You can all probably remember that I love EldritchArts a little too much. Gene is a really great and inspired guy, the honesty and care they put into their stuff is just… it’s great.
Last time I reviewed their products, it made a HUGE impact on their production. New additions were added to not only their smaller box, but other, bigger, products. Almost every issue I had before has been addressed in some fashion, so it’s no surprise that I’m incredibly excited to review the new offering from these guys: Their premium dice and pencil boxes.
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We see a familiar face. The Brazilian cherrywood, Jotoba, is a really lovely offering, but even a novice can tell that the wood is being treated differently this time around.
Notice the rich reds and oranges that weave their way through. The matte finish looks even more well sanded and stained – the wood is absolutely gorgeous.
The recesses have been darkened and burned more completely to show off the incredible detail these laser etchings can provide. Compared to the originals, the wood is night and day. These photos have had the saturation dropped in them (the tabletop is very grey) to help show off the difference in tone between the woods.)
While the original is still quite impressive, the new premium box is enormous, well polished, and extremely detailed.
I’m happy to report that Gene has kept all the production for these guys right where it was. He’s still overlooking all aspects of production, keeping these things limited and incredibly quality controlled.
Last time I expressed some fear about the rare earth magnets (which hold like a kung-fu death grip) slipping from their shallow setting since only glue was used to hold them.
You can easily tell that the magnets in the new (top) boxes are much more flush and fit very well inside their recesses. There is no chipping or exposed glue. Still no replacement for mechanical fastenings (a bolt, screw, or pin) but still a good step in the right direction!
In order to pair with the enormous strength the four magnets produce, a new groove has been added to the sides of the tops and bottoms – just enough to give a firm grip to the lids for easier opening.
There is also a 1/16th ridge that seats the lid to the base of the box now – to keep the lid from being slid off inside a bag. While I miss fidgeting with the lid and sliding it onto and off of the magnet, with four of those magnets – this thing would take a hell of a lot of effort to slide at all. With the added groove, I doubt anyone would ever have this thing fall open.
The original design philosophy was something I truly enjoyed. They kept it bare minimum but completely capable. There was nothing in the original design that I found redundant or useless – and for that, it got a gleaming recommendation from me. This time around, we’re going for premium – and with premiums comes options.
The new boxes are not only massive, they sport three felt lined repositories in place of a single bare recess.
the walls and sides of the channels are not incredibly smooth, but not rough enough to flake or give a problem. The felt lining, i find, is actually very well done here. It’s seated correctly, no seams or bald spots, quality is still maintained.
I think that part of the charm of the original dice boxes was how small and easy to carry they were. This towers over its predecessor in nearly every way.
The lid is ever so slightly thinner than the base (easily identifiable by the ridge we spoke of earlier) giving the base the proper heft by comparison. The lid can fit, comfortably, at an angle and latch to one of the 4 magnets, letting you display the incredible artwork while at the table. This has been my preferred method of using this box.
We touched on this earlier, but I cannot stress enough just how improved the designs are. So I’ll let the photos do most of the talking here.
This thing is, to quote a close personal friend, “It’s beautiful. It’s very dignified.”
Now we’ve been granted a crap load of additional real estate with these massive premium boxes. So I decided to play around and see how best to fill this thing up.
A full set of 7 dice can fit in this chamber. These dice are bit bigger than most that I have (about 0.2mm larger), and there is plenty of space for them as well as metal offerings. So this checks out.
Boom – 4 Tomb of Annihilation dice fit pretty comfortably at the top. Since they are fairly ugly, but exactly standard in size, I decided to get some kind of use out of them for once.
And we have the pen/pencil/dry erase maker combo to finish things off! As you can see, everything fits snug as –
Okay, nobody panic. We can fix this. There’s no need to be alarmed. Maybe we can fit a larger dry erase marker in th-
It fits, I guess, but that’s just stupid… OH WAIT, I have a miniature I can throw in there it should f-
WHyArEYOuF*ckINgWIthME?! GET THE ERASER!
IN MY ENTIRE LIFE –
!moor erom elttil a erew ereht ylno fI
Okay, my existential chicanery aside, there is a little problem here! The pencil chamber measures in at a pretty awkward 7 11/16ths inches.
While unsharpened pencils measure 7.5 inches and will fill the entire space, most pens, markers, and mechanical pencils measure about 17cm (or 6 11/16 inches), giving an extra inch gap of space you need to fill with SOMETHING.
My personal recommendation, if I were asked, would be to elongate the space my yellow dice are in to 17.6cm. That would give it enough room for a full set of 7 dice, or potentially 8 dice in that chamber. Make the pen chamber exactly that length as well – giving a lovely parallel look to it. And combine the small chamber (where the d6s are) with that empty space at the end of these pens and marker! that way you have a rectangular recess not only big enough for a miniature if you have one, but for the same 4d6 (or possibly 6d6) we’re currently storing.
At that point, many more combinations could be reached using the three chambers that are currently impossible – just from shifting around a few cuts of the CNC machine.
The thing is absolutely gorgeous. I love everything about it, save for that blank space that haunts me. It smells wonderful, it looks and feels very quality and strong in the hand. It doesn’t rattle nearly as much now that there is felt lining it.
There is some bloat, currently, that I would love to see addressed – the lid, for instance, has nearly as deep a recess as the base does, when it could actually be completely FLAT and hold the dice/pens far more securely while giving a more slim profile.
But… I’m impressed. I’m awestruck at the craftsmanship shown in this thing. I’ve made my opinion pretty clear that I do not like or appreciate when companies throw hunks of expensive wood into a drilling machine and call it “premium” – it’s lazy and sloppy. But what Eldritch Arts is putting out right now? This is incredible on so many levels. This is something you’ll want to keep on your shelf for people to see AND put in your bag to make the table feel all the more fancy.
I highly reccomend you consider pooling a little money and grabbing one of these for that one player or DM at your table who needs some love this holiday season: at $50, they’re an incredible value for what you get. I think parts and labor alone would cost double that for most people and not turn out half as well. Go get one today.
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 “useful” information.