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Metal Birdcage Carrier Review

Discussion in 'Poker Gear Reviews' started by pager23, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. pager23

    pager23 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2005
    Messages:
    513
    Likes Received:
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    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    Manufacturer: Unknown
    Retailer(s): None at this time.
    Average Price: $60 - $95 INCL. SHIPPING
    Material: lightweight steel
    Member Review by:pager23

    In the quest to find the perfect carry case for my Paulson Pharaoh's Club chips, I looked all over for something that could carry 700 or more chips. The only two options that I found were either aluminum cases, or the acrylic style birdcage. After giving it some thought, I had decided to go with the acrylic birdcage and resigned myself to trying to find a good price on the web (+ chip trays + shipping). However, before actually finding one that suited my needs and budget, I saw this metal birdcage on eBay and just knew it was the case for me.

    Price
    I've included shipping in the price quoted above simply because there is no way that you could buy a case like this for only the $4.99 auction price. I actually ended up paying $95 because I live in Canada and shipping was a good deal more. A USPS charge of $56.97 was actually quoted on the box!!

    My purchase also included 10 chip trays, and 1000 tri-crown "Casino" chips with royal flush labels. The chips actually look quite nice with the labels, but that wasn't the point of my purchase (nor this review), so I will not discuss them further. Just taking into account the cage and the trays, you would have to pay at least US$85 (plus shipping) if you were to order something similar (i.e. acrylic cage) from one of the standard online retailers. Unfortunately, the only two retailers that I have found to carry this case are no longer members of eBay. ​

    Capacity
    Capacity of the metal birdcage is 1000 chips (using 10 acrylic trays of 100 each). I also place an additional tray upside down on top of the chips to create a space for a couple decks of cards, dealer buttons (in a Ziploc!), and some cut cards. See my pics below. Sorry, but a Copag or Kem setup won't fit unless you take the cards out of the box. Dimensions are 13.5"H x 9.75"W x 7.5"D and it weighs about 4.5 lbs.

    Features
    The best feature of this case is the way in which it displays your chips. By stacking your chips in racks on the base, then covering everything with the slide-on birdcage top, you've got yourself a stylish looking presentation for your next poker night.
    On the negative side, there are no padded feet on the bottom of the cage. This means the utmost care must be taken when placing the cage on a wooden table. Also, the top isn't much of a cover for a valuable collection of chips. Dust will tend to coat the top layer of chips during periods of inactivity, and it is VERY easy to lose a chip or some other small item through the bars while the cage is in transit. I recommend covering the birdcage with a cloth or plastic bag when it's in storage or on the move.

    Construction
    The metal birdcage is composed of a lightweight steel which has been welded together at every joint. The base has a raised section which is made of wood and is covered in a green velour fabric. The wood is attached to the base with 6-8 screws. The velour fabric makes a nice surface for the chip racks to settle into and prevents them from sliding around. The handle for the case is made of square tubing (similar to the rest of the case) and is welded to the bottom platform. While this square tubing has somewhat rounded edges, it still tends to dig into your hand when the case is full of chips.

    Appearance
    As noted above, the case is made of lightweight steel. It's been painted black and looks... well... a lot like a real birdcage! The horizontal bars of the top give you the feeling of security, and extreme durability. It actually looks like your chips are locked away in an actual cage. This really adds to the authentic "Casino" feel of your poker room - especially if you fill it with high quality chips.​

    Durability
    Nigh indestructible! As mentioned earlier, all joints are welded - including the joint that connects the handle to the base. No more worrying about dropping 25lbs. of chips all over the floor! That said, I'm sure that a deliberate effort would reveal that it is possible to bend some of the cross-bars, or even the handle. However, the forces required for such a feat would have to be fairly high. Given that most people will not be extremely abusive to the cage, I would expect it to last a lifetime.​

    Security
    While the metal birdcage gives a feeling of security, it most certainly is NOT secure. There is no lock, and no convenient way to hide anything that is inside (like your tournament prize pool). Even if you found a way to lock the top on, you would still need to make sure that items inside could not be pulled through the bars - or fall out, should the cage be tipped over.​

    Reviewers Comments
    So far the only flaw I have noticed with my cage is that the base is not completely flat. When placed on a hard surface, there is a slight wobble. This shouldn't be much of a problem but it IS somewhat annoying. I'm not sure how I might go about solving a problem like this as I'm leary of trying to bend it back into shape, and I'm not convinced that "wedging it level" using bumper pads is the answer either.

    I feel fairly confident that I got a great deal on this cage and I hope that they will be available again somewhere in the future. As mentioned earlier, the only two retailers that I have found to carry this case are no longer members of eBay. The one I actually purchased from decided to become a non-member shortly after I sent my payment. Doh! The whole situation caused me 3 weeks of stress as the cage took it's sweet time getting delivered.

    Pictures

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    #1
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2006
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