Apex/Black Aurora Poker Chip Cases

Which APEX Poker Chip Case capacity do you want us to make first?


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Mario Garza

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Guys.

Fwiw...we're still here.

Over the past couple of days, I've received emails about the Apex/Black Aurora poker chip cases. I wasn't sure where the interest was coming from. Then I found this thread: https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/unique-birdcage-storage.24895/page-2

Honestly, 10 minutes ago, I logged into my accounts to delete the Apex 1000 poker chip case project from the website and everywhere else, as well as issue refunds to everyone who pre-ordered during the fundraising campaign. Ready to throw in the towel on this, finally.

But, having read the above thread, it kills me--IT KILLS ME--that you guys are still paying this much for acrylic birdcage carriers. The Apex 400/600/800/1000 (and maybe even 1200, if you guys want?) would have cost wayyyy less. It's been a while since I ran the numbers in-depth, but $50-65 each and an order of around 300-500 would have done it, pretty easily, iirc. A big group buy, basically.

If you don't care who Aurora Poker Gear is, skip this paragraph: In the interest of transparency... This company is, basically, a one-man show. I don't make enough from poker chip sales to be able to afford or justify the $15,000+ on aluminum tooling, shop tools, warehouse space, shipping, etc. to gamble on the Apex project. I'm happily married. I love my wife and kids more than money or poker, and I make enough at my full-time job that I don't NEED to do anything with poker chips. I do it because I have a passion for it, designing poker chips beats working OT any day of the week, and it generates a Vegas budget for me and the wife every month or two. But, that said, if we could get enough momentum on this project, I'd be willing to move forward on it. No, I would LOVE to move forward on it.

I've still got an injection molding company lined up. Still got the design files. Still got the motivation. And the Apex still has the features list to put the other ones itt to shame:

1. Injection molded glass-filled nylon (Zytel) parts -- way stronger than acrylic.
2. Multiple poker chip capacities: 400, 600, 800, or 1000
3. Dealer button and card compartments built-in (Or not? PCF's call.)
4. Thicker, rounded handle, so it's not painful to carry 1,000 chips.
5. Poker chip rack stabilizers to keep chips steady during transport.
6. Rounded corners and rubber feet -- doesn't damage felt or wood surfaces, stays put during transport.
7. Quarter-inch thick acrylic case with beveled welded joints -- no need to cover up sloppy welding on the edges, like the other guys.
8. Much more stylish than the other guys.

If you're not sure what it is, you can check it out on aurorapokergear.com, but I've attached some pics to illustrate.

So, what do you guys need from me to make this happen?
 

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timinater

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These look great! I'm interested!

If I may suggest changing up the card/button storage. Most of ususe two decks of KEM Copag etc type cards (per table) that come in a two deck case. Could do a recess that would fit a variety of cards/cases (in a dream scenario, four decks total)and on the other side have two recesses for buttons.
 

Señor Tony

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1. Injection molded glass-filled nylon (Zytel) parts -- way stronger than acrylic. Yet to have a problem with my acrylic cages breaking/cracking/fracturing?
2. Multiple poker chip capacities: 400, 600, 800, or 1000. Very interested in 400 chip cages.
3. Dealer button and card compartments built-in (Or not? PCF's call.) In theory sounds good but getting sizes right to fit most cards and buttons is key.
4. Thicker, rounded handle, so it's not painful to carry 1,000 chips. I haven't noticed handles being painful but only have 600 chip and not 1000 chip cages.
5. Poker chip rack stabilizers to keep chips steady during transport. Seems like a good feature if it works.
6. Rounded corners and rubber feet -- doesn't damage felt or wood surfaces, stays put during transport. Seems useful.
7. Quarter-inch thick acrylic case with beveled welded joints -- no need to cover up sloppy welding on the edges, like the other guys. Seems useful.
8. Much more stylish than the other guys. I would not order any colours other than black.

Not sure how you can have all these upgrades in materials along with added manufacturing complications without increasing the cost compared to standard cages?
 

Tommy

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Dealer button and card compartments built-in (Or not? PCF's call.) In theory sounds good but getting sizes right to fit most cards and buttons is key.
I was just thinking about this. First I thought they could offer different bottom options and you could assemble it to the handle but that would introduce more tooling costs and I don't know if that compromises the sturdiness. Are the handles and bottoms normally one piece? I can't remember.

The other option is make it fit a single deck box that can hold bridge and poker size. Offer the box with the case. Not sure how to address the different size buttons. Foam inserts?
 

Mario Garza

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recessed compartments for cards and buttons?
[/SPOILER]
For two decks of cards and as many as four dealer buttons (two 2-inch buttons and two 3-inch "pucks")

i like how crafty these are with the storage element of the cards and dealer button. is there a version that will hold the double deck boxes of cards majority of us use though?
The design can change based upon PCF/customer need. Maybe we'll do a poll? If we have enough pre-orders, we can always order more injection mold tooling to cover more needs.

looks like you could fit a deck and button on each side.
1545264998662.png

In its current form, the Apex cases can hold four buttons, in total, per case: two 3" pucks and two 2" buttons underneath.

but i like to keep em in their stupid cases.... blame the ocd :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:
Ultimately, we'll have to figure out what works best for everyone, but maybe we can take a poll on features like this. If everyone loves their Kems, maybe we can make a model that houses the Kem dual deck plastic cases.

How about you design one that will fit 43mm chip racks? :D
Absolutely. I'm sure it will end up being only one model to begin with (The 1000-chip Apex), but we'll eventually expand to 800-, 600-, and 400-chip versions, and definitely 43mm counterparts. How else we gonna serve the Euro market? ;)

...two decks of KEM Copag etc type cards...(in a dream scenario, four decks total)and on the other side have two recesses for buttons.
The design is highly flexible, at this point. A poll is looking more and more likely as to what we want the Apex to house.

1. Injection molded glass-filled nylon (Zytel) parts -- way stronger than acrylic. Yet to have a problem with my acrylic cages breaking/cracking/fracturing?
2. Multiple poker chip capacities: 400, 600, 800, or 1000. Very interested in 400 chip cages.
3. Dealer button and card compartments built-in (Or not? PCF's call.) In theory sounds good but getting sizes right to fit most cards and buttons is key.
4. Thicker, rounded handle, so it's not painful to carry 1,000 chips. I haven't noticed handles being painful but only have 600 chip and not 1000 chip cages.
5. Poker chip rack stabilizers to keep chips steady during transport. Seems like a good feature if it works.
6. Rounded corners and rubber feet -- doesn't damage felt or wood surfaces, stays put during transport. Seems useful.
7. Quarter-inch thick acrylic case with beveled welded joints -- no need to cover up sloppy welding on the edges, like the other guys. Seems useful.
8. Much more stylish than the other guys. I would not order any colours other than black.

Not sure how you can have all these upgrades in materials along with added manufacturing complications without increasing the cost compared to standard cages?
1. I'm actually surprised you haven't broken a Brybelly-type case yet. I have. Several friends of mine have. In most situations I've experienced in person and read about on the net, the fully-loaded weight of (cheap) 14g chips was enough to do it. In other situations, someone stepped on the black T in the closet, etc. You step on a glass-filled nylon Apex 1000 and it'll just laugh at you. The strength and lightness of GFN is world-renowned. Don't believe me? Ask Glock.
2. Perfect! It all depends on the level of interest and how many pre-orders we get, but we will get to the 400-chip cages, one way or another. Multiple capacities was the main idea behind the Apex cases when I designed them.
3. All the homework has been done. The compartments fit every button I've found, big and small. The card compartments are slightly oversized and they fit the largest and thickest decks (in or out of their boxes).
4. Man, load up a Brybelly with 1000 cheap chips and carry it for--mmmmm--half a block. You'll see what I mean. :)
5. The chip rack stabilizers work. I'll do a demo video as soon as I possibly can.
6. Feet make sense, don't they? We stole this idea from guitar amplifier manufacturers. You want your valuable, heavy items to stay put when you set them down.
7. Thicker acrylic is much more durable. Some acrylic birdcage fill carriers have acrylic only a few millimeters thick, a fraction of what the Apex cases will have. Also, it just looks better. The beveled edge joinery looks marvelous.
8. We're going to start with black, almost certainly, and expand to other colors down the road, if demand exists. The white cases shown were the best renderings I had to demonstrate all of the features.
 

jazzV3

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My preference for storage is a bird cage since it combines the ability to display, store, and carry, all in one.

Mario's method of attaching the handle is something that caught my eye. I was never big on the screwed together versions for various reasons.
The cages that I have been using don't have a screwed together handle/base, but the method of one piece construction allows for more flex than I would like.
Another pet peeve is the inability to carry cards easily if traveling with the chips to a game. Sometimes, you can get a couple single decks to sit on top of the chips depending on the size carrier and how many chips you are toting.

I would have interest in a couple 800-1000 carriers.

Even though this is likely the one location that has a user base who can use and appreciate the details of a "better" bird cage (lol), I wonder if hitting 500 is realistic?
 
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Mario Garza

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I'd probably buy 2x 1200-chip cases and 2x (maybe up to 4) 1000-chip cases.
That would be a great start! Thank you, @allforcharity! If we can get even 100 pre-orders from PCF, we'll be off and running!

I was just thinking about this. First I thought they could offer different bottom options and you could assemble it to the handle but that would introduce more tooling costs and I don't know if that compromises the sturdiness. Are the handles and bottoms normally one piece? I can't remember.

The other option is make it fit a single deck box that can hold bridge and poker size. Offer the box with the case. Not sure how to address the different size buttons. Foam inserts?
Hopefully, the above answered your concerns, @Tommy. The bridge deck is something that I hadn't considered, but definitely will. Usually, there's a solution to everything, design-wise, if you're creative. The button concerns have been addressed, unless someone can find a massive monster of a button that I've never encountered.

Another vote for 43mm rack capable
Got it!
 

kmccormick100

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I love the idea of card and button storage in a birdcage, I have no problem taking my setups out of their @desjgn or KEM boxes so that they don’t get carried/dropped separately. I’d buy a couple 800 or 1000ct cases, there’s a big gap between 600 and 1000 usually. Stick to one color, white or black to keep costs down.
 

Mario Garza

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...method of attaching the handle is something that caught my eye...the method of one piece construction allows for more flex than I would like.

I would have interest in a couple 800-1000 carriers.

Even though this is likely the one location that has a user base who can use and appreciate the details of a "better" bird cage (lol), I wonder if hitting 500 is realistic?
My thoughts exactly on the handle/base joinery. For those who haven't seen it on Instagram or elsewhere, the Apex base is designed with a "pocket" for the handle. The pocket is swabbed with a GFN solvent welding compound and the handle is inserted, then screwed in from underneath, using three long stainless steel screws and washers. Pilot holes in the bottom of the handle ensure a break-free joint. The solvent weld alone would probably be enough. The screws, washers--given their size and strength--and the utilization of pilot holes, would be enough on their own, as well. Together? Good luck breaking it. I would welcome torture-test videos on YouTube.

This isn't a "better" birdcage. It's the best birdcage. (y) :thumbsup: In all seriousness, doesn't it irk you guys to look around for the best and be stuck with the same, old things that have been around since who knows when?

Shut up and take my money.
'Nuff said. :D And thank God, tbh! I was a little worried I was going to be laughed off of PCF.
 

justsomedude

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I'd be interested in a basic carrier with no bells and whistles... no card/deck slots, no button slots... just sleek, sexy, and simple!

And if the only option comes with all the rigmarole as shown, I'd still be in for one!



PS: I love your entrepreneurial spirit!!!! Best of luck to you on this project @Mario Garza!!
 

Trihonda

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Vote for a version that allows for a standard card setup and a coupe buttons. Keep it simple and plan for the lowest common denominator.

I’d be in for a couple cases pending a reasonable cost. My preference would be a 600 and 800 size.
 

Mario Garza

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I love the idea of card and button storage in a birdcage, I have no problem taking my setups out of their @desjgn or KEM boxes so that they don’t get carried/dropped separately. I’d buy a couple 800 or 1000ct cases, there’s a big gap between 600 and 1000 usually. Stick to one color, white or black to keep costs down.
Definitely black. I hope to make that clearer in the future posts I'll make itt. I'll make a more thorough post about this soon, but I plan on starting with one color and a single size, likely 1000, in order to make sure we get the tooling for the base and at least one handle taken care of.

I'd be interested in a basic carrier with no bells and whistles... no card/deck slots, no button slots... just sleek, sexy, and simple!

And if the only option comes with all the rigmarole as shown, I'd still be in for one!

PS: I love your entrepreneurial spirit!!!! Best of luck to you on this project @Mario Garza!!
This is another option. The advantage to going this route would be it would be much easier to market to casinos and, therefore, bring it and its home game variations to fruition.

Thank you for the kind words, @justsomedude. It means a ton!
 

justsomedude

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Honestly, 10 minutes ago, I logged into my accounts to delete the Apex 1000 poker chip case project from the website and everywhere else, as well as issue refunds to everyone who pre-ordered during the fundraising campaign. Ready to throw in the towel on this, finally.
DO NOT THROW IN THE TOWEL

You simply overlooked your biggest market... us chip nerds!!! :sneaky::ROFL: :ROFLMAO::p
 
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