Gio Lasar is known in the dice collecting community for his amazing space exploration themed dice, and I fell in love with his work with 2018’s A Dice Odyssey Kickstarter campaign. I’m kind of a space nerd, and I love Gio’s stylish design choices, so I decided I was going to try to collect as many Gio Lasar sets as I could. In November last year Gio launched his latest Kickstarter, featuring designs commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 7 mission to land humanity on the moon, so naturally I couldn’t stay away.
My dice arrived last week, and I’m happy to say they didn’t disappoint!
Gio Lasar dice are usually manufactured by Q-Workshop, and I believe these are no exception, which means they’re probably acrylic. Most of the dice are fairly simple in terms of material – usually opaque blacks, greys and blues – although they do feature a range of interesting ink options. It’s the design and the symbolism that sets these dice apart.
The campaign featured several sets of dice on offer:
- The Apollo 7 set, a 7-piece polyhedral set themed around the moon landing.
- Stretch goal alternates for the d8, d12 and d20 featuring numerical designs rather than symbols.
- The Conspiracy Bundle, three dice designs (d2, d6 and d12) referencing moon landing conspiracy theories beloved of “free thinkers” everywhere.
- Saturn V2 Fudge D6 set, a revision of 2019’s original Saturn V Fudge D6 set.
- Some brand new designs (d4, d6, d10 and d00) late in the campaign which were funding-contingent although not additional official stretch goals.
Fortunately the post-campaign pledge management allowed the chance to add on dice from previous releases, so you’ll see the results of that here too.
Apollo 7 Set
Unlike many dice set designs, this set features dice that are thematically associated, rather than matching aesthetically. The designs are all relevant to the theme, but differ from each other quite a lot. It’s a really novel way of designing dice, and I imagine some people would find the lack of unity offputting, but it allows the designer to reflect many aspects of space travel in a single set.
Each die’s faces tell a story:
- the Apollo d4 features different spacecraft of the Apollo program.
- the Crescent d6 is a new take on Gio’s constellation dice, with major constellations on most faces and a Crescent Moon to celebrate the anniversary of landing.
- the Crescent d8 represents the celestial navigation of Apollo’s astronauts; this is a revision of the d8 from 2017’s Voyager Anniversary Edition, with star pips instead of numbers.
- the Moon d12 is of course the moon itself.
- the Earth d20 features a starry sky with Earth on the 20 face.
- the Touchdown d10/d00 pair show a range of meaningful statistics related to the flight.
The second picture in the slider shows some additional colour options I chose when checking my pledge out.
One factor of note: only the d10 and d% have numbers, while the other five dice all use a spot arrangement, On these dice, a small star or moon crater is worth 1, while a large crater or four-pointed star is worth five. The Kickstarter campaign page shows more information on how to read the dice.
The Conspiracy Bundle “celebrates” those who don’t believe in space travel; more accurately, those who don’t believe we’re doing it.
The Conspiracy Bundle features:
- The Flat Earth d2 – described in the campaign as the “first coin with both Head and Tail on the same side”. The front features the flat earth and the back features, well, the underside of the Earth along with the giant turtle that carries it through space.
- The Fake Landing d6 has faces showing how the moon landing was staged on a TV set!
- The Cheese Moon d12 shows the Moon according to popular theories about its composition.
The second slide above also shows the Blue Moon glow-in-the-dark colour option for the d12.
Stretch Goals and More Designs
Most dice in the core Apollo 7 set had non-numerical face designs, so the stretch goals focused on alternative dice to replace the d8, d12 and d20 to suit those who’d rather read numbers.
You can see these above, along with some other designs that were finalised late in the campaign and available as addon sets:
- The Small Step d4 commemorates Neil Armstrong’s iconic phrase.
- The Space Wars! d6 extends the Conspiracy set with a little war against space aliens.
- The Flight Path d8 was the winning design out of four choices the backers voted on, and reflects the path of the Apollo 7 from the Earth to the Moon.
- The Countdown d10/d00 pair reflects the classic countdown to liftoff.
- The Zodiac Constellations d12 is a revision of the d12 from the 2017 Voyager set, with different colourways and a revised font for the numbers.
- The Lunar Orbiter d20 celebrates the probes used to map the Moon and identify an Apollo landing site.
The core colourway for most of the dice, both core set and extras, was a simple black-on-white, with the exception of the d10/d00 pairs and the d12s. However, stretch goals opened up extra paint options, and many of the dice were offered with metallic or glow-in-the-dark options.
Several of the reward bundles also included one or a pair of Full Moon Constellation d6s, and you can see a macro shot of one here. Interestingly, these are larger than the standard Gio Lasar d6, which makes them a little odd to roll in a handful of other dice or as part of a palette.
I love Gio Lasar dice, and I’m a space nerd in general, so I was predisposed to love these, but I recognise that they’re probably not everybody’s cup of tea. I imagine that the pipped number faces in particular might be a challenge, and the varied design aesthetic might not be to everyone’s tastes.
A couple of points worth noting in particular:
- Most of the dice feel surprisingly light and insubstantial. It wasn’t a dealbreaker for me but it was definitely striking as I unbagged them all.
- Any dice with a glow-in-the-dark finish won’t be nearly as glossy as the rest of the dice; these are hand-painted, and I assume the finishing process is different for these.
- The Full Moon Constellation D6s were a bit disappointing. On reflection, I think the inking needs much shinier silver paint; they seem a bit dull. I’m going to go over the existing silver with a Molotow Liquid Chrome pen to brighten it up.
- Many of the dice are quite small, particularly in comparison with last year’s A Dice Odyssey sets. Not a dealbreaker for me personally, but if you have strong feelings about dice sizes, look for comparison shots before you purchase.
Those factors aside, I entirely appreciate the creativity, aesthetics, and Space Love that went into the design of all these dice, and I’m entirely happy with my purchase. Had I not already blown past my dice budget for this month, I would absolutely be ordering more colour combinations for some of my favourites. Is it time for the next Gio Lasar Kickstarter yet?!