It’s no secret that we gamers love dice — heck, we built a business around it. So we thought it would be fun to take a look at exactly what kinds of dice gamers like the most. With the tens of thousands of dice we sell each year, we figure there aren’t many businesses around that sell more dice than we do so we’re in a unique position to know what kinds of dice are most popular to gamers. And we love sharing data!
This data is all based on sales on Awesome Dice, and we’re counting number of purchases for each dice type. This data set is looking at all of 2012 sales — if there’s enough interest, we’ll continue posting this kind of information every year.
Most Popular Dice Set Types
Starting at the top we’re looking purely at the kind of dice sets that gamers buy. It’s probably no surprise that 7-dice sets of classic D&D dice are the winner — these dice are used in countless RPGs from Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder to Earthdawn and Call of Cthulhu. What is a little surprising is that 12d6 dice sets weren’t as far behind as we’d have thought. This is largely because when wargamers buy 6-sided dice, they buy a lot of them. It’s not uncommon for us to get orders of ten or twenty 12d6 sets at once — almost always of plain opaque dice.
The 10d10 sets are a small fraction of dice sets sold, far diminished from the glory days of World of Darkness back in the late 90s. The odd dice are the sets of unusual-sided dice (d3, d5, etc) sold by GameScience.
Most Popular Dice Colors
Here we’re taking a look at the most popular colors of dice out there. For purposes of this data, a die that is blue and red, for example, counts as both a blue and a red die. However, dice that are black and red would just count as red. Our logic here is that the black & red die is considered a red die — someone is buying it because it’s a cool-looking red die, not because of black. So the dice counted in the black column are dice that are predominantly black.
Blue is the clear winner for most popular dice color. From there red, green, black, and purple all steadily decline until the big drop-off. Glow in the dark dice sell surprisingly well, especially considering the difficulties we have in keeping the coolest glow in the dark 7-dice sets in stock. The Other column includes orange, yellow, gray, bronze, teal and other minor colors.
Most Popular Dice
Okay, enough of the charts of aggregate data — let’s take a look at what are flat out the most popular single sets of dice! For this we are excluding the cheap opaque dice. I think we can agree that there’s nothing particularly appealing to the opaque dice other than their price, but by numbers alone they would control half of the top 10 list, and that just isn’t terribly interesting.
It’s much more fun to look at the dice that gamers choose based on appearance, rather than price. Well, perhaps we should make an exception for number 1…
#1: Pound o’ Dice
The single most popular set of dice is actually the Pound o’ Dice — and it’s in first place by a pretty large margin as well. The Pound o’ Dice is a giant bag containing a random assortment of around 100 dice. These dice include a lot of factory seconds, but are also mixed in with high-quality dice from various Chessex dice sets.
Gamers cannot get enough of Pound o’ Dice. As owners of several of these ourselves, we can understand why. The Pound o’ Dice is a great and cheap way to stock up on a bunch of extra dice to replace the ones that are lost under furniture or provide dice to the people who forgot their own.
#2 & 3: Mini Metal Dice 7-Sets
The second and third positions on the most popular dice list are the tiny 5mm mini metal dice. These dice sets come in both gold and silver colors (silver is #2, and gold is #3) and these dice are small enough that you can actually just about fit the entire set on the surface of a penny.
There’s just something about making something really, really small that appeals to people (remember the mini PHB & DMG?). In practice these mini dice make a very easy set of dice to carry with you anywhere.
#4: Glow in the Dark 12d6
Glow in the dark dice are just awesome. The 12d6 version earns its position in the top ten due to the combination of awesome glowiness and affordable price… and perhaps because we managed to get a particularly attractive photo of them glowing.
To be fair, the Glow in the Dark Elven Dice would very likely be in the top 10 if we could just keep them in stock. Every time we get more of these in from their manufacturer in Poland they blow out in a few weeks and it takes months to get more back in stock.
#5: Elven Translucent Blue 7-Set
The Elven Translucent Blue dice are truly awesome. While the exact appearance varies from set to set, these dice feature cool designs inked in blue on a clear die. As a result, you can see the elven writing through dice dice, giving an elven feeling background to any given face of the dice.
These dice are works of art, and we totally get why they’re so popular.
#6: Scarab Royal Blue 7-Set
Here at Awesome Dice we’re big fans of the entire Scarab collection of dice, and Scarab Royal Blue brings in the top spot as the 6th most popular dice set. The Scarab dice in general do a really good job of mixing a solid color with black to give a darker, textured appearance.
It probably isn’t surprising that the Scarab Royal Blue is so popular since, as we’ve learned, blue is the most popular dice color of gaming dice.
#7: Scarab Jade 7-Set
A personal favorite, the Scarab Jade 7-Dice Set is to green what the above set is to blue. Jade is the right word to describe these dice, making them perfect for everything from L5R characters (they come in 10d10 sets as well) to any wilderness characters. Or heck, any character at all — they’re just very cool-looking dice.
#8: Gemini Purple-Black 7-Set
Given the popularity of the Gemini Purple-Black dice set, we were surprised to see that purple was so low in the most popular colors. It appears that if a gamer has a hankering for purple dice, then this is the purple dice set of choice.
#9: Gemini Black-Shell
A nice change from the typical bold and strong colors, the Gemini Black-Shell 7-set swiftly became a favorite a gamers. This is particularly impressive since we didn’t stock this dice color until halfway through the year! It will be interesting to see how it performs this year with a whole year to compete for the top 10 spot.
#10: Scarab Blue Blood 7-Set
Rounding out the top 10 list is yet another in the Scarab collection, the Scarab Blue Blood 7-set. To us, this is the true Scarab red die type, and it’s interesting that it’s the only red dice set in the top 10, considering all red dice combine to be the second most popular color.
Most Popular Dice Bags
We’d like to be able to do a similar analysis of dice bags as we did with the dice, but we feel the data is pretty skewed on the dice bag front. We spent a good amount of time last year sourcing new cool dice bags, and as a result most of the dice bags were available for radically different periods of time — we didn’t even get our leather dice bags or chainmail dice bags on the site until early this year.
If the emails we get are any indication, the Dragon Scale Dice Bags are the most desired bags, but their hefty price probably prevents them from making the top-selling list. Our new selection of leather dice bags have been incredibly popular, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see them topping the list in 2013.
What Do You Think?
What do you think should have made the list for coolest gamer dice but didn’t? Do you think there are other ways we should have looked at aggregate data? And most of all, is this kind of information the kind of thing you’d like to see us do more of at Awesome Dice? We’re always eager to dig into any kind of dice-related data that we can (such as our randomness test) but don’t know if most gamers get quite the enjoyment out of these statistics as we do.