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Spookdown Spectacular Video Contest!

Contest_Spookdown

Boo! With the Summer Skill Toy Showdown having run its course it’s time for something just a *tad* scarier.  That’s right, it’s time for our newest contest, the SPOOKDOWN SPECTACULAR!

Much like our previous contests, this one calls for the creation of a video but one that is distinctly Halloween-themed!  Keep it under 3 minutes, use any skill toy you like, and wow us by donning a scary costume or throw in some creepy effects! Whatever it takes, just join the fun and get into the spirit of All Hallow’s Eve!

So what do you ghastly participants get in exchange if your spooky submission takes the top spot?

One set of Glow-in-the-Dark, ORIGINAL, Astrojax! Having laid dormant for YEARS, these ghoulish precursors to the Astrojax we all know and love were once thought LOST to the maelstrom. But alas, we have plucked a SINGLE specimen from the grip of eternity and pulled it back for this special occasion.

Runners-ups will be reward with a set of our Jax-o-Lantern Astrojax!

So get out there and start putting yourself on video (assuming you’re not a free-floating, torso apparition who doesn’t show up on human optics) and don’t miss out for your chance to win big in our creepiest contest yet!

OFFICIAL RULES:

  • Shoot a video using one skill toy, or any combination of skill toys you’d like
  • Keep it SPOOKY by rocking a costume, adding scary effects, or anything else! (Except hunting the living for brains…big no-no here)
  • Entries must be no longer than 3 minutes
  • Please submit new videos created specifically for this contest
  • Upload your video to YouTube
  • Place http://www.usastrojax.com in the video description
  • Fill in the submission form below. Include a link to your YouTube video. Tell us your name, city, state and country if outside of the US.
  • Bonus points for: Videos filmed in horizontal HD + Cool or interesting settings + Personality and Enthusiasm + Shout-outs to US Astrojax


DEADLINE:
10/31/13 (Halloween) 

THE FINE PRINT: By entering this contest, you give US Astrojax the right to print your first name and last initial, age (if relevant), city and state, and post your video submission. You also give us the right to upload your submission to our YouTube channel.

-US ASTROJAX

24
Sep 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

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Jax-o-lanterns are BACK from THE VAULT

Jax-o-Lantern-2

Ah, THE VAULT, that hidden destination where we relegate our favorite creations to banishment for being TOO awesome.

But that’s the funny thing about the abyss; every now and then after you’ve thrown enough things in, something gets thrown BACK… and that thing is our fan-favorite Jax-o-Lantern Astrojax! If you remember, these ghastly Astrojax feature two white MX Pops flanking a candy-corn orange MX Pop in the center. And it’s all tied together with neon orange string, black cores, and orange string buds!

We’re happy to have them back (mainly because Josh wouldn’t shut up about them) and hope you are too! Also, don’t forget that you can win a set of these for FREE if you come out on top in our latest contest!

So Happy Halloween everyone, and we hope you’re as happy to get your hands on these jolly Jax-o-Lantern Jax as we were in re-releasing them! But act fast, because while they may have escaped for now, there’s no telling when their exodus will come to its end and they’ll again be confined to THE VAULT!

23
Sep 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
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Summer Skill Toy Contest Winners Announced!

Skill toy showdown winners

Today, we announce winners of our Summer Skill Toy Showdown!  This sadly indicates that summer has come to an end.  But enough of that crybaby stuff, let’s welcome the fall weather with open arms and announce our Video Contest winners. Each winner in the 3 respective categories below win $30 US ASTROJAX Gift Certificates!

Most Skill Toys Used In A Video: 
Aslak Bennedsen
Copenhagen, Denmark

Aslak might be back in school, but he clearly did his summer home work! Arguably a tie with Best Display Of Skill category, check out Aslak’s skillful moves with Kendama, Diabolo, Cups, and a new one: Table Tennis Juggling (nice use of the edge and handle!). Still wondering whatever happened to that Diabolo. Is it still spinning on top of the power line?! 

 

Best Display Of Skill:
Benji Sharib
Groton, Connecticut, USA 

Benji and his buds kill it in the skills department with his entry (also technically tying with most skill toys qualification).  Check out Benji landing some sweet moves with The Pill, while kendama, yo-yo, and poi also make an appearance. 

 

Most Creative Performance:
Stephen Tafoya
Rifle, Colorado, USA

Congrats Stephen! You too are now the proud owner of a $30 Gift Certificate. Stephen’s got a great sense of humor and growing Astrojax skills. Extra kudos for his recent work with local teens and his Astrojax Club at the Garfield County Library!

 

Honorable Mention:
John Ferrell
Glendora, California, USA

What can’t this dude do? TheFerrell strikes again with a great video performance, but unfortunately, we have to set a painful example at TheFerrell’s expense. This guy is a rule breaker, a troublemaker, a rebel. He brazenly broke rule number two with his 4 minute 33 second video: “Entries must be no longer than 3 minutes total.” Obey the law Ferrell!  

Stay tuned folks.  We’ve got a fun Halloween contest announcement brewing! MUAAAHAHAHA!

 

 

06
Sep 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Contest

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video

Astrojax Trick ‘Mantis Thriller’

Astrojax Trick ‘Mantis Thriller’

David Ridley showing off his Astrojax trick ‘Mantis Thriller’.

“I flip it under my left index, catch it with my right index, and rebound one ball to go into a power play thriller. When both ends of the balls are going up, I release with my right finger and catch the string with my left one. Then from left to right and so on.” – David Ridley

02
Aug 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Tricks

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Video Contest: Summer Skill Toy Showdown!

Skilltoyshowdown

Things are heating up as we crawl into some of the most brutally hot days of summer. So we thought to ourselves, “Selves? What’s the best way to beat the summer heat and improve the lives of our Jaxologists?” and then it hit us like an Arizona heat wave- a skill toy showdown!

This latest video contest comes with some caveats, however. Specifically:

  • Entries must be no longer than 3 minutes total
  • You can use one skill toy, or any combination of skill toys you’d like
  • Place http://www.usastrojax.com in the video description
  • Please submit new videos created specifically for this contest

 

This opens up a ton of possibilities for those of you who want to get creative with your skill-toy displays and we want to see your very best, and for your efforts? Well, this time around we’ve decided to give out 3 $30.00 gift certificates to the participants who take the gold in the following categories:

  • Most creative performance
  • Most skill toys used in a video
  • Best display of skill

 

So what’re you waiting for? Get out there and show us your best 3-minute displays of your skill-toy mastery, hit us up on Facebook, and you could even be showcased on our YouTube channel!

 

WHAT TO DO:
Film your video.  Upload to YouTube.  Complete entry form on Contest Page.  Win. 

BONUS POINTS FOR:
Cool or interesting location.  Personality and Enthusiasm.  Videos filmed in horizontal HD.  Shout-outs to US Astrojax.

CONTEST ENDS:
August 31, 2013

THE FINE PRINT:
By entering this contest, you give US Astrojax the right to print your first and last name, city, state, country and post your video submission. You also give us the right to upload your submission to our YouTube channel.

17
Jul 2013
POSTED BY spindoctor
POSTED IN

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Announcing the Everyone’s a Winner uh, WINNER!

Contest_everyonewins

Alrighty boys and girls, each and every one of you that entered automatically won (that was kind of the idea so click here to see what you missed). But as you know, even among champions one must stand taller than the rest. So who is the master of the Jax that we choose to win the Everyone’s a Winner contest? Why, Chris Palmer! Let’s take a look at his submission!

 
Don’t get us wrong, it wasn’t easy to select only one out of all of our excellent entries, but at the end of the day Chris’ skill (and sick dance moves) won out and he finds himself the recipient of:

 

So congratulations to Chris and thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and don’t forget to check back in at our contests page often for the latest and greatest! Or you can like our Facebook Page if you really wanna.

’til next time, Jaxologists!

11
Jul 2013
POSTED BY spindoctor
POSTED IN

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Announcing Astrojax Neon Pop

Neon_POP_Astrojax

Hey everybody it’s that special time again where we all gather around the campfire to listen to old gramps spin another yarn about a rootin’ tootin’ SPECIAL set of Astrojax! Thankfully, this won’t involve a fabled treasure map nor any awkward ‘pull my finger’ jokes. That’s because we’re prepared to announce the latest and greatest in Jaxological advancement right here and now through your view screen!

Remember that time when you stole your neurotic friend’s dad’s Ferrari 250GT California, busted your girlfriend out of school and spent the whole day having wacky adventures throughout the greater Chicago area? No? That’s ok, because we’ve got an equally impressive piece of hardware for you that will ALSO tickle your fancy for the 80s.

Behold, the Neon POP. This electric monster rocks a bright yellow string with neon orange buds and super bright yellow balls flanking an orange center. Much like the 250GT California only a limited number will be made and at the risk of sounding cliche’ they are SO choice and if you have the means I’d highly recommend picking one up.

03
Jul 2013
POSTED BY spindoctor
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It’s the Astrojax “EVERYONE WINS” contest!

Contest_tee

It’s that time again – time to announce a new contest!  With less than 3 weeks left in the month of June, we thought we’d keep it simple and fun and hold a contest in which EVERYONE WINS.  That’s right, everyone!  We want to see YOU and your Astrojax.  Good, bad, ugly or otherwise – film ANY Astrojax trick(s) and you will win our new sticker pack.  Want a FREE t-shirt too?  Send us your video and you’ll get a free t-shirt and a sticker pack with any $10 or more order.  Not too shabby!

So, that’s it?  Yep, that’s it.  But in case you still don’t know what “it” is…we’ll break it down for you.  Get your camera or camera phone and shoot a quick video.  Upload it to YouTube and complete our contest entry form.  That’s it.  You win.  Done.  Oh, wait, that’s not all.  Go for broke and send us something truly fun and entertaining and you just might win our top prize:  a $25 Gift Certificate to US ASTROJAX, plus the sticker pack and t-shirt!    

YOURS FOR THE TAKING:
Top entry: FREE Sticker Sheet, FREE t-shirt, and $25 Gift Certificate
All entries: FREE Sticker Sheet.  Or FREE Sticker Sheet and FREE t-shirt with any $10 or more order

THE RULES:
Film your video.  Upload to YouTube.  Complete entry form on Contest Page.  Win. 

KUDOS FOR:
Cool or interesting settings.  Personality and Enthusiasm.  Videos filmed in horizontal HD.  Shout-outs to US Astrojax.

CONTEST ENDS:
June 30, 2013

THE FINE PRINT:
By entering this contest, you give US Astrojax the right to print your first name and last initial, city and state, and post your video submission. Free t-shirt will be included with any $10 or more order. International contestants may be asked to pay partial postage to obtain free sticker sheet. All video submissions must be recently filmed.

13
Jun 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Contest

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Astrojax Trick Check Video Contest Results!

Trick-Check-Contest-Winner

When we launched our latest Astrojax video challenge, the “Trick Check Contest”, we were a bit uneasy.  With school and exams wrapping up and summer fast approaching, would timing be a problem?  Nope!  We’re happy to report that many of you rose to the occasion and accepted our challenge!  For those of you that are just finding out about US Astrojax and our contest series, you’re in for a real treat.

FIRST PLACE:  Gideon Dunkley  |  Bronx, NY
We’re stoked to see some players going all out!  Case in point: Gideon Dunkley and his watch-over-and-over video submission.  The Gidmeister didn’t pull any punches, somehow remaining humble all while demonstrating his talented flow in this feel-good video.  Just…wow.  Congratulations Gideon – you are the First Place winner of the Trick Check Contest! 

Gideon’s Trick List:

  • Gravity Roll
  • Immelman
  • Intra-Venus
  • Hurricane
  • Crown Jewels 2

 

 

SECOND PLACE:  Ian Sielski  |  Warsaw, Poland
US Astrojax knows no boundaries, as evidenced by Ian Sielski from Poland.  Ian’s screen time clocks in at just under 40 seconds, yet he manages to squeeze in some impressive combos and graceful transitions.  You’ll enjoy Ian’s submission, and find yourself trying to pick up a move or two.  Congratulations Ian, you snatched Second Place in the Trick Check Contest!  Thank you for sharing a little bit of your beautiful homeland with the rest of the world.

Ian’s Trick List:

  • 3D Printed Guns (Combo): orbit interception to revolver to spin factory to revolver to fabulous to crown of jewels
  • Webbed Jewels
  • Mini (Manic) Fabulous with reverse

 

 

THIRD PLACE:  Ryan Garcia  |  Hesperia, CA
Grab yourself a recovery drink.  You’ll need it after watching Ryan Garcia’s energetic submission!  Ryan rocks to his own soundtrack, freestyling multiple moves and tricks.  Congratulations Ryan, you win Third Place in our Trick Check Contest! 

Ryan’s Trick List:

  • Calicopter (forward)
  • Calicopter (reverse)
  • Heart Attack
  • Swirly
  • Swirly (variations)
  • Change Up
  • Lasso

 

 

RUNNERS-UP
The trouble with contests is all those flippin’ rules…  Why should there only be first, second, and third place?  After some debate among the US Astrojax staff we decided that we could not have a “Three Way Tie” or “Fourth” “Fifth” and “Sixth” place (seriously, we’re not kidding).  And why did we entertain such nonsense?  Because we received so many great videos, that’s why.  Check out a handful of runner-ups, IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

Scott Newberry  |  Palmerston North, New Zealand
Guaranteed to leave a smile on your face.

 

Adam Todd  |  Alameda, CA
Production value & an adorable kid?  That’s like a double rainbow.


 

Anthony Rojas  |  Riverside, CA
Thinking outside the yoyo box!

 

Blake Mathison  |  Howard Lake, MN
Lookout old-timers, next generation Astrojax players are on the rise!


Chris “PalmWho?” Palmer  |  San Jose, CA
Intellectual philosopher, and funny to boot.  A must watch video.

 

To say we’ve been inspired at US Astrojax is an understatement.  We owe a big shout out and thank you to all of our contestants.   All, including those that were not featured above, are winners and will be contacted shortly with details about their store credit.  But stay tuned, summer has landed and we’ve got new contests on the way!

US ASTROJAX

Kudos, comments, questions?  Leave ‘em below!

07
Jun 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

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Astrojax Combo Theory

AstrojaxComboTheory

There are lots of theories about how to take tricks that you have learned and incorporate them into routines, or “combos”.  I want to explain my thought process on this, and I hope you will see that combining tricks turns a few cool moves into a really amazing Astrojax performance! It’s very important to understand that you are trying to compose a symphony of moves, not one-note sambas.  I find it interesting how people ask me, “What’s your favorite trick?” or “What’s the hardest move you can do?”.  I tend to frown on those questions because I believe that learning individual tricks is great, but combining them is like hearing multiple instruments in an orchestra. You want to be able to blend tricks in many intricate ways so you can bring variety to what you do.

Now, that being said, I’ll share how I tend to create combos.  You have to first know the trick you are learning inside and out.  Think about the trick you are learning and keep the following three things in mind: 

    • What do you do with the Jax to get into the trick?
    • How are the Jax moving while inside the trick?
    • How are the Jax positioned when you exit the trick? 

 

Now I can use these three simple steps below to analyze any trick, but the easiest for me to write about is the Venus

1.  What do you do with the Jax to get into the trick?
As you can see, you do a Vertical Orbit to start this move.  But look closer.  You can do a Vertical Orbit in two different directions to start a Venus.  You can have the end ball go over the left OR right side of your arm.  This now gives you two different ways to do this trick (and then more options to link it into other moves).  

2.  How are the Jax moving while inside the trick?
I understand this step sounds a little weird… I’m not really an English major….but hear me out.  Every trick has the Jax moving in a certain motion while “inside” the trick.  In the case of the Venus, the center ball is going over your outstretched arm while “inside” the trick.  Now what can you do with this?  You have three options that are really easy to see.  First, you can let the trick go as normal and simply let the center ball go over your arm.  Second, you can wait for the center ball to come over and grab it with your other hand.  From here, you have limitless possibilities like Lollies, Wheelies, or even Thrillers.   The last option I’ll discuss here is to let the Venus go a smidge more than usual and grab the end ball when it comes back around your arm.  With this, you can go straight into Pong tricks as well as many other moves.

There are many more ways you can “hit the abort button” on the Venus Trick and I challenge you to find more ways to do this.

3.  How are the Jax positioned when you exit the trick?
This means that when finishing a trick, the Jax are configured a certain way which allows one to link it into other moves without having to go back to Basic Orbits.  Tricks are truly mastered when you can execute a certain trick and then move straight into other tricks.  If you watch the best yoyoers, they are able to combine quite literally 10 to 15 different moves seamlessly from the time they throw the yoyo until it comes back to their hand.  You want to do this with Astrojax as well.

So what can you do with the Venus???  Well, I’ve already covered some of the most basic ways to abort the trick mid-flight, but when you do a complete Venus, you are back into a Basic Vertical Orbit.  However, you can choose to keep the rotation going to do what is called a “Infinite Venus” by using your outstretched arm to keep the Venus in motion. I’ve kept a Venus going for as long as a minute and it’s a really cool move visually with Blue Diamonds.  You can use Vertical Orbits as a bounce into another move, but the rule of thumb is to only use one Vertical Orbit.  Basically, the end ball goes down once in “one” Vertical Orbit.

On my profile, I’ve been toying with the idea of making “Combo Theory” videos, basically deconstructing some of my favorite combos that I do so you can see what tricks are used and how to perform basic combos.  I’ve made one video so far in this series and plan to do more in the future:

Well, that’s the basics of my Astrojax Combo Theory.  As I have mentioned before, the idea can be used with any skill toy.  While a part of my university’s juggling club, I was able to get my hands on many new toys and by using these steps, I’ve become proficient with lots of different skill toys.

And as usual, I’m always around the AP-Club forums and on Facebook and ready and willing to answer questions about Astrojax and other skill toys!

This is Theferrell, signing off.

 

17
May 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

Tricks

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