I recently acquired a lovely new pair of Contact Poi from super-Jedi and all-around swell spinner Charlie Cushing. He has begun selling these poi under the company new LanternSmith and I have to say that his products are unique and potentially revolutionary. Here’s a rundown of the most intriguing aspects:
All of the products created by LanternSmith have fallen in line with the methodology pioneered by Flowtoys in creating a completely modular system. Which means you can switch out all the different aspects of any pair of poi to create a variety of combinations. For instance, you can unscrew the heads of the poi from the rope and change it out for something different that perhaps better suits a performance. Which means never having to buy complete sets of poi again. Simply buy the parts you want to change.
This is specifically awesome when you consider that they also make Glow-in-the-Dark products. Which means day or night, these poi can do it all. And when you couple that with future plans to integrate their modular system with already existing products such as Flowtoys, this opens up a whole new level of toy customizability. I sincerely hope that his concept catches on across multiple companies in creating a standard for product modularity.
2. Glow-in-the-Dark Products
Although I did not purchase any of their Glow-in-the-Dark products, I got a chance to play with them. For what they are, they work great. Super bright with a short charge time under any blacklight, which as we know are readily available at most festivals. And they are extremely green, considering there is no waste in batteries (though how much energy is needed for the blacklights may even it out).
The only negative I see in this product is that I like my toys BRIGHT. I bought Hyperlights after all, so what does that tell you. And for my part, many festivals have a great deal of ambient lighting all around. Meaning these Glow-in-the-Dark toys may not show up so well. But for those headed to more remote forest-bound festivals, and those desiring a little less extreme lighting, these will certainly fit the bill.
3. Beyond Poi
This is one of the first companies I’ve seen that have actually manufactured high quality products (non-fire) for both the poi and hoop world. They have created crazy Glow-in-the-Dark hoops (not just tape), which I believe are a first. They’ve also included in that design a pretty amazing plastic which, from the center point, can be bent completely in half without affecting the integrity of the hoop. It’s fucking incredible, something you have to see to believe.
Again, the only odd thing about that hoop is that it may be just a little too springy for my taste. It’s very responsive, but perhaps overly so. That doesn’t mean some people won’t dig this hoop, but it will take some time getting used to.
All in all, Charlie and friends have worked hard to create a unique variety of products in a market that’s fast becoming over-saturated with subpar copycats. So if you’re in the market for a new pair of Contact Poi, Puppyhammer, or even looking for a new take on the traditional hoop give these guys a look!
Creator of GyroPulse and Co-Founder of The Gyronauts. Social Media Manager at Saatchi NY. Loving the Hoop since 2006. Loving the Poi since 2007. Loving the Burn since 2007 More from this author