New Yorker Liberty Plaques Review
Manufacturer: Matsui Gaming
Average Price: 1-9 Plaques: $14.00 each or > 10 Plaques $12.00 each
Member Review by: wylecoyo
Chip Talkers seem to be polarized about gaming plaques Ė they hate them or love them, but either way, you have to admit they have been extremely hard to come by and very limited in terms of styles and denominations available. To help satisfy the call for quality plaques and to augment the Paulson President New Yorker line, BlondWidow and Harlequin001 teamed up (Wink to the Newlyweds) to produce a set of Matsui Gaming Plaques with a New Yorker inspiration. At the time of this review plaques are available in the 5k ($5,000) denomination with 1k ($1,000) on the way. Who knows what might follow depending on how these sell.Price
Orders of 1 to 9 plaques cost $14.00 per plaque, but orders of 10 or more plaques will get you a price break to $12.00 per plaque. While this may seem a little steep, this is in line with pricing for plaques of this size and style. For comparison, the Chipco Egyptian plaques have surged in price since being discontinued and are currently retailing for $17.99 from holdempokerchips.com. Feel
These plaques are made out of acrylic and have a nice smooth feel to them. The edges and corners are nicely rounded and they are very pleasing to handle because they are easy on the hands. Although there is some very slight variance in weight from plaque to plaque, they average in at about 43 grams per plaque (Thanks to CaptLego for the weight testing). They are not as heavy as they might look, but this is a good thing because stacks of five to ten have good weight to them but are not so heavy that they are difficult or uncomfortable to handle.Size
Sizing for these plaques is as follows:Stacking
Width: 2 9/16 inches (66 mm)
Length: 3 11/16 inches (95 mm)
Height: 1/4 inch (6.5 mm)
For comparison sake, they are basically the same width and length as a poker sized playing card and a stack of about 3.5 plaques is the same basic height as a deck of playing cards.
Stacking is not a problem with these, but keep in mind they are acrylic plaques and not clay chips. Although I only have four Liberty New Yorker Gaming Plaques, I have another 48 of the Matsui plaques commissioned by daveyboy which are identical in every way but graphics. Stacking all 52 plaques is entirely possible, but they are somewhat unstable when doing so and I canít imagine why you would ever do this in play. Stacks of ten are no problem and are very stable. Regardless of how many you stack, there will be some amount of slide with these plaques due to their smooth surface texture, but nothing to the level where they become a hassle. They also have a kind of static cling which makes them want to stick to each other, but this will have more of an effect on trying to separate them rather than keeping them from sliding across each other. Again it is not enough to make them a hassle to handle, but it is there.Sound
It is hard to describe the sound of an acrylic plaque because they donít sound like chips and they donít sound like any other common item I can think of. They have a hefty kind of mid-range thud to them, not to high but not very low either. Again, not quite like chips but the do have a very nice sound overall.Looks
Looks are what really set these plaques apart from anything else out there. Given the fact plaques are hard to come by to begin with, just having a plaque in play will give your game a visual pop your players will notice. Matsui really has a great marbling effect which is featured perfectly in the Statue of Liberty design of these plaques. The font, sizing, and placement of the denomination is very well executed and the overall visual appearance of the plaque itself is stunning. BlondWidow did a truly top notch job designing these and they are perfectly suitable for use with any type of chip set you may own, PNY or other.Security/Originality
The only thing less than perfect in terms of looks and presentation are the plaque edges and this is more the result of Matsuiís manufacturing process than the design of the plaques themselves. Regardless of their denomination and/or design, all of the Matsui plaques I own are basically the same and they appear to be manufactured by sandwiching and fusing three layers of acrylic together: the bottom and top layers containing the graphics and colors with a thicker layer of white acrylic in the middle. The end result is a fantastic looking plaque when viewed from the top or bottom, but a mostly white looking plaque when viewed from the side or in stacks. This is not really a problem if you are using only one denomination, but if you mix denominations you have to be careful not to mix them up. This doesnít mean you canít use multiple denominations, just that you have to be careful to keep track of what you have and where it is.
Here is an example of what I am talking about, see if you can pick out the eight 25K plaques and the four Liberty New Yorker Plaques in this stack of mostly 5k plaques:
These plaques are the exclusive design of BlondWidow here at Chiptalk and can only be purchased from Harliquin011 either through his sponsored Chiptalk forum or auctions he has posted on EBay. Given their size, cost, and limited availability I cannot imagine anyone trying to buy some and sneak them into a game Ė but if you have a cash game with stakes high enough to support 5K plaques you might have something to worry about. Durability
Matsui Gaming manufactures plaques, tokens, chips, and cheques for casino use and, although these are a custom non-casino order, they are manufactured using the same materials and processes as their casino products. Overall these plaques are very well made and should hold up without any problems in a home game environment. If you play rough home games five or six hours a day every day for ten or twelve years you may decide to replace one or two here and there (although I canít imagine it, it may happen), but other than that you can expect to get at least one lifetimeís worth of weekly games out of them.Reviewers Comments
After a few games and a healthy amount of time with me just playing around with them, most of the plaques have acquired some very slight surface scratches, but these are only noticeable if you hold them about an inch away from your eye, squint, and really look hard to see them. The marbling effect and the graphics design show through very well and any serious scratches they might pick up over time will blend into the design making them much less noticeable. Even after the amount of use my plaques have received they do not have anything I would consider to be a serious scratch, but I am sure if you are hard on them long enough they will pick some up.
I won four of these plaques from Harliquin011 in a contest he ran, which go along just fine with the 48 I had already purchased from daveyboy back when he had them for sale (for anyone interested in the non-PNY Matsui Plaques sold by daveyboy, these were all sold out and the only way you will probably be able to get any it so find them being sold by a CTer who got in back then).Plaque Pictures
Anyway, if you canít tell by now, this is yet another product I have come to love. They have a great visual appeal, are fun to handle, and just because they are plaques they will add some pizzazz to your regular game (who doesnít want to act like James Bond every now and then?). It will cost you a fair price to buy enough to support a game of any size, but if you, like so many CTerís out there, have longed for nice plaques to throw around on your felt at home, these are among the nicest you will find.
Preview of $1,000 Plaque:
"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion." - Norman Schwartzkopf
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