Instead of having to build up all those different "sandwich layers" for your various dies and different machines, the Genius platform only has two layers that you'd ever need to use with your paper and dies/embossing folders: the magnetic base platform and either Mat A or Mat B, OR two Mat B's. Two layers, kids. That's it! That is pretty cool. And it even tells you on the back of the box what combo you'll need for various brands of dies/embossing folders:
Note, though, that you would have to buy an additional Mat B for your big ole' steel rule dies like Sizzix Bigz. I didn't realize that at first, but even so, it's still only going to be two layers and that is the beauty of the Genius platform system. Every time I whip out my Big Shot, I can't remember how to layer it up for different things and have to dig up the instruction manual. That's why I like the Genius platform system. Even I can remember the formula for base, die, paper, mat. I also like how it's long enough to accommodate any 12- inch die.
Another nifty thing about this system is that it comes with a set of 10 nesting dies. The whole package is $49.99, but the nesting dies alone would cost $29.99.
Here's what the whole set looks like fresh out of the box:
The big blue rectangle is the base platform and it's MAGNETIC. So for those of you that love that feature in your Revolution machine (yep, I'm still rockin' the Revolution myself), it works the same way with the Genius platform. The magnetic feature is great for helping to keep your dies and paper lined up.
To see some examples of it layered, here you go! For everything except chunky steel rule dies (old school Sizzix or Sizzix Bigz, etc.), you put the die or embossing folder on the blue base (make sure you put the cutting side up!), add your paper, then top it off with either Mat A or Mat B. DONE. Here's a picture of a Spellbinders die being cut with Mat A:
And here's how it came out:
As you can see, it cut clean and sharp. The platform is totally solid-- very high quality and I had no problems running it through the Big Shot.
Here's another example of how it handles an embossing folder. Again, I just used the blue platform base, put my paper in my folder, then topped it with Mat B:
Here's how it turned out:
Very deep grooves and again, no problems at all with sending it through the Big Shot.
As another side note, I did some online research to see if the mats had a "face-down" side or not and it didn't seem to matter. People used them both ways. The only thing you have to make sure you do is to put the die in with the cutting side up. Beyond that, it doesn't matter which side of Mat A or Mat B you put face-down.
Check out the Lifestyle Crafts website to see if the Genius platform is right for you (wow-- I just sounded like one of those medication commercials!! Sorry about that!) It really is a great product (in my opinion) and has allowed my brain to use up its precious memory space on things more important than how to layer my Big Shot machine.
And hey- if you do decide to buy, make sure you use my savings code (SNAPPING) so you can score yourself a sweet 20% off.