15 juin 2022
Ultimate Guard Team
Ultimate Guard Stories
Flip'n'Tray, Boxes, 266+
By hanging around here and following our blog, I guess that most of you are already familiar with one of our all-time favorite deck box lines: The Flip ‘n’ Tray family.
But did you also know that this line marks the beginning of the rise of Ultimate Guard? Yep, you’ve read that right. Those handy deck boxes formed the foundation for everything that followed for our brand – and were actually the very first Xenoskin products ever.
Back in the day, the year 2014 to be precise, Ultimate Guard was an upcoming new brand for TCG accessories, gaining some attention across European players and retailers. We’d created a range of Deck Boxes and Sleeves that were well received in the community, but we always felt that there was room (literally) for something new, something innovative, something to look and feel fantastic while also remaining highly practical.
Something was missing
At this time, there was no premium solution available which could hold a deck of cards and additional dice together in one box. Of course, there were our Deck ‘n’ Trays and Monoliths (may they rest in peace) and other comparable solutions. But we were convinced that your cards deserved even more premium quality and protection, something smoother to handle and super-appealing in appearance and design. And so, the idea for the first Flip ‘n’ Tray was born.
Well, as we all know, it’s a long journey from a scribbled idea to a final product. We were a small team working with the available infrastructure by the time, pushing our boundaries for this new exciting product. We kicked off an immersive sampling process, testing smooth textures and a well-designed and functional box. The day came: The Flip ‘n’ Tray prototype was ready, and with it the Xenoskin surface was introduced, quickly becoming the signature trademark of our products.
As we did every year, we planned to attend the SPIEL in Essen in October 2014 with the new highlights in our portfolio. Time was running out and we just managed to take a small batch of pre-release products with us to the fair. We were confident in our newest member of the Ultimate Guard family but what we experienced was more than we could have dreamed of. Every single piece sold in a flash, and we quickly learned that we had truly broken new ground here.
Back in the office, we took one of the remaining prototypes and shipped it over to the US, a market where Ultimate Guard was still building its network. The recipient was a person whose passion is testing and shaking trading card accessories to the limit, better known as Brian “The Professor” from Tolarian Community College. After a lengthy and detailed check of our box, his resume was simple: EXOTASTIC!
After the success at SPIEL and the positive feedback from Brian, the Flip ‘n’ Tray Box was on everyone’s lips. Over just one weekend, we received multiple inquiries from all around the world. But we had no time to celebrate our success, as we needed to set-up new supply chains and find additional distribution partners to make our products available globally for everyone in the community.
Even today, the Flip ‘n’ Tray is at the core of our deck boxes. Beautiful, reliable, and patient, it has seen new boxes and cases come and go. It’s been thrown around, fallen on the ground, been endlessly opened and closed and even damaged by fires. It’s always there. Sure, it's had some workarounds and cosmetic updates over the years, but whatever lies ahead, the box will stand up to it, remaining amongst the most popular boxes around!
Truly, the Flip ‘n’ Tray marked Ultimate Guard’s global kick-off, establishing it as the brand for innovative and quality gaming equipment for which it’s renowned today. And who knows what the future might bring for our Flip ‘n’ Tray family, as its story is not finished yet.
Ultimate Guard Team
All across the globe, the members of the Ultimate Guard team follow their passion for gaming and collectibles. In our blog, we will share personal insights, background stories about our products and sneak peaks behind the scenes of Ultimate Guard.