If you like to play board games, odds are you collect them, too. Sure, you may start with just one game here or another there, but pretty soon you’re running out of closet space to put them. And besides, wouldn’t you rather have them out on display, ready to pull off the shelves and onto the table for game night?
Originally launched on Kickstarter in 2017, BoxThrone is the creation of Cloud Puncher Games. They set out to make a modular, expandable shelving system designed specifically with board gamers in mind. Complete shelving solutions can be preordered right now starting at $229, and are available directly from the BoxThrone website.
Cloud Puncher Games sent me over one of their complete BoxThrone packages, The BoxKing + 48 Shelves for this review. The shelving arrived in three boxes; one each for the ABS bases, the matching metal columns, and the metal shelves.
All of the BoxThrone shelves are available in multiple colors for both the frames and the shelves. I received a set with white bases and columns, and blue shelves.
Opening up the individual boxes, everything is packed immaculately, tightly sealed with packing foam and bubble wrap to protect the shelving in transit. Here’s what it all looks like removed from their boxes:
Assembling the BoxKing
Putting together the BoxKing was simplicity itself. The instructions are quite clear, and the only tool you’ll need is a Phillip’s head screwdriver.
You start by assembling a base and four columns. A column has two prongs at each end, and two holes for screws to secure it to the base.
The bases have metal seats for the screws, which go in quickly and easily.
Most importantly while assembling, you need to make sure that the bases and columns have the same facings as illustrated in the instructions, otherwise you won’t be able to hang the shelves properly.
The top sides of the bases all have an embossed image of the BoxThrone mascot, as well as a warning label for proper use of the furniture. Don’t let your kids play King Kong on your BoxThrone shelves!
There are also brackets and drywall mounting screws included with the BoxThrone so you can secure the shelving to the wall.
The illustrations in the instructions show two people assembling the BoxKing, but it’s easily done by just one person. Here’s the first half of a tower, which could be used as a standalone frame:
However, I would be building a full-height tower, so I added another base and four columns to it:
The wall mounting brackets attach to the underside of the highest base in the tower.
It was during the assembly of this first tower that I discovered that one of the screws was poorly molded. The grooves of the screwhead were not properly formed, making it unusable.
Thankfully, Cloud Puncher Games included a bag containing two extra screws, in case any got misplaced or, as in this case, miscast. So, no need to go to the hardware store hunting for replacements, as that base was already covered.
Having assembled one tower, I completed the second in very short order. Now it was time to unwrap the shelves and start placing them. I gathered part of my board game collection, and started alternately placing games and shelves, careful to put the heaviest of my games towards the bottom of the unit to keep it stable.
You attach a shelf by angling it to get it inside the frame, and then seating the shelf first into the holes in the back columns, and then into the front columns.
This is the part of your assembly that will definitely take the most time, as you’re deciding which games you want to go where, and fitting the shelves for the optimal number of games.
Eventually though, you will have gotten all the games onto your BoxThrone that you can fit, and you’ll be done. As the cherry on top, I put both expansions for Champions of Midgard on display on top of the towers on acrylic “Display Stands of Striking Wonder,” which came in a 3-pack. The display stands are great for showing off the box art of games, or reminding you of any unplayed games from your shelf of shame. And that brings me to my next topic:
Add-ons, Accessories and Expansions
BoxThrone shelving is designed to be expandable. While you certainly can purchase one of the complete packages and call it a day, this is a modular system that can grow with your board game collection.
Besides the display stands, there are several other accessories you can get to customize your shelving. There are slide-out ABS drawers to hold gaming supplies, hanging playmat holders, and even acrylic shelves to show off your miniatures.
I had 14 shelves left over from building my BoxKing, as I was placing a lot of big box games. But if you find yourself needing more shelves, you can certainly buy them. There are also wide shelves, which can replace the standard-sized ones that hang between the towers.
If you have the space, you can expand both up and out, adding additional towers, shelves, or even ShortThrones, which are short columns that go right on top of the towers.
BoxThrone Final Thoughts
I’m not a fan of storing board games vertically. Too often, a game just won’t pack up tightly enough. When you take that vertical game and open the box, all the contents will have shifted around, creating a big mess.
Horizontal, for me, is the way to go. But this creates its own problems. If you start stacking games of different box sizes, the box tops can get warped or broken from the uneven pressure. And if you want to play a game at the bottom of the stack, pulling it out without spilling the games on top can be a real pain.
The BoxThrone design eliminates these issues. Each game sits on its own shelf, protected from box damage. If you’ve been collecting board games for awhile, like I have, you probably also have a few games that are now out of print, like my copy of The Thing: Infection at Outpost 31. This is one of my board games that I’d like to keep in good shape, as replacing it would be difficult and expensive. Sitting alone on one of the rounded metal shelves of the BoxKing, the only thing I need to worry about now is dust.
I’m extremely happy with the BoxThrone shelves I received. The packaging was immaculate, the assembly effortless, and the shelving is stable and attractive. Yes, I will address the elephant in the room: it’s not cheap. But, board gaming isn’t a cheap hobby. As a consumer, you have to decide for yourself how you want to spend your hobby dollars.
If you want to display your games in style, and protect your collection, then BoxThrone shelves are a great investment. If you’re just getting started in this hobby, you can always start out with a smaller set of shelves, and grow it along with your collection. And if you already have a sizeable collection, you can fill entire walls with shelves. BoxThrone is the ideal board game storage solution for your game room.
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Disclosure: GeekDad received these game shelves for review purposes.