I've not done a great deal of reviewing of ukulele cases, but perhaps that is because I find that they are much of a muchness. Then the other week I took delivery of a ukulele from Kala for review and it arrived in a rather pretty looking hard case. I checked with them as to whether this came with the uke, but they advised that they used it for safe shipping, and that the case was available separately. So here we have a Kala 'Uke Crazy' brand hard shell case for a tenor uke in faux alligator skin finish (no gators were harmed in the making of this case!).
It just screamed at me because... well, just look at it. I say most cases are kind of the same, but I always have a soft spot for those that carry a certain kind of style. It's the reason I really like hard cases in tweed finish, but to me this one knocks those out of the park.
The case is of plywood construction and is covered with a plastic outer in deep purple finished with an alligator skin design. A quick word about the construction of hard cases. I always recommend them for any uke, but they do come in different degrees of protection. Under the tolex type covering on this one is nothing more than plywood and as such it is not the strongest case you will find. Don't get me wrong, that is not a complaint, I just want to be clear on what you are getting. This will certainly provide protection to your uke, but more a case of protection from knocks, scrapes and small drops. What a uke case like this will not provide is much protection from crushing. If you want to protect a prized instrument from being run over or squashed by a falling amplifier - you really need to be looking at thick ABS or fibreglass type construction. Those cases though come at a high price, and this one is available online in the $80-$90 range, so not a bad buy.
A look over the case shows a bunch of features I like to see on a good quality hard case - a strong riveted padded handle, strong clasps and hinges, a locking clasp, and bump and stand protection which this has on the butt and down the side opposite the handle - thus protecting the finish when you set it down on concrete. The top and back are stitched onto the sides in yellow thread. All looks good so far.
But for me, I was REALLY taken with it when I opened it - it is filled with a deep plush padded interior in gorgeous copper colour which I think looks wonderful. It's a minor thing I suppose, and a black padded interior would work just as well, but... you know.. (I used to own a Gibson electric guitar that came with a Gibson brand hard case. I didn't much care for the guitar and sold it with the case, but I still miss the case more than the guitar - the simple reason was that the plush padding inside was snow white and looked just stunning... Perhaps it is just me..)
There is neck support in the case with a pocket for bits and pieces which is good to see and there is also a strap included which hooks on to the riveted eyelets on the outside. Finally we also have a tough looking name tag for security purposes (or just for those of you with the weird habit of naming your ukes I suppose).
So you might think it strange for me to be raving about something as simple as a case, but as I say, the look of it just took be aback. Simple as that really.
These are available through Kala and a range of other stores too such as Elderly and Uke Republic - and they also come in other sizes. Not sure who is stocking in the UK as yet, but any Kala dealer should be able to get hold of them if you ask nicely.
For now though - drool at the pics I guess..