Welcome to a whole new way to Sleeve!
Sleeving 101: Our Passion
If you are reading this then you probably have a passion for board and card games. So do we! Sleeving is something of a passion for us and for many of our customers. Board gaming is an amazing hobby but if you've ever spilled a coke during a game of 7th Continent or watched in agony as a guest drips salsa on a Gloomhaven card, or permanently marked a Secret Hitler or Dixit Card with a bit of nugget sauce, then you know sleeving your cards can sometimes save you a world of hurt down the road.
Not all games NEED sleeves. We wouldn't recommend sleeving every single card in Agricola, but those 30 or so cards that get played again and again? Sure, that we can see. For certain games it is all but a necessity. For other games, not so much.
Build A Better Mousetrap
So there are lots and lots of sleeve brands already out there. We wanted to come up with something truly unique to the board game industry if we were going to help this community to sleeve more and better and cheaper. So we sat down, put our heads together, and came up with a few problems/headaches to sleeving. In no particular order, here are the issues we wanted to tackle.
Thickness. There are some "penny sleeves" out there which vary anywhere from 30-50 microns in thickness. These sleeves are generally just too "thin" to be that effective. They frequently rip and are really not much protection at all. At the same time there are "premium" sleeves that vary from 85-105 microns in thickness. These super thick sleeves are so thick that a stack of Dominion cards will topple and you'll never get a full stack of Race For The Galaxy cards to stack all the way up.
Shuffling is also a pain (literally) as you hit those super-sharp edges. Don't even think about trying to fit those super-thick sleeves back in the original box. Solution? Our sleeves are 60 Microns thick, the perfect balance between thick and thin. 50% thicker than most "standard" sleeves. There isn't another sleeve out there on the market that is such a luxury "standard" sleeve. We feel this is the perfect balance of thickness.
Quantity. Premium sleeves typically come 50 per pack while standard sleeves are 80-100 per pack. So with 50% thicker sleeves how many would you expect us to stuff into a single pack? 60? 75? 90? Forget that. We are fans of sleeves and know that even the best sleeves can rip once in a while. We also know that sometimes the factory screws up and shorts you. There is nothing worse than buying 5 packs of 100 sleeves per pack for your Dominon game with 500 cards to end up 3 sleeves short because the factory was a few off. Forget that!
We are putting 110 sleeves in EVERY PACK of our sleeves. That is 10% more than any other "standard" sleeve. Not enough? We ask our factory to put in 112 just to be safe. You may well get a few bonus sleeves in every pack but just as with a "bakers dozen" it is better to get extras than get shorted.
Consistency. We are gonna talk more about this in future blog posts, but one of the biggest issues with most sleeves is CONSISTENCY. Bought a game 2 years ago and sleeved it with one brand, but the expansion just came out? Guess what, most brands are not going to be exactly the same from production run to production run. Why? Because of the way sleeves are made. All sizes are run on the same lines and really there are just a handful of factories out there making all of these sleeves for everyone. We've seen 6 different brands being worked on at the same time on the factory floor, all with different sizes. So when the line is changed from a 63.5 MM sleeve to a 59 MM width sleeve, the factory workers have to eyeball/measure the difference. It will be within 1/2 a MM of what they want every time, but the human eye can't get it 100% the same every single time, it just isn't possible. Sure they can be very close, but not 100%. So how are we tackling this nagging problem?
Our factory is small and hungry for our business. So much so that they have set up specific rods for OUR sleeves. These rods hold the blades that cut the polypropylene to make the sleeves. Normally these rods have an adjustable slide that allows the rod to be adjusted from one sleeve batch to the next. We have worked with the factory to set up our own permanent rods with razor blade receptacles permanently mounted to the rods. When our sleeves cycle back into production the factory removes the whole rod from the other guy's sleeve run and puts our permanently affixed rod directly on the machine. This means our WIDTHS are always going to be exactly the same! You can't say that about any other sleeve because we are the first and only sleeve manufacturers to do this!
Now how about lengths? Well, we haven't tackled that problem any better than any other company for now, but we are working on how we can get our lengths to be identical each time. For now we are having the factory keep 10 sample packs of each sku and using those as a guide to get the lengths to also be substantially the same each time. We believe this will result in much better results for our brand compared to others, and welcome your feedback!
Pricing. Now to the nitty gritty. Yes we believe our sleeves will be more consistent and we know they are 50% thicker than other brands. We know we are giving our customers more sleeves per pack than any of our competition, but surely that is gonna cost our customers right? Well... no. Not exactly. Most of our competitors end up selling a vast majority of their sleeves through distributors and stores, which means they must sell most of their inventory at up to 67% off retail! That means their retail price must be through the roof to be able to afford to sell their wares.
We are selling directly to the public and while we may eventually sell to distributors, it will be a much smaller percentage of our product. We are also going directly to the factory, shipping only via boat for shipments to stock our USA warehouse, and are only sending international orders directly from our Chinese warehouse. All of this means we can sell our premium product at a bargain-basement price. Compare our prices to that of our competitors and you'll find we are 15-35% cheaper per pack, or up to 70% cheaper per SLEEVE compared to premium sleeves.
So now what? Well, we hope that you will consider supporting us in this quest to improve sleeve quality without sacrificing on price. Please buy a pack or 10 or 100 of our sleeves today and help us take over the world, one deck of sleeved cards at a time!
Wanna tell us something? Comment below or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!