Friday, June 16, 2017

Mystery Box Friday

Hey Game Fans, we’re back to take a look at another interesting addition to the gaming accessories marketplace.  Today we’re going to take a brief look at the wonderful workshop at Cognitive Merchants.  Based out of Manchester, England Cognitive Merchant is a bespoke shop that caters to all things gamer.  We’re going to talk about some of the services they provide and some examples of their work.  Let’s dig in.

The Product Catalogue

Cognitive Merchant offers a host of interesting ideas, options, and customization choices for the gamer who has the time and the resources to use.  They offer a Custom GM Kit, Painted Character Minis, Rebound Books, Dice Bags and Cups, Custom Armor, Custom Pads and Books.  They offer tons of options and choices you can make to make sure that your item is as personalized as you want it to be.  Let’s take a closer look at their catalog and see what mischief we can find.

All In One GM Kit

This is the item that drew our attention to Cognitive Merchant in the first place.  This is a completely customizable GM kit for carrying and storing the books, minis, tokens and other game aides you need to run your game.  It also opens up into a complete GM Screen on its own, with an integral Dice Tower and a host of other features and functions.  If the stock kit isn’t quite what you’re looking for, contact them and see what options and choices you can add to make your GM Kit absolutely perfect for your needs.  I find that pictures tell a better story than words, so i’ll let them do some heavy lifting.
The Closed case (notice the straps that allow you to take the top and bottom off of it)
Check out the internal storage space
The Screen starting to open up
Check out those clips and the Dice Tower
Flip open charts that double the amount of charts you can pack


Pens, Pencils and writing utensil storage plus an Initiative tracker
The Player Perspective
The GM Perspective
It comes in many colors
And Textures.  
The basic version of this kit is £145, but you can customize it to your heart’s content and the only real limits are your imagination and the skills of the custom craftspeople who are going to put it together.

Custom Painted Miniature

Have an idea for a character and want a miniature to represent it but either don’t know where to look for the mini or don’t have the time?  Cognitive Merchant has you covered.  They’ll take a character idea and find a specific miniature to represent your character and paint it for you.  They cover a ton of different ranges and product lines, so rest assured that you will have a wonderfully painted miniature for your character. For a standard sized miniature, this costs you £30, and requires a deposit of £15.  

Rebound Book

A fairly unique service, (in fact this is the first time i’ve heard of it catering to gamers), the craftsfolk will take your book and rebind it for you.  If your Player’s Handbook has suffered the strains of a life of adventure, you can have it rebound in a variety of options for materials to make it your player’s handbook.  Rebinding a player’s handbook is £35, if you provide your own Player’s Handbook.  

Dice Cups & Bags

Offering both Cups for rolling dice and bags to transport them from place to place, Cognitive Merchant offers three primary products with a host of customization options.  
You can order a Dice Cup, which will hold 3 regular sized sets of dice.  It comes with a sturdy cap so you can shake the cup and dump the dice onto the table.  These will run you about £20 but you can customize for an upcharge.  
You can also order their regular sized dice bag.  It holds 15 full sets of dice and comes with the same customization choices and options you can expect from Cognitive Merchant.  These will run you about £20.
Finally, you can also order their bag of holding.  It holds 45 full sets of dice and comes with the same customization choices and options you can expect from Cognitive Merchant. You can also open it up into a bowl shaped container to store your dice when you aren’t travelling. These will run you about £30.

Custom Armor

Cognitive Merchant also caters to your customized armor needs.  Whether you are cosplaying as a specific character or going LARPing for the weekend, you can get together with the armorsmiths and get exactly what you are looking for.  Since this is such a highly customized product, you’ll have to get ahold of them directly to figure out what this sort of project is going to cost and how long it’s going to take.  

Custom Pads and Books

If you’re looking for a custom bound journal for any number of reasons or want a custom cover for you Tablet, Cognitive Merchant offers these services.  They’ll bind a sketchbook, a spellbook, or anything you can put your imagination to wanting.  They also do custom tablet covers.  Like the custom armor, this is a product you’ll need to get ahold of them directly to figure out exactly what the particulars of the item are going to be.  

Overall thoughts and Impressions

I like the look and the design aesthetics that Cognitive Merchant offers across their product lines.  This is a higher price point that some other entries in the market, but the customization and the quality options offered are what you would expect for these price points.  I like the look of them and i hope that they continue to grow and expand their business.  Currently everything is bespoke, which means they don’t have a warehouse full of these things sitting around waiting for you.  You place your order and they go to work putting it together for you, so this isn’t a product you can pick up on a whim.  Do your research on what you want your GM Kit, or Dice Bag, or Custom Armor to look like.  They are building it to your specifications, so have a solid idea of what those expectations are.  
So be sure to check them out.  They are on the interwebs at and you can find them on Twitter at
If there’s anything awesome or cool you’d like us to take a look at, let us know and we’ll see what we can do.  Game On, Game Fans.  

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