I’ll preface this by confessing I’m a pretty big fan of the Mad Catz FightSticks. I have over 20 Tournament Edition sticks, a few SE sticks, and even a dozen or so FightStick keychains. In the past, I’ve always made sure to have a small cache of quality arcade sticks for each console that’s come out since the days of SNES Street Fighter. One thing that has always been a challenge is transporting these heavy, awkwardly shaped beasts to tournaments or even a friend’s house without them getting knocked around or scuffed up in the trunk. Mad Catz aims to cure your woes with the new Arcade FightStick Carrier.
I spent much of the last twelve months traveling for work, always with an Xbox 360-S and my trusty TE-S FightStick in tow. Packed in my checked suitcase, carry-on, or even an Evo messenger bag (advertised as a stick carrier) loaded with shirts as padding, I always found it nearly impossible to transport an arcade stick while protecting the stick lever and buttons. At Evo 2011 last week, I got my hands on a Mad Catz Arcade FightStick Carrier (thanks Nate!) and transferred all my gear into it for the remainder of the weekend.
The bag has a durable feel (quality stitching, material, and zippers) that you would expect for the price tag (MSRP $49.99 – madcatz.com) and is obviously designed specifically to protect Mad Catz FightSticks. The main section of the bag has a 4-inch thick, dense foam padded top with a hole cut out for joystick support that fits TE and TE-S sticks like a glove. The bag also supports Mad Catz SE FightSticks and the upcoming FightStick Pro models. Obviously, any arcade stick similar in size and shape to the Mad Catz sticks would most likely fit, but your mileage may vary.
The Arcade FightStick Carrier features room for more than your treasured stick, with a dedicated pouch for a standard controller or miscellaneous gear, and another for up to four game cases. On the side is a mesh water bottle holder, and on the chest strap is a phone pocket with a rubber port to run your headphone cable through. The bag has an over the shoulder, cross-chest strap, so it is not a traditional backpack design. The strap is adjustable and features a quick-release connector so you don’t have to wrestle it over your head to take it off.
Fully loaded with an Xbox 360 controller and chatpad, Xbox 360 memory stick, full-size headphones, four games, a 1-liter bottle of water, a TE-S stick, and an iPhone, the bag weighed in at exactly 11.0 pounds. The padded shoulder strap definitely helps when lugging the bag around all day, and the top hand strap on the top of the bag comes in handy when you want to give your back a break.
This bag is truly something I’ve been waiting for since the first time I found myself trying to smuggle a FightStick through airport security. The extra compartments are nice so you don’t have to carry two bags around, and the peace of mind knowing your components are protected goes a long way to making this a must-have for anyone who transports their FightSticks from time to time. Check out some media shots from Mad Catz and head over to pre-order yours today!
Pre-Order $49.99 – madcatz.com