You only get one chance to make a first impression, and with tabletop games, the first impression starts with the box. The best way to start building your box is with the Panda Template Generator found here.
Two Piece Box
If your game consists of only cards, the best container may be a lighter, one-piece tuck box. Just like the two piece box, you can generate custom templates for a tuck box with the Panda Template Generator found here. Does your tuckbox need a hang tab? Contact us for a template.
Printed ComponentsMost game components are printed on paper. Below you will find all the information you need to ensure that your pieces are printed correctly.
Booklets & Paper Sheets
Classic ComponentsThere are many components that can go into a game. While many are common, some are unique. Below you will find information on our common game components. If you don’t see the component that you need listed here, contact your Account Manager to ask about it.
Panda has a few other basic components that don’t neatly fit into wood or plastic.
Sand Timers Sand timers add a sense of urgency to any game. Will your team be able to answer before the last grain falls? Sand timers are an essential part of many trivia games, and have found their way into drafting, dexterity, and other games where time is of the essence. Although most games that need a timing element use sand timers, we may have other timers available. Please ask your account manager if you are interested in a more unique option. When requesting sand timers, you can specify the duration of the timer. We can make sand timers between 10 seconds and 15 minutes at 5 seconds increments. For example: 10 seconds, 15 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds… Timers under 30 seconds may run 3 seconds longer or shorter. Similarly, timers over 30 seconds may run 5 seconds longer or shorter. You can also customize the color of the bases and sand by specifying a Pantone color codes.
Writing Implements Writing implements like pens, pencils, and dry erase markers allow players to keep score, get creative, or modify a game. Pencils can be golf or standard size. Pens and dry erase markers come in standard size unless you request otherwise. You can customize the color of the writing implements by specifying a Pantone color code. You can also specify the color for the ink in pens and dry erase markers. Erasers on the ends of the pencils or dry erase markers can also be included if requested. Don’t forget to add a printed design, such the game’s logo, along the side of the writing implement. This costs a bit more, but it makes the writing implement feel integrated into your game.
Glass Stones Glass Stones are round, flat-bottomed pieces like you might see in a Mancala game. They are great as counters, and thanks to their flat bottoms, won’t move around as much as other pieces.
Panda has many plastic pieces for you to choose from. These pieces are commonly used and readily available. All of these pieces have color options, and often you can choose a specific Pantone color for the plastic.
Plastic Shapes Plastic and Glass Shapes are exceptional in their versatility. There are many ways to describe them, but here's the terminology that Panda uses: Cubes come in a variety of sizes and are the most basic shape. Beads are round, flat-bottomed pieces like you might see in a Mancala game. They are great as counters, and thanks to their flat bottoms, won't move around as much as other pieces. Gems look a little bit like explosions, with varied surfaces and angles. They are great for games involving magic or energy. Diamonds, unsurprisingly, look like diamonds; not the geometric shape, but the stereotypical diamond a jewel thief steals from a museum. They are great in games involving gemstones or wealth collection. Panda also produces some less-common shapes, such as rockets and hearts, to help your game stand out. While most plastic shapes are made of acrylic, we may recommend glass or another type of plastic depending on the unique constraints of a particular shape.
2D Acrylic Shapes Our 2D plastic shapes are made the same way that we make wooden shapes, but they are acrylic! If your game has a futuristic or shiny theme, you may prefer the gloss and expanded flexibility of acrylic. Just like wood, these shapes are sliced if the shape is sufficiently simple. More complex shapes can be laser cut. They can be silk screened and can be any Pantone color. Unlike wood, acrylic shapes can be translucent. Laser cutting is only available for shapes that are 10mm thick or less.
Plastic Stands Plastic stands can be used to hold up cards or punch board pieces. They are a simple and cost-effective way to offer custom player pieces. Panda has several different molds to hold punch boards and cards of varying thickness. When you request plastic stands, please indicate what they will be holding to ensure we use the correct size. When designing your punch board pieces to be held in a stand, be sure to account for the space at the bottom of your design that will be covered by the plastic stand. Clear and black are the most common color requests, but you can customize the color by specifying a Pantone color code.
Counters & Discs Plastic discs can range from tiny, thin tiddlywinks to larger, thicker, dealer chips. They make great coins, counters, or first player markers. Plastic discs are the simplest and cheapest option, and are available in a variety of thicknesses and diameters.
Rivets and Spinners Rivets are small round plastic pieces used to connect two pieces of punch board together. They can be used to create dials to track points or or other resources. Spinners are plastic arrows that can spin around for randomization. The diameter of plastic rivets is 12mm; any important artwork should stay outside of the space covered by the rivet. The inner diameter is 8mm, so diecuts must have a 9mm hole for the rivet. We have available molds for 3.5, 4, 5, or 6mm thick cardboard. They can be applied to cardboard thickness within +-1mm. When you request plastic rivets, please indicate what they will be holding so we can ensure that you receive the correct size.
Storage & Organization
Now that you have picked out all of the components for playing your game, how will they be organized inside your box?
Insert Tray An insert tray not only keeps components from shifting around in the box, it also gives your gamebox a finished look. These trays can be simple or complex, cardboard or plastic. Cardboard: The cardboard tray helps to keep your components organized and is another opportunity to print the lovely art for your game. Plastic: A plastic insert tray is a vacuum formed plastic that keeps your game’s components in place. They are particularly useful for games containing minifigs.
Cloth Bags Cloth Bags are ideal for keeping pieces organized or hidden. They can be made from five different materials: cotton, canvas, faux velvet, linen, and silk. Linen, cotton, and canvas are great for a rustic or antique feel, while velvet and silk suggest opulence. All cloth bags can be made in the size and color that you specify. They all come with one drawstring standard, but you can request to upgrade to a second drawstring or even a zipper. Fabric preference may be as simple as personal taste, so be sure to consider the different decorative options available for each material. Nearly all materials can be silk screened or embroidered; however velvet bags do not silk screen well and can only be embroidered. Linen and canvas bags will be rough woven and have natural variances in the material.
Component Containers Keep the contents of your game organized with zip bags, a plastic tray, or component containers! High quality zip bags cost only a few pennies each, but they go a long way towards customer satisfaction. With a bag for everything, set-up and clean-up are a breeze! Vacuum formed component containers are another great option. These small plastic containers keep pieces organized when the game is put away, but also function as a bank or resource reserve during the game. The wells keep everything in place while allowing for easy retrieval of their contents. Component containers are under-utilized, and are therefore a great way to make your game stand out. Plastic trays are an upgrade from custom fit cardboard trays. Vacuum formed plastic trays are the ultimate in customizable component containment.
Boxes Need a box inside of your box? The best way to start building your box is with the Panda Template Generator found at: pandagm.com/template-generator/ Tuckbox: If your game consists of only cards, the best container may be a lighter, one-piece tuck box. Just like the two piece box, you can generate custom templates for a tuck box with the Panda Template Generator found at: pandagm.com/template-generator/ Box Bottom: If your game consists of only cards, the best container may be a lighter, one-piece tuck box. Just like the two piece box, you can generate custom templates for a tuck box with the Panda Template Generator found at: pandagm.com/template-generator/ Two Piece Box: Why have just the bottom when you can also have the top? A small two piece box can hold treasures inside your gamebox. Magnetic Box: A magnetic box can make a great Kickstarter stretch goal or simply create a premium experience. Contact us for a template that matches your project.
Custom ShapesTake your game up a notch with custom shapes. They are a beautiful way to help your game stand out, but they do increase complexity, cost, and length of time to produce a game. Expect to provide detailed information about your custom piece and then expect multiple rounds of review and approval to ensure that the piece is created correctly.
When should I include custom plastics? That is a question that many board game publishers find themselves wondering. The decision to include custom plastics in your game is an exciting prospect that should be approached with careful consideration. Custom plastic figures are a beautiful way to help a game to stand out among the the hundreds of games that are released each year. However, custom plastics increase complexity, cost, and length of time to produce a game. Plastics also have a minimum order of 2500 units. Snap Bases: To avoid the costs associated with reseting molds for different colored pieces, we offer plastic base snaps. They are colored round bases that snap onto the bottom of your plastic piece to denote player/faction in a way that is far more cost effective than casting additional miniatures.