Twenty-five years ago we learned that one product was not enough. Our Quintillions needed company. In 1982 we had not yet discovered lasercut acrylic. We worked mostly in wood and die-cut cardboard. Here's our first expansion wave of games introduced in 1982:
A trilogy of wood gameboards, for multiple strategy games for two players, were crafted for us in fiberboard with a dark lacquered finish. The styling was similar for all three games, with hollowed-out storage spaces for the pieces and glued-on tan leather-like vinyl mats. A few years later we upgraded them to the current top-grade birch plywood we craft and handfinish ourselves and reassigned the vinyl mats to the softpack versions. The same cylindrical playing pieces were used for all three games, and are used to this day. Their later improvement was to replace stick-on gold labels with laser-engraving and handpainted accents.
- Proteus, later also offered as travel set with roll-up leather-like vinyl mat. First edition had all handcrafted tiles, with hand-applied lettering; later we switched to laser-cutting and laser-engraving. The earlier boards had the vinyl mat glued on top; now the board, too, is laser-engraved, and all of the beautiful wood shows.
- Leap (integrated in 2006 as part of Six-by-Six); a Leap softpack version on screen-printed vinyl mat came later and still exists. The mats were originally glued onto the wood, before we changed to laser-engraving.
- Void, now minus the vinyl corner pads, later also in softpack version with screen-printed mat.
A trilogy of die-cut cardboard sets were aimed at the lower price range and possibly to be offered to stores. That was a disaster. Except for Multimatch, they were crude, hard to handle, and not pretty. All three were rescued when lasercut acrylic came along the next year, in which medium they have thrived.
- Multimatch I, in tiny red-lacquered boxes, originally made by Wade Philpott, whose entire remaining stock we adopted and repackaged.
- Quintachex (until 1985), later in die-cut rigid vinyl (until 1990); remaining sets repackaged in 2007 in pouches as "pocket" editions.
- Roundominoes (until 1983); remaining sets were donated to charities.
Two well-made sets in handcrafted wood also entered the scene and have been with us, virtually unchanged, ever since:
- Super Quintillions, the 18-piece companion set to Quintillions; the original box was covered in brown velour, beautiful when new but vulnerable to wear. We soon replaced it with brown leather-textured glossy covering that holds up well. Much later we added a deluxe wood case for the Quint/Superquint combo.
- Grand Tans, originally in a deluxe wood tray; later in felt pouch. See an extended history of this set.
The lesson we learned that year was that selling to stores was not for us, and that cheap is not good. If it's worth making, it's worth doing well. Good quality, like beauty, is its own excuse for being. We want our creations to last, for pleasure without end. Our customers agree. And this lesson and this knowledge were the first rule.
A Quarter-Century Retrospective (1980-2005)
You are here:
1982-2007: The first wave of growth
1983-2008: The lesson of quality
1984-2009: Some things old, some things new
1985-2010: Guests and clones
1986-2011: Thinking big... and bigger
1987-2012: Growing three ways
1988-2013: Compounding complexity
1989-2014: Grand visions
1990-2015: Herculean heights
1991-2016: Happy marriages
1992-2017: Diamonds forever