a board gaming accessory that you actually need

We’ve written about a lot of fun board game accessories here at Polygon dot com. Dice vaults? We got ‘em. Novel little rolling trays? For sure. Bizarre pizza lifters? Why not. But I’m going to be honest: You don’t need those. What you need is some Lax Rax, and you need ‘em right the hell now.

It’s a bit of a meme in board gaming circles, but the fact is that there’s only one good shelving unit at Ikea that fits most modern board games. It’s called a Kallax, and ... well, it’s not perfect.

I think they look awful, for one. It’s just a bunch of big squares you have to bolt to the wall so the whole thing doesn’t topple over. I’ve got one here in the house, but we use it for the youngest kid’s toys, which all go into colorful baskets. The big splashes of color at least make it moderately attractive. So long as she’s not climbing it, I’m happy.

For board games, though, when using a Kallax you’ve got two options. You can store your board games on end, but all the bits inside tumble around. Unless you’ve tossed out the inserts (and there are plenty of good pack-ins these days) and got everything bagged up, that’s a fool’s errand. It’ll just slow you down setting the game up, and you risk damaging the bits in the process.

Alternately, you can stack those board games one on top of the other in little batches of three or four per square. But then you’re playing Burger Time with some very expensive meat patties. Take out that one board game on the bottom and all hell breaks loose. You’ve got boxes tumbling every which way, maybe gouging your wall (the Kallax is open in the back), and maybe you’re scratching that nice cover art on the box.

And so that’s where Lax Rax come in.

Lax Rax use 3M adhesive pads to stick to the inside surfaces of your Kallax. Put the board game in, place four Rax on top of the box for sizing, and then just stick ‘em down. There’s even a built-in sizing guide for spacing things out so nothing gets scratched. Attach some wooden dowels — or a full-fledged plastic shelf — and everything is in its place. It’s so damned clever, I’m a little upset I didn’t think of it myself.

It’s also great for displaying painted miniatures, which is something that I’ve been trying to wrap my head around for a few years now without much luck. Get some magnets and there’s your army tray built in.

Of course, so much depends on the quality of that 3M tape. And maybe the humidity in your house. So we’ll have to see how this works out once the final product is out in the wild. If you’re into it, you can grab 96 Lax Rax — enough for 24 shelves — for $55. Delivery is set for June 2022. The Kickstarter campaign is already successful with $290,000 pledged at time of writing. The campaign runs through Sept. 23.

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