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Plasticard, WizKids

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erickmain
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Joined: 07/26/2008

OK i have searched the forums, and please go easy on me if this has been covered. the Pirates of the Spanish Main and other various games are on cards similar to a credit card, some on BGG call it "Plasticard". i have found places that will print these but I'm having a hard time finding a place that will print and die-cut the shapes to be punched out. any help with this is greatly appreciated. and does the recently defunct WizKids own the patent to this or can anyone use this sort of game piece process.

Erick Main

Willi B
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Joined: 07/28/2008
I know there is a patent for

I know there is a patent for a constructable game pertaining to this because there was a Wizards spat with WizKids... I think it was due to the Star Wars constructable game. I don't know the patent specifically, but I am sure someone still owns the rights to it somewhere. I'd try to read up on it if I were you before you go too deep and decide for yourself if you should continue.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
WizKids' properties are not "free game".

Note that WizKids and their assets have been bought by National Entertainment Collectibles Association, Inc. (NECA)

http://www.wizkidsgames.com/
http://www.necaonline.com/article/detail/278

In the NECA article, they refer to the games you're talking about as, "the Pocketmodel Game family of games."

gameprinter
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Joined: 08/06/2008
Printing and Diecutting

Jon-
Plastic is tough to print on in any case and printing on something this thick is probably going to require a special press. It sounds like you have that covered, though.

Diecutting is also going to be hard. Diecutting ability is a measure of the tonnage of the machine and the "rule inches" of the die. The problem is that big tonnage die cutting machines (like a Bobst) are usually set up to do large sheets. Small credit card sized sheets are going to be a problem for big machines. Even if you die cut them and then cut them into the smaller sheets, it will still be an issue (cutters work on an inches basis, not a sheet basis, so it will take more time to cut the thick sheets of plastic down). Smaller diecutters (like a Thompson or a Windmill) may not have the tonnage to cut a thick sheet of plastic, even at that small size.

That said, you probably need to find a company that specializes in die cutting. Maybe even one that specializes in die cutting plastic. The good news is that such companies are more common than you might think. Most decent sized cities will have one. The trick will be finding them as many are small shops with a limited web presence.

guildofblades
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Joined: 07/28/2008
It is possible you could cut

It is possible you could cut them yourself, one at a time with a small clicker press. That way you could simply order various designs from a company that does plastic/credit card production and have them ship you finished cards, uncut.

Some of the independent war game publishers have been using the small clicker presses to die cut their wargame counters. Might work on plastic.

I'll likely investigate if I can cut larger sheets of that style of plastic in our new die cutter. It has been designed to cut up to 80pt chipboard and plastic cards are only half as thick, but stil not the same thing.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009
Interesting! Do you have a lot of cards?

I work for a local municipality and we've got our own printshop. One of my favorite machines is the cutting machine. It's huge and it's old and it's a monster. It only does straight cuts. We save money on the paper if we buy bigger sheets and then cut them down to size.

So...would it work for you to print all your cards on a single sheet and then laminate that sheet (with some thick laminate) and then cut them out? I don't know if this is helpful to your or not, but you've given me a good idea. Some of the laminate they use down there (in our print shop) make the products look and feel like credit cards. For example, they've printed out a payroll calendar and laminated it into a little card that you can put in your wallet. Looks and works great!

guildofblades
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Joined: 07/28/2008
Its doubtful any paper cutter

Its doubtful any paper cutter could effectively cut any plastic cards. More likely to crack them. Options at cutting those things are probably:

1) Roll or stamp die cutters
2) Laser Cutters (would only work on certain plastic types
3) Diamond edged stack cutter

Only options 1 and 2 could let you cut unique and complex shapes out of the cards.

Ryan S. Johnson
Guild of Blades Retail Group - http://www.gobretail.com
Guild of Blades Publishing Group - http://www.guildofblades.com
1483 Online - http://www.1483online.com

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