Hard to believe it's only been three years since the public launch of our beloved Titan begleri. Although Aroundsquare is more than 10 years old as a company, it is this product, more than any other, that kicked our company up to the next level. Here's a bit of their origin story, penned a while back for an interview... picking up after the Wukong begleri design, and the Little Bosses which preceded them:
.. After playing the Wukong prototypes a lot, I continued to want something heavier, and something easier to grip. Technical begleri play was still in its early development at the time, and the idea of bead control was becoming more necessary as top players were pushing the limits with what we thought were crazy tricks like gap transfers. I originally wanted something similar to the Wukongs, but with a flat band around the middle to help with grip. I went through many rounds of prototypes, and eventually arrived at the final design, with a cylindrical body for control, round tops for smoothness, and rounded bottoms to minimize bite and maximize nimbleness for the size. These days there are tons of beads around with similar shapes.. it's probably the most common basic form outside of the standard issue Greek style beads, but back when I first started posting with my prototypes in May 2016, I don't think there was anything like it around. Part of me wanted to keep the design totally secret the way I did for the Everyman begleri launch, but I was too hyped on them and couldn't help myself from posting low key teasers (which has, due to lack of self control, become a kind of ao2 tradition).
Once I settled on the final design, I intentionally went straight to titanium with the Titans, and kept the weight heavy, because I was seeing good interest from the EDC community, and I wanted to make damn sure that as begleri gained popularity, it wasn't trivialized as a kids toy. I wanted to make sure that anyone picking up a set of the original Titans felt like they were holding something quality that could take a hell of a beating, and give as good as it gets. This turned out to be prudent because, unbeknownst to me at the time, there was already a light-up rubber ball version of begleri in the works elsewhere for mass market consumption. That toy has come and gone, but anyone who picked up a set of Titans three years ago can attest that they can still hold their own. I believe those OG Titans helped a lot to maintain the legitimacy of begleri in the EDC community throughout that period. While player preferences for weight have come down over time, I still see the Titans as the begleri design I'm most proud of, because it was exactly what it needed to be at the time.