Adding POP with Confetti (Page 2)

Confetti can be a valuable tool for mascot, event operations and game entertainment professionals. This month we review how some teams are utilizing handheld launchers to enhance their presentations.

Streamers are much easier to clean. In fact, in many cases you won’t have to clean it up at all…since kids love these big curly colorful streamers they often collect the pieces and carry them off before you clean-up crew gets a chance.

Confetti makes a larger plume and the small pieces float slowly down creating a more dazzling effect, which is its primary advantage. Streamers shoot further, but fall faster

Our pros have differing opinions.

Sully from the Lake Erie Monsters greatly prefers confetti. “I think it’s a better visual and spreads out more. Streamers seems to stay together and only land in one spot. I know the clean up crew prefers the streamers, but I only use confetti now.”

Jonathan Brooks from the OKC Thunder only uses streamers, primarily for clean-up reasons and the Indianapolis Colts agreed, only using streamers after finding confetti was “impossible to clean up.”

The Florida Panthers only use streamers in their arena now after an in-game incident where a launcher accidentally fired and the confetti pieces lofted on the ice causing a game delay.

Pros and Cons

Confetti:

+ PRO: Larger Plume
+ PRO: Longer Lasting effect
– CON: Difficult to clean up
– CON: Air currents can cause unpredictable flight patterns

Streamers:

+ PRO: Launch further
+ PRO: Easy to clean up
+ PRO: More Accurate and Controlled Launch
– CON: Confetti float duration is shorter

24 Inch v. Pocket Pistol v. Streamer Beamer

Size matters, in general. In the case of launchers, size mostly just increases the amount of confetti load you can launch each shot.

Basically, the 24 inch launcher shoots about twice as much confetti each time. Twice the plume, twice the visual effect…spend twice as much on confetti loads.

See the video for sample footage of the two launchers and the volume of confetti and streamers in each.

Our pros provided insight on their launchers of choice as well.

The mascot program in Oklahoma City primarily uses 24 inch launcher, but will use the 12 inch in small offices or places with low ceilings…or they have a concern that the pop might scare people they don’t want to scare (like young kids). The Colt’s mascot program agreed and uses the 24 inch launcher.

In Cleveland the Lake Erie Monster’s mascot Sully uses the pocket pistol. While he liked the look of the 24 inch launcher, the character finds the pocket pistol is easier to maneuver and carry. Moondog also uses mostly pocket pistols, citing the cost savings (on confetti loads) as the primary reason.

The Florida Panthers use both – the 12″ for small seat visits/giveaways and the 24″ for larger promotions. They also use the Streamer Beamer, but do so with caution.  They explained “while the Streamer Beamer offers the added benefit of being able to fire one-handed, you have to be extremely careful not to let anything hit the button once the CO2 cartridge is engaged, with any lever launcher you don’t have to worry about that.”

The Colts mascot program tried Streamer Beamers, but found them difficult to handle and use and have since returned to using the 24 inch launchers exclusively which they have found to be “100% effective.”

See the Launcher Options in The Store.

Tape, Caps and Lifters

We offer compression tape, caps and lifters as well on The Store at Gameops.com.

While there are some pros and cons to confetti v. streamers. Tape, Caps and Lifters are a bit more straightforward.

Caps and tape are used together, caps placed over the open end of the launcher then taped to the launcher. This serves two purposes. First it holds the load in, so you don’t have any confetti falling out before you are ready to launch. Second, it creates a pressurized chamber, which makes the load shoot further and creates an more audible “pop” noise when you activate the launcher.

Foam lifters help push the load out and further, however the added push isn’t usually noticeable.

In general we highly recommend caps and tape, and generally do not recommend foam lifters unless you feel you are not getting enough lift on your shots. Caps are about $.15 each and a roll of tape lasts for a long time, so the added cost of using caps and tape is less than $.20 per shot and certainly worth that small expense.

Our pros all noted that use caps and tape for all their loads.

8 gram v. 16 gram

The final question relates to the one-time-use CO2 cartridges. There are 2 sizes commonly available of the threaded type for handheld launchers: 8 gram and 16 gram. This size relates to the amount of CO2 in the pressurized cartridge.

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Simply stated, there is twice as much CO2 in the 16 gram units, so they have twice as much pressure inside which is released when the pin punctures the seal.

In Oklahoma City, the prefer 8 gram for the 12″ launcher and 16 gram in their 24 inch launchers. The Cleveland mascots and the Indianapolis Colts all use 16 gram exclusively. The Panthers use 16 grams, but noted that 8 gram is enough in most situations.

Gameops.com recommends 16 gram CO2. Since the cost increase from 8g to 16g is so marginal, the added pressure and louder “pop” are worth the extra 10-15% cost.

Tips and Hints

Finally, we have a few extra tips and helpful hints.

  • Never launch towards people. You want any thing coming out of a launcher to float down on people, not be shot at them.
  • In a sports situation, always shoot out over sections, always point away from playing surface.  Especially with confetti which can float unpredictably.
  • You should test confetti shots before shooting, but also note that air currents in arenas can change dramatically with people in the building or when the arena is being heated or cooled. Results can vary greatly.
  • Use the right load for the job, for more targeted launches, use streamers.
  • Tape and Cap loads. It prevents loads from slipping out and creates the more audible “pop” when launching.
  • Use safety on launcher (threading the CO2 around the key ring to prevent accidental launching

Thank you to our great friends with the Indianapolis Colts, Florida Panthers, Lake Erie Monsters and Oklahoma City Thunder for their insights and recommendations.

Everything you need for a successful confetti launch is available in The Store at Gameops.com, including launchers, streamers, confetti, CO2, tape, caps and more.  Visit The Store now to place your order. Use the contact form below if you have additional questions about a confetti launch or have questions about an order.

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