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China Clay Dunes Commem Comparison

Discussion in 'Poker Chip Reviews' started by jbones, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. jbones

    jbones Faux Clay Nation

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    *Not part of the review* I know we have a review for these chips already, and it's quite good, but I did an awful lot of research and sample set trading before I bought this set so I decided to put it all in one place. Hopefully some members find it useful.


    China Clay Dunes Commemoratives vs. the Competition
    by jbones

    Manufacturer: thechiproom.com
    Retailer(s): thechiproom.com for the best price, although other vendors do carry them.
    Average Price: 34-35 cents each (mean), 32 cents from thechiproom.com.
    Material: "China Clay" (injection molded plastic, no slug). These are not the compression molded "clay" Dunes from the same retailer.

    The China Clay Dunes Commemorative chips celebrate the original Dunes Hotel & Country Club Paulson chips that have long been highly sought after on the secondary market, and are thus very (often prohibitively) expensive. Their purposes are not to replicate the original line exactly or serve as cheap knock-offs, but rather make widely and inexpensively available a line of chips reminiscent of the original rack, while at the same time culminating in a bold yet nostalgic set of its own charm. Upon Jim Shaffer's (of the chiproom.com) announcement that Dunes replicas would be available in playable set quantities, these chips were the most highly anticipated chips at this price point in recent poker chip history. All of the original denominations are available, plus a few new ones to ensure that this line is versatile enough for just about any home game.



    [​IMG]

    Price
    At 32 cents each from thechiproom, the Dunes commemoratives are in the same price range as the Progen line of chips, are slightly more expensive than Nexgens, and are approaching the cost of Nevada Jacks Skulls and Desert Sands ceramic chips. They're also much pricier than the ubiquitous Faux Clays. If you're reading this review, chances are you're comparing most or all of those chips, so here's a quick rundown of how the Dunes stack up against the likely competition.

    Dunes vs. Progen

    Price
    Dunes and Progens can be had for roughly the same price. The thing about Progens at 30 cents a piece is they either don't have edgespots, or don't have labels. The Dunes have both. At the 30-35 cent price point, Dunes have the advantage for sure. If you're looking to spend perhaps 40-45 cents, however, Progens are certainly worth looking into in some depth.

    Feel
    The Progens unquestioned advantage over the Dunes is their feel. They feel like real clay chips rather than injection molded plastic ones.

    Stacking
    Both lines of chips stack about equally well, but if you want to do things like make 100 chip stacks you probably want Progens.

    Sound
    Many chiptalk members prefer the sound of the Progens. They are closer to the desired deep 'thud' sound that Paulsons and other clay chips have.

    Looks
    It depends what you're looking for really. If you want to spend no more than 32 cents, though, the Dunes certainly win out with both nostalgic commemorative labels and vibrant, recognizable edge spot patterns.

    Security
    The Progens have the upper hand here only if you shell out a few more bucks (~45 cents/ each) and get custom labels. Otherwise they're equally insecure.

    Durability
    The Dunes are more durable than Progens in that they are less likely to be damaged permanently if a drink is spilled on them, they survive drops 100% of the time, and there's absolutely no color transfer no matter how much you shuffle them. These can all be issues with compression molded chips.

    Dunes vs. Nexgen (River Poker Tour)

    Price
    I bought my River Poker Tour Nexgen samples for just over half (17 cents/each) of what I paid for my Dunes. Again, the Nexgens are supplied at that price unlabeled so if you want a label you're going to end up spending probably a quarter a piece, and then you're only saving 7 cents each per chip compared to Dunes.

    Feel
    Although they're made out of the same material, the Dunes feel much better than Nexgens. Unlike the Nexgens, they have no slug, but still possess a nice weight. The Dunes also seem to be a bit more textured, reducing the irritating slippery feel Nexgens often have.

    Stacking
    As a result of the reasons mentioned above, I believe the Dunes stack better than Nexgens, although I don't have enough Nexgens to test.

    Sound
    The Dunes chips sound much better because they don't have a metal slug inside .

    Looks
    Nexgen does offer some nice edgespot colors, but unless you can find someone to make really killer labels they aren't going to look as professional as the Dunes commemoratives.

    Security
    Like the Progens, the Nexgens are only more secure if you spring for custom labels.

    Durability
    Both lines are roughly equal in durability.

    Dunes vs. Nevada Jacks Skulls/ Desert Sands ceramics

    Price
    Nevada Jacks retail for 40 cents each if you buy a set of 500, and more if you only buy 300, so they're more expensive than the Dunes by at least 25%.

    Feel
    If you like the feel of ceramics at all, then you will prefer the feel of the Nevada Jacks skulls. It's best to buy samples if you haven't handled ceramics yet.

    Stacking
    Both lines of chips stack well. I stacked 100 Skulls and 100 Dunes on my desk just before typing this and they stood fine.

    Sound
    Although they're made from different materials, I find that these two lines of chips have a similar sound. Higher pitched than clays, but not irritating like the sound of Dice or other slugged chips.

    Looks
    This one's really up to preference. I prefer the vibrant colors of the Dunes very much, and compared to the Skulls especially the Dunes come together a lot more nicely as a set than Nevada Jacks.

    Security
    Both chips are available at retail, so they're equally insecure.

    Durability
    Both lines are quite durable. Nevada Jacks have the upper hand since they have no label; rather a design printed directly onto the chip. Nonetheless, the Dunes are still very durable chips.

    And finally, Dunes vs. Faux Clays

    Price
    Faux Clays retail for around a nickel a piece for the colors that are still available. However, only reds, whites, and grays are left at that price. If you decide to pursue Faux Clays, you should expect to pay roughly 20 cents each for the extinct colors via private deals here on Chiptalk.

    Feel
    Faux Clays are the best chips that I've owned, solely in terms of feel. They have a great, consistent weight and perfect texture. To replicate the great feel that Faux Clays have, the Dunes Commemoratives would have to be made from something entirely different, and would definitely be much more expensive.

    Stacking
    Faux Clays can be stacked higher than Dunes (in the hundreds). However, for a normal poker game, the Dunes stack just as well assuming you limit yourself to stacks of 20.

    Sound
    Faux Clays edge out Dunes in sound as well, assuming that you're interested in chips that sound the closest to real clays.

    Looks
    Very few people prefer the bland, mundane looks of the Faux Clays. They're solid,one colored chips, while the Dunes look lively and anything but bland.

    Security
    Faux Clays might be a bit more secure, simply because you can't buy most of the colors via retail anymore.

    Durability
    If you apply custom labels to them, then Faux Clays are less durable than Dunes (because the center of the chip isn't recessed at all).

    Overall Comments on the Dunes Commemoratives

    The Dunes China Clays are most similar in feel to the Nexgen chips. They do have a rigid plastic feel. However, they're very textured, and thus aren't as slippery feeling as similarly composed chips. The labels are deeply embedded into the center of the chip, which reduces slip even more and makes them adequately sturdy in stacks on the felt (or kitchen table). They weigh about 9.5 grams each, which is about a gram lighter than the competition. They shuffle comfortably without showing wear. Their edges are flat enough that they stand on their sides, which is quite impressive for this price point. Like many chips, they are completely uniform in both thickness and width. Another perk is the deeply imprinted, palpable Dunes mold.

    If you've purchased a sample set of Desert Palms chips, which are made from the same materials and come from the same manufacturer, be advised that there were vast improvements made on the Dunes chips concerning texture and label application. They feel slippery compared to clays, but are much less so than the Desert Palms chips.

    [​IMG]



    Stacking
    As I mentioned above, I was able to stack a full rack (100 chips) on my less than sturdy desk without incident. In regular games where stacks of 20 are the norm, stacking is no problem for these chips. I stacked my entire set into 30 stacks of 20, and they were all the same height. This is important because with some sets one denomination may be thicker, ever-so-slightly, than the rest of the denominations, making it difficult to be sure of the number of chips in front of you without counting. Again, they may not be able to stack 200 high like some clay chips, but you're buying poker chips, not legos.

    [​IMG]




    Sound
    These chips have a pleasant sound when shuffled or stacked. It may be of a higher pitch than real clays like Paulsons or ASMs, but it's uninamiously better than the annoying clank of some similarly priced chips; the fact that these chips are made without a metal slug in the center to add weight really puts them ahead in terms of sound. Just know for sure that if you already have a sample set of Nexgens, although these are made from a similar material they do not sound similar.

    Looks
    This is where these chips really distance themselves from the competition.They were obviously designed with special attention given to visual aesthetics. The color combinations and edge spot patterns are reminiscent of the original Dunes Country Club line, but not identical. You won't ever mistake these for real Dunes Paulsons. Rather than employ a traditional edgespot progression, the Dunes commemoratives all utilize the same edgespot design, as do most all chip lines available for 30 cents. This brings them together nicely as a set.

    The denomination colors all apply the traditional progression as far as the $1, $5, $25, and $100 denominations are concerned. The $500 chip is white (stepping away from the usual purple), while the other denominations aren't common enough in casinos to have 'traditional' colors. The chips are all distinct enough from each other that confusing denominations with one another is a non-issue with this set. The $5, $25, $100, $500 and $1000 chips have faux-shaped inlays, again paying tribute to the original Dunes Country Club chips. The color matching between the colored part of the inlay (on those with a faux-shaped inlay) and the chip itself is quite accurate, though it is apparent upon cursory examination that the inlays aren't true shaped inlays.

    Since these chips are injection molded plastic, there is essentially no color bleed around the edgespots. One undesirable quality of these chips is the rolling edge they use- that is to say that when looking at the chips from the side, the edgespots will not always line up exactly with the edgespots on the top or bottom of the chip (some do, some don't).

    For me, the thing that really put these chips over the top is the Dunes mold. Had these chips been printed on some sort of generic mold, or even one that said the word "Dunes" in plain typeface, I probably would have passed on them. That classic Dunes imprint adds a ton to the chips visually and really can't be matched, in my opinion.


    Security
    All chip sets currently available at retail are at the same level of security: not very secure. Anyone with an internet connection and a credit card has access to any denomination of these chips, but this is a common problem shared by all chips that don't have custom labels. The good thing about these chips is that a less-than-scrupulous player can't stop by Sears on the way to your poker game and buy a set of them, as is the case with Dice chips. There are more secure options, but they carry with them a higher price tag.

    Durability
    As injection molded plastic chips with factory applied labels, the Dunes commemoratives are about as durable as they come. They can survive a fall from any reasonable height, and won't realistically be broken by accident. The labels are strongly adhered to the chips, and also will not likely be damaged by accident. I haven't tried it, but I think these chips would survive a drink spill better than the alternatives (except unlabeled chips).


    Reviewer Comments
    I'm happy that I settled on the Dunes after all of the research I did, and the reasons for that are twofold. First and foremost is that I thoroughly enjoy the chips themselves, but the second is more subtle and frankly something that went unconsidered until the order was placed. When you buy a set of Dunes Commemoratives from Jim at thechiproom.com, you're buying a whole lot more than a set of chips. From the moment you place your order, you have peace of mind knowing you're buying from a vendor where customer service and satisfaction are the business plan. I bought my set of 600 before these chips were available at retail (through the chiptalk presale), and didn't notice until about 6 months later when I started using the set that some of the labels were off center or a little crumpled. All I had to do was provide Jim with evidence that my chips were supplied with imperfections and they were replaced within a week. These chips cost me the most I was willing to pay for a set, and again I'm very happy I decided on them as opposed to the other lines I considered. My only regret as far as purchasing this set is not picking up the custom case that was offered with them. They aren't identical to Paulson Dunes, but I didn't expect them to be.




    Additional Photos


    [​IMG]




    *I still need a photo of all the denoms together. I asked Jim if I could use his and he gave me permission, but if anybody has one that's a little more exciting and wants to let me borrow it I'd love to do so (and will credit it appropriately). If anyone can help me resize the photos I do have I'd appreciate that very much as well. I'm garbage at this stuff if you couldn't tell.*
     
    #1
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  2. TX_kiwi

    TX_kiwi Well-Known Member

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    I don't want to edit the draft 'cause not everyone may agree with my observation, however, I think that it should be mentioned how slippery the Dunes Commems are. IMO this is their only weak point. This manifests when a table get bumped or someone moves a stack into the center, where they stacks are liable to topple.

    What do other Commem owners think?
     
    #2
  3. links_slayer

    links_slayer Master of the 3-Putt Par
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    abso-friggin-lutely!!!!
     
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  4. jbones

    jbones Faux Clay Nation

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    Added to it (re: feel).
     
    #4
  5. Riculus

    Riculus Faux Clay Nation

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    Same price as the new GB Commems. I think I'll wait.
     
    #5
  6. TX_kiwi

    TX_kiwi Well-Known Member

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    Made a few minor tweaks.

    You may want to re-write this as an "article" rather than a review, since a review already exists.

    Still nothing about them being a bit slippery in the article? IMO they stack high but you can't move stacks around easily without toppling. The slickness also really shows its negative side when you try and pick a bunch of them (e.g. 10-15) up by squeezing the stack together from the top and bottom. They usually squirt all over the place!

    PS - I have the Dunes Commems and I like 'em. One of the advantages over the Compression clays (Progen 80s) is that they don't get grubby as easily and are easier to clean back to 'as new condition'. Seen how grubby those compression clays can get? See post #93:

    http://www.chiptalk.net/forum/palmimports-com-offers/49482-30-compression-clay-pi-10.html#post786668

    I have a sample set of the Pramids Casino compression clays and they are similarly grubby from a lot of shuffling.
     
    #6
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008
  7. djexacto

    djexacto Well-Known Member

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    Am I wrong, or is this a review of the china-clay-dunes-commems?, not the earlier injection molded plastic ones?

    edit: I'm an idiot, this is a comparison of the plastic ones. The shaped "inlay" gave it away.
     
    #7
  8. KingZilla

    KingZilla Well-Known Member

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    See above: Just a suggestion that you clearly differentiate between these chips and the new quasi-compression molded Dunes Commemorative chips that are being pre-sold now. It would help avoid a lot of confusion.
    :cool:
     
    #8
  9. djexacto

    djexacto Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Especially when the plastic ones are called china-clay. If they are china clay, then what are the chinese "clay" ones called?
     
    #9
  10. jbones

    jbones Faux Clay Nation

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    They're called "compression molded clays from china", and they aren't any more clay than these plastic chips are. I agree that the nomenclature is a little ridiculous. Any ideas of how I could make it more obvious what these are? I thought the materials line would be enough but apparently not.
     
    #10
  11. jbones

    jbones Faux Clay Nation

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    Re: Everyone else

    So do you guys really think I have given a less than accurate account of the feel of these chips? If yes I will re-do it, but it seems that you guys just dislike these chips and want me to adopt a more negative tone. Pardon me if this isn't the case. Also kiwi, I'm not sure why you changed what I had written to "emminently more stackable". I think I'll change that again if it's alright.
     
    #11
  12. TX_kiwi

    TX_kiwi Well-Known Member

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    Re: Everyone else

    Absolutely - it is your article. Sorry, I did not mean to change the intent nor style!:embarras:
     
    #12
  13. KingZilla

    KingZilla Well-Known Member

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    I disagree. Have you ever handled "China clays" (quasi-compression chips)? The new quasi-compression Dunes have not shipped yet, but I do have samples of the original Dunes commemoratives and I do have a full set of China "clays". The quasi-compression chips are VERY close to "real" clays and they blow away the plastic version chips. I'd love to see a comparison between these plastic Dunes Commem's vs. the new quasi-compression Dunes. I may even do one myself when my chips get here.
     
    #13
  14. TheTinMan

    TheTinMan Well-Known Member

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    As someone who has bought about 6600 of these Dunes Commemorative chips (half for me and half for 2 other friends) I can say that these are definitely worth the price. No, they do not compare to Paulsons, and some of my friends have made a comment that they sound different since I usually spoil them with all my different cash sets. But with these chips, I am not constantly worry that I will lose one. The Dunes, stack shuffle, sound, feel, and play well. Plus, they do not get grubby, which is a big plus.

    For those of you looking at this for a tourney set, I use my 50c pieces as $50. (We start 25/50 levels). You could also use the quarters in place of the green 25s. What's great about this as a tourney set, is that you get to use the 100's which are absolutely beautiful. And then each higher denomination really stands out. Makes it very easy to see stacks from across the table.

    As a cash set, they are pretty nice as well. Though i think the green 25s and blue 1s could have been differentiated a bit better. On a dark felt table, it's a little difficult to see blue versus green at the bottom of a stack.

    I have personally taken two racks of the pink quarters and melted off the cent sign on each side, using the tip of a glue gun. To my eye, they don't look perfect, but I had several guest players not even notice i did that until i pointed it out. Best of all though, using the pink chips as your highest denom (and still with the 25 imprinted on it) really makes them stand out from the 5s, 1s and 50c pieces on the table, especially when they are in dirty stacks.

    just my 2c
     
    #14
  15. cdnmoose

    cdnmoose Well-Known Member

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    +million on how slippery these chips are.
     
    #15
  16. djexacto

    djexacto Well-Known Member

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    x2!!


    Time for a Quasi-compression nation!!
     
    #16
  17. jbones

    jbones Faux Clay Nation

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    Yes, I have handled the chips you're referring to. I've also felt "real clay" chips like Paulsons and ASM's.

    What you're posting is your opinion, which I respect. However, I'm trying to assemble an objective review of a product, so I'd appreciate it if people would stop posting about how much they prefer other chips over these, and focus on the review. Thanks.
     
    #17
  18. KingZilla

    KingZilla Well-Known Member

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    Jbones: You are correct, I'm sorry about that. I got on this track because I intially thought this review was going to be on the new Dunes still being pre-sold. I remember doing a mini review on these chips a while back. Main review here:
    http://www.chiptalk.net/forum/poker...nes-commemorative-pure-clay-chips-review.html
    I think your draft is fine. I agree with others that the chips are slick (mind you, I am trying to be as objective as I can here). I don't remember seeing two different MAIN reviews of a chip here on chiptalk, but I do like your "Dunes vs. ? comparisons. I still think that if you were willing, you could do a heads-up review of the 2 types of Dunes Commemorative chips. I'd love to see one of those.
     
    #18
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2008
  19. Blaster

    Blaster Well-Known Member

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    As Kingzilla mentioned in post # 13, there are now "kinda real" china compression clays, such as the PI clays & Da Vinci's, which have a feel "Very, very similar & close " to a Paulson/BCC type compression molded clay chip, not confused w/ plastics, ..... While other China chips are simply variants of unslugged plastics ... It seems some posters feel you are calling the China Plastics the "compression clays" which is wrong .....
     
    #19
  20. jbones

    jbones Faux Clay Nation

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    So is there still confusion and an inadequate description of the feel, or is this good to go?
     
    #20

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