… And That Other Thing
By Dark Platypus
Sometimes, even a jaded old geezer like Gamer Bling gets taken off guard. That happened recently when he opened a package from Dark Platypus and inside was an item that (a) wasn’t particularly blingy, (b) had no use whatsoever in a role-playing game, (c) would gave caused Gamer Bling to snort in derision if it had been described to him…
And yet, (d) he found he had to review it.
So here we go. With, of course, the perquisite almost-non-sequitur background information.
Gamer Bling’s first experience with Steve Jackson’s Illuminati came way back in high school. One of Gamer Bling’s friends had a little brother who waxed eloquent about the quality of the game. So Gamer Bling and this friend, code-named John Howard Lee Jr., went over to try our collective hand at a game and experience this wondrous bounty for ourselves.
Being complete n00bs at Illuminati, and squaring off with four experienced backstabbers at the table, we, being the smart guys we were, had a tacitly understood pact from the get-go that we were going to cooperate and support each other at each juncture. Which kind of goes against the spirit of Illuminati. And we won. Because the other guys could never quite comprehend that our alliance would last that long, and we never stabbed each other in the back.
Thus ended Gamer Bling’s first and last experience with Illuminati: victory. A fairly easy victory, in fact.
We never played it again, returning instead to Eon’s Cosmic Encounter, which rocked hard.
So anyway, Illuminati got consigned to the garage of Gamer Bling’s mind along with a plethora of other games. Gamer Bling was familiar with it, but it held no enjoyment. He’d see little pyramid logos at the trade shows and think, “Oh yeah, it’s that game again. Whatever.” It was kind of like one of those jokes that conventional wisdom says is funny, but really isn’t. Like Rowan Atkinson, maybe.
Then, about thirty years later, Gamer Bling finds himself opening what is, for all intents and purposes, the punch line of his entire lifelong exposure to Illuminati: this item.
It’s a pendant. And when Gamer Bling pulled it out of the full-color Dark Platypus dice bag (subject of a future review), his first reaction became the title of the review.
It’s an Illumi-nutty pendant.
Huh? Yeah, that was the second thing Gamer Bling thought.
This pewter pendant measures some 31mm across. And nicely engraved outer ring encircles a full-color Illumi-nutty background. The centerpiece of the pendant is a new take on the classic eye in the pyramid. This isn’t a sharp, pointy, user-unfriendly pyramid that can poke your little eye out. This is a happy, consumer-protective, Barney-style pyramid with a soft, rounded top, a cheesy grin and a deeply emotive big soft googly eye.
It reminds Gamer Bling of nothing so much as Tonguie from Kung Pow.
The entire affair is strung on a black, satiny synthentic cord that can be adjusted anywhere from 13″ long to 26″, which is just barely long enough to fit over Gamer Bling’s bloated ego.
And it’s just funny. Gamer Bling will be wearing it to his next D&D game, because Gleek has this idea for a new secret society…
Although most gamers will appreciate it, no one else will get it.
But who cares?
For a truly solid bling-factor rating, the pendant should’ve been made with precious metal, or at least had cloisonné for the background. But such lavish treatment kind of flies in the face of the humorous item this is.
It can get fairly easily dented or marred if you treat it negligently (Gamer Bling’s got a slight dent while being shipped with multiple other metal items).
Finally, a small word of warning: one of the knots on the cord that Gamer Bling received was a granny knot, which has a penchant for unraveling. You, of course, want a pendant, not a penchant. But there are two knots on each string, so even if one of the knots comes undone, there’s still the other one to hold your necklace together. Thus, with proper maintenance there is no fear of a catastrophic pendant-dropping-into-the-cola-at-gaming.
The Bottom Line
It’s too funny. But it’s even funnier if it’s a surprise.
Like… a gift. Who wouldn’t like to see one of these in their stocking? Aside from the Gamer Bling Official Companion, that is? Birthdays, Valentine’s Day, National Hot Dog Week, there are a plethora of times to give this gift… and always consider what subliminal message the timing might send to your intended recipient.
Bling Factor: 7
Utility: 0 (a perfect score!)
Price: $9.99 (that’s 66’6 upside-down… hmm…)
You need: None. But your friend needs one. Real bad.
Dark Platypus is a small upstart. Er, a start-up company. And pretty much a sole proprietorship (as opposed to the Illuminati, who are a soul proprietorship). So coupon codes aren’t gonna work. But anyone who orders from Dark Platypus and mentions Gamer Bling with their order will get a free gaming token. Which may also be reviewed in the future if Gamer Bling opens himself up to TCG tchotchkes.
Alternatively, you could use the link to the right to order from RPGShop.com, and thereby put a few affiliate pennies into Gamer Bling’s pocket as part of his sinister plan to, um, make money.
Gamer Bling is afraid to ask.