Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Birth of a New Myachi

by Crazy Ivan

It's always an exciting time at the Myachi HQ when the DHL guy shows up.  Sure, maybe he's just bringing a bulk box of paper towels or some diamond plating for a new display, but there's always a chance that he's bringing a brand new Myachi.

When a new Myachi is coming, we all get excited.  Will it be a great jammer?  A good jammer?  A dud?  Will it look as awesome as the samples or will it leave something to be desired?

Well, as you may have guessed, the DHL guy showed up today.  The box was too heavy and too small to be anything but 150 Pakisacks.  So Pinky, Adrian and I gathered around (Kid was making a delivery) and opened it up.  Lo and behold, we saw this giant bag of extremely awesome Myachis.

I can't actually show you the Myachi in question and I can't tell you its name either.  The customer that ordered it hasn't even seen it yet so until they've signed off on it I have to keep its existence a secret.  That being said, I can totally go all witness protection program on it and show you this pic:


The identity of this Myachi has been poorly concealed by a guy in
a hurry with nothing at his disposal but MS paint and google images.
 Obviously it doesn't do you much good to see the sack with the imagery all blurred out like that (no, that's not what the Myachi actually looks like), but I had to show you the pic anyway.  It probably looks like a Members Solutions or a Syd or something, but if you look closely at the texture of the fabric you'll see a very faint shag.

This is a unique Myachi.  The fabric is radically different than any Pakisack that came before it and let me tell you, it is as jammable as anything I've ever touched straight out of the box.  I have a sneaking suspicion that this thing is going to be a legend in short order.

I only need to keep you in suspense for another day or two before I can reveal the name and image on this Myachi.  I can tell you that (a) it's not a Myachi you've ever heard is coming and (b) it's not a big, well known company.  When you see this Myachi you'll see the name of the organization that ordered it and you'll say "never heard of them".

But a year from now, I'm willing to wager that most every Myachi Maniac in the world will have heard of this guy...

Yet Another Thursday Entry on the Wednesday Quiz

by Crazy Ivan

Too much insanity for me to finish this up yesterday so it just had to sit and wait patiently.  So without further ado, I give you this week's quiz.  Good luck!

The Accidental Myachi

by Crazy Ivan

The biggest arguments at the House of Skills usually come when it's time to pick the next series.  We usually start with several thousand swatches of fabric and we have to narrow it down to twelve.  With so many voices and so many opinions being tossed around, there are bound to be disagreements.

More often than not, there are six or seven fabrics that we all instantly agree need to be in the series and then we all have differing opinions on the remainder.  We expend a great deal of effort resolving the differences in fabric preference, pattern preference, color preference and name.  We look at the series as a whole and judge the contrast of all the colors.  We look at past series and see which fabrics have been winners before.  We look at cultural shifts and see what fabrics are trending up and down.  In short, we spend a lot of time deciding on which fabrics get made into Myachis.

Interesting then, that one of the most popular series sacks ever produced was not the product of any debates or research at all. Instead, it showed up quite unexpectedly and quite by accident.

The Red Line first appeared in the 3.2 series, but it only showed up at the tail end.  Originally we had planned to have two sacks in the checkerboard pattern, the Finish Line and the Starting Line.  Both the sacks and the names were suggested by our friend and loyal Maniac, Downtown and they were so cool that they were as much of a slam dunk as any fabric in Myachi history.

But there was an unforeseen problem.  At some point toward the end of the production run, the factory ran out of the green and white checkered fabric for the Starting Line.

In the 3.2 series as is true with many series, we made two different types of packages.  The "Blister Card" packages are the bulk of the series.  These are the familiar cardboard cards that have the Myachi encased in an acetate bubble.  If you bought a Myachi from a store, you probably bought it in a Blister Card.

The other package is what we call a POP or "Point of Purchase" display.  These are boxes that are designed to sit on the counter tops of smaller stores and just contain a bunch of Myachis sitting in plastic sleeves (diapers) with booklets attached to them.  These are also the packages we use for private parties, fund raisers, give aways, etc.

Typically when we split the series like that, the Blister Card portion of the order is made first.  It's usually the larger segment and it's always the more time consuming one, so the factory knocks these out and packages them before finishing up with the POP boxes.

I mention all of that because the Starting Line fabric didn't run out until all the Blister Cards were made.  More than half of the POP order was fulfilled when the roll ran dry.  Desperate to finish the order and get it to our waiting fans (the XM7 was running out fast), they just used the closest substitute they could find.



Now for the craziest part of the story: We didn't even know about the switch until it was in stores.  I had a dude swing by FAO who had seen Myachis on sale at the card shop around the corner from his apartment and he asked me what the name of the red checkered Myachi was.

"There is no red checkered Myachi," I answered confidently.  And then he pulled one out of his pocket and my jaw dropped.

I looked at the tag that prominently proclaimed it as a series 3.2 and about two seconds later I was dialing Myachi Man.  I guess he'd gotten the news from the manufacturer before I did and he explained that a few POP boxes went out with the Red Line instead of the Starting Line.  He also explained that all of those boxes had already been sold so there was no way to know which stores would have them and which wouldn't.

Of course, I knew one store that had them.

I called Monk and asked him to cover FAO for me for an hour while I booked to the little card shop to see if they still had any left.  After all, there would have only been 3 in the box to start with and I knew one had already sold.  I arrived on the upper west side about 30 minutes later out of breath and sweating.

There in a little fishbowl on the counter top I saw their Myachi selection and sure enough there was one little red and white checkered corner visible near the bottom.  I reached in and fished around until I got my hands on it and then I hit the register.

This store was one that had actually been in the game a while (State News on 86th near Lexington if you want to swing in and say "hi") so it was no surprise that the woman at the counter recognized me.  I'd demoed in the store before and I'd delivered them boxes of Myachis several times as well.  Needless to say, she was a little surprised by the fact that I was at her store buying a Myachi.

It was, in fact, the first time I ever bought a Myachi in a store.  I bought three from Myachi Man when I first met him and I'd purchased a few bulk boxes in the hiatuses that used to speckle my annual schedule, but I'd never actually walked into a store and bought one Myachi.  It was such a novel experience that I kept the receipt and still have it with my collection.

The twist ending here is that we all thought for a moment that the Red Line would be this super rare sack that everyone would be clambering to get their hands on.  But it was such a popular (and readily available) fabric that we rereleased it in the 3.2X, the 5B and the 4.0 series making it one of the largest single Myachi runs of all time.  As it turns out the real prize for collectors today is the Starting Line that the Red Line replaced.

But if you have a Red Line, check the tag.  Odds are you're going to find a 4.0, 5B or 3.2X marker on the back.  If you have a 3.2, however, you truly have a hidden gem in your collection; a Myachi worth calling Monk into work and jogging 31 blocks over.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Best Myachis of All Time

by Crazy Ivan

One of the most common questions I get from newer Myachi players is "which Myachi is the best?"

If you follow this blog, you probably know that I am incapable of responding to a simple question with a simple answer, so instead I'll usually duck out of it with something like "It's mostly a matter of personal preference" and then toss out my personal favorite.

But that's because I don't want to spend 20 minutes answering a simple question.  That's in the real world, of course.  In the blogosphere, my goal is to spend 20 minutes answering a simple question so when Rotscale suggested this as a blog topic, I ran with it.

Of course, there is no universally accepted "Best Myachi" and each Myachi Master and Myachi player will probably give you a different answer if you ask which is the "best jammer", but there are a few sacks that almost always show up when we start discussing the greatest Myachis of all time.

Below are 5 Myachis that often get mentioned in those conversations.  Like everyone, I have a personal favorite, but I'm going to try to remain objective and not spend the whole time talking about how awesome the Calvin is:

 #1) The Calvin

Guaranteed to break in like your favorite pair of jeans...
Man, this sack is so awesome.  It's awesomeness is so awesome they had to downgrade the awesomeness of other things just to keep the word relevant.  Despite its unrivaled awesomeness, this sack was kind of an ugly duckling when the 1.0 series came out.  Next to jammers like the Black Butter and the Dawg Diggity and striking sacks like the Royal Tiger, the Leopard Lime, the Purple Haze and the Red Stripe,  the Calvin often got lost in the shuffle.

It was the worst selling Myachi in the entire series until one day when Animal finally decided to really break one in and see what it was all about.  And man, let me tell you, this duckling turned into a swan.  I fell in love after a few minutes of jamming with Animal's Calvin (he named her "Jezabel" and bestowed upon her the title of "the Calvin of unholy righteousness", whatever that's supposed to mean).

The Calvin is durable and gets yummier and yummier as time goes on.  It takes weather well, it washes well and it turns to liquid in your hands on long distance catches.  That being said, being my personal favorite doesn't make it the greatest jammer.  The Calvin has since been replaced with far more jammable Myachis but it was the last Myachi that ever reigned as an undisputed Champion.  For a time, virtually everyone in the game agreed that the Calvin was the best we'd ever made.

 #2) The Coreyster 

The shame is that half the people that were at this Bar Mitzvah
have one of these things and have no idea how prized it is.
The Coreyster ranks high atop the list of the best jammers ever made.  In a popularity contest through all of Myachidom the only thing that would stand in the way of this sack winning outright is that there aren't very many of them around and not enough jammers have used them.

Coreysters were made for a Bar Mitzvah (bet you can guess the date!) and there were only 150 of them produced.  The Bar Mitzvah boy was kind enough to hook several of the Myachi Masters up with one after the party so we broke them in and were happy to discover they were awesome beyond belief.

Word made it around quickly when Monk adopted a Coreyster as his primary jammer and this sack has been a favorite ever since.  Of course, because it was made in such small numbers only a small number of the people who look for these guys will ever find them.

 #3) The Black Belt 

The ninja of Myachis.
I suppose I could have just as easily substituted any of the belts here, but the connotations of the Black Belt are such that it's the obvious choice.  What says "mastery of skill" like a Black Belt?  Especially if it happens to be one of the most spectacularly yummy Myachi to ever grace the human hand.

Like the Coreyster, the Black Belt was made in a very small number.  Only 121 of them were produced at all and even fewer White and Blue Belts were made (you'd know how many if you'd done your homework on the Sackthology!).  So like the Coreyster not a large enough percentage of the Myachi population has direct knowledge of how great these guys really are.

But unlike the Coreyster, the Black Belt is a legend just for being an awesome pitch black Myachi with a glyph on it called the Black Belt that is uber-rare.  Even if this thing jammed worse than a Tootsie-Roll it would be prized in the Myachi world.  On top of that it's one of the greatest jammers we've ever made so word of its jammability quicky reached every corner of the Myachiverse.  I'd venture to say that even most Myachi Maniacs who've never jammed with a Black Belt still know it as one of the greatest jammers.

 #4) The Eco Kids 

You know why the tag's blurry?  I couldn't stop jamming with
this thing long enough to take a still photo.  That's why.
I show the Eco-Kids Yellow in the picture because it was the most well known, but I would include 5 of the 6 Eco Kids Myachis in this list (the Blue one left a little to be desired jam-wise).  Mostly though, I'm referring here to the original three, the Yellow, the Brown (Beige, Tan, whatever...) and the Green.

These three sacks were made for a great cause in honor of a great human being and this was one of the most rewarding fund raisers we've ever done.  It really helps the memories that the Myachi I associate with it is one of my all time favorites as well.

Like the Coreyster, the Eco Kids was tossed into the lime light by Monk more than anyone else.  A few ridiculous Eco Yellows in his collection left dozens of dedicated players clambering to get their hands on one (but not their palms) and it rightfully took it's place amongst the best jammers.  Of course, like the last 2, this one was made in extraordinarily small numbers so it suffers from a lack of familiarity as well.  The same is certainly not the case for the next contender.

 #5) The Red Line 
And in a pinch you can also play little tiny checkers on them.
To be fair, there are any number of great corduroy sacks I could have used here.  The Red Line is not intrinsically better than the Finish Line or the Starting Line and one could certainly make the case that it's no better than the Gang Green, the Beards or the Yellow Jacket.  I choose the Red Line as my example because it's plentiful.  It's one of the most widely available corduroys ever made and it is unquestionably jammable.

It has a bit of an advantage on the last three sacks.  While almost all Coreysters, Black Belts and Eco Kids became great jammers, some long-boarded a little too much and others never really broke in to a legendary playability.  The Red Lines were virtually 100% jammable.

This sack was so popular that it was rereleased in several series after being accidentally released at the tail end of the 3.2 series (funny story... I'll have to tell it to you someday).  They came at a time when the corduroy was just being recognized as a superior jam-fabric and their neutral pattern and top shelf jammability has made and kept them favorites for jammers since their release.

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There are so many more Myachis that deserve mention here.  I will probably be berated in e-mails if I don't at least toss a nod to such legendary sacks as the Suffolk Downs, the recent but already legendary CMC, the Members Solutions, the Syd and any of a couple dozen corduroys.  I'd love to keep going but this list has to end somewhere.

The truth is that you could never find the best jammer by looking at a list anyway.  The simple answer to the simple question of "Which sack is the best jammer?" is "The one you jam with the most", and that's all there is to it.  If you put enough TLC into a Fudge Stripe it will be a superior jammer even if it's never going to make anyone else's list of the best jammers of all time.

Any sack can be the best jammer if you jam with it enough.

Okay... not any sack.  I'm not sold that anybody could break in a Vette, a Neo or a Candy Corn enough to make them Sumpoy but I'd love to be proven wrong.

How to Use the Sackthology

by Crazy Ivan

The long awaited and much vaunted Sackthology is finally up and available for all to see at myachiworld.com.  Every single Myachi ever made is there along with complete stats on how many were made, when they came out, where they were made, sister sacks and relative trade value.

Photobucket

The Myachi world has been abuzz with appreciation for the Sackthology's sheer awesomeness, but I've also been getting a lot of questions about it so I wanted to throw down a quick FAQ about it.  If you have any questions that I don't address here, please let me know in the comments section or through e-mail.

Where are the Pictures?

We opened up with only one picture loaded into the database but we're hard at work getting all the pictures loaded in.  Adrian is busting his hump on it now and has already loaded several more in.  That being said it's a huge project and there are a lot of pictures we don't yet have.  We'll probably be calling out to some collectors to help us out with a few pics before it's all said and done.

What is the Trade Value?

One of the main reasons for assembling the Sackthology was to help out collectors when they were trying to figure out if a trade was fair or not.  The Trade Value is an attempt to do exactly that.  It's designed to give you a relative valuation of each Myachi.

It's actually pretty simple to use.  If you want to compare two Myachis just look at the Trade Value of both.  If both have relatively similar Trade Values (for example, one is a 26 and the other is a 28) then it's pretty close to a fair trade.  If, on the other hand, one is way higher than the other, it isn't a fair trade.

Even if the Trade Values are way different you can still use them to create a good trade.  If the Trade Value of two or three sacks is equal to the value of one sack then it would be a fair trade to trade those three for one.

How do the Filters work?

The Sackthology allows you to group Myachis so you can look up Myachis by color, fabric, series, year made or trade value.  You can even look up (if you so choose), all green Myachis made in Pakistan in 2008.

Photobucket


Using the filters is pretty easy.  You'll find the options in the upper right hand side of the page.  Click the arrow by each option and scroll down to select what you want to see.  Once you've set up all your options, click the "Apply" button and it will filter through all the Myachis to show you just the ones you are looking for.

Why can't I find my Myachi?

The Sackthology has a ton of Myachis, but it doesn't yet have every single Myachi ever made.  If your Myachi does not show up on the Sackthology, it might be that it's so new it hasn't yet been added (at the moment none of the 5.0 sacks are up there).  It may also be that you're looking under the wrong name.  Some Myachis are known by a few different names so it could be the name you know is a nickname rather than the Myachi's "official" name.

Where is all the information?

When you look the overwhelming list of sacks you see only an overview of all the info.  It tells you the name and the Trade Value, it has the pic (assuming you're looking at one of the few we've uploaded pics for) and it give you the first few sentences of the "bio" for each Myachi.  If you want all the details, click the "+" icon to the right of the Trade Value and you'll open up a page that gives you all the details.

Photobucket


Why are some Myachis listed twice?

For collectors purposes, if a Myachi was released in two different series those two sacks will have slightly different Trade Values.  A sack released in 4.0 and then rereleased in 4.1 wouldn't have a single Trade Value, but instead it would have a Trade Value for the 4.0 version and one for the 4.1 version.

Still other Myachis were released with wholesale differences.  You might be surprised if you see the Black Butter sitting right there with a Trade Value close to a Blue Belt you might think there was an error.  If you look a little deeper, though, you'll see that that is the Black Butter with a keychain loop.

Many of the Myachis are listed several times and you'll actually have to look at the details on each one to make sure that you have the Myachi listed.  If you have an Red Line, for example, check the series number on it before you assign it a Trade Value.  There's a huge difference between the various series it was released in.

I feel like some sacks are rarer than the Trade Value suggests.  How are the Trade Values calculated?

The Trade Values come from a formula that weighs a few different aspects of each Myachi.  The biggest factor is how old the Myachi is.  The next biggest determining factor is how many were made.  Adjustments are also made based on distribution (was it distributed nation wide or only in a limited area?) and whether it is a sack for a well known company.

That being said, actual values are determined in way more ways than can be captured in a simple formula.  Some sacks are legendary jammers, some are just really liked in one circle of friends more than they are in general crowds of Myachi players.  These types of things won't be reflected in the Trade Value.

Just keep in mind that Trade Value is a very general thing.  You may like a Myachi a lot and thus personally value it more than the Trade Value suggests and that's fine.  There's no law that says you have to make a trade just because the Trade Value is fair.  The Trade Value is just there to give you a general idea of how rare Myachis are compared to one another.

Is there a way to jump to a particular Myachi?

At the moment there is no way to search out a Myachi based on the name of that Myachi.  Because there is so much information it can be really hard to scroll through to find a particular Myachi.  The easiest way is by filtering.

Just take what you do know about the Myachi and plug it into the filters before you start looking for it.  Odds are about 100% that you know what country the Myachi was made in so start by selecting that country under the "origin" option.  You'll also know what color it is and if it's a late series sack, you'll even know what series it came from.  Once you select all this info, click "Apply" and the Sackthology will give you a smaller and more managable list that will make it easier to find your Myachi.

That being said, we're going to be adding a search feature to the Sackthology in the near future to make this a bit easier.

When I try to filter by series things get really weird... Why?

There are some issues with the "filter by series" option that we're working on fixing.  The problem is that some Myachis were released in multiple series.  Some of the time these sacks are listed multiple times, but if the individual sacks are indistinguishable from one another they're listed only once.

Photobucket
Tell me that list above doesn't make perfect sense...

There are actually quite a few of these Myachis.  A sack released in two series before series 3.0 will show up in multiple series which weirds things up plenty.  Since a Black Butter released in 1.0 is exactly the same as a Black Butter released in 1.1 or 1.2, the Black Butter will not show up if you select "1.0" on the filter and then click apply.  Instead, it will only show you the sacks that appeared only in series 1.0.

We're working on making this a bit more user friendly, but at the moment it's really confusing and I'm sure it will mess a lot of people up between now and then.

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I'm sure there are plenty more questions to tackle.  These are just the ones that I've heard so far so by all means, keep the questions coming.  Send them to me at crazyivan@myachi.com or leave them in the comments section below.  Same thing if you see a misspelling or something you believe to be an error.

What About the Break In Test?

by Crazy Ivan

So last week I talked a tall game about how I was going to be testing out the various popular Myachi break-in techniques.  I acted like I was Adam Savage over here promising to throw down a Myth-Busters style scientific experiment to judge the effectiveness of all the different common ways of yummying up a Myachi.

And then 10 days went by and I never said another thing about it.  It's almost like I didn't want you to know which method worked.

The truth of the matter is even worse.  I actually haven't done the test at all yet.  When I wrote the blog last week I underestimated two things: How hard it would be to get enough identical Myachis to test and how intricate some of these break in methods are.

Animal pointed out to me that to do this properly, I would need several different types of fabric to test.  I would have to at least test something easy to break in (like a corduroy) and something difficult to break in (like a denim), but ideally I should do something in between as well (like a suede).  That sounded good, but the idea of acquiring 8 of each of three different types of sack was pretty daunting.  Keep in mind that there is a lot of difference between one corduroy and another so it's not like I just needed 8 corduroy sacks to test, I needed 8 Aztec Reds (or Phat Kat Greens or Finish Lines or whatever).

It wouldn't do me any good to use the new 5.0s because they're already so much more jammable than most sacks so that would prejudice my experiment as well.  What I needed was 8 of each of older sacks.  And, to make matters worse, they all had to be in mint condition because if any of them had been jammed with before they wouldn't be going into the experiment equally jammable.

That part took a lot longer than I thought, but eventually I (sort of) accomplished it.

But by then many people had pointed out errors in my test design as well.  As popular as it was, I wasn't going to be testing the "Dragon" method according to my first post on this.  I also wasn't going to be trying enough of the stuff in conjunction to test the interplay between one method and another.

So like a good Myth Buster, I went back and redesigned my protocols altogether.  To do so, I've had to radically change my schedule on it (I was supposed to be done the day before yesterday and I haven't even started), but now we're locked and loaded and ready to go.  I'll post an update (possibly with video) tomorrow once I get things going and have all test underway.

And I apologize for getting your hopes up and then dashing them, but look on the bright side... think of all the suspense I've built up now.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Spring Time at the House of Skills

by Crazy Ivan

Ah, the warm weather slowly returns.  It actually hasn't, it's just that the cold weather has left and we're stuck in that limbo between cold and warm, but the sun is out and birds are returning so we readily accept the rumor that it is now Spring once more.

Obviously that means a lot to anyone who lives far enough North to see snow every year.  Beaches will soon be filling up, amusement parks will open, flowers will bloom and you'll be able to make it from your apartment to the subway station without putting on 5 layers of clothing.

But at the House of Skills Spring is a particularly beloved occasion.  Between the 7 residents at the house we have something like 116 hobbies and I'd say about half of those are the kinds of things you have to outside to do.  One thing that links all Myachi Masters is a lifelong love of going outside to play.

Now don't get me wrong, we spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter.  Barring snow and ice you can still longboard and unicycle in the winter.  You can also build snow dinosaurs and have epic snowball fights and there's a lot to be said for that.

What you can't do, however, is spend all day outside without having to thaw out later.  I find myself off today and stealing away just enough time indoors to update this blog and film a trick of the day, but as soon as I'm done here I'll be hopping back on my stilts for another trip around the block.  That's assuming Maverick doesn't talk me into getting on the slack line first (and no, I'm not going to get on the slack line while on my stilts... yet).

The other wonderful thing about being outdoors is that it inspires awesome stuff like this video:



Thanks to Bones, Bamboo, Rush and Unknown for this one and as it gets warmer and warmer, expect to see a lot more of them.

A Contest for Artists

by Crazy Ivan


So we just wrapped an epic photo contest with a record turn out so I'm putting you all back on assignment. I've got a spectacular wide boarding Pakisack for the winner and 5.0 sacks for 2nd and 3rd as well.  Once again we're getting at your creative side.  This time you can put away your Myachis and pick up your pencil... or your pen... or your brushes... or whatever you get artsy with.

Your mission (if you choose to accept it) is to draw, paint or otherwise artistically render a likeness of the Myachi Glyph.  Use our logo and incorporate it into a picture or an image in any way you want.  If you want to use it as the basic shape for a couple angry dragons, awesome.  If you want to draw it in crazy tie-dye colors, awesome.  If you want to cut out odd shaped pieces of fabric and form the Myachi Glyph in a mosaic, awesome.  If you want to draw a zombie hiding behind the Glyph and waiting for some brains to happen by, awesome.  If you want to render some crazy variation of it on Photoshop with all kinds of star-bursts and lightening bolts shooting out of the points of the Glyph, awesome.

The idea here is to get creative.  You can use any medium you want.  The only rule is that you have to incorporate the basic shape of the Myachi Glyph:

Just the part in the middle with the swooshes, mind you.  You don't have to do all the lettering...
As usual, you can enter this contest in 5 different ways.  You can:

  • Take a picture of your art and put it on our Facebook Wall (most recommended)
  • Take a picture of your art and email it to me at crazyivan@myachi.com
  • Take a picture of your art and link it on the Myachi Forum.
  • Take a picture of your art, toss it on photobucket and leave the link in the comments section below.
  • Snail mail your artwork to the Myachi HQ (least recommended)
Now, as always, there are a couple of rules to this one, but nothing too tough:
  • All entries must be received by April 11th at Midnight.  (That's a Monday which means you have just under 2 weeks to get this done)
  • All entries become the property of Myachi Industries.
  • Entries that are mailed to Myachi HQ will not be returned.
  • Winners will be decided by a panel of Myachi Master Judges.  All judges decisions are final.
  • Myachi will not accept any artwork or entries that include rude or offensive material.
  • Myachi will not accept any artwork or entries that include copyrighted material used without permission (you all have our permission to use the Myachi Glyph!!)
  • Entries will be judges based on creativity, skill and overall impression.
  • You can enter as many times as you'd like.
So good luck to all.  I know we've got some really talented artists reading this blog so I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sister Sacks

by Crazy Ivan

The idea that Myachis would one day be collectable was born early in the company's history.  At first there was no choice but to make each new series from new fabrics.  By the time Myachi Man sold through one batch it would be really hard to go back and find the same fabrics so he just naturally began choosing new colors, designs and textures every few months.

The notion of the "sister sack" wasn't far behind.  It made sense that when we found a good fabric we would try to reuse that same fabric in a different color.  That linked certain sacks together in "families" and we found that people who had one or two Myachis from a "family" usually wanted the others.

Examples of Sister Sacks can be found even in the earliest Myachi series.  The Slick Black and Slick Blue, the Red and Purples Swirls, the Yellow and Orange Wetsuits... the list continues throughout the timeline of Myachi series.

Often times sister sacks come out together.  This was the case with sacks like the Purple Haze and Red Stripe or the Blue and Red Crushes.  Other times they come out in consecutive series.  The Leopard Lime followed one series after the Punk Pink Leopard.  The Crystal Flame came one series after the Fire Ball.

There have even been a few "Sister Series".  Twice in the past Myachi has released two different series at the same time.  The first time was the 2.1 and 2.2 series.  In the entire series there were only two complete sister sets.  The Lemon Head and the Twizzler both appeared in the 2.1 and the Bubbalicious and B'Zooka Joe crossed the two series.  There were also a few sister sacks in these series that related back to previous Myachis.  The Purple Reign was a sister to the Crouching Tiger and the Brick in the Wall II was a throw back sister to one of the first series sacks ever made, the Brick in the Wall I.

The next simultaneous release took the whole sister sack thing to another level.  The 3.0 and 3.1 series were sister series all the way.  Each 3.0 sack had a counterpart in the 3.1 series.  The Black Beard for the Red Beard, the Crimson Tiger for the Bengal Tiger, the Wavy Blue for the Wavy Orange, etc.  It even saw the return of the two most infamous sister sacks of all time, the Black Butter and the Slater.

The popularity of that release prompted us to do another full blown sister series the next time around, but this time we shoved them all together in one big 12 sack series.  The 3.2 series (and the subsequent 3.2x series) consisted of 6 pairs of sister sacks.

There actually hasn't been another full blown sister series since the 3.2, but sistering sacks has become pretty commonplace since then.  Each new series will have a few sistered pairs and many series go back and offer sister sacks to previous Myachis.  The 5.0 offers the Tidal Waves, the Lumberjacks and the Shedders.  The Night Rider sisters the Guatemalan Black and the Ripped and Zipped is the sister to the Stacked and Packed from 4.5.

Of course, each new series also offers some tantalizing possibilities as well.  The Hound's Tooth is so awesome it will almost certainly have a sister sack in a future release.  A fabric similar enough to the General could make an awesome future release.  And, of course, like everyone else, I'm eagerly awaiting a sister sack to the old Hardcore Cammo...

Photo Contest Winners!!!

by Crazy Ivan


Let me begin by saying how happy we were to get such a huge response to this contest.  Well over 100 photos were submitted from Facebook, the Myachi Forum and by e-mail.  Animal, Monk and I have spent the whole morning whittling down all the great pictures and trying to come up with a top 3.

After more than 2 hours of painstaking "Oh but what about..." and "Yeah, but remember this one" we were still unable to get the number down to a top 3.

I promised that we would have a top winner who would get a Sparks7 Myachi and their choice of 5.0s, a 2nd place winner that would get a 5.0 and a 3rd photo selected at random to also win a 5.0.  After seeing all the great entries we knew there was no way we could pick only 2 winners so we got special permission to expand the pool of prizes to 5.

But we still had trouble deciding on a top 5!  There were so many great pictures as so many deserving contestants that we had to share a couple of the really deserving entries that didn't quite make it into the prize winning top 5.

So first the incredible runners up:

#10: Most Extreme Entry:

And a special nod for how hard it must have been
to balance that Static Cling...

#9) Creepiest Entry:

Hats off for making a Myachi look nightmarish enough to
be on a Swedish death metal album cover...
#8) Most Seasonal Entry:

Spring is in the air and the Braveheart Blues are blooming...
#7) Most Anthropomorphic Entry (look it up...)

Sometimes calling a cab and chatting with mom
are one and the same.
#6) Most Artistic Entry:

Brilliant use of color here.  Picture is too cool for a snappy caption.
Now, obviously all of those pictures could easily be winners.  Any one of them could rightfully stand at the top of our list, but there were even more fantastic entries that we had to sift through.

This is where we start getting into the prizes.  The next 4 entries all win their choice of 5.0 Myachis and as you'll see, they really earned that prize.  Winners should contact me by e-mail at crazyivan@myachi.com and I can get with them about claiming their prizes.

#5) Cutest Entry:

Obviously adorability counts for a lot.
#4) Deadliest Entry:

Alright, so it probably wouldn't kill you but that Aztec Red is risking life and tag.
#3) Best Pun:

Myachi Veterans will immediately recognize the Electric Orange Shag reference.
#2) Edgiest Entry:

I could so see this on the cover of Myachi Magazine...

So congrats to the intrepid photographers that snapped those award winning pics.  The only thing left to do is announce our winner and I can't really build much suspense since you've probably already scrolled down far enough to see it.  Given that, I guess I'll just get right to it:

#1) Best Entry:

Just remember dude, soft catch!
This last photo was unanimously selected by the Myachi Masters as the best overall picture.  It took a long time to decide on the other winners and the order they would go in, but this picture has it all.  It's a great picture of a Myachi, it has great use of color, it's funny, it's striking and it shows a ton of creativity.

That being said there were also a ton of great pictures that didn't make our final 10.  We had way more entries that deserved recognition than I could fit on this blog.  Thanks to everyone who participated and remember, there's always another contest right around the corner.  I hope all the contestants had as much fun with this thing as I did.

And if you'd like to see some more of the entries, be sure to check out our Facebook page!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How to Play Face-Off

by Crazy Ivan

Yet another fun Myachi game was born over the past week.  I first heard about it today, but apparently this was an idea Bones had a week ago or so and I was just late to the party.

The name of the game is "Face Off" and it's mad simple.  Pretty much anybody can play even if they've never played Myachi before.  That being said, there's definitely an advantage to having the kind of weird experience that only long term Myachi players ever really have.

The object of the game is to throw your Myachi further than anybody else.  You set up a line and everybody takes three shots from the line.  Whoever's Myachi goes furthest is the winner.  Now, if this sounds too simple to be the game, that's because it is.  There's a key rule that changes everything:

The Myachi must be thrown from your head.

Changes things a bit, does it not?  Not only does this make the game way more challenging, it also makes it way more fun for the others who are watching.  Just imagine how goofy looking somebody would be trying to throw a Myachi really hard from their face.  In fact, why bother imagining it when you can see Unknown and I playing and judge for yourself:



You'll note that the last throw I do (the one that goes way farther than the others) is from a Brain Freeze rather than a Faceplant.  The official rules of the game are yet to be written so I'll have to ask Bones what the rules are regarding where on the head you can throw from.

One way or the other it's mad fun and kind of goofy so it gets everyone smiling.  I noticed after playing for just a few minutes that having a good sliding sack like a Silver Bullet, a General, a Bedrock Red or a Vette was a huge advantage (not many Myachi games where those are the ideal sacks) so try to make sure everyone is using similar fabrics if you want to keep things fair.

Also, stretch out a bit before you play this one... I found that out the hard way.

The Premiere of the First Commercial

by Crazy Ivan

I still remember it like it was yesterday.

The filming had taken place months before and we'd seen the slow evolution of the finished product over the months.  We'd seen ever better previews of the two minutes that would introduce Myachi to the world.  We'd watched it all in slow-mo, in reverse, we'd analyzed it frame by frame, we'd memorized every word and every shot.  The only thing left to do was to see it on television.

We were doing a small test run then.  We'd shot the commercial in conjunction with the instructional video we were making so we managed to do it with a pretty small initial investment.  Running the ad would cost a lot more so we only bought a few scattered air times in an effort to judge the commercial and its effectiveness.

The first airing was scheduled to take place on MTV2 during a repeat of "Cribs".  Kid Myach and I were sharing a place in Manhattan at the time but we had an all but microscopic television there.  Sure, it was good enough to watch the Superbowl on, but the premiere of Myachi's first commercial?  It deserved something grandiose.

Luckily for us, Myachi Man's folks lived in town and had a monstrous television.  It was big enough to have its own gravitational field so it was just big enough for our big moment.

Myachi Man met Kid and I downtown and because MM loves to live his life in a constant state of suspense, we were running a bit late.  I can't recall exactly what time it aired, but I know it was evening because I distinctly recall trying to make it uptown in rush hour.  The traffic was too heavy to take a cab and make it on time so we rushed to the nearest subway stop.

Now, contrary to popular belief, there aren't crazy people on every train in the NYC subway system.  It's always that way in movies, but in reality you only occasionally run into rampaging lunatics when you take the train.  This was, of course, one of those occasions.

There was this dude sitting on one bench and sliding back and forth to make sure nobody else could sit down next to him.  He was babbling about everyone being an agent of the devil or something.  Normally I keep my distance when I'm around unstable people, but on the subway at rush hour there's no such thing as "my distance" so instead I'm hovering over this dude and savoring every whiff.

By the time we reach our stop we're literally sprinting toward the stairs.  We hustle from the subway stop to Myachi Man's parents building.  He calls them to tell them we're close so they can warn the doormen so when we reach the door they're just laughing and waving.

"Congratulations!" the doormen yell as we run through into the lobby.  "Good luck!"

I'm watching seconds tick down on my phone as the elevator slowly creeps toward the seventh floor.  We're less than a minute from the airing by the time we finally reach the floor.  Myachi Man's dad is standing in the hallway waving us in like the dude with the orange cones that guides the airplanes into the terminal.

We burst in all out of breath and glance up at the TV.  A commercial for KFC is just about to end.

"Catch it!   Kick it!  Flip it!  And Stick it!"

We burst into cheers, we break out the champagne, we pat each other on the back.  The commercial airs before us just as it had a thousand times already, but now it's actually being broadcast all over the country.

Kid's phone rings.  Before he can answer it my phone rings.  About the time I glance down and see that it's my sister, Myachi Man's phone rings.  While he's answering that his parent's phone rings.  While they're answering that Kid's call waiting beeps.

For a solid 10 mintues we were all just standing in the room taking phone calls from all of our friends that had just seen us in the commercial.  We're all smiles and glows and by the time we're done we realize that we're still watching "Cribs".

It was a huge moment for us.  It's the kind of thing that remains in your brain like a photograph.

Now, as many of you know, this was not as big a moment as we hoped it would be.  We had trouble financing large ad buys for the commercial and ultimately we used it more for regional buys when Myachi would start getting big in particular parts of the country.  We played it here and there, but we never got the huge national launch out of it that we hoped for.

There were a lot of reasons but most of them boiled down to "we weren't ready yet".  Our manufacturing, our warehousing, our fulfillment centers, our PR campaign, our staff and our headquarters were too small to support a genuine nation wide push.  We still got a pretty sick commercial and instructional video out of the deal so we more than got our money's worth out of filming the thing, but we also didn't become a household name.

-----

Now we fast forward to today.  We're days away from a similar but much bigger event in Myachi's short history.  Our next commercial is tenatively set to air next week and is already viewable on the homepage of http://www.myachi.com/ so we're ramping up for the same thing again.  It's one of those days you walk into knowing that it will stay with you forever.

Things are better now than they were then.  We go into this with a lot more backing, a much bigger staff, a much bigger warehouse, a genuine HQ and some of the world's best marketeers in our corner.  It feels today like that airdate years ago was a dress rehearsal for what is to come.

Oh, there's another thing we have that makes us more prepared than last time as well.  The House of Skills has a really big TV.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Which is Tougher: Hands or Feet?

by Crazy Ivan

This question actually comes up quite a bit in the Myachi world.  I recall more than one heated debate on the forum where people would take up sides on the hands vs. feet debate.  The honest truth is that both sides could make a pretty convincing case.

So before I try to insert my own opinion here, let me break down the popular argument from both sides.

Feet:

To most people I suppose this seems like the obvious answer.  After all, a 360 on the toe is a heck of a lot harder than a 360 on the hand.  Most Myachi players can do a Wolverine with their hands but exceedingly few can pull off the same move with the feet.

When you compare basic foot moves to basic hand moves, it seems like a no-brainer.  The first five tricks people learn with their hands might be Half Pipe, the Hulk, Cold Fusion, Under the Leg and the 360.  Compare that with a typical first five feet tricks, say Toe Stall, Instep Stall, Toe Pop, Instep Kick and Outside Stall and there's no comparison.  Even the easiest trick on the foot end is tougher than the toughest of those five hand tricks.

Instinctively most people answer "feet" when they're presented with this question, but a potent argument can be made on the other side as well.

Hands:

The thing is that the foot trick argument really focuses on the basics.  The basic moves with the hands are definitely way easier than the basic moves with the feet, but what about the hardest moves on either side?  There is no consensus on what the hardest moves in Myachi are, but there are plenty of hand tricks that compete directly with the toughest of foot tricks.

Which is harder to learn, a River Dance or a Double Swordfish?  A Butterfly Stall or a Spidey Sense?  A Duck N Dive or a 4 Myachi Juggle?  An Osiris or a Daring Bodyguard?

For every really hard foot trick that a person can mention, there are at least two or three equally hard hand tricks to counter it.  There are far more tricks that can be done with the hands than the feet and thus in many ways, the hand tricks are tougher.

All of the Above:

It's actually a meaningless question.  Foot tricks aren't harder than hand tricks and hand tricks aren't harder than foot tricks.  Individual tricks can be harder than other tricks but when you start talking in huge categories like "hands" and "feet" it's kind of meaningless to compare them.

Most Myachi players start the game on the hands and only start learning tough foot tricks once they have a pretty good repertoire of hand stuff.  This leads to the pretty widely held belief that foot tricks are tougher.  In that sense they are, but at the highest levels of Myachi there aren't harder and easier categories of tricks.

Take traps as a perfect example.  Moves like the Hulk and Lotus can be the easiest in the game.  If you want to pull off a Symposium Tree Pose you're in for a long hard run.  Doing a blind Hulk behind the back is no picnic.  Pulling a three Myachi gather in a Lotus is a ridiculous challenge if you've split the sacks on a previous throw.

In other words, tricks are as hard as you want them to be.

Rephrasing the Question:

All that being said, there is a slight variation on that question that makes it pretty easy to answer.  If you simply turn it on its head and focus on which is easier the answer becomes pretty obvious.  Hand tricks are definitely easier that foot tricks even if foot tricks aren't harder than hand tricks.

I know that sounds like a contradiction, but it's true.  If you want to learn some easy tricks you'll find way more on the upper body than the lower body.  However, if you want difficult moves, you'll probably be able to find plenty of challenges no matter which part of your body you use.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mea Culpa (That's Latin for "My Bad")

by Crazy Ivan

So I wrote a blog yesterday that I thought was a clear parody and a pretty darned funny one at that.  Judging by the reaction that I got from it, a lot of people agree with me.  A lot of people also don't and that's why I'm writing this retraction of sorts today.

The article was titled "Getting Snubbed".  We saw the (nearly) final cut of the commercial the other day and my lovely visage didn't appear in it.  This kind of thing happens from time to time and it would be really egotistical to get bent out of shape about it, but I think pretty much everyone feels let down by stuff like that.

Anyway, I decided to write this blog as sort of a caricature of that feeling.  I wrote a brief little history of all the times I felt like that before and did a whole long whiney bit.  I thought it was clear that it was meant as parody... I even put a picture of an empty room and complained that I wasn't in the photo.  That being said, a lot of people took it way more literally than I meant it.

So I read back over it imagining I was somebody that didn't get the joke.  When I do that, it's actually pretty bad.  Bad enough that I should have noticed before I published it and rewritten it a bit.

See, the problem is that I refer to a bunch of our maniacs as having "gotten snubbed".  In fact, I use the word "snub" or "snubbed" about 14 times in the article including the title.  When I think about somebody "getting snubbed" I think about somebody who was booked to be on a talk show and then got bumped because the first guest ran long.

But that's not what everyone thinks of.

When I Google the word "snub", I get two similar but not identical definitions.  The first comes from Wikipedia and it says "Rebuff, ignore or spurn disdainfully" which is really harsh.  The lighter definition shows up second and it reads, "To dismiss, turn down or frustrate the expectations of".

Now, when I read that first definition, I feel awful for ever letting my fingers type out the word snub in association with all the awesome kids that helped us out with the commercial.  Nobody got rebuffed.  Nobody got ignored.  And by no means did anyone get spurned disdainfully.

In fact, as far as I know, everybody who made the shoot got a few seconds or a second and that's a pretty potent second.  You've got to figure that if 10 million people see you for a second, that counts the same as one person seeing you for like four and a half months!  Pretty cool stuff and I'm sure that everybody is going to be mad stoked when they see their smiling faces on TV, even if it is a brief moment.  I mean, it's not like we're only playing this thing once.

When I said that I felt like some people got "snubbed", I was using it in the far lighter terms of the second definition: "frustrate the expectations of".  I know that I was hoping that the best trick I hit would make the final cut (and it didn't) and I'm sure everyone was hoping the same thing.  So when I singled out particular people and said they got "snubbed", all I really meant was that I was personally hoping to see more of them in the commercial.

Take Jaksib for example.  This dude throws down one of the sickest tricks in the entire commercial.  Now, he's facing away from the camera so I can imagine when he sees that his expectations might be a bit frustrated but he's certainly not gonna feel ignored or "spurned disdainfully".

The same is true of Mantis and Junkie as well.  They're both have way more time in a national TV commercial than (I'm willing to bet) any other kid in their school.  I'd have loved to see Mantis' 4 Myachi juggle make the final cut, but he I definitely wouldn't say his 4 Myachi juggle got "rebuffed".

The truth is that there's only 90 seconds (or 2 minutes... now I can't remember) so some really good stuff just had to be left out.  Pinky had an awesome shred and I'm sure it wasn't used because there wasn't enough time in the ad, not because she was being "dismissed".

Anyway, after some of the e-mail I got in response to the article, I feel I should apologize to anyone who read it and thought I was saying that anybody who came to the filming got slighted in any way.  All I meant is that I'd have loved to see more of their shots make the final cut.  But honestly, if they got everything in there that I wanted, the commercial would be sixteen minutes long.  In the end, the decision wasn't mine and it wasn't Myachis at all.  We left all the decisions about the commercial in the hands of people who make commercials for a living.

So if you made it to the filming and in the end you feel like maybe it should have had a little more "you" in it, don't sweat it.  No need to get bent out of shape about it.  And whatever you do, don't write a sarcastic blog about it!

A Myachi Master's Job Description

by Crazy Ivan

There is no real "job description" for a Myachi Master and in my mind, there couldn't be.  We just do too much weird, off the wall stuff.  My typical day might include writing a few blogs, making a few You-Tube videos, teaching some kids how to play the game, placing orders for a few of our retail locations, making a Myachi delivery, tracking down some old invoice and then going to a Bar Mitzvah to spread the word for a few hours.

But every day is different and every aspect of the job is different.  Below are a few of the things I'm commonly required to do as a Myachi Master along with the upside and downside to each one:

In Store Demos: This is what most people think of when they think "Myachi Master"... actually, I suppose most people think "What is a Myachi Master?", but for those than know, when they think about a Myachi Master, they're probably thinking about In-Store Demos.  This is when we go to a popular store that carries Myachis, hang out near the Myachis and teach people how to play.  It's one of the most effective ways of spreading the word while still making money.
  • Pros: You get to interact with people one on one, you get to play a lot of Myachi and in the down time you usually have another Myachi Master to hang out with, challenge or be challenged by.
  • Cons: It's pretty exhausting work and after 8 or 9 hours your feet are killing you (especially if your signature trick is the Crazy Ivan).
Private Parties: Of all the things we do, this might be my favorite.  This is when you show up to a birthday party or a graduation or whatever and then just rock it out.  We do large and small parties but most of the time there are between 12 and 30 attendees.  More often than not, most of them don't know the game so we'll spend a few minutes getting everybody up to speed and then we'll have some contests, give away some Myachis and then spend the rest of the party just jamming out.
  • Pros: It's really fun, it doesn't take very long and you usually get free cake and/or pizza.
  • Cons: Sometimes the cake has coconut on it or something.
School Events: Okay, I changed my mind.  The school events are my favorite aspect of the job.  These can be anything from a 30 minute lecture in a High School Business class to a couple of one hour assemblies to a full day of us taking over the school's gym class.  We teach a lot of people the game, play a ton of Myachi and more often than not we close out with some kind of fund raiser where the school sells Myachis and keeps the profit for... you know, all that stuff schools need.
  • Pros: A ton of STWAKOJ, meet a lot of cool people, introduce the game to huge numbers of people and you're in school but you don't need a hall pass.
  • Cons: You might have to get up before dawn.  Plus it doesn't matter how long it's been since you graduated, when you hear the bell ring you start feeling like you need to get to class.
Trade Shows: I'm adding this one so that you know that it isn't all fun and games.  Trade Shows can be an awful lot of work.  They usually go all day (upwards of 10 hours at a stretch) and you don't really get to teach people how to play or jam out very much.  In these things we're usually trying to sell Myachis to store owners so it's a totally different animal.  If I'm in the Myachigon, all I have to do is teach somebody four tricks and they're ready to buy.  At a Trade Show I'm answering all kinds of questions about margins and shipping and payment options.
  • Pros: You can't walk away from a trade show without winding up with a bunch of cool free stuff.  People are always giving stuff away at the end so they don't have to pay to ship it.  If you can't get stuff for free, you can usually trade a Myachi or two and get anything you want.
  • Cons: Long hours and you almost always have to wear a goofy looking name tag.
Amusement Parks: This is essentially the same as In-Store Demos, except that instead of being in a store you're in a theme park.  You might spend most of your time at a store or a booth, but you also spend some of your time busting lines and teaching a captive audience how to play.  It's about as awesome as it sounds because it's the same as hanging out at the Myachigon except that there are roller coasters.
  • Pros: There are roller coasters.
  • Cons: Usually done during the summers and much of it is done outdoors.
Office Junk: Let's face it, to keep this whole thing moving forward it takes a lot of behind the scenes work as well.  For every hour one of us spends actually teaching the game, somebody's going to spend 15 minutes on logistics.  We've got to inventory product, orchestrate shipping, manage the website, update the blog, answer an unending stream of e-mails, deal with overseas manufacturing and all the other boring stuff that would cause you to fall asleep if I went into any more details.
  • Pros: Easy on the feet
  • Cons: If I were wearing a suit while I did it, I'd be indistinguishable from an actual adult.



 

Last Call for the Photo Contest!

by Crazy Ivan

I've gotten a few entries so far, but from what I've seen thus far on our blog contests, the vast majority of the entries will come in the last 48 hours.  Well, that last 48 hours is about to begin.

You still have all weekend to submit your photo for the contest.  Winner will get an extremely rare Sparks7 Myachi (complete with German instruction booklet) and 2nd and 3rd place will receive 5.0s of their choice.  You need only snap a picture of your Myachi in a cool spot to have a chance to win.

If you want all the nitty-gritty details, check out the original post from last week.  That should answer any questions you might have, but if it doesn't you can also e-mail me at crazyivan@myachi.com or leave your question in the comments section below.

On second thought, best to just leave it as a comment.  With the website being shuffled there have been some problems with Myachi's e-mail today so I can't guarantee I'd get your question in time to answer it before the contest ends.

There have already been some really awesome entries so get creative and get crackin!  The contest ends at midnight on Sunday.  I'll announce the winners on Monday afternoon.  There will also be another contest starting Monday so stay tuned...

Myachi International

by Crazy Ivan

As many of you know, Kid Myach just got back from Australia.  His trip was so successful that we're going to be sending Animal and Mav back down under to rock out a big show out there next month so you can expect to see the continent blow up with Myachidom from Busselton to Brisbane by May.

But this was not our first international excursion in Myachi's long history.  Just last year Myachi Man flew to Paris to meet with a big distributor that wants to ramp up the movement in Europe.  We're already huge in Chile and moving East across South America.  A while back our boy Halestorm got the movement rocking in Beijing.  We've got some long term maniacs in England, Denmark and the Netherlands.  We even ran a commercial in Hungary many moons ago:



Obviously we want Myachi to stretch across the globe and fester in every continent that contains people (Antarctica gets a free pass).  We've been working on our international connections for years and slowly building relationships so that when it was time to flip the switch, we'd know where it was.

Well I think we're pretty much there.  I was talking with Myachi Man last night but our conversation got cut short when he got a call from one of our guys in China.  Important call so I hopped off the line with the promise that Myachi Man would call me back when he got off the line.  Unfortunately, by the time he got off the phone with China it was time for a Skype meeting he had set up with some cats in Australia.

Our tendrils are reaching all over the world and it's happening pretty quickly.  Many of you already know how big Myachi is in Chile.  They have their own website, they're big on Facebook and they've been on Chilean TV several times:



(The good Myachi stuff starts about 0:42)

There are, of course, a lot of crazy consequences that come with becoming an international brand.  One is what Myachi Man was discovering last night at about 10pm, and that's the crazy time zone stuff.  Since we're dealing with distributors and customers in 5 continents, Myachi Man has to keep a pretty crazy schedule.  He's the only person I know that has meetings scheduled for one in the morning.

Another is, of course, the language barrier.  Now, that doesn't become too much of a problem when you're dealing with folks from Australia (although I still don't know exactly what "Good on ya" means).  In fact, English is kind of an international business language thanks to the Internet so most of all of the people we deal with share a common language.  It also helps that we have Myachi Masters that speak French, Spanish, German and Russian.

But we're not just dealing with business people, we're also dealing with all the potential Myachi Maniacs in these various countries and not all of them speak English.  What this means is that from time to time we have to do stuff like this:

Te darás cuenta de que todo está escrito en español.
The blister pack you see above is available only in Chile (which makes it about priceless to collectors in America) and you'll notice that everything except the names of the Myachis and the names of the cartoon characters has been translated to Spanish.  I kind of wish they'd gone ahead and translated our names as well because being "Loco Ivan" is almost as cool as having a reason to call Steve the "Myachi Hombre".

This was not the first time we'd ever translated our packaging for a customer.  We'd done the same thing many years ago for some of our German customers as well.  They weren't getting whole Blister Packs redesigned or anything.  Instead, we needed only to translate the little booklet that is attached to the Myachi.

Ultimately we used that booklet on three different Myachis distributed in Germany: The Auva, the Drei and the Sparks7.  Like the Spanish language blister, these Myachis are collectors gold if they still have the instruction booklet attached.

Pictured above: Collector's Gold.

But even that wasn't our first foray into the international market.  As early as 2002 we got word of a "Myachi and Darts" club in Madagascar of all places.  Despite this, we actually still don't have any retail locations in the entire continent of Africa and thus far none in Asia either.

What this means, of  course, is that we've still got a long way to go.  Of all the countries we have yet to break into, I think I'm looking forward to Japan the most.  It just seems like it's about time for an American toy to take over in Japan for a change.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Getting Snubbed

by Crazy Ivan

Editors Note: The following article offended a few of our readers and we considered taking it down altogether.  However, as it was not the author's intent to offend, we chose instead to print a detailed explanation of why the terminology was chosen as well as an apology to those offended.  Before of after reading this one, you should also read the amendum.

I suppose it's a pretty big deal that I've even had an opportunity to be snubbed from so many national appearances.  I'll admit that it stung the first time.  Heck, it even stung the second and third time.  I'd love to say that it doesn't sting anymore so I will even though it's a bit disingenuous.  It doesn't sting anymore... okay, now I just feel worse.

I've written about getting snubbed on Jeopardy before, but that wasn't the first time I got snubbed.  I'd also been snubbed by none other than Martha Stewart.  Myachi appeared on her program a while back and we brought the whole team to be on the show.

Mostly they just used Myachi Man (since he's the one Martha was interviewing).  The rest of us spent most of the time in the green room messing with all of Martha's Emmy awards but for a moment they trooped everyone out.  We'd brought half a dozen Myachi Maniacs as well so everybody marches in there.  Kid hung at the edge of the stage with all the kids and got about 3 seconds of air time.


For just a second you thought I was kidding about the Emmys, didn't you?

Mav, Animal, Monk and I were placed out in the audience so that we could help teach everyone once Martha revealed that everyone in the audience was getting a free Myachi.  They were even kind enough to pan the audience once so you could see all of us.  Monk, Animal and Mav each got about 1 second of air time.  Camera cut off before it got to me.

But that also wasn't the first time I got snubbed while with Myachi.

About a year earlier we'd been invited to be in the background of a movie shoot.  The movie "Solitary Man" was filming here in NYC and there was a key scene on a college campus.  They needed people doing something distinctly "collegey" in the background so they contact us to see if we could send some guys out to play Myachi.

We sent photos and they picked four guys to head out there, Kore, Animal, Mav and Kid Myach.  They said I looked too old to be a college student.  I suppose they were right since I was about 33 at the time.  Of course, Kid Myach was about 38 at the time so that didn't make me feel any better.

Anyway, after all of that, I've gotten pretty used to getting snubbed.  I don't think anyone honestly gets to the point where stuff like that doesn't bother them, but eventually you reach a point where it's not unexpected.

So fast forward to yesterday when we got to see what looks like it'll be the final cut of our new commercial.  It looks great.  Way better than our last commercial in my opinion.  There's a lot more actual Myachi playing, there are some really sick shots at the school, some really cool shots from one of the Maniac's houses, some great shots of Myachi Man out in Florida teaching people to play on the beach and some cool stuff that we shot in the office.

But given the theme of this blog entry I bet you can guess what they didn't have.

I guess it's kind of indulgent to spend a whole blog griping about getting cut out of stuff.  I'll admit that, but it still didn't stop me from doing it.  It's kind of like getting picked last for basketball... actually it's a little more like being the only one that doesn't get picked at all for basketball.  Even if you know it's coming it still stings.


I got snubbed from this photo as well!

Of course, I'll take comfort in the fact that I'm in the old commercial, the DVD and half of every Myachi video on YouTube or so, but there are some people who got the snub who probably aren't as comfortable with it as I am.

It was bound to happen.  We had so many kids respond to our casting call that many of them weren't selected to be in at all and many of the ones who were selected didn't make the final cut (or are in the background for half a second) and I think they'll take it a little worse than I did... well... I don't know, I guess none of them will write a whole blog entry to complain about it so maybe I'll be the whiniest.

There are a couple of really deserving maniacs who have only the briefest second of face time (or none at all) and I wanted to forewarn them so they don't have their extended family watching the commercial with them when they find out.

I won't be mentioning everyone who didn't make the cut here.  To be honest I'm not even sure who all was there so I don't know who all got snubbed, but there were a couple of snubs that I found painful so I figured I'd mention them:

 Mantis:

Quite possibly the world's greatest Myachi player and you don't see his face at all in the commercial.  He threw down a sick 4 sack jam at the HQ and some other cool stuff on day 2 but none of it made its way into the final cut.  He is actually in the commercial, but all you see is his hand.

The one positive is that the part with Mantis' hand might be the coolest shot in the whole commercial.  They strapped a mini camera to his arm and then recorded him throwing down an Impossible and the result is every bit as cool as it sounds (if not more).

 Jacksib:

Yes, Pickleguy!  This dude came all the way from Ohio, got sick, wound up in the hospital and still made the second day of the shoot.  He actually didn't get entirely snubbed.  You see him for a second on a pan through a school hallway and there's a really cool shot (one of the coolest in the commercial) where he throws down a little shred and then tosses a Myachi behind his back into an open locker.

Sounds great, right?  It is.  The problem is that all you see of Jacksib is the back of his head during that shot.  He didn't get snubbed as bad as Mantis but given all he went through to make it to the shoot he certainly deserved a little more air time than he got.

 Junkie:

Of all the snubs this one surprised me the most.  I don't want to embarrass him, but Junkie was made for TV.  He's got a million dollar smile, sick skills and the ladies can't get enough of him.  Yet somehow when they went to cut the commercial they only get him on camera for a nanosecond or two.  I'll have to look again but I think the only shot he's in is a shot where they pan back from a hall full of kids and they all say "Myachi!" together.



 Pinky:

The prettiest person in the place and the cutest in the company and yet somehow they managed to leave Pinky out as well!  Now, I understand why nobody would want to look at my old, grizzled, middle-aged mug, but Pinky's gorgeous and from a distance you wouldn't know that she was older than all the kids!

Yet somehow Pinky also got left on the cutting room floor.  I'm assuming it was a dedication thing.  She probably saw me hanging out on the cutting room floor and couldn't bear to leave me.

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All that being said, the commercial is still awesome.  It's a Mantis, a Jacksib, a Junkie and a Pinky short of perfection, but it's still pretty darned good.  The first air date is right around the corner and believe me, you'll hear about it on this blog as soon as I have times and channels.

And a quick note for all the deserving maniacs who auditioned and didn't get to come to the shoot, look on the bright side, you're in the commercial as much as Pinky and I are...

Tricktionary Update (and Request)

by Crazy Ivan

I've been trying to steal away time here and there to continue to expand the Tricktionary page here on the Myachi Blog.  I'd like to at least get it caught up to the point where all the "Trick of the Day" moves are included but I'm still a good 22 tricks away from that.

My goal will be to have these moves all added in the next couple of weeks and once I do it will take the total number of tricks explained on the page to 100.  I have no intention of leaving it there, however.  I want to keep adding new tricks every week until the Internet runs out of room.

There are no shortage of moves to add.  I'm nowhere near running out of ideas, but I also want to put up the tricks you want to see there.  It doesn't do me as much good to toss up a bunch of archaic tricks nobody's ever heard of before I have all of the common and fundamental tricks explained.  That's where you come in.

If there's a trick you'd like to see added to the Tricktionary, let me know.  You can e-mail me at crazyivan@myachi.com (but you already knew that), or you can leave it in the comments section of this blog entry.

Oh, and in case you were curious, I added moves in three categories today: Hat Tricks, Skate Tricks and 2 Myachi Moves that start with the letter "A".  Those tricks include:
  • Ahead of the Class
  • The A-Train
  • The Aqueduct
  • Brooksie
  • Casper
  • Heel Flip
  • Kick Flip
  • Tail Grab
But there are so many more...