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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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Astrojax Trick ‘Mac Daddy’

Astrojax Trick ‘Mac Daddy': John Ferrell showing off his new Astrojax trick ‘Mac Daddy’.

“One day at work I was sitting at my desk and thought the following: Can I do a double wrist flick and chain it into a flick flip rewind?? I went home, tried it out, and the Mac Daddy was born!!” – John Ferrell

12
Jul 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
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Tricks

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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
POSTED IN

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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
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Astrojax Trick Check Challenge Contest!

contest-trickcheck

Last month’s Consecutive Switch Video Challenge was fun for all and we’d like to thank our winners and everyone that entered. We promised to ramp things up a notch with our next contest, and we’re backing up our word! Behold, the Trick Check Contest! This time everyone wins, but it really pays to be in the top three…  In addition to store credit, the top three winners will receive something truly rare and special, a full set of Trick Check balls!

THE LOOT:

  • 1st Place: Trick Check Astrojax + $50 Store Credit + T-Shirt
  • 2nd Place: Trick Check Astrojax + $25 Store Credit
  • 3rd Place: Trick Check Astrojax + $15 Store Credit
  • All other entries receive $5 Store Credit!

 

CONTEST RULES:

  • Shoot a video performing 3 of your sickest tricks. Tell us the name of each trick!
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Fill in the submission form on contest page. Include a link to your YouTube video. Tell us your name, city, and state.
  • Contest open to international community!
  • Most recent grand prize winners (1st place, last contest) are welcome to participate, but are ineligible to win 1st place.  However, 2nd place, 3rd place, and runner-up positions are fair game!
  • Questions?  See below for additional questions and answers!

 
If you didn’t win last month or missed the deadline, now’s your chance to taste some Astrojax glory. But don’t delay, the contest wraps up at midnight May 31st! 

Q & A:
Question:  If known tricks are linked together or modified, does that count as a single trick I made up?
Answer:  For this contest, you don’t have to do your own original tricks. They can be your own, or existing tricks. To answer your question specifically, if you think you have created a new trick that is basically existing tricks strung together or modified, try to pay homage or respect to the original trick(s) when you give it a name. For example, “Fabulous Elite” (we just made that up!).  For the purposes of this contest, a combo can be counted as a single trick if you like (you would then need to perform 2 additional tricks). Or if a combo clearly contains three tricks it can also be counted as the three required tricks. You can also feel free to perform more than three tricks in your video!

Question:  So the contest isn’t limited to 3 tricks? Is there a maximum number of tricks you can do? For example, can I submit a video containing every cool trick I know?
Answer:  Feel free to showcase some of your coolest moves, even more than 3 if you like. We’ll be watching for some cool tricks of course, but we are also taking “production value” into account. Just keep in mind this is an ongoing contest series… So save some awesomeness for future contest entries!

 

The fine print:  By entering this skill toy 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.

08
May 2013
POSTED BY USAstrojax
POSTED IN

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Consecutive Switch Video Challenge Winners Announced!

cc_switch_contest

Come forth you titans of skill toys, you roguish rapscallions of the ridiculous, you sinister scallywags of the switch!

Ahem, alright that’s enough.

BUT- we ARE most pleased to announce the winners of our first video contest whereby the lot of you were challenged to show us your skills at Consecutive Switches and showcase them for the world to see. But before we introduce our champion, let’s take a look at the runners-up in no particular order:

Runner-Up: Chris PalmWho

 Chris not only nails the Switches in his video, but also provides an expository look into his skill toy journey. That and we dug the suspiciously placed Astrojax road sign in the background!

 

Runner-Up: Ryan Garcia

 Not content to ONLY display his Switches and freestyle Astrojax play, Ryan Garcia didn’t hesitate to showcase his lyrical abilities in giving us one of the coolest shout-outs EVER. Earning style points for this feat in a hurry, we’ve also taken to calling him MC RG around the office. Congrats, Ryan!

 

Runner-Up: Adam Todd

Quick to involve our favorite four-legged friend, Adam mixed up his presentation by performing his Consecutive Switches in the dark, while walking his dog, and in a variety of locations that kept us more than entertained throughout. Well played, Adam. Now enjoy your loot!

Alrighty, now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for, we’re MOST pleased to announce our grand champion of the Consecutive Switches Video Challenge…

 

Champion: Raven Schwartz

True to form Raven continues to amaze in a variety of locations but the most telling of which involved her throwing down with her Astrojax in front of the friggin’ Ecto 1 from Ghostbusters. And because none of you are here in real life to keep my biases in check, Raven wins on this merit alone. (Just kidding, but it was pretty sweet!) Awesome job, Raven and enjoy your prize!

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to participate and remember, you’re ALL walking away (jaxing away?) with warm fuzzy thoughts we’re sending your way. Stay tuned for our next video challenge in which we’re ramping up the criteria (and loot) dramatically.

03
May 2013
POSTED BY spindoctor
POSTED IN

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Brace Yourselves, New Jax are Coming

That’s right! It’s that time again where we head into our Jaxologist lab and bang our heads against the wall until we concoct a harmony of string and polycarbonate plastic so pristine that we’ve no choice but to unleash it upon the world! Well, for a limited time only, you see. Such lofty Astrojaxological pursuits can be only allowed to ‘live’ among us for so long before their luster is forever lost, and the final remaining specimens are banished to the vault, that future generations of mad jaxologists may study the arcane arts that brought them here.

Or, we just run out of the parts- What do I know?! I just write the articles!

Ahem, moving on…

First up for all of you A/V nerds out there who yearn to somehow marry your passion for Jaxology with your steadfast adherance to analog video, we’re proud to present perfectly analog RCA Jax!

RCA Astrojax

No they’re not HD but everyone knows the VHS era was the best anyways. Hmph. *pushes up Buddy Holly glasses*

This red, yellow, and white concoction features a white MX Pop flanked by two red MX Sports, all tied together with jet black string and yellow stringbuds in a handsome white housing. It’s not HD but neither was your original Nintendo and we’re sure you’ll love these just as much!

And now, something you’ve all (maybe) been waiting for and I’ve been (definitely) dreading as a tasteless assault on the ginger nation, I give you GLOWING GINGER JAX. Here you thought freakishly orange features were reserved for such mutated abominations as Carrot Top but NAY! They too make an appearance here.

Ginger-Astrojax

Glowing Ginger Jax consist of an orange string with yellow buds and 3 SUPERCHARGED orange LED balls. Again, these are SUPERCHARGED so you could probably use one of these as a temporary headlight replacement but DON’T because it’s against highway regulation.

So all ginger jokes aside this really is a fantastic looking set and speaking of fantastic looking gingers-

Emma-Stone-Wallpaper-emma-stone-27022907-1024-768

Boom. Gingered.

So head on over to our store and check ‘em out before they get locked away forever!

06
Mar 2013
POSTED BY spindoctor
POSTED IN

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