Robert Rossney | 1 May 02:09 2009
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Re: Re: Plastic, Wood or Carboard - How do you like your Gaming Bits

Peter Clinch wrote:

 > Others I like... my best Chessmen are bone, my Go stones and Mancala
 > "pebbles" are glass. Samurai's plexiglass
 > high-hats/Buddhas/rice-paddies are *very* good IMHO, and the Bakelite
 > pieces in various GIPF games are very nice to handle and play with
 > (technically I guess it's a sort of plastic, but it has a very different
 > feel to the plastics usually used for game pieces).

To paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen, I know Bakelite, and the pieces in 
the GIPF games are no Bakelite. 

There's been a trend in the past few years of manufacturers (and not 
just game publishers) calling any phenolic plastic "Bakelite."  These 
plastics aren't Bakelite.  They aren't even Catalin.  In a lot of cases, 
they're not even phenolic - I'm pretty sure the "Bakelite" that GIPF 
pieces, and Hive and Trax tiles, are made out of is polypropylene.

These plastics have about the same relationship to Bakelite as the 
"Eames-era" chairs advertised on ebay have to Eames chairs, or that 
artificial banana flavoring has to bananas.  Actual Bakelite is brittle 
(one of the reasons it isn't used anymore), has a remarkable texture, 
smells a little funny, and yellows with age.  It's also (relatively) 
costly to make and more brittle than you'd want in most consumer 
products, which is why it hasn't really been heavily used in 
manufacturing since cheaper and more durable plastics were developed.

But its name has cachet, because the first mass-produced objects made of 
plastic were made of Bakelite.  And apparently it's OK to just flat out 
lie about what your products are made out of, since only people who 
(Continue reading)

Jonathan Degann | 1 May 02:23 2009
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Re: Re: Plastic, Wood or Carboard - How do you like your Gaming Bits

>
>  Actual Bakelite is brittle, has a remarkable texture,
> smells a little funny, and yellows with age.

Oh my God.  Could... I... actually be made out of Bakelite?

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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Robert Rossney | 1 May 03:29 2009
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Re: Re: Plastic, Wood or Carboard - How do you like your Gaming Bits

Jonathan Degann wrote:
 >
 > >
 > > Actual Bakelite is brittle, has a remarkable texture,
 > > smells a little funny, and yellows with age.
 >
 > Oh my God. Could... I... actually be made out of Bakelite?

<looking at hands>  Uh oh.

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Peter Clinch | 1 May 10:58 2009
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Re: Plastic, Wood or Carboard - How do you like your Gaming Bits

Robert Rossney wrote:
> Peter Clinch wrote:
> 
>  > Others I like... my best Chessmen are bone, my Go stones and Mancala
>  > "pebbles" are glass. Samurai's plexiglass
>  > high-hats/Buddhas/rice-paddies are *very* good IMHO, and the Bakelite
>  > pieces in various GIPF games are very nice to handle and play with
>  > (technically I guess it's a sort of plastic, but it has a very different
>  > feel to the plastics usually used for game pieces).
> 
> To paraphrase the late Lloyd Bentsen, I know Bakelite, and the pieces in 
> the GIPF games are no Bakelite. 

I wouldn't have guessed they are, but Kris Burm's diaries on
www.gipf.com have discussed production decisions, including one of which
to go with the nicer but more expensive and less controllable Bakelite
option.  So that's why I thought they were Bakelite.  See
http://www.gipf.com/news_archive/news_july25_04.html

> But its name has cachet, because the first mass-produced objects made of 
> plastic were made of Bakelite.  And apparently it's OK to just flat out 
> lie about what your products are made out of, since only people who 
> actually care about Bakelite itself (raises hand) even seem to notice.

Though in this case no particular effort was made to push the fact that
that was what was being used, true or not. (I don't think an out of the
way diary entry on a web page really counts as pushing it for reasons of
cachet, especially as that entry post-dated most of the series.)

Pete.
(Continue reading)

Robert Rossney | 1 May 18:15 2009
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Re: Re: Plastic, Wood or Carboard - How do you like your Gaming Bits

Peter Clinch wrote:

 > > But its name has cachet, because the first mass-produced objects 
made of
 > > plastic were made of Bakelite. And apparently it's OK to just flat out
 > > lie about what your products are made out of, since only people who
 > > actually care about Bakelite itself (raises hand) even seem to notice.
 >
 > Though in this case no particular effort was made to push the fact that
 > that was what was being used, true or not. (I don't think an out of the
 > way diary entry on a web page really counts as pushing it for reasons of
 > cachet, especially as that entry post-dated most of the series.)

I apologize if my post was so unclear that you thought my annoyance s 
directed your way.  It's not.

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Brian Leet | 1 May 19:21 2009
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Re: Re: Plastic, Wood or Carboard - How do you like your Gaming Bits

On Fri, May 1, 2009 at 12:15 PM, Robert Rossney <rbr@...> wrote:

> I apologize if my post was so unclear that you thought my annoyance s
> directed your way.  It's not.
>

Oh no Bob, it was most certainly a shotgun blast of annoyance at the whole
world.  I quite enjoyed it.

Brian

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Peter Clinch | 7 May 13:39 2009
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Re: Plastic, Wood or Carboard - How do you like your Gaming Bits

Robert Rossney wrote:

> I apologize if my post was so unclear that you thought my annoyance s 
> directed your way.  It's not.

None needed, I just wondered if the annoyance was justified in this
case.  One thing from the gipf.com entry that can be inferred is the
original pieces in GIPF were indeed /not/ Bakelite, but those in DVONN,
ZERTZ etc are, and the subsequent "compact box" reprints of GIPF, but my
wondering didn't really come over as that (... for which I apologise!)

Pete.
--

-- 
Peter Clinch                    Medical Physics IT Officer
Tel 44 1382 660111 ext. 33637   Univ. of Dundee, Ninewells Hospital
Fax 44 1382 640177              Dundee DD1 9SY Scotland UK
net p.j.clinch@...     http://www.dundee.ac.uk/~pjclinch/

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