My name is Joshua Jacobs, and since 2016 I've been performing and teaching spring manipulation as Slinky Josh.
When I first got into spring manipulation, I was frustrated at the ridiculously wide variety of "coil springs" available on sites like Amazon and AliExpress, with no way to tell which of them would be good for manipulation.
So I bought all of them.
Okay, maybe not ALL of them, but a lot. As many different ones as I could find.
Some seemed too rigid, some seemed too flimsy, some were too big, and some were too small.
Sometimes the pictures didn't accurately represent what came in the mail.
Sometimes you didn't get to choose what color you received.
In general, the companies selling them gave off the impression that they were about as passionate about slinkies as a midnight clerk at 7-Eleven is passionate about giving you $5 on pump 2.
So in 2017, I started what would become known in 2021 as HyperSpring™ with the mission of being the world's most reliable supplier of toy springs chosen specifically for manipulation.
My highest values are honesty, transparency, and reliability.
I strive to give you as much information about each spring, and the art of spring manipulation itself, so that you can make an informed decision about where to buy. If you have any questions, my team is just an email away.
It's my dream to spread the joy of spring manipulation to everyone around the globe.
I dream of a world where every child has access to a simple coiled piece of plastic that can provide endless hours of screen-free play, exercise, and creative expression.
I dream of a world where spring manipulation is as well-known and common as juggling, hula hooping, or cute girls that sing and play the ukulele.
Okay, maybe not that common.
Each purchase you make helps me grow my business and gets me one step closer to achieving that goal.
One of the questions I'm most often asked is, "How did you get into slinky-ing?"
In January of 2015, I was working a dead-end pizza delivery job while improving my skills as a flow artist.
At the time, my flow prop of choice was leviwand (also known as levitation wand or flow wand), an illusion-based flow prop that I had discovered a couple years earlier. When used skillfully, it looks like it's magically levitating.
I loved how unique it was, and I loved seeing people's confused and amazed reactions when they witnessed it for the first time.
At the time, leviwand was a relatively unknown flow prop, and I had a secret goal of becoming one of the best in the world at it.
Then one day, I was innocently scrolling through Facebook when I stumbled upon a viral video of "Slinky Master" Wu Wuqiang (吴武强) performing these mesmerizing manipulations while selling toy springs at his humble night market stall in China:
Like everyone who watched that video, I had never seen anything like it before in my life.
It was psychedelic, it was magical, it seemed to defy the laws of physics. I briefly questioned if what I was seeing might be the work of some clever CGI artist.
I experienced a blissful moment of bafflement and childlike wonder as my brain struggled to integrate this new information - things can move like that - into my conception of existence.
For our first few years on Earth, we experience this state of wonder almost constantly, since everything we encounter is new to us.
As we age, we experience this feeling less and less often, which makes these moments of wonder all the more precious.
Like leviwand, what Wu Wuqiang was doing (which I would later coin slinky manipulation, or spring manipulation) had the power to induce this feeling of wonder in almost anyone who saw it.
Unlike leviwand, there was no community built around it yet. I couldn't find a single other video on the internet of anyone using a slinky like that.
I suddenly realized that I had a much better shot at becoming one of the best in the world at slinky than at leviwand - as far as I knew, this dude was my only competition!
I had to figure out how to do it.
I quickly went on Amazon and paid $15 for the spring that looked most similar to the one being used in that video.
When it came in the mail, I eagerly opened it, played with it for a few minutes... and then set it on my shelf and forgot about it.
It seemed too rigid, and I couldn't figure out how to even begin to make it move like the one in the video.
In June of 2015, I was strolling through the local grocery store when I had a thought to check the toy section. Lo and behold, they had a spring of very different proportions to the one I had purchased on Amazon, so I bought it. It seemed more floppy and flexy.
A few days later, I left for Sonic Bloom, Colorado's big electronic music camping festival. I brought the new spring with me.
On Saturday night of the festival, I started playing with it. I had a whole night ahead of me with nothing to do but enjoy myself and dance, so I took it with me and wore it as a bracelet.
I stayed up all night dancing, exploring the festival, and playing with the slinky. By 6 AM, I had a very tenuous grasp on the tricks I now refer to as the Hand-to-Hand Transfer and the Escalator.
But that was enough.
I now had proof that I could figure out the spring's magic if I just practiced enough.
I started wearing it everywhere I went, and practicing every minute I could.
I was working in a cannabis dispensary at the time (yes, selling legal weed was mostly as fun as you would imagine), and we had a lot of down time where I could "slink off". This was where I got most of my practice in the early days. Customers loved it, and luckily my boss tolerated it. (Thanks Carlyssa!)
Slinking off on the job, 2016.
In 2016 I launched my YouTube channel and started uploading slinky manipulation tutorials, the first of their kind in any language other than Chinese.
A lot has happened since then.
In 2017, I taught my first slinky manipulation workshop, at a local Burning Man event in Denver. I've since taught Slinky Manipulation 101 to thousands of people of all ages, from toddlers to people as old as my grandparents.
Slinky Manipulation 101 at PlayThink 2019
As I started teaching more, people would often ask me, "Where can I buy the slinky you're using?"
I figured I might as well start selling them myself, and so, Slinky Josh's Magic Springs (now HyperSpring Toys) was born that same year!
Later in 2017, I had my first TV appearance. I was a contestant on a short-lived MTV talent show called Amazingness, hosted by Rob Dyrdek.
In 2018, I was a contestant on Season 2 of ABC's The Gong Show.
Later that same year, I was flown to Germany to be a contestant on Das Supertalent (Germany's Got Talent). Although I wasn't selected to come back for the finals, I received yeses from all three judges!
In 2019, I was a guest on The Late Late Show With James Corden.
In 2021, I was featured on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
Later that same year, I was featured on America's Got Talent (though unfortunately about 85% of my performance didn't make it to air).
I'm not saying these things to brag - I'm saying this to make you realize that spring manipulation is a gold mine of opportunity for performers.
Even now, in 2024, spring manipulation itself is only about 15 years old. (It can't even watch an R rated movie yet!) Most people in the world still have no idea it exists, and most of the possible moves have probably still yet to be discovered.
And spring manipulation isn't some gimmick that is only cool the first time you see it, either. It's an intricate art form with a practically unlimited number of possible moves. Each performer has the opportunity to create their own unique style.
If you want to be a star, if you want to master a totally unique art form that you can take with you anywhere and mesmerize anyone with, learn spring manipulation.
Maybe it will become your career, like it has for me.
Maybe you'll perform on TV in front of millions of people.
If you want to learn spring manipulation without having to go through years of trial and error like I did, then pick up my Fundamentals of HyperSpring™ Video Course, which is guaranteed to teach you the basics as quickly and easily as possible!
Going forward, my mission is to spread the joy of spring manipulation to people all around the globe, and to be the #1 source for toy springs in the Western world!
I'll be adding different springs and video courses as time goes on, so be sure to subscribe to my email list to stay updated!
I want to see what YOU can do - join the Slinky Manipulation subreddit and the Facebook group "Slinky Manipulators of Planet Earth" to post videos of your flow, ask questions, and connect with other slinky manipulators around the globe!
Thanks for reading,
"Slinky Josh" Jacobs
Founder, HyperSpring Toys