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Our History

The Broken Token, Since 2013

Hey! Thanks for stopping by! We’re The Broken Token and we’ve been organizing and upgrading your favorite tabletop games since 2013. Pull up a chair and learn a little about who we are, and why we do what we do. Our table is always open.

We believe in supporting the gaming industry by providing unique, creative, and high-quality ways to improve our game nights with family and friends. As the first company of its kind, we pioneered the market of birchwood game inserts designed to fit inside board game boxes. With two goals in mind -- making games quick to set up and put away, and combining games with their expansions to fit in one game box -- The Broken Token has consistently advanced the game organization niche, from our original, simple in-box designs, to a line of custom Craftsman crates that take game storage to the next level.

We believe in American manufacturing, and most of our products are made in the USA at our Escondido, California headquarters by a team of nearly 40 dedicated people. Some are avid gamers, some not yet, but all good folks. We also resell products from other outstanding manufacturers that we believe add quality and value to your gaming experience.

We believe in quality. We believe in fun. We believe in gaming together.

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How It Happened

Like many small businesses, we come from humble beginnings. What started as a single organizer has turned into over 120 organizers, complimented by a wide assortment of gaming accessories, including 3D printed terrain, metal coins, hobby painting racks, and more.

In 2013, a few months after joining a local makers’ studio, Broken Token founder and CEO Greg Spence came up with the idea of creating wooden organizers for games, instead of the more common foamcore inserts. It all started with an organizer for The King of Tokyo, and a community post on Boardgame Geek to share his creation. When his thread took off and orders started steadily coming in from other gamers, too many 60-mile roundtrips down to the Maker Place soon became a need for owning his own laser. His wife and toddler twins agreed. He still had a full-time career as a video game programmer, as well.

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To fund his first laser, Greg launched a Kickstarter campaign for one basic product: the Case for Humanity, a wooden card box designed to hold Cards Against Humanity and its many expansions. It was offered in two sizes, and a variety of finishes, as well as options for a kit or assembled box. The campaign’s success funded the first laser, and a company was born.

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For the first six months, the business ran out of his home garage, with the help of some awesome friends and family. While Kickstarter orders were shipping out, he began designing additional game organizers for popular games like 7 Wonders, Lords of Waterdeep, and Caverna.

When the majority of his Kickstarter orders had shipped, it was the perfect time to move that garage laser into an industrial building and formalize the company. Although he maintained his programming career, The Broken Token was more than a garage business now.

Just over a year later, an even bigger facility was needed to keep up with demand, and the team grew from a handful to a dozen. Between 2015 and now, we’ve increased our square footage from 1200 to 12,000+ sq.ft., and our team from a dozen to almost 40.

 

Why “The Broken Token”?

We started the company with a vision of who our audience was; other groups of gamers, like us and our friends, who gathered together on a regular basis to play games, share food and drinks, and socialize. Just like in an old tavern from the fantasy novels we’d read growing up.

We wanted a name that related to gaming (“What about Token?”) and rhyming is fun and memorable (“Maybe pair it with ‘Broken’?”). Much like The Snuggly Duckling in the movie Tangled, we thought that the words Broken and Token together were fun, easy to remember, and invoked images of a good time and gaming together with friends. From this our Pub Sign logo treatment was born.

 

How It’s Made

Since The Broken Token created the game organizer niche, other companies have joined the market, creating their own inserts and organization offerings. So how are we different? Our passion for gaming isn’t unique, but our passion for innovation is.

Every game we organize gets weeks of development time, sometimes months, with our team of talented designers thinking about how the game’s components are used. What all needs to fit inside? What makes the most sense for keeping everything stored in a tidy way? Can we use the trays of the organizer in ways that enhance gameplay? They love to solve those problems, and add some custom style in the mix. After rounds of prototyping and playtesting, the next step in our process is manufacturing.

We have an army of 12+ laser cutting machines and a team of laser operators with years of experience under their belts. We cut both birchwood and acrylic products on these machines. Once our wood products are cut, they go to sanding, where we run them through industrial sanders to give them a smooth finish. The final steps are quality control and packaging.

While all of that is going on, we’re creating graphics, designing assembly instructions, shooting and editing marketing, assembly, and How It Fits videos, making a marketing plan, and setting up the digital product listings for our online store.

We’re often asked about our materials. Our wood products are made with Baltic Birch, a durable and attractive plywood, made from a sustainable wood source. Birch trees typically take a third to a half less time to mature than other common woods, like oak.

 

Supporting the Gaming Community

Not only do we appreciate your support, but we also like to support the gaming community. And when you buy our officially licensed organizers, you support other companies in the game industry, too.

We’re proud to partner with many game publishers to provide licensed products. See more about our partners on our Partners page.

We love to meet our community at conventions and events all over the country. See our Events page for a list of upcoming events on our schedule.

Over the years we have donated to dozens of charities, conventions, and other good causes. Unfortunately we can’t accept all donation requests, but we are happy to support when we can. At this time, due to our non-essential status, we're unable to fulfill requests for donations. Please check back in the future for info on how to request donations when business returns to normal.

 

Accolades

We are proud to be a recipient of the 2015 Gen Con Marketing Fellowship. Receiving this fellowship gave us an opportunity to have a booth in the Entrepreneur’s Row at Gen Con 2015, and then move out to a regular booth the next year.

We’ve worked with Legoland USA, here in our local San Diego area, creating acrylic pieces for interactive displays at the Sea Life Aquarium.

We’ve won the Origins Awards for Best Game Accessory and Fan Favorite Game Accessory in both 2017 (Blood Rage Organizer) and 2018 (Terraforming Mars Organizer).

We're also very proud to have been included in the Frosthaven Kickstarter Campaign from Cephalofair Games, as the official organizer for the game. The campaign ended as the most-funded boardgame in Kickstarter history, and the number of organizers ordered with initial pledges totaled over 18,000. We're honored to have been chosen by Cephalofair Games to be a part of their campaign.