Stuart Ashen is the star of his own YouTube channel and also a full length feature film that you can watch for free on-line. But who is he? How did this come about, and what is a Gamechild?
In the beginning, Stuart Ashen was a frequenter of an internet discussion forum that discussed electronics amongst other items. One particular discussion thread revolved around a device made in the Far East known as the Pop Station. This was a cheap LCD gaming device very closely resembling the Sony PlayStation Portable.
Stuart bought one of these devices and made a small review in WMV format video to share amongst his friends on the discussion forum. The video went viral and people started to share this amusing little review.
Various people all claimed the video was theirs as Stuart never gave out his name on the video or any indication as to who he was. He corrected this mistake by reviewing the video again but this time making himself known.
The video was linked on the popular comedy internet newsletter B3TA. Stuart started to review more pieces of cheap electronic knock offs and uploaded them to Google Video, in his own words, “I always back a winner!” He has since moved onto YouTube where upon his videos regularly receive large viewing numbers with some of his most popular videos now in the millions.
So what exactly does he do? Using the backdrop of a brown sofa, Stuart reviews what he describes as tat. In the early days this was usually limited to cheap far eastern poor quality copies of big name technology. As his popularity grew he has expanded this format into generally any tat, especially that from shops such as 99p and PoundLand stores which are very popular here in the UK.
He has set up a PO Box which allows fans to send in very strange items and cheap products from all over the world including odd food. In a recent video Stuart and a semi regular host Dan tried a Trekking Burger. This was a complete hamburger sealed in a tin designed for…trekkers. The resulting video was hilarious with Dan almost throwing up from just the smell.
But why am I telling you all this?
Well Stuart had an idea for a film. So with several other British YouTube stars, a crowd funding session and a donation from a production company they created Ashens and the Quest for the Gamechild.
Then they released it for free on YouTube! Yes, a complete ninety minute film and you can watch it right now!
Finished? Whaddya think?
It turns out a lot of people like it. As of writing it has over six hundred thousand views and over thirty thousand likes (with only five hundred dislikes).
The comments section was full of requests from people asking how they could buy their own copy on DVD. In step Anchor Bay who have now released the film onto DVD and Bluray here in the UK. Unfortunately due to various rights issues it cannot be released elsewhere at this time.
So what’s it all about?
Stuart Ashen plays up his YouTube channel videos and portrays a man who is on the lookout for cheap and tacky merchandise and toys. There has always been one toy that has always managed to elude him, the Gamechild.
The Gamechild is actually a real knock-off. It closely resembles the original Nintendo GameBoy but it only contains one bad LCD game.
In the film’s plot, they were released in very limited numbers and Stuart never managed to get hold of one. After meeting up with an old friend, Geoffrey Excellence, who talks him into searching for this elusive piece of tat, they set off on a quest.
Along the way, they meet a crazy cast of characters including an appearance from Robert Llewellyn (Red Dwarf, Scrapheap Challenge) and Warwick Davis (Return of the Jedi, Willow, Harry Potter).
But alas, they’re not the only ones look for the Gamechild? Who is the evil Nemesis and why has he teamed up with Ashley, Stuarts former girlfriend? Why do they need the Gamechild so badly?
I found the film to be very entertaining and very funny but I’d have to admit to being quite bias because I love Stuart’s YouTube channel. My wife and I even went to a Q&A with some of the cast including Stuart and co-star Dan Tomlinson in London to watch the film on a big screen.
The big question is will you enjoy the film if you haven’t seen any of Stuart’s YouTube videos?
Well why not watch it yourself and find out. 🙂