So we are working on getting our “Wizard Fudge Dice” product out there, which will include a preorder as soon as I can feel solid on a timeline for their deployment. They’ll be a 3-color, 12-die set priced at $13. The end result will look something like this:
So what goes into that?
First you get a mold made by your die manufacturer. This will cost you a few thousand dollars. In our case, Grey Ghost Games had the mold made, so we are paying them a few cents per die extra instead of paying the mold cost.
Once the manufacturer has the mold, they can process your order, which will need to be a few tens of thousands to be worth their while. In this case we had ten thousand of each color made for a total north of $4000. (Depending on materials and other factors your cost per die will probably come in in the mid teens of cents per die.)
Your dice will arrive in boxes like these that’ll weigh a good forty odd pounds each:
I say “arrive” like that’s just the next step and it’s easy, but that’s not so. Your manufacturer is likely overseas, and the slow boat from China is not a myth, and customs is no joke. I confirmed my order in terms of materials and colors around, I think, May… And got the dice in late October. This isn’t POD, and as such you’ll be facing reality based timelines of six months on production as often as not.
Inside those boxes will be these plastic wrapped blocks of 200 dice to a block, each block weighing shy of two pounds.
So now you have your dice, and you’re ready to roll, right? Nope. Packaging, my friend, packaging. In this case we are talking about those black capped “crystal” plastic display boxes that can hold 12 per box. They will run you 40 to 50 cents per, if you’re doing 30,000 dice you’re looking for 2500 of them. Your manufacturer for those can take a month to get them done, if you don’t have a supplier who already has them on hand.
You’ll get a few boxes full of boxes that look like this, plus separate smaller boxes with the black plastic lids in them.
And don’t forget the little paper inserts for the boxes to identify your product. Bring a file of em to your copy shop of choice, about 25 per page, and have them print 100 copies and do the cutting for you, 30 or so bucks and a few days.
Now you have most of your physical components, so you’re done.
Except for the procedural stuff.
You need to do assembly, which hopefully you can finagle friends into doing for you with bribes of pizza and free dice. I’ll be trying the finagle thing in another couple weeks, on a free weekend after I’m sure to have gotten all of the plastic boxes I need (haven’t yet).
You’ll also need to figure out how to pack these things (and in what size boxes) in order to minimize breakage and scuffing in transit. That’s another cost that I don’t have a number on yet.
Also factor in the time and monetary costs for your shipping. It’s possible you’ll be doing this more than once. Add a week and the cost of shipping for each time. In my case, shipping comes to me (site of assembly) and the ships again to the warehouse that handles filling orders.
So far, that’s about what it looks like what goes into it.