Our Game Materials FAQ

If you don’t see your question answered among these, please email us at:
FAQ@looneylabs.com

Q: What size are the new Zendo pieces, relative to regular pyramids? Would they fit in a Volcano board?

A: The pyramids in the new Zendo set are the size of a medium Icehouse pyramid, and the other Zendo pieces have the expected proportions, in other words the square base shape of all of them is the same size. So they will fit in a Volcano board just fine, but they’ll be a little smaller than the squares, since the Volcano board is designed to hold a large.

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Q: What are the differences between the pyramids from different generations, like early ones vs. the later Pyramid Arcade ones?

A: Just before Pyramid Arcade came out Pyramid fans were curious about that newest generation of Looney Pyramids, which would have slightly rounder tips than the two previous manufacturing runs (which were themselves ever so slightly different from each other). Our goal, of course, is for all pyramids to be interchangeable and as otherwise identical to the other versions as possible, but concerns were expressed about stacking new ones onto old ones and having them look funny or something.

So, Andy put together a test set consisting of four trios from each of the three production runs, with freshly opened pieces of each type, and he carried this set around in one of those awesome round tins he’s so fond of.

These were his primary play-testing pyramids for a while, and he spent a lot of time stacking, nesting, and playing actual games using this set, to make sure the three types would all interact smoothly. He was happy to report that they’re great!

He also took a series of photos, which do reveal some slight differences:

For the purposes of this report:
G1 are the first type, made in the USA
G2 are the first set of Chinese-made pyramids, matching the first as closely as possible
G3 are from the newest Pyramid Arcade style, which are more rounded, to comply with EU safety regulations
(You may notice some odd colors in the photos: since he had some, he used G1 pieces with slightly non-standard colors (electric yellows and pinkish reds) to make them more easily distinguishable visually.)

These first three photos show that G1 pyramids do stack taller than the others, but he didn’t find that it mattered — or was even noticeable — in actual play.

The next four photos show the pyramids in mixed trios and stacks. Note that for the stacks of nests shown in the lower right photo, each nest has a mixture of all three generations of pyramids. Again, there are some very slight differences in how they stack, but it’s not something you’d notice, let alone feel is a problem, in actual use.

This last photo just shows G3 pyramids being stacked up in weird ways that, as you can see, are all still possible.

In closing Andy would like to say that, while he used to worry that rounder-tipped pyramids would feel inferior, once he actually had them in hand, he felt that, not only were they perfectly acceptable, he had to admit they were actually pretty nice. Maybe even better.

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Q: I’d like to buy some of your pyramids in quantity, how can I do that?

A: Our pyramids are custom manufactured for our games. They are Looney Labs items, and we would not want them used in any other product which is not made by, or officially associated with our company, and certainly not in any other product sold by someone else.

The long and short of it is: They are not for sale in quantity. Please look into using some other-shaped piece for your games. There are a vast number of companies which produce pawns in all sorts of shapes and sizes. If you need them to stack, that quality is undoubtedly available as well.

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Q: The pegs in don’t stay in well for Fluxx: the Board Game. What can I do about that?

A: Here’s a fun graphic we put together about this:

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Q: Why are some of your games in hang-tab boxes, and some in two-part lidded boxes?

A: It’s part of our forays into the mass market, vs. the smaller specialty hobby game toy store market. For those games that we feel will work well for the wider audience we use the more common hang-tab style box, which is also slightly cheaper to produce, and allows us to bring prices down for some of the larger retailers who demand lower prices.

Games in this style packaging include:
Get the MacGuffin
Mary Engelbreit Loonacy
Monster Fluxx
Fluxx SE (“Special Edition”)
CN Fluxx (Cartoon Network Fluxx) (out of print)

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Q: What can we do about certain card types becoming overworn (Goals in Aquarius, Choice cards in Choose One)?

A: We suggest that you use card sleeves to protect these overused card types. If you’re unfamiliar with these, they are simply custom-sized plastic pockets to put your card in to protect them from wear. People who play games with collectible cards often do this to protect cards they want game with but don’t want to damage for their collectible aspect. Or avid gamers do it for the reasons mentioned here: to protect frequently used game components. You should be able to still shuffle a deck with all cards in sleeves, though it may take some getting used to.

If your cards are already over-worn such that it’s interfering with the secrecy required for game-play, look for card sleeves with opaque backs, or try sliding an extra card of a similar or slightly larger size behind the card in question, so that you only see the extra cardback (regular playing cards would work fine for this, for example, as long as they are close to the same size so that they can fit in the card sleeves you’ve acquired.)

You can find card sleeves for almost any size cards, so search online and see what’s available. You’ll need to know the size of the cards, which you can get by simply taking a ruler to them (though we also list our card sizes here). For a more comprehensive list, however here is one that someone has compiled as a reference on the tabletop gaming reference site BoardGameGeek.com

This informational page (on BoardGameGeek) is incredibly dense, so it starts with a lengthy description of how to read the chart. Then scroll down for a list of games by title. There are pages and pages of them, but you can click to the alphabetic range you need.

Find the game you’re interested in on the list and click the NUMBER to the left (clicking the name gets you to an interesting game description page, but not the card sleeve sizing recommendations). Aquarius is on there, as is Fluxx, but Choose One was not deemed popular enough to include specifically, though the cards should be the same size as Fluxx, which IS certainly on the list.

Although they show two separate lists for first and second edition of Aquarius, to our knowledge, they are exactly the same size. That said, the second edition is more common these days. The Goals have round images, and the deck includes diagonally split cards.

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Q: What size are the decks of cards in Pyramid Arcade?

A: There are three different decks in Pyramid Arcade, each a very different size.

The Zark City deck is like a regular deck of playing cards, except that it has five suits and the cards are square. Measurement (roughly, using a ruler) is: 2 & 5/8″ (7 cm) on a side.

The Pyramid Arcade deck, which has a card for each game in the set, has more familiar dimensions. I believe they would be called “poker sized” (wider than “bridge sized”). These are 3 & 7/16″ (8.75 cm) tall by 2 & 15/32″ (6.3 cm) wide.

The Twin Win deck has miniature-sized playing cards which measure 2 & 11/32” (6 cm) tall by 1 & 9/16 (3.95 cm) wide.

See also: What size are Fluxx cards (or any of your other games?)

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Q: Who prints your promo cards, and is it done in the US?

A: All our cards are printed in the US, except for components in Pyramid Arcade.

Our main printer, DeLano, who prints all our card games also does most of the packets and expansions. If there are very old packets and expansions in our stock, they might have been done by our previous printer, Carta Mundi. They’re a Belgian company, but they have printing facilities here in the US.

For loose promo cards and smaller runs of packs, we use a print-on-demand printer called DriveThruCards. In the “olden days” we used a very local printer for the b&w art cards, and I’m sure some of those are still in inventory and being sold in the webstore. They’re literally down the street from us.

Custom Loonacy is done by another print-on-demand printer called The Game Crafter.

The peel-off promo-postcards were done by a company called Membership Cards Only. (I know, I know, “But those aren’t membership cards!” Hahahahah!).

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Q: What size are Fluxx cards? (or any of your other games?)

A: Most of our card games have the same size cards, a slightly narrower type many would call “bridge sized” though that’s not a precise category. The card size (roughly, using a ruler) is: 3 & 7/16″ (8.75 cm) tall by 2 & 13/64″ (5.6 cm) wide.

This is for Fluxx, Chrononauts, Just Desserts, Loonacy, Are You A Werewolf (current printing), Are You The Traitor.
I could swear Choose One cards are just a hair wider on the short side, but they’re VERY close.

Aquarius (and original-style Nanofictionary) are 3 & 31/64″ (8.85 cm) tall by 2 & 1/2″ (6.3 cm) wide. Current Nano is the same size as Fluxx etc.

Zendo cards are the same size as the Pyramid Arcade deck, which is aaaalllmmost the same size as Aquarius cards. But not quite.

See also: What size are the cards in Pyramid Arcade?

If we’ve missed a game card size you’re looking for email us at QA@looneylabs.com

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Q: What exactly is in the “Mystery Bag Of Warehouse Swag”?

A: Well if we told everyone that, it wouldn’t be much of a mystery, would it!!!

But seriously, people do ask this, and, given the high shipping cost, we do simply tell people the contents if they ask. We’ll just keep this little FAQ question slightly obscure, by not linking to it. So if you’ve found your way here, and knowing this info makes you happier than you were… good for you!

10 Black Treehouse Die
1 Blue Martian Coaster
1 Yellow Martian Coaster
1 Red Martian Coaster
1 Green Martian Coaster
1 Black Martian Coaster
1 EcoFluxx (first ed.)
1 Fluxx 3.0
1 The Empty City
1 Martian Coasters
1 Fluxx Espanol
1 Pink Hijinks
1 Peace Puzzle
1 Castle Expansion
1 Promo Postcard: Aquarius Dragon
1 Poster: Treehouse
1 Poster: Monty Python Fluxx
1 Poster: Brain No TV
1 Poster: Pirate Fluxx
1 Poster: Looney Pyramids
1 Playmat: Star Fluxx
1 IceDice Playmat
50 Micro Catalog Card
1 Doorway Sticker
1 Mystery Bag of Warehouse Swag Letter

(Yes, this includes loose Martian Coasters AND a packaged game of the same. You will have some extra coasters. They DO work as actual coasters, you know…)

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Q: I just bought a new Fluxx, and the cardstock feels really cheap and flimsy! What’s up with that?

A: It’s true that of our cardstock has changed over the years, as we’ve changed printers and different stocks have been available to us, but for all standard playing-card core decks, it’s been the same for the last ten years, starting in 2008 with Fluxx 4.0. It’s important that nothing fundamentally change about the cardstock because all of the safety testing needs to hold up from batch to batch. Our printer reports that we use Stoplight black-core 11pt paper.

Here are a few words from our contact at the printer about our current stock:

Most casino cards are around 10.5 to 10.8pt, our stock [at 11pt] is very slightly thicker than that on average.

I’ve been a nerd about the relative density lately. For the thickness of stock we are using, this density is hard to beat. Which means it’s real good stuff. For years I’ve been trying to find either a cheaper same quality alternative for you, or a better quality for the same price. No luck so far. You’d be surprised at how much time has been spent on this project. I’ve even worked with paper scientists to engineer a completely new type of paper. What we are using now still outperformed those efforts.

Just for clarification, 11pt /.011″ is not the relative density. That’s the thickness. The relative density is 302 gsm. While there are things out there with a higher gsm (they just make the card thicker), at the casino card thickness, this has one of the best/highest actual densities out there. I’ve only seen one stock that’s better, but it costs more and we’d have to ship it in from France.

We find that the reason new decks card spin and slide on the table more is because they’re often a little slicker than older, more well-worn cards, not because they weigh a different amount (differences would be infinitesimal for one single card compared to another). They do certainly bend easier than some of those older stocks from back in the day, but we find that they hold up to play just as well.

Given the wealth of information we just got from the printer it seems likely that the relative density they are so excited about doesn’t necessarily make the card stiffer, and the lack of stiffness (increased bendyness) is what’s making the cards seem less substantial. I’ve often wondered whether the cards don’t stiffen with age, but that’s just a personal speculation.

We hope this has all been informative, at the very least. We are sad that you are disappointed with the perceived cardstock quality, but we hope this will not detract from your enjoyment of playing the game itself.

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Q: How can I use my printer to make my Fluxx Blanxx come out really nice?

A: Here’s a link to an old page on the wayback machine that gathers some wisdom from longtime fans. Some people print onto stickers (that’s what we do here at the Lab for prototypes – but then again, we don’t have to use those forever). Most of these recommendations involve using a carrier sheet to run the cards through the printer, and recommend a clear spray coat to keep the ink from smudging.

http://web.archive.org/web/20111123162630/http://rabbits.continuation.org/wiki/Techniques_for_Physically_Making_Fluxx_Blanxx

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Q: Hey, do you still have any more of those tubes that pyramids used to be sold in?

A: We regret to tell you we are long since out of the tubes. We had some left over for quite a while after we switched, and kept them up for sale for folks who liked them, even though we found that they were actually kind of sub-optimal (or years in storage had made them so). They were quite tight in the corners, and the pyramids would stick. Even with all that, and how slowly they sold, we’re completely out of them.

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Q: How can I get my game printed & packaged? What printers does Looney Labs use?

A: Look around for card printers, and they will have various packaging options included. If you care whether the work is actually done in the USA, make sure you ask that, since many people offering quotes will be brokers working with overseas printers in China or other countries.

Ask for quotes from more than one company, pay attention to delivery lead times, and check the price for different sized print-runs. Here are some of the companies we have worked with or know of:

Print on Demand:

We work with:
DriveThruCards, DriveThruRPG

Others include:
Gamecrafter (also does board games)

US Card Printers:
(Though they may be able to do runs as small as 100-500 in some cases, you’ll find that it’s not economical to do a run smaller than 5,000-10,000 in most cases. Contact them for a quote)

We work with:
DeLano Service (also does board games, or can at least source parts)
(please mention Looney Labs sent you!)

Others in the US include (not sure if they also do board games, check with them and ask!):
Carta Mundi
US Playing Cards
360 Manufacturing

Overseas/Plastics:

We work with:
Grand Prix International

Others include:
Panda

I found all that by Googling “card game printers” so go to town on that Internet thing! Also try “card game print on demand” or “board game print on demand” or whatever.

Best of luck!

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