A couple weeks ago I got an email from a guy named Dave, the owner of myGameMats.com, asking me if he could send me a gaming mat he'd developed that he thought would work well for X-Wing on the condition that I'd review it here on TheMetalBikini.com. Never being one to turn down a free lunch, er uh, game mat, I said, "Sure."
We emailed back and forth a couple of times, then lo and behold, I get home from work last Friday and there's a big white poster tube in the hallway along with a couple of Amazon boxes (Prime is addictive y'all, be careful with that- there's a reason they give you free month of Prime when you buy a Fire HD). I picked up the tube, saw the return address was Dave and proceeded to open up the tube to get a look at the mat.
Wow, guys. For reals.
Oh no! All that Dread Cthulhu stuff has opened up a wormhole in my kitchen floor- oh, my bad just Dave's game mat.
Ok, you can see from the pictures that Dave's mat looks beautiful, but that in and of itself isn't the real story here. No, my friends the real story is that Dave's mats are printed on mousepad material.
Long white cat hair not included
While I'm sure y'all are familiar with mousepads, let me just say this to make sure we're all on the same page- it's 1/8" thick, or as you can see from the picture above, about the same thickness as a cardboard base overlay from X-Wing. It's rubber-backed with a grippy kind of pattern so it doesn't move once you drop it on your table, while the top is the same material as every mousepad you've ever felt- it's relatively slick, but not enough so that your ship bases move around on it.
Game tokens courtesy Urban Lasercraft
The mat is also extremely flexible- it's kinda like a big, floppy 36" x 36" blanket. The reason I mention this specifically is I've never had a keyboard mat or big mousepad or yoga mat or whatever, so when Dave started telling me about his mousepad mat in the email, I kinda wasn't sure how flexible it would be. As I don't have a ton of space for my gaming
obsession hobby, finding a place to stash it is kind of up there on my list of needs when it comes to stuff like this. Now, you could probably fold it up to store it, but as it came to me rolled in a tube, that's how I put it away as well. It rolls up easily, and if you roll it fairly tightly, it goes back in the shipping tube no problem. I folded it up a couple of times just to see if I could, and you definitely can- you can kind of see in the image above where I'm showing the thickness it doubles over on itself pretty well and I don't think you'd have any issues with it creasing up. Maybe if you stored it that way for a really long time or left it in a hot car or something, but again- I'd just suggest rolling it up and sticking it back in the tube.
I really can't say enough good things about the mat. The image is extremely rich and clear and the mat is well constructed. If these images look a little faded, bear in mind I took them with the flash on my wife's DSLR. They didn't look bad on the preview screen on the camera, but now that I'm looking at them on the Chromebook as I write this review, they look a bit washed out or faded. Could just be the screen on the CB too though, but for reference, here's a couple pics I took last Friday with my Moto X that I texted to BC and Sean.
My goodness, it is a pretty mat, isn't it? I mean, I know the main differentiator or selling point or whatever is that it's made out of a mousepad, but I still kinda can't get over how nice it looks.
At this point you're probably thinking, "Ok, so it's beautiful, and the idea of it seems like it'd work really well, how much is this thing going to set me back?"
I was wondering the same thing when Dave emailed me about it.
They're $55.00 plus shipping.
Now, I know, I know. It's not cheap, and you could buy x many Core Sets or y many ships from your FLGS or everybody's favorite online retailer MiniatureMarket.com, but for quality like this, it's not going to be cheap. The price point isn't likely to be for everybody, but if you've got the dough and want a really solid gaming mat for your X-Wing matches (or other space miniatures games), or you want something durable with a definite "wow factor" to draw in folks for a demo at your store, it really is pretty awesome.
Dave asked me in the email which image I wanted printed on my mat and sent me several sample images from the NASA archives to choose from. As they all looked gorgeous, I asked him to surprise me which lead to my Messier 78 (how'd he know I was a hockey fan???) reflection nebula game mat. He offers two others as well which are shown below-
So there ya go. If you're interested, head on over to myGameMats.com and check it out. Dave has some more info on the mats there as well as more pictures and he also sells these big keyboard mats because he got tired of his mouse sliding off the edges of his mousepads, which if I was still playing 1st person shooters on PC I'd definitely be buying.
Additionally, Dave says on his Contact page if you're interested in a custom design, he's willing to listen, so if you're not down with the above images but are interested in something on his gigantic mousepads, shoot him a message and see what happens.
Good luck Dave! I hope you sell a ton of them and thanks again for the freebie!