Saturday, October 20, 2018

Dice Delve: Chessex Marbelized Ivory Polyhedral Set

I used to work for Chessex, and I am an unapologetic fan of their EuroDice, both the opaque and the Speckled varieties. I think that they are among the best dice available for RPG and tabletop gaming--maximum quality with minimum cash outlay. Even when I don't like something about a color combination, it's a tough love kind of thing, since I used to work for the company and presumably am in some kind of position to know better.

Chessex, like other dice sellers, also buys dice to resale from other dice makers--presumably not the same people who make their Speckled dice for them, but you never know, because it's kind of a trade secret. Speaking only for myself, as soon as you move away from Urea as a manufacturing component, it becomes a lot easier to see the flaws in a dice color or a plastic combination. This is not always a good thing, especially if you're the kind of person who has opinions about stuff. What am I talking about? Read on and see for yourself.


Chessex Marbled Ivory Polyhedral Set
Rating:  2/5
This should have been a slam dunk, because this is just the kind of vanilla, boring dice I profess to enjoy. However, the photos of the product make it seem way more attractive than the actual physical product.

Clarity   Yes
Heft       No
Color     No
Theme  No
Value    Yes

The Good: I got nothing, here. Really. I wanted to like these dice. My favorite opaque color is the Ivory set. It’s got a kind of worn and warm tone to it that feels like there’s a story behind the dice themselves. They look dirty to me, and that’s in a good way. But these marbleized ivory are made to simulate the polished stone, like what you’d find in Donald Trump’s bathroom. And that leads me to the word I have been searching for: Tacky.

The Bad: These dice are made—obviously, from the looks of it—by combining two different plastics with two slightly different weights and viscosity levels. They are then slush-mixed to create a swirled effect that runs like veins through the opaque plastic, and then presumably inked and tumbled to polish. Only, the plastic they used feels cheap, rubbery, and slick. I can’t quite explain the tactile sensation of these dice, but they don’t feel like they are done. They need to cook some more.

This whole color scheme
looks like a mixing error
at the factory.
If you like cream-based
alcoholic drinks, ignore
everything I have said
and buy a set of these
dice, post-haste.
Also, look at these photos. Can you see the gold that runs through the dice? It’s really noticeable on the d8 and the d4. This color is not visible in any of the product shots. In fact, the dice as advertised look more like scrimshaw or a kind of polished yellowed ivory. There is not a hint of gold in them. But these dice look like someone tried to make a White Russian with Goldschlager.

The Ugly: Make that "The Tacky." These dice look and feel tacky. I have mentioned before that I am not a fan of marbleized dice because they always feel and look kinda cheap. It’s the plastic they use. It’s just not my style. But I thought these would really be different. They certainly are not worth the price of admission. I won’t buy another set in this line, for any reason.


Recommendation: I can’t speak to the other colors, and maybe they were awesome, but I suspect this half-metallic, half-opaque swirl was a feature and not a bug. Also, you may not be put off by the feel and heft of these dice, like I was. But either way, before you buy them, make an effort to see them in person. The Internet is usually a liar anyway, but in this case, you really cannot trust the photos of these dice unless you see them in meat-space for yourself. 

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