Sports Toys

FOOOTY is a folding ball that’s a real kick

As people get older, the opportunities for play get fewer and farther in between. It’s a shame, too, because along with exercise and diet, engaging in unstructured or structured play has shown to be highly beneficial for health.

For that reason, inventor Jean-Pierre Raes labored in making something that would allow spontaneous play anywhere. The result was the FOOOTY system, a system of flat construction elements that come together using an easy-click system to create a variety of balls. The finished ball is rugged and waterproof, able to take kicks without going flat — perfect for that impromptu game of hackey sack.

Food and Beverage

Snackadium: build it on your dining room table, and they will come

There’s something about having a house full of people who love football, food and fun that makes watching a game on that big screen TV the perfect day. Especially when the food is arranged on the table to look like a Snackadium. It adds a perfect pizzazz to the party atmosphere when the snacks are arranged in the shape of a stadium.

The unique food storage container comes with eleven pieces that make up the field, grandstands, and end zone. It’s touted as being customizable, easy to assemble, clean, and microwavable, but it’s not clearly stated if it’s safe for dishwashers. Even so, it might actually be worth the inconvenience of washing this item by hand just because of how clever it looks and the ooohs and aaahs it will inspire from guests. Super Bowl-loving backers might also like to check out the Bottleloft, the Kickoff Kaddy, the GrillOven, and the Rotissa-Fry.

This campaign seeks to raise $250,000 by March 8. Backers can get one product for $100, with an expected delivery in August of this year.


Perfect Snap may help quarterbacks initiate the winning touchdown

Many young football players dream of getting the attention of just the right scout and getting picked up for a pro contract. It’s one thing to dream, it’s another thing to do the hard work to make that dream happen. Perfect Snap was invented to help guys strengthen the skills that they need to be a more effective quarterback.

One of several nice features of this product is that it eliminates the need for someone to take on the center position since the product is designed to provide a simulated center-quarterback exchange. This increases the quarterback’s confidence, sense of timing, and strengthens his hands. The device is touted as being weather resistant and is made primarily with PVC piping, wood, screws and elastic cording. It allows coaches to be able to watch the exchange and effectively evaluate technique so that they can offer helpful tips and pointers. This seems like a good training tool worth checking into further.

This campaign seeks to raise $15,000 by March 4. Backers won’t receive an actual product, but for $10, a video and the story of how the product idea occurred is offered. The expected delivery is in August of this year.


TorrX pumps up your sports balls, won’t burst them

Balls used in sports need constant pumping to keep them firm enough to play with. They’re constantly losing air and, if too soft, can ruin any football, basketball or soccer game. The only problem is that traditional air pumps leave you guessing. Either the ball isn’t as firm as it should be or too much air is pumped in causing the ball to burst.

TorrX is a digital air pump that takes the guesswork out of breathing new life into sports balls. To use, just turn on and select whether the ball should be pumped manually or automatically. For the manual mode, it’ll display the ball’s psi. For the automatic range, input the optimum psi and it’ll fill it to that level. TorrX is long and skinny, perfect for throwing into any sports bag.

This is a great product for any sports enthusiast, athlete or coach who constantly find themselves with weak footballs, basketballs, soccer balls or any other kinds of ball. The battery lasts long too, boasting the ability to fill up 50 soccer balls on a full charge. For their own, backers can donate $45 to receive by June 2015. TorrX is looking to raise a whopping $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Sports Virtual Reality

Eon Sports uses virtual reality to teach real football

Breeding the next crop of NFL superstars takes a ton of hard work and dedication both on the field and off. The development of an athlete’s skills is a delicate balance between repetition and on-field immersion, both of which are in short supply for those who are absolutely serious about the game of football. The EON Sports virtual reality simulator offers players the opportunity to practice anywhere at all and still get the immersion necessary to effectively train their on-field intelligence.

The EON Sports virtual reality simulator is the type of advance both players and coaches were waiting for, erasing the limits regarding where and how training can be accomplished. The simulator utilizes a modified version of Shoogee’s DIVE handsfree VR headset with an iOS, Android, or Windows smartphone loaded in. When combined, the headset provides players an authentic viewpoint from which to sharpen their ability to pick apart defenses or make snap decisions. EON Sports has not only created the system itself, but partnered with legendary coaches like Mike Ditka and Terry Shea to offer training sessions exclusive to the platform so players will learn from the best when they strap themselves in. The headset will cost $99 during the $50,000 campaign, after which it will go up to $129. Backers can expect their own simulator in May of 2015.

The EON Sports virtual reality simulator is a fantastic idea, but instead of assisting in the mastery of physical movement like Virtual Knockout or the Shoot Natural Glove, it only focuses on IQ through the use of a gaming controller. Although football intelligence is a vital part of the game, the option to train physical movements just isn’t present, a huge missed opportunity for true innovation rather than settling for what Google could have done with cardboard. What EON Sports has really done is provide valuable strategy from coaching legends and make it widely available, but wouldn’t making such useful advice widely know degrade its quality?


Raptor football weds a football to a glider for prolonged passes

Memories of those football hero days can be relived with this product. Raptor football may not look like the football used in high school, but it will allow the user to throw like they are in high school again. The aerodynamic design of this football will allow it to glide over 100 yards, and its aerospace-grade aluminum alloy frame means it is crash resistant for those times when the other guy fumbles – or just flat out misses. Polymer wings add to the gliding fun, and the foam body means nobody gets hurt – unless somebody tries to relive those old tackling memories. Now if they could just come up with a cheerleading uniform that would make a middle-aged woman look good to complete this fantasy. Right ladies?

Closely resembling a NURF ball, it’s unclear if Raptor really brings anything new to the table. Still, if it can really be thrown as far as its creators say, it’ll be great fun for those who have big fields to play in. This campaign seeks to raise a whopping $193,000 by December 30, 2014. For $29, backers get one product with an expected delivery of March 2015.


Alligator Arms gets players ready to catch the winning touchdown

Football is a game in which a variety of skills are not only required, but players are trained to a level where they’re practically second nature. In particular, there are a few aspects of pass receiving that are absolutely vital to get down. One of the most important skills is to avoid catching the ball with the body by extending the arms as far as possible. Although it sounds simple, the level of efficacy expected requires a lot time, discipline, and occasionally something to help nudge you down the right path. Alligator Arms aims to help budding pass receivers nurture solid fundamentals, compelling them to always extend their arms when engaging in the process of catching the pass. The product comes in the form of a belt worn around the waist that attaches to a user’s wrists with cords. It’s a simple, low-tech aid similar to the Shoot Natural Glove that, with enough use, seems like it can breed positive habits. Since the product was conceived at a fitness seminar, there must be some truth to the claim, although more analysis use would be necessary to see if it actually works over the long run. In the meantime, one Alligator Arms is going for $100 with an estimated delivery date of December 2014. The campaign is looking for $10,000 to help players everywhere.


Kickoff Kaddy keeps your beer attached to your Bronco

Football is a fall favorite for many. People not only enjoy the games, but love tailgating as well. The Kickoff Kaddy can make the experience easier and more enjoyable. This magnetic drink holder takes your beer, coffee, soda, or whatever and holds it for you so that you can enjoy a game of catch or a plate of barbecue. The holder uses a magnet and attaches to any nearby metal surface, such as a car, pole or grill. Kickoff Kaddy is designed to hold drinks of many different sizes.

One will cost tailgating backers $12 with estimated delivery in February 2015. Kickoff Kaddy hopes to raise $15,000 on Kickstarter. While this product may prove to be useful for tailgaters, its convenience may stretch beyond this one type of event. However, some may opt to just put their drink on the roof of their cars instead of sticking it to the side.


Live Lids caps off your game with a screen to display logos

The Premise. Over the last 100 years, the baseball cap has become an icon. From its humble origins on the diamond to its current place in almost every facet of popular culture, its countless iterations have proven its staying power. Unlike most other classics that eventually adapt to a new era, there aren’t very many examples of a hi-tech baseball cap.

The Product. Live Lids is swinging for a home run with its modern take on the classic cap. Its version flaunts an embedded 2.8 inch LCD screen on the front panel. Although the screen can display any image, the company is banking on the wide variety of athletes and team logos available thanks to deals struck with the MLB, the NBA, and the NFL. These images can be downloaded online from Live Lids’ own Web site for a reasonable 69 cents each and synced to the cap the using CapSync software. The hat holds up to 100 images which can be displayed one at a time or as a slideshow for up to 11 hours on a full charge.

The underside of the brim looks more like the sides of an MP3 player, including a microUSB port for transferring and charging duties sit opposite controls to turn the product on or off, move to the next image, toggle hat modes, or explore files.

The Pitch. Live Lids’ campaign page is chock full of information, high quality photos modeling some of the many cap combinations, and a few videos. Understandably, the videos are all about the fashion appeal and show off the product’s LCD screen in all its slideshow glory. Live Lids is seeking an influx of $50,000 from the Kickstarter community to begin mass production.

The Perks. $75 nabs you a Live Lids cap while $99 gets you one with personalized stitching, which is at most $44 cheaper than the listed price on Live Lids’ Web site. Bigger pledges  offer you the opportunity to buy up to 10 Live Lids caps with a discount.

The Potential. Live Lids injects some modern flair into a sports staple, but perhaps not quite modern enough. Bluetooth support would allow updating the hat on the fly, which could be a great way to honor an athlete who just made a great play — that is, if you can see it. LCDs are notoriously tough to see in the kind of sunshine that ideally accompanies a baseball game. On the other hand, it could be distracting at indoor sports such as baseball and basketball.

While it’s great that Live Lids is seeking officially licensed logos and other graphics, community-generated content could also be fun to display. The product embodies some good ideas, but needs better connectivity and display technology.


Throw Glow could turn your next touchdown dance into a rave

Throw GlowWho wants to play some football? Unless you’re on an organized team in a league, you may not have the privilege of battling for the gridiron on a lit-up field. Throw Glow seeks to make your nighttime pigskin escapades more enjoyable via an iridescent condom that envelops nearly all of the football. A side benefit, according to the humor-attempting video, is that the surface is supposed to make the spheroid easier to grip. Throw Glow covers take about 30 seconds to stretch over the ball and inventor Chris Pike has designs on attracting licensed graphics to adorn the covers. If you’re ready to toss out about $12 to the campaign, your football may be ready to rule the night by April 2014.