Before I begin! I have grabbed photos from all kinds of sites. Mostly from Foundry itself--but maybe also yours--all of yours. I'm using them to clarity and explain, not trying to steal your creative thunder, BOTLs. I've also got a list of links to any and all sites that helped me put this list together at the end of the post. Some of the early images here appear to be production art, and don't quite match what has been produced for shops. I'm also in the process of adding my own pictures as I find the cigars. Enjoy!
** if anyone can point me toward all the Plutoniums, both Tis and the Europium--please do. I can't buy boxes, but I can do small packs, singles or great trades. **
Award for Most Difficult to Track Down Cigars goes to....
General Cigar Co./Foundry Tobacco Co!
Foundry's website finally updated their site with all the pertinent information, but it was woefully limited for the longest time, which left me super confused about the order/structure of their new (2013)releases.
War of Currents debuts as the umbrella conceit under which two main categories reside: Laboratories and Inventions. Both Laboratories & Inventions share the same tobacco blend, but have many different vitolas. Laboratories, the core line, has two vitolas & will remain in production. These Laboratory cigars come with a metal band fitted with a white fuse, an homage to the power grid:
Another fun feature that the two Laboratories boxes share, is that while each sports the main Foundry logo, the adjoining lines vary: DC sports a solid ray, AC sports a wavy ray:
Inventions, a limited, small-batch release, has four vitolas, and no metal bands. When the Inventions sell out, they ain't coming back. Additionally, each of the six cigar boxes have unique designs, with the small-batch Inventions sporting more unique and entertaining boxes.
Laboratories (main line) Inventions (small-batch, limited)
2 box designs: 4 box designs:
W.Orange ~ T. Edison ~DC Auburn & Menlo ~ T. Edision ~ DC
Shoreham ~ N. Tesla ~ AC Belgrade & Madison ~ N. Tesla ~ AC
And what is the War of Currents? In Foundry's artistic release, it is the intellectual battle over the transmission of electricity that took place during the 1880's between Thomas Edison's Direct Current (DC) and Nikola Tesla's competing Alternate Current (AC). Both inventors favored their version over the other--and it promoted lively competition between the two.
Foundry Cigars has picked three cigar boxes for each competing current.
1. Laboratories: W. Orange ~ 5.5x50
2. Inventions: Auburn ~ The Electric Chair 6x60 Perfecto with Tickler head
3. Inventions: Menlo ~ The Phonograph 5x60
The Belgrade cigars appear to be named for the Tesla museum in Belgrade, Serbia. A depiction of shooting rays from Tesla's charged particle beam projector, or "directed-energy weapon," popularly coined the "death ray," appears on the cigar box.
In 1898, Madison Square Garden, New York hosted the first Electrical Exhibition where Tesla launched an incredible radio-controlled "robot boat." Named for the site of the exhibition, Foundry's cigar box features this boat in a clipping from a 1956 Popular Science magazine.
18 cigars, 16 are small-batch, limited releases & will be retired when they sell through. Carbon & Uranium will remain in production, joining the two Laboratory cigars as part of Foundry's core line.
1. Argon ~ 5.5x50
2. Carbon ~ 5.5x60 - Core Line
3. Europium ~ 7x60
4. Gold ~ 5.5x55
*H2O ~ 5x50 (3 different blends, same vitola)
5. - H
6. - 2
7. - O
8. Helium ~ 6.75x54
9. Hydrogen ~ 6.5x56
*Plutonium ~ 5x50 (4 different blends, same vitola)
10. - yellow
11. - green
12. - white
13. - orange
*Titanium ~ (2 different vitola, same blend)
14. - 5.5x46
15. - 6x52
16. Uranium ~ 7x70 - Core Line
17. Vanadium ~ 6.125x54
18. Xenon ~ 6.25x54
Blend Origins: Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Brazilian tobaccos. Argon sports a black and copper label, and features a slide top, rough wood box. Argon is packaged in boxes of 25.
Argon is a noble gas that is found in the Earth's atmosphere.
Blend Origins: Nicaragua, Lower 48. Packaging features a frosted, translucent Plexiglas wall. The atomic radius of Carbon is 77, Carbon is packaged in boxes of 77. Perhaps this is why?
Foundry's Creative Director Michael Giannini said that he enjoys wearing diamonds: thus one more reason to put diamonds on the box.
Carbon is the 6th most abundant element in our Universe. Diamond is one of three naturally occurring Carbon allotrope, the other two being Amorphous and Graphite.
Blend Origins: Dominican Republic with undisclosed "mysterioso" fillers. Rough-cut wooden box styled after vintage steamer trunk, with an oval-shaped sticker of a merman. Why a merman? According to Michael Giannini, the Creative Director at General Cigar, Co., he apparently felt that Europium sounded like "a trip to Europe." And he imagined a merman, complete with trident, who got tired of all the swimming and was taking a vacation on a ghost ship. There you have it. Coincidentally (?), some research involving Europium has been conducted at the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, located on 600 E. Mermaid Lane. Box of 20.
Europium is a rare earth element.
Blend Origins: Dominican Republic, Ecuador, US.
The cigar wrapper is 'golden' in color. Packaged in a rustic, recycled pine wood box with an image gold-miner printed directly on the wooden lid. Box of 25.
Blend origins: Costa Rica, "mysterioso" fillers.
There are 3 different cigar blends in this offering to represent the three different elements comprising the H2O compound. The box is divided into 3 sections, each one housing either the "H," "2," or "O" blend. Each section has 12 cigars, for a total of 36 in the box. Creative Director Giannini said he hopes that people try all three blends, and then debate them with one another. Sounds fun to me!
A translucent Plexiglas lid, shaped like a safety razor sits atop a recessed ledge. Printed on the Plexi is what looks to me like an old-fashioned typewriter typeguide section. The H2O logo looks like round typewriter keys. 36 cigars in total.
H2O is the most abundant compound on the Earth's surface. It can exist in liquid, solid and gaseous sates.
Blend Origins: Honduras, Nicaragua, Mysterioso
A straight-forward cigar presentation: all one vitola, regular hinged cigar box--though it is covered with burlap, which is a little sloppy--wrinkly burlap and some glue staining the wood. Oddly, it's the Helium cigar box that has the exploding zepplin, rather than the Hydrogen one. Airships can run on either helium or hydrogen--but it was the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg that exploded so horrifyingly. Oh, the humanity! When I think Helium, I don't think 'sploding airships, I think sucking on balloons... 20 cigars per box.
Michael Giannini said he knows that Hydrogen won't blow up, but that in his world "Cuz I'm a guy who likes stuff that blows up, I like to see an old airship blow up. And that's Helium to me." I like this crazy man.
Helium heads the noble gas group in the periodic table, is colorless, odorless, tasteless, non-toxic, inert & monatomic.
Blend Origins: Nicaragua, Ecuador, Mysterioso
I'm not sure about this, but it's possible that Foundry's hydrogen gremlin is a playful reminder of the 1972 Hydrogen Car competition at UCLA? The cigar itself widens at the foot--similar to old car.
The UCLA Hydrogen Car Project evolved from a note Frank Lynch (UCLA '72) put on a bulletin board in 1970 to the effect that students interested in developing a hydrogen fueled car to enter the Urban Vehicle Design Competition should contact him. Lynch then asked professor Albert Bush to be the faculty sponsor and the project took off. General Motors donated a 1972 Gremlin and Ford Motor Company a "Boss" 351 cubic inch engine. The students modified the engine to run on hydrogen and installed a tank to hold the hydrogen in the rear of the car. Since the exhaust of a hydrogen powered vehicle is steam, the students had no problem taking first place in the competition for lowest emissions. ~ engineer.ucla.edu
UPDATE: NOPE, totally wrong about above. According to Michael Giannini, the inspiration for this was an old Twilight Zone episode with William Shatner who "was scared to fly, and he saw a gremlin on the plane wing? That's my gremlin. And it's an H2...it's a gremlin with an H2 bomb." Additionally, he described the cigar as "a beautiful bell-shaped cigar." Nice.
The hydrogen cigar box itself has an image of a gremlin creature holding a small bomb--same graphic as that found on the cigar band. Comes packed with 20 cigars.
Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe. It is also the lightest element on the Periodic Table.
The pre-production art package was amazing--four cigar boxes placed together to look like a bundle of dynamite--complete with fuse and scorch marks. Such a cool idea. But it seems that what was realized was a scaled down (think cheaper and easier to make) version that lacks the flair and fun-factor. Still has the cool black rubber bicycle intertube that sort of rubber-bands the boxes together. It's a nice presentation--just disappointed to see what might have been.
"Plutonium to me was, Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner. And it's a stick of dynamite." ~ Giannini
The four boxes contain either green, yellow, orange or white-label cigars, and each color is a different, undisclosed blend. Each box contains 25 cigars, for a grand total of 100 if you buy the bundle.
Plutonium is a radioactive rare earth element and is used as an explosive in nuclear weapons, which explains the bomb box.
I'm hoping I can find some of these in B&Ms because online info & images are scarce. I'm in a pretty terrible spot for cigars, though, so I'm not hopeful about my chances of tracking the B&M offerings down.
The Titanium cigar edition is comprised of two differently-sized cigars of the same blend--in the same box. Each size will smoke differently. Giannini wanted smokers to experience how, without altering the blend, the vitola can effect the smoke. The box picutred above is Pre-Production art, so I'm not sure what the actualized box-top looks like. I'm guessing similar, as this box seems pretty conventional. Looks like a smooth wooden box with a metal or metal-effect lid--that may be recessed, similar to how the H2O set was constructed. Nice looking box. The symbol on top may be stamped? And obviously the released box is different from pre-pro: it's thin and rectangular. I have no clue why it's called "Diablo Tail?" Possible funky biblical reference? The first time Satan appears in the bible is Numbers 22:22--and Titanium's atomic # is 22--so maybe a play on that? Or some bizarre inspiration from the Diablo video game? 20 cigars per box, 10 each of two sizes.
UPDATE: so here's what the Diablo Tail means, to Michael Giannini: "In may factory, the folks there don't really like devils...so I originally had a devil design on this, so in a way to kind of get them un-superstitious, I created the Diablo Parte, the Devil's Tail."
Titanium is the 9th most abundant element in the earth's crust.
Dis a rrrrrrl big cigar. Personally not a fan of large ring cigars, but there are lots of fans of them out there, and I'm sure this'll big a fun smoke for them. Uranium is part of the core line, one of only two of the Compounds, Elements and Musings that will continue to be produced. Did I mention how big it is? 'Cause it is. 18 cigars per box.
According to Michael Giannini, he travels so much, and has to be x-rayed so many times by TSA agents, that the irradiated skeleton flipping the bird is his "salute to the world." Love it.
Uranium is a silvery-white chemical element that is slightly radioactive.
Blend Origins: Nicaragua, Brazil and Mexico, H-47 Pleno Sol
Box is shaped like a V that also corresponds to vanadiums's V element symbol. Giannini said that the "V" shape is in honor of General Cigar’s director of public relations Victoria McKee Jaworski. Great packaging. 20 cigar per box of awesomeness.
Vanadium is a It is a hard, silvery gray, ductile and malleable transition metal.
Another rough wooden box with ink printed directly onto it. Image of a flying saucer on the box top and the cigar band--inspired by the 50's Flash Gordon. A straight-forward box with lift-off lid. First box image is Pre-Production art, you can see the actualized boxes are more shallow, and element sticker is in diferent exterior location. Box of 20 cigars.
Excellent websites were referenced for this post: from sales to reviews, these sites have tremendous information, great opinions and reviews, and in some cases, sales.