Tag Archives: etsy

Levi Schneidewent-Trollworks

Brandon: Today we are joined by Levi Schneidewent of Trollworks. If you missed my review of two of his dice towers that I purchased you can read that here and then read the following interview, or read this interview first and then read the dice tower review. Either way. Enjoy!


First, tell me about where the name Trollworks comes from?

Levi: When I was a kid my brother used to call me the little “Troll”. My workspace is in basement of a 1923 firehouse which happens to be a Fallout shelter; sort of a cave. It’s the home of Rockhead’s Comics and Games, it occupies the ground floor and the second story (9000 sq ft) (owned by my brother). When I was just starting the business my brother was kidding around and said, “Go to your cave little troll and get to work.”—Trollworks

How did you get started making game accessories?

Levi: I would like to tell you a happy story of how it all began, but I lost my job of 23 years due to the economy and I didn’t want to go back into daily grind; so, I took the opportunity to create a job just for myself.

What is your design process like? How do you come up with the pieces you make?

Levi: Many of my designs come from customer requests. If I feel the finished product is marketable I do a cost/time study, then a product offer.

DiceMasters

What is your best seller?

Levi: The marketplace is flickered, at times I get lots of requests for Dice Towers or Movement Trays or Storage Systems. I don’t have enough market history yet to do any trend mapping. I sell a lot of dice towers during the Holidays, a lot of trays during Regional’s, and then storage system sales increase after the Holidays.

What is your favorite accessory that you make?

Levi: Design is what I like to do best; so my favorite accessory is coming up with new projects. In fact, that’s a weakness of mine. I have designed and built many more projects where only one gets built.

Do you do custom work or take requests for something to stock?

Levi: Yes, I do custom skins on many of my products (dice-towers, movement trays, storage units, movement markers, dice) and I also do custom scratch work. My rates are driven by the usual factors such as design time, material cost, amd product time, but I give discounts on the marketability of the project.

I make an FMTG storage case that was a customer request. The project should have been close to $100, but it had marketability, so I did the project for $50.00. I currently set said item for $50 on my Etsy shop.

How often do you design and add new items?

Levi: As needed/requested or when orders are slow. I build everything on demand, my turn around time is 3-5 order to ship

PaintStorage

What tools and equipment do you use?

Levi: I am currently running 2 Universal Lasers, but I have a large compliment of support equipment (woodworking, paint booth, sandblaster, 3d printer). I have invested a lot into my equipment.

What games have you been playing lately?

Levi: Since I work in a game shop and live over a game shop I have plenty of opportunity for gaming:

RPG– Deadlands, D&D 5th ed, Shadowrun, Hackmaster online w20d

Miniature– 40K, Flames of War, Airdrome 1.0, D&D, Imperial Assault

BoardGames– we have 1200 library games.

Electronic– Civilization, Galactic Civilization, X-Com, Windward

What do you do when you aren’t making amazing dice towers?

Levi: I’m a lone wolf, coupled with the fact that I’m the boss/owner; I can come and go as I please. So, I travel in my Kia Soul conversion camper (kayak, bicycle, 5’8’” bed, attached canopy, off grid solar power, 12v refrigerator, lights, fans, low voltage charging station). So, travel, camping, cycling, and kayaking.


Levi is currently on a well deserved break after hitting GenCon, but can be foundCthulhu at this fine location:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Trollmanufacturing

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Trollworks

Brandon: I once made a dice tower based on the Porkins’ Dice Tower and helped Tarehna make a birdhouse themed dice tower for herself. You can get a good look at them both in this video! In that video you can also see a dice tower I purchased from Troll Works with cashy money. Well, with an electronic card thing over the internets. Thank you internets and thank you cashy electronic card thing. The first dice tower I purchased from Troll Works is a Memoir ’44 themed dice tower and I love it. The construction is excellent and the fake little rivets are all turned different directions. This dice tower fits in so well with the theme of the game. A Glen Miller playlist on Pandora, Memoir ’44,  and this dice tower (pictured below) make for an excellent evening.

It came completely flat and I got to assemble it!

It came completely flat and I got to assemble it!

I enjoyed the Memoir ’44 tower so much I kept going back and looking at the Trollworks Etsy shop. One of the products that stood out to me was a fold-down (or up) tower. It appeared to have the same great quality as the dice tower I had purchased and presented additional benefits. It folded up, or down, or both. Space saver! Also, there’s a lid that goes on the top so that you can plop your dice in it, put the lid on, fold it up (or down), and travel to your next adventure!

I had a dilemma on my hands though. I already had a Memoir ’44 themed dice tower, and I was eyeing yet another Memoir ’44 themed dice tower. I couldn’t do it. There was no way that I could justify two Memoir ’44 themed dice towers. Or could I? No! I could not. Not to worry. Zpocalypse to the rescue! I did a review of Zpocalypse for the now defunct Zombease.com, but you can read the text of that interview at my BGG page. You can also read my review of the excellent expansion Zmergency. How did this help? Time for a zombie themed dice tower! It is a thing of beauty.

Toxic Dice Tower

Toxic Dice Tower

I can report that the construction and attention to detail are excellent. The dice flow and bump their way to the built in tray. The dice tower folds down (or up) and, with the lid on, does in fact keep my dice within for travel. The color is an excellent toxic green and really accentuates the feel of a game of Zpocalypse.

I do, however, have two issues. First, I wish I had purchased these in the reverse format. The fold-down (or up) tower seems more appropriate for Memoir ’44 to me. But that’s just me. Or maybe it’s you too. Go us! Second, I feel like I need to purchase all of the dice towers Troll Works has to offer. Castle designs, Star Wars (or Trek), Cthulhu, D&D. So many options. Unfortunately, I don’t have the space and I’m pretty sure that my being in grad school means my cashy money electronic card thingy just won’t be able to handle the strain. And that’s not all! Troll Works also offers box inserts and various game accessories. You should check it all out.

Visit Troll Works at this fabulous internet location and tell them Brandon sent you.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Trollmanufacturing

They don’t know who I am, but maybe they will if you tell them often enough.

Oh! I almost forgot to mention the lovely smell of freshly laser etched wood! Yum!

 

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Thursday Thoughts: Accessories

What do you add to your games?

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