We're most humbled to find out that Dad Does, critical overseer of fine toys the world over have taken Astrojax and given them a glowing review! Not to mention, there's a bonus kitten featured! Check it out below and make sure you spend some time checking out Dad Does; There's a lot of great content there and we couldn't be more thrilled that they took the time out to work on their Jaxing skills!
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?
Ah summer- nowhere in the world does it hold the enticing allure of pool parties, lemonade, and baseball the way it does right here in the U.S.A. That's why, in celebration of childrens' exodus from public education all over the country and in honor of our Independence Day (must...refrain...from making Will Smith reference), we're releasing not one, but TWO new, specially tuned sets of astrojax for the months of July and August!
What are they, you ask? Well, we're not quite ready to let the eagle out of the bag, but we will show you this black & white photo that will allow you to ponder the possibilities. So make sure you're checking back and stay tuned (pun intend), because a new color will be revealed each day over the next 3 days! And when it is? You'd better act fast because we're relegating these models to the vault at the end of August. We should mention our actual vault is located in Fort Knox and unless you've got Nicolas Cage on your side to hunt it down, these particular National treasures will be forever lost to the annals of history!
Tell us that doesn't put a horrifying T. Roosevelt smile on your face!
Personally I'm a huge fan of our more recently released Phoenix Jax. NO, it's not just because of all of the Avengers vs. X-Men hoopla lately and the return of The Phoenix….ahem, mostly, but they're just a great looking set of Jax.
Ask the Reader is a new, ongoing series where we'll be prompting you to respond and tell us what your opinion is on anything and everything skill-toy. Sometimes it'll be related to your favorite tricks or methods, and other times we're asking because our previously mentioned team of robot monkeys enjoy the validation of knowing the latest and greatest creeping out of our laboratory is on par with what you're looking for.
So, let's start simple and we'd like to know in no uncertain terms (meaning don't answer in binary, nerds) what types of custom-tuned color combinations would you like to see? We've got an amazing lineup, but to be fair there are millions of combinations out there and if the community calls for it, then by golly we'll create every single one of them!*
*Editor's Note: Josh, this is absolutely infeasible, remove this part of the post IMMEDIATELY. It doesn't even make sense accidentally and you're hurting the bottom line when you make outlandish promises that we can't deliver on or that, in this case, are literally impossible. Besides, you know how over-worked the monkeys already are.
**Supreme Writer of Awesomeness: Jim, I will not stand idly by while you trample on my dream of owning cornflower blue Astrojax. Unless you fire me. Then I will stand idly by while you trample my dreams.
Ah yes, another day, another challenge! This time though, we wanna see your personal astrojax stomping ground. Do you throw your lollys in Bali? How about a Turbune in Irvine? So you do the Charleston in...uh, Charleston?
Wherever it is that you let your inner jaxogist conduct mad experiments, we don't want to hear about it- we want to see it!
Here's the deal (which, if you were already subscribed to our fabulous newsletter you'd already know, but we're not judging- honest.)
Photos will be judged based on quality, creativity, and of course, location. Three photos will be selected to receive gift certificates redeemable at www.USAstrojax.com.
1st place winner receives $50.
2nd place winner receives $35.
3rd place winner receives $25.
4th place winner gets nothing! Good DAY, sir!
Additional details our lawyers make us put in:
What is a Jaxologist you ask? Well, Webster's dictionary defines a jaxologist as: