Wednesday, 28 January 2009

The FM Concepts Classic Tickling Video Review Project

In the summer of 1994, FM Concepts, a newly-minted producer of foot fetish media, made its first hesitant foray into the world of tickling. There were few purveyors of tickle videos at the time, with the market dominated primarily by bondage-oriented companies - namely, Harmony Concepts and California Star. The result was a markedly different product from what their competitors were offering. Harmony and CalStar followed a fairly steady formula: a one-hour offering featuring two or three models, who tickled each other (or were tickled by men) in various positions and in progressive states of undress with moderate intensity. FM, however, opted for a sequence of shorter vignettes featuring a variety of models (often 7-10 per video), their focus was exclusively feet, and the intensity of tickling was very low and playful. It was clear that the tickling provided a vehicle for showcasing the pretty feet of gorgeous women. Indeed, their first offering FC-5 "Ticklish Toes" was a half tickling, half foot fetish hybrid.

Over the years, purists railed against FM and their "soft-core foot fetish porn" approach to tickling, charging them with valuing pretty faces, big breasts, and shapely feet over ticklishness in their models. This assessment was, in most cases, entirely accurate, but scores of foot fetishists who crossed over into the world of tickling bought in to the FM philosophy - they simply offered more beautiful women and pretty feet in a single 60-minute video than any of their competitors. FM began regularly producing tickling videos, and, through their website, thousands of images were made available to the tickling public - either on their own or arranged into collages. Through file sharing and video trading, images, clips, and full-length tapes of FM vids flew around the expanding tickling/foot-fetish community. Those videos became iconic and produced stars unique to the FM circle - Whitney Prescott, Francesca Le, Abby Andrews, Taylor St. Clair, Tory Sinclair, Heidi Lynn, Sadie Atkins, and Cory Lane - as well as models known from other companies - Darla Crane, Ashley Renee, and Kristine Imboch.

I have created the blog to mark the re-release of FM's classic tickling videos on their Digital Download website (fmdigital.fmconcepts.us). They run at a discounted rate of $20US and are 600MB in size. My aim is to provide in-depth reviews of (and perhaps one day still images from) FM Concepts tickling videos from 1994's inaugural "Ticklish Toes" (FC-5) to 1997's "Sadie's Tickling Craze" (FC-55). In each review, I will provide an overview, a run-down of each scene, and some final thoughts. I will also give a rating to each scene and the video as a whole. It strikes me, though, that there are two classes of tickle conoisseurs - Foot Lovers and Tickle Purists (and a large continuum in between). I define Foot Lovers as those who are more interested in the model's attractiveness, and in particular the prettiness of her feet, than in her ticklishness - that is, they are driven by aesthetics. Tickle Purists, on the other hand, want to see real, hysterical laughter and real effort on the part of the tickler. So, I have created a two-tier ratng system, and will rate each scene and video for Foot Lovers (FL) and Tickle Purists (TP).

Each Friday I'll release a new review, going in sequence from FC-5 to FC-55.

Until then,
Max Smart

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