So you’ve gotten down with the Astrojax PLUS and learned ‘em front to back on account of our in-depth breakdown. But now? What about V-Max? What makes them so grand amongst the vast sea that is Astrojax? Read on.
This set was designed by Alex Hochstrasser. Introduced in 2003, the V-Max moniker is used as short-hand to indicate ‘maximum velocity’. Initially V-Max was released in Ruby Red, Ice Blue, and Citrus Yellow in 2002. In '03, however, Emerald Green appeared briefly among a limited number of retailers. USAstrojax was the only source that carried them after 2004 and remaining supplies were depleted in 2010. A virtually impossible-to-find clear pink V-Max appeared in Japan in 2004.
Aside from its colorful origins, V-Max Astrojax stand apart from their orbiting brethren in a variety of ways.
For starters, V-Max is constructed of the same polycarbonate material you find in bulletproof glass. Also, it features a machined metal weight. V-Max carries similar dimensions to the Plus and Saturn versions, however, with a height of 27.5mm and a diameter of 33mm while weighing in at an acceptable 17g. The reduced friction makes V-Max ideal for faster moves.
Attached via pins to the string ends, V-Max are available with a Docking Station or within a Jewel Box. While the stock colors (Ruby Red, Ice Blue, and Citrus Yellow) are widely available with a silver string, a series of individual V-Max balls were created in 2004 called Imagine, granting half of each ball a chrome finish versus a clear colored finish on the other half. These sets appeared for a limited time and now are so rare they can only be found exclusively at USAstrojax either individually or as a full set of 6! These collectors’ editions are:
Also, it's worth mentioning that many players began 'frosting' the V-Max shells! At some point we'll likely give a how-to guide that outlines this process, but basically it involves gently sanding the surface of the shells with a fine grit sandpaper to grant a frosted appearance. Eventually players even began adding half V-Max shells to the clear shells of the Saturn edition! Regardless of your tastes, it's clear the V-Max lent itself quite well to customization. So much so that some players go absolutely berserk to tune V-Max balls with Plus or Saturn balls, even using string buds with standard Astrojax sets!
Now that you’ve got a better idea of where V-Max shines, check out this handy chart that outlines its strengths in the trick arena!
So you've been breaking it down with the Astrojax Plus for a while now, but have you ever considered fully the complete breakdown of the Astrojax Plus? Well congratulations because we're about to hit you with a little AJ Plus 101.
For starters? Let's take a look at the history-
Invented by Larry Shaw in 1994, the Astrojax Plus stand apart from the rest of their tri-bally brethren thanks to the distinguishing fact that they were the first set ever invented. That's right- when you're slinging your Astrojax Plus around what you're actually doing is engaging in a bit of history as the original vision for Astrojax literally swings manifested in the palm of your hand. Exciting stuff huh?
Well, if you think that's exciting, you can imagine our elation (we being fine purveyors of all things skill toy and awesome) when we learned that NASA (yes, the same NASA that recently made headlines sending their little rock 'em sock 'em robot to freakin' Mars) took our baby along with them to the International Space Station as part of their 'Toys in Space' program. Which, to be fair has to have the most boring name ever. But I digress- please, allow me to continue my 'Putting Words On Your Computer Screen' program.
Now that we've gotten a bit of history, let's look at some of the features that make Plus unique compared to the rest of its tri-spherical family.
For starters, much like our earlier feature on the Breakdown of Astrojax MX, the Plus also are comprised of Polyurethane and feature a precision, metal weight. However, the weight in the Plus is different on account of being made of brass and also because it is machined rather than die-cast, allowing for smoother string flow. Attached using pins, the Plus are 27.5mm in height, weigh 18g, and have a total diameter of 33mm and are stowed away comfortably in a jewel case or dock. While currently available in red and blue, other colors may one day be a possibility as we're always looking for your feedback on the products you'd like to see made available in Astrojax land.
Now, the soft cushy material in Plus makes them positively ideal for beginners or those who favor bounce tricks. In fact, this was the set that I personally began with and they remain a personal favorite. Granted, it's a matter of personal taste, but the softer texture always seemed to give me an advantage, largely because I'm fairly clumsy, but hey, to each his (or her) own. Speaking of personal tastes, here's a handy breakdown of the tricks to which Plus is best suited:
So there you have it- a succinct breakdown of the Plus's majesty with a side of printable awesomeness if you so choose.
What's your experience with the Plus been like?