26 October 2016

The "Mattaligner" Console Switch Retainer and Protector

The Mattaligner, available from PJ Grady
Last Spring, Rob Grady, of PJ Grady, introduced the "Mattaligner" to the DeLorean Community.  This Console Switch Retainer and Protector was named after the original designer, Matt (I was unable to find his full name).   What does it do?  From the product description, via pjgrady.com:

The Mattaligner improves console switch appearance and function in three ways:
1 – Retains switches more securely and precisely.
2 – The thicker bottom plate improves fit and retention of taller after market window switches.
3 – The thinner padded sidebar prevents accidental switch operation while keeping switches accessible.
I have an obsession of getting my console switches to line up, so obviously, I was interested in this.  Unfortunately, the Mattaligner did not go on sale until late 2015.  By that time my car was in the shop for most of 2016.

Well, the car is back and running, so I ordered one.  Installation was a breeze.  I did it in about ten minutes, which means a four year old can do it in under five.  In my defense, there were no instructions, but you really do not need them.  Anyway, I am about to show you how I installed mine...which can be your instructions.

Pre-install, wonky alignment of switches
First step, take a photo of how wonky your switches are before installation.  It will be fun (and tragic) to look back at this moment...much like your Junior High School photos showing you how jacked up your teeth were before you suffered through half your High School years in braces.

Pop out the switches, like a dentist/orthodontist pulling your teeth to prep for your braces.  If the teeth...uh, switches...are hard to pull out, try removing the ash try and pushing the switches from behind.  You will also need to disconnect the switches from their plugs.

Normally, I would tell you to mark and remember where the switches were.  But come on, there are only five switches.  Two are dummy switches, two are (the same) window switch, and one is for the rear defrost that you never use.  Heck, I do not think anyone has ever used the rear window defrost...the engine (heat) is right there.

Removal of switches and test fitting
The Mattaligner was designed to fit all versions of switches.  Whether you have original or DMCH reproduction switches, it should fit.  But, I seem to have a rear defrost switch from DMCH that need to be filed down to fit.  I do have current DMC reproduction window switches and they pop in just fine.  Not sure which version of the dummy switched I have, but they fit fine.

Drill bit and self tapping screws
After making sure your switches fit in the holes, the plate needs to be secured to the center console.  Luckily, it the plate is pre-drilled and countersunk and comes with self tapping screws...and it comes with a drill bit.

Kicking it old school with a hand powered drill
I mentioned that it took me about ten minutes to install this.  Well, it it because the batteries on my power still were totally drained.  So, I had to use my hand powered drill like the one pictured above. You only need to drill through a thin sheet of metal (brass?) that is below the vinyl.  This thin and flexible sheet of metal might be part of the cause of wonkily aligned switches.

Almost done.
When placed, the two dummy switches will hide the screw tops.

Black and grey armrest pads
Included in the kit are two armrest pads to match your interior colour.  Or, you can be a real rebel and not match your interior colour.  Some of you have two tone interiors...you are already a rebel.  The pad slips on and prevents your elbow from accidentally tripping the switches.  It also protects your arms from being gouged by the exposed sharp steel corners...I recommend slipping those on.

Ah, look how beautiful that looks.
There you go.  Done.  My teeth are finally straight

I went for the stainless steel finish (111177GS) as I wanted to 'bring' some stainless into the interior...plus, it was the cheaper option. The Mattaligner is also available in black oxide stainless finish (111177GB) for a little more than the naked version..

The thicker gauge steel (2.3mm) allows the switches to sit straight and aligned.  I noticed that my switches were sticking, pre-install, due to the switch rubbing against the sidewalls of the trench.  Because of the thin metal (default base) the base of the switches are allowed to shift and move whether through settling or operation.  With the Mattaligner in place, bases do not move and switches are free to click on and off.

I would highly recommend the Mattaligner for any DeLorean owner experiencing console switch issues.  This plate solves everything non-electrical with your switches.  You can get these exclusively at pjgrady.com

21 October 2016

Making Use of A Broken One-Piece Hockey Stick

When presenting something, I was told to never open with an apology and/or disclaimer.  So instead, I preceded my apology with these few sentences.  Now, that I have padded my opening statement...apologies for not taking photos during this process.

First hockey stick, broken.
Okay, hockey sticks.  When I started playing hockey, it was around the birth of the aluminum sticks. My first stick was a wood stick, a Titan TSM 99 I got at Canadian Tire at Danforth and Main, in Toronto, back in August 1991.  I kept this stick for many years and it eventually broke after 24 years.

Like others at the time, I graduated to fiberglass and/or carbon reinforced sticks.  Eventually, I got that coveted aluminum stick, then carbon fiber shafts.  It helped that I worked at an ice rink at the time.

For a long time, I stuck with two-piece hockey sticks.  I recall the introduction of the one-piece carbon fibre sticks.  It was made by Sher-Wood.  While Easton was the innovator for aluminum and carbon shafts, it was Sher-Wood, with the Carbon 2000 that came to the market first...at least in my area.  For those keeping track, the first tapered stick and blade combo was Easton's T-Flex line.  My first one-piece was the Easton Synergy, first generation.

Anyway, I should get to the point of this post.

I had a one-piece stick break on me.  Luckily, the blade broke so the shaft is still good.  Normally, I would chop off the blade and stick a standard blade in the other end and call it a day.  But I had always wanted to try a tapered stick and blade.  Also, most sticks now are engineered with flex points toward the bottom of the stick, low kick point.   So, putting a blade in the top of the shaft, changes the flex.  In reality, I am probably not good enough to notice a difference in flex point locations.

One day, I found some tapered replacement blades for sale.  They were five dollars each.  Yeah, five dollars.  How could I pass this up?  I bought two.

Five dollar replacement blades.
The differences between a standard and tapered blade:  The standard replacement blade fits in a standard shaft, or the top of a tapered shaft.  The tapered replacement blade has a narrower hosel which fits into a tapered shaft.  Also, the distance from heel to tenon shoulder is shorter on the tapered blades.

Standard vs Tapered replacement blades
Where was I?  Oh, so I have this shaft from a one-piece, with a slight tapered.  If I cut the bottom at the area, I will essentially have a tapered hockey shaft.  What?  Yeah, baby!

This is where some math kicks in.  If you want to do this, you will need some calipers.  First measure the width of the tenon at the base, where there is no glue.  You want the bare tenon.  This measurement should be about 0.525" (13.335mm).

Width of the tenon
Now, measure the thickness of the shaft wall of your broken hockey stick, which should be about 0.095" (2.413mm).  Since you have two walls (left and right), double this number:  0.190" (4.823mm).

Add this to the width of the blade tenon, and you should have 0.715" (18.161mm).   This is the 'magic number'.  Take your calipers and set it to this number.  Now slide your caliper up, from the blade, and where it stops...that is where you make your mark and cut.  It is that simple...sort of.

Width of shaft.
I should throw in a disclaimer here.  This should work with most sticks with a rectangular cross section.  For example, this will not work with the Stealth RS, which has an elliptical cross section.  I am using an Easton ST.

Knowing how your stick was made will help.  Most one-piece sticks are actually made in two (or more) pieces...like traditional, wood sticks.  Blades are made separately, then attached. I know that most Easton one-piece sticks are made like their two-piece sticks.  They make a shaft and a blade with tenon and glue it into the shaft.  Running your hand along the bottom of the stick, you can sometimes feel where the joint is, there will be a slight surface change.  If you have a well used stick, sometimes you can see a hairline crack at the seam where the blade and shaft meet.

I believe CCM attach their blades butt up against the shaft, then wrap with carbon.   Either way, cutting the shaft at about 0.715" width should work.

Because of the mortise and tenon construction of my stick, when I cut the shaft, there was left over tenon from the blade blocking the hole.  I had to clean this by drilling out the foam and carbon.  I suggest you wear a mask and use a well ventilated facility when doing this.

Stolen image of cut one-piece

You will see where the tenon ends, that is how far you will need to grind down.  A handheld rotary tool would be very useful for this task.  Again, apologies for the lack of photos.  I stole the photo above from the internet.  You can see that there are two walls, outer and inner.

Basically, you will be cleaning out the left over tenon (inner wall), making sure you do not over grind (outer wall).

Cleaned up tapered end of one-piece stick.

Pro tip:  Use calipers to double check the width of the opening.  Might be a good idea to mark the wall thickness and use as a guide. Small rounded files are good for the corners.

After a few minutes, you should have a clean opening for your tapered replacement blade.

Bam!  You just recycled your hockey stick into a...hockey stick.

Butt plug
Oh, I also needed a butt extender.  In cutting of the original blade and adding a (I assume) shorter replacement blade, I guess I lost a few inches from the stick.  So, I need to make a new butt plug.  Off to the mill.  This was relatively simple, just took some measurements...which are the same dimensions as a standard replacement blade...got a hunk of wood and started cutting and milling.

Always double checking with the opening at the end of the stick.  I finished it off by rounding the corners to match the profile of the shaft.

Near perfect fit
Pop the blade on, shove the butt plug in, and we are good to go.

Like a glove
Time to try it out.  I will either use this as a back up game stick or I will keep it in my office and use as a stick handling training stick.

07 October 2016

WRENCHit - Kickstarter

WRENCHit - Turing Smart
Another great idea, another great product from mininch.  This is the third product from mininch and I am proud to have back this via their Kickstarter campaign.  The campaign was backed by over 2200 backers and pledged over $150,000, well exceed their goal of $10,000.  In the past three years, I have backed their Tool Pen, Tool Pen Mini, and now their WRECHit.

Their campaign was launched earlier this year in March.  Since I was a previous backer, I was on their mailing list and received information prior to launch.  I was immediately sold on the thought of having a wrench with a 'Pop-A-Point' system.  The feeling was same with many other as it reached its goal five times over within 24 hours.

Outer box
I ordered the full set and just received the set.

Awesome packaging
The full set includes the main body, which holds five wrench bits, and an additional five bits to interchange.  All beautifully packed in mininch's standard box.  Also included is a pouch for the main body and the five bits.

Bits included in the full set of 10 wrenches:
  • 6mm (with 3.2mm, 3.4mm, 3,5mm spoke wrenches)
  • 7mm
  • 8mm
  • 9mm
  • 10mm
  • 11mm
  • 12mm
  • 13mm
  • Wing Nut (with Shimano® 4.3mm, 4.4mm spoke wrenches)
  • Bottle Opener
  • Main body
  • Pouch
The 'Pop-A-Point' system is a little different on the WRENCHit.  Most other have you loading bits from the rear, allowing you to apply vertical force on the tool, like a screwdriver.  If a bit you need is not in the chamber, you will need to load from back and continue to shift until the desired bit is positioned.

On the WRENCHit, you push the bits in and load from the front.  This allows pull and torque force to be applied.   If a bit needed is not in the chamber, you can just load to the front.  Otherwise, a chambered bit will need to be shifted until it is free and can be loaded to the front.

Bits and bits
Of course it has a bottle opener, it would not be a Kickstarter campaign without a bottle opener...even though most bottles now have twist caps.

If you have noticed, some of the wrenches are designed specifically for bicycle repair and maintenance.  A full wrench set that can fit either in your seat bag or jersey pocket.  This is a great tool to bring along on rides.

I hope to get good use of this along with the other two tools in the mininch trilogy.  Speaking of trilogy, this is the opening statement of their Kickstarter campaign:

Many great movie trilogies had ever brought happiness to our lives (The Lord of the Rings, The Godfather, Back to the Future, The Matrix…). Thanks to these unforgettable films, we think it would be a good idea to make our Tool Pen series an excellent trilogy as well. No more screwdrivers, but there’s another utility tool to make your collection complete – WRENCHit!
Ha!  They mentioned Back to the Future.

If you want this or any of their tool sets, visit their website at mininch.com

04 October 2016


October is an exciting month, Halloween decorations go up, weather ans colours change.  We accept strangers knocking on our doors, asking for tricks or treats.  In fact, we prepare for it.  But that is one time a year.

Imagine having a stranger behind a mask invading your privacy every day of the year, at random times.  Not only scary, but just plan annoying.

4 October 2016
  626-461-9199  Arcadia, CA - Well, what do you know.  This is a return caller.  I did a search for this on the o'Google and it showed that I had checked this number before.  For those keeping track, that was only two weeks ago.  Fuck you!

7 October 2016
   310-849-5586  United States - By the way, this number is listed in Santa Monica.  This could be just a wrong umber or it could be your typical telemarketer call that has been routed through this number.  Either way, fuck you!

11 October 2016
   310-849-8112  United States - Another "United States" number.  A little search shows that this is a number to a bakery in North Hollywood.  Why the fuck would a bakery in North Hollywood...or any bakery in the United States need to call me.  Sure, I make a mean macaroon, but I doubt anyone would call me about it.  So, this could be another wrong number call...or, more likely, another routed number.  Something tells me that having  the "United States" as the origin instead of City, State makes this a routed call.  Fuck you!

  714-551-5505  Orange, CA - Okay, this is from a real city.  But, did a quick search...and this number is and has been connected to making unwanted/telemarketing calls.  Fuck you!

13 October 2016
  Unknown - You know my policy.  If I do not know the number, I am not picking up.  Hey, thanks for telling me that this is an 'unknown' number.  Fuck you!

14 October 2016
  310-882-7744  Los Angeles, CA - First result in a search for this number:

Flagged as telemarketer...well, fuck you!

19 October 2016
  330-559-7954  United States - Another one of those calls from 'United States'.  According to others who have received calls from this number, this is part of a credit card scam.  Shocking.  So pretty much when the 'United States' calls, just do not pick up.  This is country is fucked...fuck you, anyway!

25 October 2016
  805-267-5949  Thousand Oaks, CA - This looks like a legit number, from a legit city.  Nothing showed up on a quick search.  It is possible this is a wrong number...or most likely...a routed number.  Just to be safe...fuck you!

  310-849-3685  United States - Well based on location, I am not even going to bother doing a search to see if this is legit.  Pretty legit telemarketer, thanks for making it easy for me.  Maybe change the location to 'Telemarketerville".  Fuck you!

26 October 2016
  619-324-4724  Alpine, CA - Confirmed telemarketing call/number.  Typical scam regarding your electrical bill.  I can see how this can entice other to bite, but my utility bills are pretty cheap to begin with.  Maybe I should pick up the next time they all and see if I can offer them an alternative.  Telemarket a telemarketer, that would be awesome.  Fuck you!

02 September 2016

FUCK YOU, STOP CALLING ME - September 2016

Ah, new month.  Summer is winding down, school has started, new TV seasons and new series are starting, telemarketers are still calling.

2 September 2016
   213-514-5674  Los Angeles, CA - Ah, something else that is new...new number.  I guess their contract was up with the old numbers, so they registered new ones to try and fool us into picking up the calls.  Nice try, bitch!  Well, I am a little disappointed that there was no call yesterday, on the first of the month.  I guess they need to get at least one call before the holiday weekend.  I wonder if they are going to call during the three day weekend.  Stay tuned.  Oh, almost forgot...fuck you!

7 September 2016
  310-651-6458  Beverly Hills, CA - I did a quick search to confirm, and there were only a few complaints and they only started this weekend up to today.  So, we have a new number.  Feel free to block this number or report it...neither will do any good as blocking this number means they will call from another number...and reporting it does jack shit.  Fuck you!

Pimiento in olive
8 September 2016
  786-205-7819  Palmetto Bay, FL - Palmetto? Pimiento?  Wait, I am burring the lead.  Finally, an out of state call since July...and what do you know, that out of state call was also from Florida.  Apparently, telemarketers have the luxury to have offices in sunny California and sunny Florida.  Where the fuck are they getting this money from?  These guys are sitting by the beach, calling people up with scams, whist sipping on a martini with a pimiento in olive.  Fuck you!

   786-205-7819  Palmetto Bay, FL - What, two calls already? Could we possibly have three calls from the same number in one day?  We have plenty of time.  For the record, I posted the photo of the three olives before during the first post.  Fuck you, but try to go for three.

   786-205-7819  Palmetto Bay, FL - Well, we have three.  Three calls in just over three hours.  Maybe I will need to update that olive photo.  I should mention that a message was left...surprise, it is a bot recording.  Fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you!

Three calls in three hours.

  310-651-6458  Beverly Hills, CA - Fourth call of the day, but not from the Palmetto Bay number...ah, but this is from a return caller.  Good old Beverly Hills number from yesterday.  Fuck the lot of you.

9 September 2016
  310-873-6486  Los Angeles, CA - Fresh number.  According to a quick search, this number premiered today.  There has already been a handful of calls reported since early this morning.  New number, same shit.  Fuck you!

10 September 2016
  310-651-6458  Beverly Hills, CA - Another Saturday call.  Same 'new' number from three days ago.  That Florida number must have been some sort of glitch...they probably forgot to route the call through their California server...good to see they are doing it properly, now. Fuck you! 

15 September 2016
  402-617-4642  Lincoln, NE - A bot from out of state.  How do I know?  Well...Nebraska is out of state.  Oh, the 'bot' part.  They left an automated message.  You would think that they would at least have a human record the messages so it sounds more legit.  Instead, we get Stephen Hawking impersonating a female.  Fuck you for using Stephen Hawking to try to sell me shit.  [robot voice] Fuck you! [/robot voice]

  402-617-4642  United States - Second call.  Someone programmed the bot to hit re-harass on the dial.  I am a bit curious as to why their location changed from "Lincoln, NE" to "United States".  It is the same fucking number from a three hours ago.  Holy shit, I got a call from "United States", it must be important.  If they call back three hours later, will the location be "Earth"?  Fuck you!

16 September 2016
  205-456-9823  United States -  So, is this the new trend?  Telemarketers are 'disguising' their locations, now?  What the fuck?  It does not matter where you are calling from...I am not going to pick up if I do not recognize the number, you fucking idiots.

Some calls from September 2016

By the way, the 205 area code is from the Birmingham, Alabama area. How do I know that?  I did a search.  How do I know that is a telemarketer number...other than meticulously studying the search results?  They left a message...and it was the same chick from yesterday's number.  I totally recognized her voice.  Fuck you!

 310-873-6487  Los Angeles, CA - Take a look at the entry on 10 September, just a week ago. Heck, you can see the 'missed call', more like ignored call, in the screen shot above. The number is just one digit off.  See, even if I had blocked last weeks number, they just use another line to harass me.  This is what we have to deal with when it comes to these terrorists.  Fuck you!

Early morning call
19 September 2016
  213-280-7682  Los Angeles, CA - An early morning call at 7:39 on a Monday morning.  Who the hell in LA wakes up that early to go to work?  Bots, that is who.  They left a automated message, same robo-voice as before.  You would think that they would switch it up a little and use local accents in their bots.  Imagine getting a call from Alabama (like I did the other day) and hearing a bot with a Southern accent.  Take today, how about a bot with an annoying valley girl accent?  You are already annoying me, why not take it a step further?  Get it together, already.  Fuck you!

22 September 2016
  269-838-1932  United States - Hey, first day of Fall or Autumn, depending on what your social class is.  It seems that some calls outside the local area are generating 'United States' as the location.  Obviously, I did a search and found that this number originated from Kentwood, MI.  Here is something interesting.

That was first result from my search.  The call seems to originate from a funeral home in Michigan.  This could be a legit wrong number.  But, no message was left.  If it was a wrong number, I think they would have left a message about the body.  I mean, a call from a funeral home seems kinda important enough to leave a message.  Well, okay.  It could still be a wrong number.  I guess no message from a funeral home is better than a 'hey boss, what should we do with the body?' message.

So, I am going to say this was another routed call, and those damn telemarketers are exploiting mourners at their time of grievance.  Shame one you, telemarketers...and fuck you, too!

  949-332-1106 - San Juan Capistrano, CA - I have heard that San Juan Capistrano was a nice area.  Well apparently not anymoew.  Looks like your property value just went to shit, because you have a fucking telemarketer in the area.  This is almost as bad as knowing you have sex offenders living in your neighbourhood.  Yes, I am comparing rapist with telemarketers.  We get violated by telemarketers every day.  Fuck you!

  626-461-9199  Arcadia, CA - Third call of the day, all from different numbers. It seems that they are getting closer to my location.  See?  I was not off when comparing telemarketers to sex offenders.  They are among us, they could be your neighbour.  Fuck you!

So many calls
23 September 2016
  310-910-4062 Inglewood, CA - Quite a few calls this month.  I cannot remember the last time my number has been so popular with the telemarketers.  I am beginning to think that someone wrote "For a good time call..." on the toilet stalls at the telemarketers convention.  Fuck you!

29 September 2016
  bjecdfb4x@wngbaoqiang.bid - What the fuck is this shit?

Texting scam
Everything about this text radiates bullshit.  Randomly generated username, who the fuck uses a username like that?  It does not even mean anything.  Domain name could be legit, but fuck you.  Oh, I jumped the gun there.  Where was I?  Nine dollar sunglasses?  Yeah, prepared to have your retinas burnt.  "Official Oakley", you say?  I highly doubt these are 'official' anything...except official crap.  I did not bother clicking on the site, pretty sure it is infected with Zika.  And, what is with the Apple ID?  Fuck this, and fuck you!

25 August 2016

Nike Air MAG vs V3 Knockoffs

If you have not heard, there is a new pair or Nike Air MAG knockoffs on the market.  These are known as 'V3' to the cool kids.  I did a review on the V2 a while back...perhaps you have read it. I hesitated on purchasing a pair and doing another review, it is a lot of work and I am kinda lazy.  It is like writing a ten page paper.  But, someone requested that I do a comparison of the two...so, basically on a dare, like calling me 'chicken', I dropped the $600 and got a pair...and here we are again. It is fun to see how well bootleggers can copy something, and I like pointing out the flaws.

As with my previous comparisons, I will go through what to look for to spot the knockoff.  I am sure there will be those out there that will try to pass these off as authentic Nike Air MAGs.  Side note, a few years ago, I caught someone using my photos of my real MAGs in their auction.  Screw that!  I know that fool did not have the real deal and he used my photos without permission or gave credit.  I reported the listing and it was removed.  I thought about watermarking my images, but figure it is best to share these images without any obstructions.  So be careful if you are looking to purchase these shoes and know what you are getting.  Oh, if you need/want to steal/borrow my images, I cannot stop you, but please credit your source.  Like I said, this post takes a lot of time to write, edit, proofread, examine the shoes, shoot photos, etc....and you are getting it for free, and I spent $600 for your enjoyment.

Enough babbling, let us get started.  Remember, as always, that the authentic Nike will always be on the left side of the image and the V3's will be on the right.


Nike Aid MAG boxes
Nike:  The Nike's came in a well protected shipper...well, multiple shippers...so the box is very clean.  There is a subtle texture on the box that is hard to see in photos.

V3:  The V3 came in a standard shipper box, so any mishandling of the package resulted in dings and dents that translated onto the final box.  The walls of the box while a little weaker than Nike's, are still very strong.

The texture is not as noticeable on the V3 box, but it is there.  They even matched the colour almost perfectly.  Although, the wrapping of the yellow paper is not as perfect as Nike's.  You have to look for the minute details.  If you can inspect in person, you can tell right away, but through photos, it is very difficult.  They also weigh about the same.

Close up of MAG logos
Nike:  Of course, the label on the authentics are crisp.  You can clearly see the signatures of  Nike Designers Tiffany A Beers and Tinker Hatfield.  Lines are thin and the label is perfectly centered in a crisp recess on the box.

V3:  While the recess for the label is there, it is not as crisp and the label is slightly off-centered. The recesses is a little smaller than the label...or, the label is larger than the recess.  Note the uniform border on the Nike label versus how my V3 label sits a little lower in the recess.  This causes the corners to curl up a bit on the V3 label.

Looking at the logo, the upper yellow triangle is too yellow, the authentics have a slight orange to it.  Comparing the stylized nuclear logo, you can see the line weight is thicker on the V3.  The signatures of the designers are fuzzier on the V3, as if they are out of focus.  This is most likely due to a low-res scan of the original.  The lines, "Prepared by", and "Approved by" are also what you might call pixelated.  Again hard to see if you have nothing to compare to.

As you may recall, I mention that my V2's were marked as a size 10. These V3's are correctly marked as size 8, but as you can see, the font used is slightly different.  the V3 '8' is more rounded, where as at the Nike '8' is more square and sits flatter, matching the existing font for 'Magnetic Anti Gravity'.   If you really want to be anal about it, the V3 '8' is slightly off centered, too.

Bottom of boxes
Nike:  The bottom of the box as some legal mumbo jumbo, various warning, and logos.  I never mention this on my other MAG comparison posts since this is not usually something of interest.  Until now.
Close up of legal on bottom of box

V3:  What?  They totally copied all the legal and logos.  Even the positioning is near perfect.  Unlike the top label the graphics on the bottom are crisp and clear.  Given a clean box, it would be hard to distinguish the authentic from the knockoff based on the bottom graphics.

Magnets on the box
Nike:  It only makes sense to have magnets on the box. MAG's, Magnetic Anti Gravity...magnets, get it?  There are four magnets on each box, two on the flap and two on front wall of the box.  While it is not a secure closure, the magnets do make a magical closure.

V3:  My V3 box is far from perfect due to mishandling during shipping.  Notice the walls on my box are slightly bent.  This means my lid does not sit properly.  Regarding the magnets under the wrap, they are not as flush as Nike's.  Although the Nike magnets do stick out a little, see image above.  The V3 magnets stick out a bit more and the wrapping is not as clean, leaving what looks like an air bubble.  This is on both sides of the box.

Also, the paper used to wrap the V3 box is a little thinner than the stock on the Nike box.  You can kinda feel the difference and see it in some areas where there is overlap.

Pack out of shoes and accessories
Nike:  The shoes are packed in foam, three layers, with the top two layers cut with the shoe's silhouette.  Bottom layer is uncut and provides protection for the shoes.  There is no foam on the lid to 'seal' the shoes in foam.  The charger is placed on the top left corner with the booklet wedged in between the foam and the back wall of the box.

V3:  Just like the Nike's, the V3's are packed in foam.  From what I can tell, this is the same type of foam in colour and density...you are my density, and the same three layers construction.  There is a booklet included, but this was placed under the left shoe (on top).  The charger is also placed on the top left, but there is an extra piece of foam to wedge in the box.  Note that the V3 charger box is a totally different size and shape as the Nike charger box.  But, we will get to the booklet and charger later on.  I should mention that the V3's came individually bubble wrapped, and the Nike's came in the box as you see in the photos.

Overall, the V3 box is a really good copy of Nike's box.  Every detail has been replicated and executed really well.  With the exception of some minor details (like the label and magnets), it would be hard tell one from the other...especially if you have a clean and undamaged box.


Outer side of Air MAGs
Nike:  Hard to tell at first, but when comparing the two side by side the authentics have a sleeker/sexier overall shape than the V3's.  I will try to break it down as best I can.

V3:  There are a few areas that are slightly different from the Nike's.  The one that stands out the most are the ribs.  On the Nike's, the ribs are very subtle.  I imagine this is very difficult to replicate as none of the knockoffs have been able to pull it off.  The ribs on the V3's look like bad case of visible panty lines.  Still, these are an improvement from the V2's. I will get into more detail soon, but the ribs stand out the most.  Also, the V3 ribs are more vertically laid, the Nike's lean far more forward, giving it more speed.

There is small dip on the outsole, between the first and second rib, that is not as defined in the V3.  This also translates to the outsole/sole curves to be slightly off.  If you look at he peaks of the rear EL panel (light up part), the Nike's are slightly back.  Note that the peak of the Nike arch is pretty center to the opening of the shoe. On the V3, this arch is slightly forward.

Front of Air MAGs
Nike:  Again, it is sexier.  You can tell there was more time spent on the construction of the shoe.  Whereas, there are some areas that look rushed on the V3.  Everything is just a little tighter and cleaner.

V3:  If you look at the quarters, other than the issue with the ribs, you can see that the Nike's sit lower and closer to the foot.  I would imagine this is a tighter fit.  I would not know, since I have yet to put these on.

Another area to notice are the laces.  Sorry, no auto lacing.  Like the Nike's, the V3's use elastic bands in place of traditional or power laces.  The V3 elastic band is much closer to Nike's than on the V2.  If you remember, the V2 elastic laces are too wide.

The V3 laces are not as straight and parallel as they should be.  Also looking at the edge of the quarters, you can see that the Nike's are parallel, while the V3's have a slight V-shape to them.  When compared side by side, the lace area of the V3 is narrower towards the front and wider towards the back.

Inner side of shoes
Nike:  If I say sexy or sleek one more time, you will probably smack me.  But really, look at the edge of the outsole.  From toe to heel, notice how the line is kinda flat and rises up fast at the front, then around the arch, and glides towards the heel. This gives the authentics a faster feel, as if it the shoe is in motion.

V3:  The outsole edge sort of just curves up around the arch and down to the heel.  Note that arc is almost constant, and does not look as fast as the Nike's.  From this side, you can also see that the volume at the throat is larger than the authentics.  The issue with the ribs is also quite noticeable on the inside.  They matched the seam that is between the second and third rib, but it is not as 'invisible' as Nike's.  I think Nike used a tighter stitch with more stitches per inch than the V3.

Heel cup inner side
Nike:  The texture of the outsole and heel cups is very pronounced on the Nike's.  As you can see, there is more of the aqua splatter, and the splatter is very fine.  The size of the splatter dots are about the same size as the small bumps of the texture pattern.  Looking at the wordmark, notice the 'Nike' and 'MAG' are very clean, not so with the V3.

V3:  While they corrected the shape of the heel cup from the V2's to better match the authentics, the issue is with the raised letters.  There are little nipples on the corners of every letter.  These nipples are there for injection molding, having a little extra reservoir allows the material to flow into corners of the letters better.  You see often see these in new tires as they want the rubber to flow into all the corners of the tread or lugs.  The V2's did not have this issue.

Nipples are present in both Achilles pads, but they are more pronounced on the V3.

Heel cup outer side
Texturing of the outsold and heel cup is not as obvious as the Nike's.  There would not be as noticeable the splattering was tighter and smaller.  At quick glance, the Nike's outsole and heel cup almost look more aqua because of the fine splatter.  The V3 did get the base grey correct, but since their splatter is minimal and too large, it does not have that 'aqua-tinted' effect.

Nike's seam along the back, while noticeable, is much cleaner and flatter than V3's.  The seam on the V3 forms a bit of a butt crack...MAG cleavage.  Also, there was traces of adhesive on the V3 along the valley where the heel cup and outsole meet.  If you look closely under the "MAG", you can see it.

Air MAG Soles
Nike:  My Nike's are starting to yellow.  Not sure why, it does not, has not seen any daylight.  Heck, they barely see any light...put the lotion in the basket.

V3:  They finally got the soles right.  In previous reviews, I have mentioned the wide flaring at the base of the soles on the authentic ones, other knockoff versions did not have this, V3 has that coveted flat tire look..  Damn it, their soles are more clear than mine.  One thing you usually cannot see in pictures...if you are trying to copy from photos...is the 'negative pyramid' tread pattern of the Nike's.  The V3's replicate this pattern very well.  Again, if it not for the splatter, it would be very difficult to tell the real ones from the fake ones just by looking at the bottom of the shoes.  Funny, you cannot tell from real from fake if looking at the bottom of the boxes, either.  They really have the bottom view...the view that no one sees...perfect.

Air MAG collar
More minute details to look for as we focus in on specific areas.

Nike:   The Nike collar (white trim) has a slim cross section, meaning that it has the same thickness as the main grey collar part.  It almost has straight sides and only rounds at the top, like an upside down U-shape.  Stitching of course is clean an precise.

The shape collar itself is one smooth transition.  This can be seen better in side view, see previous photos.  The collar starts at the instep and goes straight up, turns down, and flows down toward the Achilles with a subtle flattening towards the last fifth before it reaches the center back.

V3:  Starting at the instep, the collar goes up like it is supposed to, makes a turn down towards the Achilles, but it flattens out faster before reaching the Achilles.  This creates a slight more noticeable S-shape to the collar if looking from the side.   The valley where the white and grey meet also dips down further than the Nike's.  Again, see side view.

The V3 collar is a little puffier than Nike's.  Not as noticeable on the outside, although there is a little butt cracking happening where the white meets grey.  The puffiness is more noticeable on the inside, see image.  You can see that the cross section is more round and the stitching and construction is not as clean as Nike's.

There is also a slight variation on the triangle hole.  The front vertical edge on the Nike's leans a little more forward than the V3's.  I am really nitpicking, here.  But, the V3 holes are really clean and well made.

Air MAG inserts
Nike:  There are inserts placed in the shoes to help keep the form of the collar area.  In addition, the toe box is stuffed with your standard tissue paper...which on mine has yet to be removed.

V3:  I am amazed that they copied the shoe insert.  It is a nice to see they went that extra step include this part than no one really cares about.  The construction is very similar.  Hard to tell the difference as there are no real distinguishable marks. The only difference that stands out is Nike's have a perforated edge where the top folds down, the V3 is a straight crease. Yes, there is also tissue stuffed into the toe box.

Inside of the shoes and  label placement

Since we have the inserts removed, let us take a lookie into the shoe.

Nike:  Here is another part that people rarely see...even for myself.  The MAGs have a standard Nike label on the inner wall of the inside, left side of right foot.  Still has that new shoe smell.

V3:  They flat out copied the inner label.  Yes, even the barcode.  I wonder if they made different ones for different sizes.  These are either a very good scan or they had files of the label to reproduce from.  The V3 label is placed on the opposite side (outer wall of inside), right side of right foot.  No one is going to notice that the label is on the wrong side.  They may even have some that are on the correct side.

The V3 matched the inner fabric of the shoe.  The tongue, inside and out, is near perfect match.  Even the footbed liner fabric, texture,and colour is well matched.

Looking at the insides, it is another tough area to use a reference when trying to compare the two.

Nike Air MAG Swoosh
Nike:  A closer look at the quarters, you can see there is just a hint of ribs.  Photo above shows the texture of outsole and heel cup better.  Take a look at the Swoosh, note that it is just placed on top of the fourth rib with no recess. You can even see a faint outline of the rib underneath.

V3:  One word:  Ribs!  Anyway, there is a recess for the Swoosh.  I guess you need to sink in the Swoosh when you have a rack of baby back ribs on the side of your foot.  Although, placement is pretty much spot on.  The V3 Swoosh is slightly different from Nike's. I am no expert on the logo, but I do know that it was changed a bit throughout the years. The V3 Swoosh has a 'sharper' curve and has a thinner tail than Nike's.

Heel lights
Nike:  No power lacing, but these shoes do light up, just like the movie.  Both the Nike's and the V3's have activation buttons hidden in the outside wing of the collar.  The charging ports are in the same area, even the chargers look very similar.

Charge port location
Nike's heel lights have a more transparent cover, this allows you to see the individual LED bulbs in the heel.  The two D-shaped EL panels in the midsole light up with sharp edges due to the clear sole.

V3:  Tangent - Above is a good comparison of the texture and splatter patterns of the outsole and heel cup.  Not easy to forge a Jackson Pollock painting...not easy to forge the paint splatter on Nike Air MAGs.  Back to the heel lights, the lens (well, really silicone-like cover) is not as transparent as the Nike's.  When these light up, the light is more diffused than the Nike's

Charging port is in the same place.  I think they can even share chargers, although I would not recommend swapping chargers.

Nike:  As mentioned, the chargers look kinda similar, I mean you would not know which is which as neither are not branded with any Nike or Air MAG logos. The Nike charger does have a legal/warning label and has a U-shape profile.  A twist tie is used to bundle the wires of the Nike charger unit.

V3:  The V3 charger has more of an S-shape profile, with no wire management system.  Also note the charger boxes are quite different, obviously because of the shape of the chargers.  If you reacall the packout photo earlier, you will see the size and shape difference between the two charger boxes.

Oh, the logo on the ankle strap lights ups, just like the Nike's.  As far as lighting, other than heel light lenses, the V3 pretty much nailed it.  But stupid me, I forgot to snap a photo of it.

Toe box
Nike:  The toe box on the authentics are really low profile. It has been a while since I have said this, but they are sleeker and sexier.  Ha!

V3:  If you have been looking at the other photos, you should have noticed that the toe box on the V3  is bulkier than the Nike's.  This is a pretty constant issue with the knockoffs in general, whether you are talking about he V2, Halloween Costumes, or the V3 versions.  Same can be said about the ribs.  But, they are getting better at it.

Weave pattern
Nike:  The texture or weave pattern of the fabric is very tight, almost smooth to the touch.  Okay, not baby's but smooth, but like 600 grit.

I mention the lacing area earlier, way earlier...for me, it was yesterday.  Notice that the throat is wider, yet the width stays pretty consistent it goes towards the tongue.  The laces are all relatively the same width apart, same with the gap between the two sides.  The laces are a rectangular shape, note that the bottom/first lace is also rectangular.

V3:  The image above shows that the throat is narrower than the Nike.  The first lace is a trapezoid shape, wider at the top than at the bottom. This is consistent all the way up as it gets wider, where the fourth (top) lace is wider than the first (bottom) lace, and they all have a slight trapezoid shape.

The weave of the fabric is not as tight, but it is very close.  I would say the feel of this is more of a 400 grit.  Much better than other attempts in the past.

Well, that is it for the shoe and the box.  But wait, there is more.  Seriously, when will this post ever end.  They included the booklet, too!  Remember?  We are finally going to talk about the booklet.

It's About Time
Nike:  You cannot have a shoe with this much history and not have a booklet.  So, Nike included a booklet that unfolds to a two-sided poster.  One side with instructions, the other a poster...of the shoe.  The great thing about the instruction side is the drawings by designer Tinker Hatfield.

By the way, look closely at Tinker's sketches.  Notice he did not 'draw' attention to the ribs...because they are no supposed to be that raised, damn it!  I mean everything we talked about is in his sketches... the ribs, the flat tire look of the soles, the sleek and sexy toe box, etc...all there.

Booklet poster
V3:  Although folded differently, the booklet is spot on.  It seems like they got a hold of one and did a really hi-res scan and reproduced it near perfectly.  It is possible that they had access to the original file.  There are some flaws, for example, the band around the booklet is poorly constructed where we almost lose part of the text.  The printing is slightly fuzzy, either due to scanning or lower quality printing.

Print quality of posters
Above shows the two posters with Nike at top of the image, the V3 poster on bottom.  The V3 is slightly fuzzier in print quality, also a little lighter. But, the folds are where they are supposed to be.

The Nike booklet included a DVD, you can see it attached to the poster on the bottom right.  No disc was included on V3.  Notice there are two blank spaces on the bottom right of the V3 poster. One is for the disc, the other is for the registration plate...which was included.

I was surprised to see the V3 plate as it looks just like the Nike original.  Mine has a bunch of scratches  and dings on it, but they nailed it.  Obviously, these plates were inspired by the 2015 plates that are on the Time Machine.  Oh, they are made from aluminum.  The plates had your registration number on it so you can register your shoe with Nike.  I wonder if they picked a random number or used the number from the shoe they copied it from.  Who ever has #64530321 must be pissed.

Wow, that was a long post.  I am surprised you made it this far. I think I pretty much covered everything about the V3 shoe.  Feel free to check on my other posts about the V2 and Halloween Customs versions to cross reference other details of the authentic Nike Air MAG that I may have missed in this post...or, to see if I repeated myself too much.


The V3's are the best knockoffs out there, so far.  There is very little room for improvement.  I have been nitpicking many details, but really they are mostly minute details.  They are a little on the pricey side, especially for knockoffs, but it beats paying more than ten times the amount to get the real ones.  It seems that the V3'a are relatively easily available, as they will pump out more if needed, while the authentic Nike ones were limited to 1510 pieces available to the public via high priced auction.

Oh, disclaimer time.  I do not endorse the sale or purchase of bootlegs and knockoffs.  Yes, I know I bought a pair, okay a few pairs, of the knockoffs...but it was for research purposes, I had to write this article for you.  Plus, I bought the real ones with the money going to a good cause.

If you want a pair of Air MAGs for about 1/6th the average 2011 selling price...these are the ones to get. Heck, the cheapest authentic pair is asking about $8000 currently on eBay.  That is over double the average price of about $3800 during the 2011 auction for the authentic Nike Air MAGs.

The average person will not be able to tell the difference with these V3's....well, unless they read this article, too.  The super geeky nerds, like me...and you, can spot the fakes.  Hmm, I just had a thought. What if the V2 bootleggers read my original comparison post and used those notes to help them create the V3?  Or, they could have just looked at a real par and replicate what was in front of them.

You can get a pair of V3's for about $600 at sneakerahead.ru.  Lucky for me, I did not have any trouble getting them and they arrived in about ten days.  But, you are buying a knockoff and they will be coming in straight from China (go figure), you might encounter some issues with 'delayed shipping' and you will most likely have to deal with poor handling of your item.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this post comparing the authentic Nike Air MAGs and the V3 knockoffs.  I hope it helps you whether you are thinking about purchasing an authentic Nike pair and do not want to get screwed or if you are looking to get the V3 and want to know what differences there are.  Get the 'real deal' or the 'real steal'.  Be careful and watch out for scams.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave a comment.  While I am not expert on the MAGs, I will answer what I can.  Thanks!