Our city is home to a lot of great products like AustiNuts, Sweet Leaf Tea, Torchy's Tacos and the now famous 99-pack of Anytime Ale. But here are a six things that you may have not have known were born or manufactured in Austin.
Most of us know what a Fleshlight is. Some of us might even own one … or two. If you're in the dark, just know that it's a classic sex toy for men.
Fleshlight products are designed and developed by Interactive Life Forms, which is headquartered right here in Austin. ILF was founded in 1995 by Steven and Kathy Shubin but is now a multi-million dollar industry that spreads across the globe. If you purchased your Fleshlight in the United States, then your toy was manufactured in South Austin. In fact, Fleshlights are so popular that ILF also has a manufacturing site in Spain that services Europeans (no pun intended).
If you really haven't heard of a Fleshlight before, here's some educational material for you. (NSFW)
Remember the classic Nintendo game reboot Metroid Prime? It was produced by local gaming developer Retro Studios. These guys gave the old '80s Metroid series a facelift and began releasing the Metroid Prime trilogy in 2002.
The development scene in Austin is extremely active. Blockbuster games like Mass Effect and DC Universe Online were spawned from local studios. A few “big game” publishing companies like Blizzard Entertainment and BioWare (who developed Mass Effect) have offices here and others like Microsoft often collaborate with smaller studios in the area. So next time you play Call of Duty: Black Ops or The Sims 3, know that you’re playing games that were touched (virtually) by fellow Austinites.
There are currently 73 game development studios in Austin according to gamedevmap.
Don’t Mess with Texas
We’ve all seen the stickers and commercials. The "Don’t Mess with Texas" anti-littering campaign has been around for 28 years and was so successful that littering has gone down by 34 percent since 2009 alone.
The phrase that became a motto for the entire state was aptly born in the Capital City. Mike Blair and Tim McClure of advertising agency GSD&M were tasked by the Texas Department of Transportation to come up a campaign that encouraged Texans to keep their highways pristine and trash-free. Not only did it work, it also included TV spots with the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie Nelson, Matthew McConaughey, Slim Thug, Chuck Norris and more. We bet you've probably owned a "Don't Mess with Texas" keychain, sticker or T-shirt at some point in your life.
Let's all relive this commercial one more time: "Don't meeeeees...with TExas."
Kevin Tully and Dave Barry founded Moniker Guitars so that musicians could customize their electric guitars from the comfort of their computer.
Creating your own Moniker guitar is easy. Just go to the website, design your guitar with the online tool system and the guys at Moniker will build it to your exact specifications. Whether you need a bass, a left-handed guitar, or your own logo on the side, Moniker can do it. The best part is that these guitars are not only high-quality, they're also affordable. And the best best part is that all the pieces are assembled in the Live Music Capital of the World.
Some notable Moniker rockers include Shane Told and Paul Marc Rousseau (Silverstein), Spencer Trent (The Mowgli’s), Kyle Shutt (The Sword) and more.
When you need a rugged — and super durable — cooler, YETI often comes to mind. Founders Roy and Ryan Seiders needed an ice chest that could keep up with the physical demands of their lifestyle and keep their brews nice and cold. The result? Darn near indestructible coolers you'll find at most backyard parties and ranch retreats.
The YETI company is based in Austin and most units are manufactured the U.S. They are sold at Academy, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cabela’s and more.
Most of us are familiar with theCHIVE, a website dedicated to funny photos, beautiful ladies, memes and internet hoaxes. But did you know that in 2013 theCHIVE relocated to Austin and hooked up with Redhook Brewery out of Washington to create the first KCCO beer (a black lager)?
What began as a brewing experiment at theCHIVE’s old offices in California is now a full-fledged, Austin-based operation. The beer, brewed by Resignation Brewery which is an offshoot of theCHIVE’s parent company, is distributed all around the U.S.
For you non-CHIVErs out there, KCCO is one of the company's slogans: Keep Calm and Chive On.