Now I’ve seen everything. In this day and age, it’s hard to find a hobby that doesn’t have a world championship. There’s world championship yo-yo, rubix cube, truck pulling, beatboxing, air guitar, and even bartending. I wouldn’t even bet against entering a golden age of world t-shirt-wearing competitions after this guy made it totally famous. So was I surprised a few weeks ago when I saw the above clip of the little girl breaking the world-cup-stacking record? A little bit. Only that there was such a thing as cup-stacking to begin with. I do however think it’s hi-larious how serious the comments that go along with it, from the cup-stacking peanut gallery, are.
As surprised as I was that there was such a thing as world cup-stacking competitions, I was completely baffled today when I passed by what I assume was Nickelodeon, and caught the last fifteen seconds of a commercial for SPEED STACKS!, the fast-paced game of placing cups into pyramids and then collapsing them!!! Excitement for the whole family!!
Now if all of you cup-stacking enthusiasts are reading this, I’m not trying to disparage your hobby of choice; after all, I spent a good five hours of my life writing a review of a show about a Dinosaur Island Wildlife Preserve. Here’s my complaint… how is anyone supposed to take this seriously? First the company makes the cups bright neon colors, then they make a commercial only slightly less outrageous than the old “Crossfire” ad. I can’t say that I haven’t seen lamer products being sold on Nick though; after all, they were the sole reason why shoes with lights in the heels were so popular….. and there’s also Gak.
But do adults do this cup-stacking thing? Because it really seems like everywhere I’ve seen it, it’s entirely for kids, which doesn’t bode well for thoughts of taking it seriously whatsoever…. well that and the fact that they’re spending their hours putting cups in a pyramid and collapsing them to beat the clock.
The kit you can buy online comes with everything you could need: cups, a mat with just the right grip, a how-to DVD, and a mesh carrying case for whenever you want to lug your neon cups around town and show them off. Again, are we in 1991?
I do have to say this though: in an age where hyperkinetic video games and cartoons give children the need to have instant gratification and hyperactive behavior, does cup stacking “stack up” against the alternatives? Maybe if they spelled it “Speed Stax” with an X. I really don’t know why they didn’t, with a commercial as crazy as that one.
The concept of Speed Stacks gets a generous two stars for doing its part to bring kids into the “exciting” world of cup stacking, and for taking a risk at banking on a trend that really has yet to gain any sort of steam. Minus three stars for the lame neon colors; the fact that cup stacking probably gets really boring after you realize you’re just doing the same thing over and over again, and that you’re not good at it; and for the fact that something advertized as being extreme isn’t spelled with an “X” when it obviously should be.