Alliance Designs, Monterey Bay Knives

Discussion in 'General Knife Discussion' started by RBid, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    Being a bit of a Ray Laconico fan, I follow him on Instagram/IG. Not long ago, that lead to running across two companies launching very shortly.

    Alliance Designs says their mission is to work with designers who are unable to meet market demand, by delivering extremely high end production versions of customs to market. They’re launching with a Black Friday release of 6 versions (3 handle options, two blade choices, each) of the Ray Laconico EZE. Production for the EZE is handled by Reate, though it seems Alliance will be working with multiple production companies.

    Alliance has also teased pictures of their second project, a Pat Hammond design. Most recently, they’ve also teased a hint that they may be making a Jasmine.

    Adding to the excitement, one of the first Likes on the Alliance IG page was Gareth Bull. I don’t know if we should take that as a sign of things to come, but it struck me as noteworthy, since he was literally one of their first five Likes. Could be nothing. Could be something huge.

    Monterey Bay Knives is Ray Laconico + Sanford Owen (dealer). They’re aiming to launch Dec 2018 or Jan 2019. They have two models slated for their kick off. One is the Kizer produced EZC, which they’ve said should hit at around $225. The other is the Minpin, which is being produced by a smaller OEM out of China. The teaser pics of the Minpin make it look very similar in terms of F&F to the WE produced Massdrop x Laconico Keen. When I asked them if it was WE, the person running the MBK Instagram account (presumably Owen, based on the way he approached answering) said MBK won’t be partnering with WE or Reate, and clarified that this is a smaller scale OEM.

    I don’t know for sure if their plans are to stick to Laconico designs, or if they’ll bring in friends like Mike Vagnino, or collaborative work like the LV Lancer.

    Personally, I’m giddy that there are so many Laconico designs coming to market. I’m equally fired up about a sliver of hope for a WE or Reate produced Shamwari.

    Anyone else excited about these?
  2. jeffsenpai

    jeffsenpai Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 24, 2010
    Interested in the Minpin, I wonder what price will be.
    RBid likes this.
  3. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    They’ve updated the MBK website so the Minpin specs and $225 price are listed. Interestingly, it’s also 1/4” longer in the handle than the EZC (4” vs 3 3/4”). That is a surprise to me.
  4. Shorttime


    Oct 16, 2011
    Laconico fanboy.

    I'm also fascinated by much of the work from South African makers, so it's good news to hear that Gareth Bull is on board. Tell him to bring some friends.

    I'd also like to take this opportunity to spam something that I hope gains traction: Pena LCP factory collab.

    Sorry. Thread hijacking. Don't mind me....
    Officer's Match likes this.
  5. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    @Shorttime no worries! Pena would seem to fit the Alliance idea. Very strong design work.
    Officer's Match and Shorttime like this.
  6. Agartha Audio

    Agartha Audio

    Jun 20, 2015
    I was in Monterey this past weekend, and finally made it to Carmel Cutlery, where I got to fondle a couple Monterey Bay Knives prototypes - the Minpin, and the EZC. Both are really well made, awesome edc designs. I talked to Sanford (CC owner), a really nice guy, and it turns out that he's part owner/founder of MBK together with Ray Laconico - it sounds like the Minpin is being manu'd by an unnamed Chinese OEM, and the EZC is being made by Kizer. The EZC is really well made, but I felt the Minpin was a notch above. I'm really lusting after both though. Minpin is sold out on the MBK website, but pre-orders for the EZC aren't up yet. I'm definitely in stalk mode for both...
  7. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    Greetings, @Agartha Audio ! I’m Banter77 on Reddit and banter___247 on IG. We chatted a little about this on knifeclub. Glad to see you over here!

    I love the EZC design, but I agree that the Minpin feels more true to the custom. I think the Alliance EZE, MBK Minpin, and Massdrop x Laconico Keen are the most faithful productions to Ray’s design.
    Sonnydaze likes this.
  8. Spikediesel

    Spikediesel Spare time SAK builder

    Apr 14, 2018
    Hold on to my wallet! I'm in for an EZC and a mass produced Shamwari! The latter being pure hopes and dreams....
    RBid likes this.
  9. dkb45

    dkb45 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Based on what I've seen Laconico make, I don't expect seeing much if anything fitting the sub 3.5" lefty clip category.
  10. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    Lefty Kizer Gemini is a thing. Damn good knife, too.
  11. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    Brian Efros and Alliance just announced a production version of a Brian Efros Ice Lite via IG. Apparently distribution will be exclusive to one site. Looks like a very sleek, clean design. Thumb studs, and a practical blade shape.
    Lapedog likes this.
  12. videorecipes

    videorecipes Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 12, 2017
    just snagged a hand rub satin micarta bolsterlock eze -- geez so many modifiers in that clause haha
    RBid likes this.
  13. austonh

    austonh Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 26, 2012
    I would definitely buy a Reate produced Shamwari.
    NG VI, Lapedog and RBid like this.
  14. Agartha Audio

    Agartha Audio

    Jun 20, 2015
    Right on man, good to see ya over here too!
    RBid likes this.
  15. RamZar

    RamZar Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 3, 2013
    So, the EZE is made by Reate?

    Does the titanium frame lock on the EZE have a steel lockbar insert!

    Will there be a blade shape other than the signature Laconico "Angry Grind"?
  16. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    Yes to Reate production. No to insert, I believe. I haven’t heard of other blade shape options coming, but it’s early. Alliance has teased a Jasmine possibility, as well. The guys running it seem to be a pair of collectors, and fans of Ray’s work. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot more. They’re adamant about letting the designers shine, so branding is all on the internals.
    flash900 likes this.
  17. vanadium


    Apr 5, 2003
    Looks gorgeous except it's another sabre grind. Why do people take nice knives and put dysfunctional grinds on them? Arcform just did the same thing with their new "Catalyst". Hard pass.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2018
    sechip likes this.
  18. RBid


    Apr 6, 2014
    I’m with you, with a possible asterisk. I prefer FFG, but will also take a .12” to .14” thick, reasonably high hollow grind such as used on the Kizer Ursa Minor. That thing cuts great.
  19. Knoc


    Feb 14, 2015
    Just copped the EZE in micarta and ti. Hand rubbed blade. Looking forward to it.
  20. marchone

    marchone Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 13, 2013
    As is known MBK Minpin was released last week or so. The next knife scheduled is MBK EZC. Video is out on Toopics and Deskgram. Inventory received from the manufacturer is being inspected for delivery. They show a matte finish on a full flat grind blade.

    These are presumably the $225 Kizer-produced EZCs. A US production EZC run @ $400 is expected as well.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2018

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