If you're like me, you have painted miniatures from various projects lying around in all kinds of storage contraptions. I've got several pistol and rifle cases, a GW case, Sabol Army Transports, loose Sabol foam trays in various storage, a Skirmishpack, and all sorts of other boxes and crates to hold my various figures. I've been fascinated by the idea of cheap miniature storage (like most gamers) for years, and always meant to pick up Fozzbozz's Fozbox, but sadly they went out of business before I had the chance to explore the possibility. Recently, Neal of the Warstore decided to provide a similar product, called "Econoboxes", so in my most recent order I decided to pick up a couple to try them out.
Here's his blurb on the product:
A great idea just got better!
Looking for an inexpensive way to store and protect your valuable miniatures? TheWarStore and Sabol Designs has conspired together to bring you a TheWarStore exclusive - the New Econobox Figure Storage Case!
Each Econobox Figure Storage Case is made with strong 32lb test cardboard with a custom sized Sabol Designs figure tray inside! Trays measure appro 12"X9" and are 1.5" deep. The trays are packed lose into the box but you can glue them down if you like. The top and bottom of the box are covered with 1/'4" foam so your minis can enjoy extra protection. We are working on more box sizes -- watch this site for more info!
And a stock image from his website:
As with all of Neal's shipments, it came in good order and quickly. The boxes themselves are cardboard, about the size (closed up) of a large textbook. The 'contents' are sabol's ubiquitous cut-away foam with a glued on bottom and a foam sheet for the top. It's 1.5" deep, so thicker than a normal sabol tray (which is 1"), but narrower than the usual sabol tray as well.
Here's a couple of images. The rulebook is there for size reference.
I found the cardboard to be good thickness and sturdy: the lid secures into the box without much give. I filled the two boxes VERY quickly (they're not especially big: official dimensions are 12x9"), but because of their smaller footprint and the secureness of the lid, I was able to store them on their sides on a shelf, just like a book.
Here's a few images of the two with different configurations, showing both standard 28-32mm figs as well as some larger figs (closer to 45mm)
While I wouldn't want to use these as a long-term carrier, they strike me as sturdy enough and small enough that they might serve decently as short-medium term transport options especially for skirmish gaming. Just the box in your knapsack with your rules etc. and go. They would also make sense if you move a lot; secure enough to keep the minis safe, but easily stackable within packing boxes, and keep you organized, instead of trying to find the figures in with the kitchen stuff, etc.
While excellent cases for what they are, these are not the platonic ideal of storage. For one, they are NOT a good size for anything larger than smaller 'monster' types (GW or Rackham minotaurs, the smaller Privateer Press warjacks and warbeasts, dreadnoughts, etc.), so these won't do treadheads much good. (Neal's website indicates that he's looking to do other sizes in the future, which may include large monster and tank/vehicle-size cases.) And while $11 is a pretty good price for storage when compared to Army Transports, GW's hard cases, and the like, they're obviously far pricier than going to a local office supply store (or office), grabbing some A4 boxes, going to a fabric shop for some eggcrate foam inserts, and doing it yourself for half (or less) of the price. However, if most of your figs are 50mm or smaller, you're not inclined or able to come up with your own solutions, want something that looks a little more 'professional', or just like the idea of a Sabol tray in its own box, these are a very legitimate choice. Personally, I'm probably going to get the 5 pack at some point to start consolidating and reorganizing my lead mountain.
If you're looking for a way to store a limited number of your figs compactly and securely, either for short-term transport or for keeping them organized around the house, this is your box. If you're looking to keep a 3000 point Imperial Guard Armored Company secure and ready to be carried out the door, or are inclined to create your own storage for even cheaper, you probably want a different product.
Final score: 3.5 out of 4 boxing rabbis.
You can order the Econobox at The Warstore.