Monday, December 17, 2007

Just for Fun - Mah nuh muh nah!

Photos from our Christmas Party

Some of us went bowling .. Top Scorer - Hidy, 2nd Place - Esa, 3rd Place - Ambrose.

Shogun Pictionary - Team 1 (Mr Cheung) & Team 2 (Mrs Cheung)

Can you guess who it is?

Merry Christmas from all of us at SHOGUN / VULCAN!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fireworks Safety Videos

We love these fireworks safety videos from Holland - translated in English here

Eternal Rains of Fire

Arms Arriving

Mother of all Rockets

We're not sure about this CPSC safety video .. almost all crackers used in the clip are illegal fireworks in the US.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Olympics 2008 - Ban on Fireworks Production and Transportation

The IFA issued a reminder letter on 20th November 2007, informing its members to be aware of the possibility that fireworks transportation and production will be banned during July, August and September 2008. This effectively means that the last shipment will be in mid July and then will not resume until at least early-mid October as production begins.

This causes major problems for customers whose seasons are between October and December 2008.

Shogun Sponsors York Motorsport

Shogun has been a sponsor of York Motorsport since 2005. York Motorsport started in late 2005 in Auckland, New Zealand. It competes in the SS2000 Honda Cup with James York as Driver. The Honda Cup is a series that is based on the Shell Sport and Super Sedan classes of the 1980's. All cars competing must be 2 litre engines or less.

More details can be found at

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Macau International Fireworks Competition 2007 - San Tai

This was filmed from Taipa Island - the opposite side from the previous week. Weather was great with plenty of wind!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Winners of Macau International Fireworks Competition 2007 Announced

The winners of the competition, announced last night after the Final Show, are:

1/ Artifices JCO SA, France
2/ San Tai Fireworks, Taiwan
3/ Marutamaya Ogatsu, Japan

Congratulations!! We've been watching the Macau Competition since it first started in 1989. The standard of choreography and quality of fireworks have improved so much in the past 18 years, that this competition is one of the most organised and best International Fireworks Competitions in Asia.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Macau International Fireworks Competition 2007

Last night was the opening of the 19th Macau International Fireworks competition. First up was Kimbolton Fireworks of England and second was Hanhwa from Korea. Unfortunately Macau was surrounded by smog, which resulted in low visibility but nevertheless the fireworks could be seen from the Macau Tower, which is where the videos were taken.

This is a 20 minute video of the Kimbolton Fireworks Display on 15th September 2007.

This is a 20 minute video of the Han Hwa Display on 15th September 2007.

With a total of 10 competitors, next Saturday's competitors will be from the USA and Taiwan.

Competition Dates: 15,22,25,29 September & 1 October 2007 (9pm and 10pm - 2 competitors per night)

Monday, September 10, 2007

National Fireworks Association Expo September 2007 - Cincinnati

We were at the NFA Expo in Cincinnati last week. It was a great convention with about 600 people attending. Our demo on Friday night was a great success! For those who weren't able to get to Cincinnati, you can preview some segments right here. We will have a full video available soon on DVD!!

The show was designed by John Sagaria using Shogun consumer fireworks and Vulcan display products. It tells the story of a couple going into a fireworks store to buy some fireworks, and ends with the wife "accidentally" setting off a huge fireworks display that was meant for a show in Dallas.

Thanks a lot to John S, John W, Frank, Roberta, John L, Mike, Art, Jimmy, Lucio, Gary, Ashmead, the team from China and those last minute additional help. Great teamwork!!

Our guys from China ..

Steven & Johnny

Mmm.. who are these two and do they know what they are doing??

Yeah, guess they know what they are doing ..

Why is Mike scratching his head?

Loading up artillery shells ..

Hang on, who's this? Should he be here? LOL. It's John Sagaria!!

Get me one of these - great for driving round the factories ..

Pictures of the set up

This photo shows John Werner ready to put up the infamous Shogun Feel the Heat FOUNTAIN!!! Sure looks a lot like Up and Awesome ..

1.4G Product demo

Parts of the 1.3G demo (3 videos)

1.3G Finale

Monday, August 27, 2007

Nagaoka Fireworks Festival - August 2 & 3, 2007

This is one of the most popular fireworks festival in Nagaoka, Japan. Highlights of the festival are 2 x 36" shells

36" Thousand Flowers

36" Brocade waterfall

For more information on fireworks festivals in Japan, go to

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Omagari National Fireworks Competition - Akita, Japan

August 25th 2007. The Omagari Fireworks Competition is held every year on the 4th Saturday of August. It is attended by 760,000 people in a town that has a population of 60,000!

Haga Fireworks setting up for their competition.

All 12" shells set up for the night competition.

View of the audience on the far end from the shoot site. The crane is holding up loudspeakers.

The competition is split up into 3 categories: Day Fireworks, Night fireworks and most creative company. There are about 30 Japanese companies competing in this event. In the night fireworks competition, each team submit 2 x 12" shells followed by a 2.5 minute display to music.

Below are the 12" shells from Haga.

Below is the 2.5 minute display by Haga.

Here is what it looks like watching the competition!

You can either buy tickets for reserved seats or just go early and look for an open area for seating.

Here are a few "square" sections of reserved seating for 6 people.

Monday, August 13, 2007

PGI Fargo "Firestorm" 2007 - John Sagaria's Inspiration

On Friday 10th August 2007 at the PGI Convention, John Sagaria presented his "Inspiration" show which included some of our products.

Here is a photo of John Werner rushing to finish up all the US flag set pieces (thanks to the group of PGI members who showed up at the last minute to help!). The show was terrible to set up due to weather, either threathening to rain or high winds which knocked over set pieces (including the letters I-N-S-P-I-R-A-T-I-O-N).

These are segments from John Sagaria's show at the PGI Convention last Friday. We apologise for the motion sickness inducing videos.

Segment 1 starts off with Vulcan Very Loud Diamond Screamer Rapid Fire Fan cakes, then, peacock fans, triple transformation wheels, candle barrages, modular cakes, go getter mines, and some Vulcan shells.

Segment 2 (includes lighting up of the word INSPIRATION)

Segment 3 (with the US flag lance setpiece with Victoria Falls on bottom)

Monday, July 30, 2007

NEW!! Shogun Helium Balloon - 10m

If you like our 6' tall inflatable balloon, you will love this one!!

This can be filled with helium or hydrogen to float in the air, or you can fill with normal air and put on ground or hook to ceiling.

Size: 10m x 3m. Capacity: 50m3.
Supplied with hooks and ropes.

For more details, contact us!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Visit to Sivakasi, India

Written by Ewan Cheung.

I visited Sivakasi, Tamil Nedu, India recently (2nd June - 10th June 2007), which is the center of fireworks manufacturing in India, like Liuyang is now the center of fireworks production in China.

Sivakasi is 75km south of Madurai, in the Tamil Nedu province, South of India. Chennai is the capital city of Tamil Nedu, the 4th biggest city in India and has population of 6 million. Madurai is one of oldest cities in India and has a history of over 2,500 years.

To visit Sivakasi, you have to go to Madurai first, which has a small airport. The flight then takes 50 minutes to Chennai and there are several flghts a day by Air India (National Airline) and Paramount (Private Airline). I was on Air India and both flights were delayed for 3 hours. Chennai airport is not big and rather old and has poor facilities.

Sivakasi is small town, but has population of 500,000, which is situated in a big flat plain. In the Spring time, the temperature is 26º-35º (80º-95ºF), in Summer is 26º-35º, in Autumn 24º-32º (75º-90ºF) and in Winter 20º-29º (68º-84ºF). Rainfall is heaviest in the summer with average of 84mm. Humidity is 60-70%.

I was told you can manufacture fireworks over 300 days a year. As the humidity is rather low and hot during the time I visited, the factories are able to put fireworks on cement ground for drying. As Sivakasi is 9º latitude and Liuyang is 28º, the climate in Sivakasi is much better for manufacture of firework than Liuyang.

Sivakasi is sometimes called "Small Japan" and is famous for 3 industries - printing, matches and fireworks. Sivakasi produces 95% of India's local fireworks market and exports very little. What they do export are mainly sparklers and the main market is South Africa, of which 2% of imports come from India, rest from China. The local Indian fireworks market is big. They consider firework as religious items, mainly used in Diwali- so called India New Year (Oct/Nov) and also other festival and religious activities.

Officially there are 600 to 700 firework factories in Sivakasi and there are about 10 big firework companies which own many factories. There are illegal firework factories in Sivakasi and nearby counties. Most of the factories are small. They
need to own the land in order to produce fireworks, which is different with China.

Sivakasi firework history goes back to over 50 years. Originally someone from Sivakasi learnt the technique to make firework and firecracker from some factories in Mumbai and came back and started manufacturing. There are about 60,000 persons working in firework industry.

My father told me India imported about 100,000 cases of Tom Thumb and Ladycracker a year from China after World War 2 until they banned importation after Independence in 1947.

There are many government control and regulations in fireworks production.

* No Chlorate allowed in firework. Only about 10 factories are allowed to use perchlorate .
* No chair or table allowed in wokrshop, therefore all sit on floor and work.
* Most building are for 4 persons, no big building allowed in production area. The distance separated the buildings is about 15 meter.
* No machine pressing is allowed.

Most of the fireworks being made are
* Aluminium firecrackers of size 1-3/4" x 5/8", with red tubes (inside white), braided with 36 to 10,000 pcs. (Retail price for 10,000pcs is US$50)
* Rockets with report (firecracker) about 3" x 3/4", bigger is not allowed.
* Cone fountain of size 2-1/2" , up to 4"
* Single flora shell with diameter 2" , 2-1/2" ,, 3".
* Cake of different sizes and biggest one is 264 shots with 7/8" diameter.
* German bomb (cubic type, tied with string in 2 direction)
* Thick sparkler (about 8 mm diameter) with copper wire,
* Ground spinner (from long thin powder tube up to 6")

All the fireworks are packed into covered cardboard boxes with colorful design mainly of female models. The regulation does not allow boxes with PVC window or half box with cellophane. Firecrackers are packed in wooden case and normal fireworks are in cartons.

At present, the cost of fireworks from India is much higher than Chinese fireworks, so there is little chance to compete against China who already controls the world market. Labour cost is slightly cheaper with the average worker earning about US$75 a month. However, the cost of raw materials is about 50% higher. For example, Potassium Nitrate costs $1/kg and $0.60/kg in India and China respectively. Furthermore, all importer chemicals are subject to high import duty (38%) and no refund on export of fireworks. There is also limited or no source of cheap Chinese materials like bamboo and rice paper.

The local Indian market is big and factories enjoy good business and profit in last 2 years. New factories are under construction. There are over hundred of small firework shops in Sivakasi. With Chinese firework technique and marketing knowledge, setting up a factory in Sivakasi can be a good investment in the long term. Whether Chinese firecracker and firework can be exported to India from China in future, no one can answer now.

It was certainly an insightful trip and I learned alot visiting Sivakasi. As the Chinese economy booms with labour costs on the rise, India is for sure in contention to be a bigger exporter of fireworks around the world.

Below is a video of a worker binding a rope firecracker.

Various photos from the trip:

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Sanshui port reopens

Sanshui port officially reopened around March 2007, after having been closed since November 2006. Shipments from Sanshui bound for the USA resumed just in time (May 7th) for the last shipments for the July 4th season .. Nevertheless this is great news for all fireworks shippers and importers!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tultapec - Mexico

Joe and John went to Tultapec, Mexico in March for the fireworks festival. Lots of fun and great experience! Light fuse and get away ... ?

Some photos from Mexico:

This is someone's backside after the fireworks ...

I suppose you can't get launching tubes in Mexico.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Welcome to the Shogun fireworks blog! This space is made for sharing everything about fireworks so enjoy!