Action Sports Innovator Dodges Industry Downturn Turns Brand

in Entertainment (F)

[] Los Angeles, California - Donald Cassel, the inventor of the Grind King skateboard truck, which set new standards for ingenuity and quality in the skate world, has launched an entirely different sort of company: a software development house that combines technical innovation with zeitgeist savvy to develop iPhone apps with an underground ethos and mass appeal.

During two decades in the action sports industry, Cassel launched or co-launched a flurry of hot brands, including big names like Van Dutch, Termite, Dogtown licensed products, and Haz-mat. When the economic downturn devastated the industry, Cassel responded by shifting his talents from the tangible realm of skateboards and streetwear to the virtual arena of mobile entertainment apps. Cassel explains that it's not as big a stretch as it sounds. "We're taking our skills developing brands in streetwear and action sports, where it's all about novelty, humor, and style, and we're going digital. It's faster, cleaner, and just as much fun."

Cassel's fledgling company, Venus Fly Apps, has just released a new entry in the iTunes store. "MUGSHOT MAKER" lets users take a walk on the wild side or poke fun at their friends' foibles after a notorious night on the town, turning any snapshot into a sordid police booking photo that looks ripped-from-the-headlines of a newspaper or celebrity scandal website.

Not only does the app add a police-station background and a gritty black-and-white look to users' photos, it also includes an official-looking title card for the alleged crime (either a customized offense or one chosen from a random list of 19, including everything from "Skateboarding" to "Public Intoxication" or the unforgivable "Farting in a Restaurant.") Like many of the entertainment apps fueled by buzz and novelty, Mugshot Maker takes advantage of social networking, letting users instantly share their jailbird photos, either around the barstool or on their Facebook wall.

Venus Fly Apps is counting on the viral buzz factor to build sales, letting users download the app from the iTunes store and try it at half price for the first few days. "Everyone's got at least one photo that deserves the Mugshots treatment. So we're letting folks try it and share their mugshots with the world at a discounted price," says Cassel. Early adopters already include notorious skateboarding badboy Jay Adams, who posted his mugshot to his Facebook fanpage. His crime? "Being Sober."

Despite the struggling economy, the mobile app market is growing at a dazzling pace, selling anywhere from $200 million to $2.4 billion dollars per year (depending on who's estimating). Venus Fly Apps launch their next app in April, promising to keep the rowdy rebel vibe going with a sexy interactive app called "SKIRT."

Device Requirements:
* iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad
* Requires iPhone OS 2.2.1 or later
* 2.4 MB

Pricing and Availability:
Mugshot Maker 1.3 is only $0.99 USD (or equivalent amount in other currencies) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Entertainment category.

Venus Fly Apps provides iDevice users unique, fun and innovative applications with a "bad-boy" twist. Located in Los Angeles, VFA has been developing since August 2009 and have successfully launched two applications in iTunes with a third on the way.
Keep an eye out for what is next to come. Copyright (C) 2010 Venus Fly Apps. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPod and iPad are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries.


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