe, as it feels more like rubber than traditional packing foam. The foam gives these boxes a previously unknown level of silent rolling – it’s truly remarkable.
We have two options here – and I feel they appeal to widely varied audiences. One option is over-the-top attention grabbing, the other is quite sleek and stylish. Which best fits you? (Note: GET THEM BOTH for the cost of most other trays!)
Cedar and Black
The rich warm wood really adds a slick level of contrast with the pure black of the foam. I do apologize for the foam being used – the original photos I took did not turn out, and this was after a week of heavy use with the box, luckily you can still see the near perfect black the foam offers.
The cedar is quite well stained and finished – the color is nearly perfect – the rich warm tone I always like to see. The sanded edges around the perimeter are hard to keep that same warm tone, as the wood tends to blond during sanding, but it still looks very nice.
Pale Shocked Red Cedar with Orange
The aesthetic. The aesthetic! The deep scorch of the wood is a perfect contrast to the pale wood. Slight cherry-like streaks in this particular tray are just gorgeous.
The process of electrocuting the hell out of a plank of wood leaves wonderfully deep and extremely dark grooves. I’m happy to see there is very little “bleed” to these – the spiderweb like smokey edges that can sometimes occur when doing this technique. Well done.
The orange foam in this tray makes me very comfortable thinking about their other 5 options (7 total). The bright and vibrant color is fantastically clear in a way that felt can not really mimic. Plus the texture is phenomenal.
The selling point. 5×7 may be the perfect size for a dice tray. We’ve played 5 games with these boxes in hand: Dungeons and Dragons and Urban Shadows (Powered by the Apocalypse), so I can confirm that the dice trays work well for both 7-14 dice or two d6s.
The photo that got you f**kers in here – but with a pen! So smol! There is just enough tray to allow for an entire 7 piece set to sit inside comfortably while one rolls.
Like I mentioned earlier, there is a reason the glue works, despite me always preferring mechanical fasteners (screws, bolts, nails, etc). These trays are goddamn light.
What kind of insanity is this? Your medium FRIES weighs more than this entire dice tray.
You can rest assured – these won’t break any camel’s back. Quite amazingly light.
Warnings and Suggestions
Light, cheap, small… there will be some battle damage. Especially when Todd tosses his metal dice 4-12 inches in the air to come down point-first.
In my case, some dumb bullshit blew into my box while bringing it in from outside and I wiped the wet-leaves out with a towel – that left the bottom of my tray scratched to the fourth level of hell.
It’s foam, ladies and gents. This is just part of it. Luckily, even with pokes and scratches, these trays still look very nice, and function perfectly. The foam keeps noise to an almost ridiculously low level – it’ll be worth it once you try the tray out.
Notice something missing in the above photo? I’ll wait.
Feet. I gotta just say, my biggest complaint about this tray was that they’re SO light and small that you can bump/jostle/move the tray just barely touching it. But in my studies, the sliding is reduced by 9/10 just by putting a little dab of sticky tack, the size of a half-grain of rice on the four corners. I’m wondering if a small dot of silicone could be put on the bottom of the tray, but I’d very much like to see some mechanism to prevent sliding.
Videos to prove my point!
I mean… what can we really complain about for a $20 box from a very awesome company. They’re a great size, very light, well built without adding excess to a parsed down and well delivered product.
I cannot wait to see more colors, styles, and options for these guys moving forward. The exact moment that Aggro boxes comes out with a “premium box” – I will have one. But for a small price you can have a go-anywhere silent box to fit nearly any occasion or theme. Get in on this A.S.A.P.
I don’t always advocate rolling, but when I do… be sure you have to Drop the Die.
Review by JB Little, Follow me on twitter for more product highlights and dice giveaways!