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beads as game pieces

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Traz's picture
Joined: 04/06/2009

I've mentioned on here a few times that I get beads from an online store from China. What I haven't done is say you can get them on sale once a month, nor show you guys a picture of what I'm talking about. Down in the IMAGES section I've posted a couple of pics to give you a better idea - look for 'bulk beads'.

The first picture shows you how they come wrapped. In those 6 bags are a total of 2600 beads. I paid $27 for the beads themselves and $27 to ship them, which comes out to $0.02 per bead. That's not too shabby as I get exactly what I want, instead of just taking bulk bags and hope for the best [though they do have bulk bags of stuff, and I've gotten good stuff out of those too].

The secret is to open an account with them at and they will start sending you an email every month of stuff they are discounting to get rid of. The stuff you see in my recent purchase includes:

- 600 of the sweet gold bars that I use for my Gold Pharaoh tokens in GODS ALONG THE NILE

- 1500 green blocks that are about the same size as the small wooden pieces in CAYLUS, but are much more colorful. I put 100 of these in each copy of GatN, and have used deep purple, orange and now green. These little guys rock!

- 500 unique squares that just screamed at me to take them home for a future project

If you're looking for blocks, or other standard pieces and want something more interesting than wood, this is what I've been suggesting for the past few years. The price is very reasonable and will make your prototypes [or your production models] POP! At first there is a tendency to worry about the little holes, but I guarantee you, this will fade faster than it starts. If you want an outside endorsement, check the review I got from FATHER GEEK on GODS ALONG THE NILE - he specifically calls attention to the beads very favorably. Half of the copies I've sold of GatN have been purchased because of the cool bits!

Reality check - I ordered these the last week of December and they just arrived today. You can pay more in shipping to get them here faster [I've done that], but if it's not an issue, The Slow Boat From China is not just a cliche - it's a reality.

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