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Thread: Sticky: Comments and Thoughts on Tom Kaye's Retirement from AGD and Paintball

  1. #31
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    Move production to China, throw in a cheater board and switch to a ult assembly as stock and the Mag superior valve design would own the paintball scene. Lighter electronics, smaller shape, the perfect front, mid player gun.

  2. #32
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    Tom, you have been a driving force in the game. best of luck in anything you do and dont be a stranger to the forum!
    "You have not converted a man because you have silenced him." -John Morley

  3. #33
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    Reposted in case Tom doesn't read both threads.

    Tom, I wish I could say this is a huge surprise, but its not. I remember having a conversation with you in the bar at IAO, and it just left me with a feeling. I can't say I expected this, but it isn't all that surprising.

    Over the years, you've been a lot of things to the paintball industry. An innovater, a player, and advice-giver, a gun-maker, a proof-seeker, and most importantly, a friend to a lot of people. You may think you'll be forgotten in a year, but I doubt thats possible. You've had too big an impact upon this sport that even in its changing / decaying form, you're name will still be heard and recognized for years to come.

    There's a few things about you that stand out to anyone who meets you.

    First is your approachability. At every event I've seen you at, you take time out to talk to those who want to talk. Whether its just for a quick hello, or eating donuts and gossiping, or hosting tech classes out for free on your own time, I've never seen you turn anyone away or tell them you were too busy. Tons of industries leaders don't make themselves approachable to their customers and fans, your friendliness has always made you stand out amongst your peers.

    Another thing is your enthusiasm for the sport. I don't think I've met many people who I can honestly say are as in love with paintball as you are. I've seen you up late at night plotting how to best destroy Shatner, seen you getting excited over new breakthroughs in technology, and I've unfortunately seen you deeply hurt about the direction the sport is heading in.

    You've invented technology that has changed the face of paintball, but I think perhaps your greatest contribution may have been your involvement in acquiring and promoting AO. Building a business is an accomplishment, but one lots of people are capable of. Building a community that has grown in so many ways is amazing.

    AOers are more than just people who talk on the internet. A lot of us have formed tight and meaningful friendships with people who live halfway across the country, or sometimes halfway across the globe. And you've played a part in that. In a lot of ways, you're the father to the AO community. I can't even count the number of kids I see on AO who look up to you almost as a second father. I know right now you are probably feeling kind of low, but just try to think about the positive effect you have had on so many people. You've become a part of peoples lives. And thats something no one will forget.

    I truly hope that while you and AGD may have parted ways, you can still find time to stay in contact with all those on AO who still consider you a friend and a role-model. I know at times through the years we've put you through hell, but we're still here for you and I hope that doesn't change.

    The community you've begun won't die, it won't fade away or be forgotten. AO is your legacy, and in my opinion, thats something to be truly proud of. When you think about whats been done on this website, its awe-inspiring.

    I wish you luck in all your future endeavors, I'm sure with your intelligence and enthusiam you'll be able to accomplish whatever it is you set your mind to.

    Sincerely,

    Brian "Thordic" Casani

  4. #34
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    I for one will never forget his contributions to the sport. Nor will i forget how awesome it was to speak to him and play along side him. I do hope that he does not drop under the radar, and remains active on the forums just as a friendly voice and continues to show up at events and meets. I also hope that the AO community does not fall do to this. I have met some really cool people on here and would hate to see it go.

    I think of Tom Kaye as a living legend. And he actually is awesome. I mean some idols or legends turn out to be mediocre or not what they say they are. But Tom is truely a great man. Intelligent, friendly, and a beast on the field. I remember the final battle of shatberball 3 and how he rallied all the troops and did that massive charge. That was great and we all did cause we all not only wanted to win but we trusted him and honored this guy. Look at the registration for shatner3 it was one sided in favor of Tom up intill the event. Why? Its not that we dont like shatner or anything but we dont respect and revere him like we do Tom.

    I wish him luck and good fortune with whatever he chooses to do.

    As for me and my friends we are planning on wearing either an arm band or badge in respect to Tom Kaye leaving the sport. Perhaps all of at AO can do this as a sign of allegance or support. And when people ask about it we can explain the legacy of Tom Kaye.

  5. #35
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    While many heads of other paintball companies have always stated that everything they do is to further the sport of paintball. You are however one of the few who backed up your words with action. You've continued to allow your passion for the sport guide you through this market, not the potential for a quick buck. It is a truely commendable feat especially in these times. What you've done for paintball will never be forgotten by those who truely love and respect the sport.
    You set out to do what you wanted to do. Whether you've accomplished everything you wanted to in the sport, I do not know. What I do know is that every achievement you've accomplished will never be taken away from you. Goodluck in whatever venture you will set out towards, and always remember; To strive, to seek, and to never yield.

  6. #36
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    Well I can remember when i got my first AGD gun, it was my minimag when i was 13 years old. Hell I was proud of that thing and now it all came down to this. As much as I love paintball I still dont think that it will ever be the same. Nothin but love..
    peace
    tyler
    Sig over 50k

  7. #37
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    ive been the proud owner of 4 agd markers since i started playing almost 5 years ago. i have always enjoyed the agd community as well as the support. my only concern is that this doesnt change, but i do think that we will be in good hands. hats off to tom, enjoy looking up at the stars, and down in the dirt.
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  8. #38
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    The easy roads are crowded
    And the level roads are jammed;
    The pleasant little rivers
    With the drifting folks are crammed.
    But off yonder where it's rocky,
    Where you get a better view,
    You will find the ranks are thinning
    And the travelers are few.

    Where the going's smooth and pleasant
    You will always find the throng,
    For the many, more's the pity,
    Seem to like to drift along.
    But the steeps that call for courage,
    And the task that's hard to do
    In the end result in glory
    For the never-wavering few.

    --Edgar Albert Guest



    You have much to be proud of, Tom. This entire community - the AO Army - would not be here if was not for you. You've put quality, service and your customers above everything else, in an industry still trying to find its heart. There has never been a doubt where yours has been and where it will remain for as long as there are memories:

    "If I would have my name endure,
    I'll write it on the hearts of men"

    --Horatio Alger Jr

    Safe journies, my friend.

    Diane "Mother" Howe
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  9. #39
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    Well, Tom has never been known to half-arse anything. What ever he is going to do he is going to do well, and I'm sure that everything will go smooth.

    Thank you fo rmy RTP. I still love it!
    Giant flying dogs are gonna give you a flame-thrower enema!!!

    SUPPORT YOUR TROOPS!!!!!!!!

    Chuff!!! Chuff!!!

    ABQHC

  10. #40
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    Any chance of an AO going away tour???

    It would be great to see Tom at the next AO-NJ day.

    Dayspring, start pulling some strings...


    "The modern Leftists create nothing, assist nothing, offer nothing. They resemble nothing America has seen before, but they are the essence of what Americans hoped our republic would never become."
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  11. #41
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    Much as others have said, I'm not surprised by this. Sad yes, but not surprised. Tom has way too much character and heart to stay in an industry full of corruption and politics.

    On a different note, I can see in the near future things going two ways. If we don't stand strong and carry on the tradition that Tom has built here on AO, things are going to continue to get worse around here. If not, AO will become simply another PBN.

    I’m so sick of listening to all the complaining about how bad things have become and about how great things where back in AO’s glory days. There is a very strong core group of people that have become practically family. And to us, this is much like a death in the family. So what does a family have to do when there is a death, you pull together and carry on.
    You are the Wormtongue of AO.~bofh

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by wyn1370
    Much as others have said, I'm not surprised by this. Sad yes, but not surprised. Tom has way too much character and heart to stay in an industry full of corruption and politics.

    On a different note, I can see in the near future things going two ways. If we don't stand strong and carry on the tradition that Tom has built here on AO, things are going to continue to get worse around here. If not, AO will become simply another PBN.

    I’m so sick of listening to all the complaining about how bad things have become and about how great things where back in AO’s glory days. There is a very strong core group of people that have become practically family. And to us, this is much like a death in the family. So what does a family have to do when there is a death, you pull together and carry on.
    Well said Rob... couldn't have said it better myself. We as AO'ers need to keep the REAL meaning of AO alive and not let the idea of a internet community STARTED BY TOM become diluted by people who don't understand how things got started and why we are here to begin with.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creative Mayhem
    Well said Rob... couldn't have said it better myself. We as AO'ers need to keep the REAL meaning of AO alive and not let the idea of a internet community STARTED BY TOM become diluted by people who don't understand how things got started and why we are here to begin with.
    Tom started AO? I thought he purchased it from someone else who started it.

    But with that said, I wish Tom all the best and hope he is happy in whatever he does. His leaving was by far not unexpected though. As some have already posted, folks should have seen this coming for a long time. But as is often the case folks see only what they want to see.

    Tom is not dead. Tom is simply moving on. Have fun Tom.

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  14. #44
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    For some odd reason the Lorax came to mind.


    Other than that, not much else to say. I'm just sad and I hope that AO only improves and that AGD stays the course.
    "Don't hit at all if you can help it; don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep."
    -Theodore Roosevelt, February 17, 1899

  15. #45
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    going away party?

    I'm sure Tom would not want one, but any thoughts to a proper send off by all the loyal AGD customers over the years? A chance to laugh and cry together? Anyone second the idea?

  16. #46
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    Wow Tom, you took me by shock.

    Im gonna go watch my Shatner DVD and play with my mag...

    SAD SAD DAY IN PAINTBALL FELLAS. SAD DAY.
    Good luck in your new ventures, and hopefully this new guy will be as nice as you are.

  17. #47
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    Tom,

    thanks for all you've done, for all of us. I'm happy and proud to be able to say that I got to meet you one time. May your next venture be as rewarding for you as this one has been for all of us.

    Jeff Perrault

    Jeff P
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    The Canadian Contingent Paintball Club
    Cousins - EMR - PaintStorm - Odyssey - StraightShot

  18. #48
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    No one should be really surprised with this. After speaking with Tom at D-Day. I felt it was just a matter of time. It is too bad there are so few paintballers that have been around long enough to realize just what Tom has done for this industry. I studied Mechanical Engineering many many years ago and I've always said that the Mag series is the only gun with any sort of solid engineering behind it's design and the reason I still own the first one I bought in the early 90's......

    Good luck, Tom...you will be missed. Budd bailing, Glenn retiring, you retiring...the end of an era...now it'll be all about big business and profit margins, more than about the "game".

  19. #49

    repost

    I think it was appropriate to dust off this old rant on the webpage and toss it back up on AO. Cry fest time.




    Those Truly Hurt

    My heart truly goes out to those that are hurt the most from these obscene lawsuits and legal battles. I'm not talking about the players. I'm not talking about small companies who are drowning in a sea of profit loss and competition. I'm talking about people who truly epitomize paintball. People like Tom Kaye. This man has poured all of his living into the sport he loves. He has been there, innovating and helping people for decades, trying to stay alive in a world of backstabbing competitors. His company has prided itself on helping the customers and treating them like family. This man teaches his own tech classes and can be reached if there is ever a problem. Now, I had the honor of briefly speaking with him at IAO, and the one quote that will stay with me until I die is “I have to watch what I say ‘now.’” It’s a ****ing tragedy that this kind, helpful man who helped evolve the sport we love is afraid to speak his mind about a game he personally helped nurture. I owned a Mag and didn’t care for it, but you won’t find more loyal customers that Airgun’s patrons. Why? Because Tom is one of the founding fathers of this game, and they are all his children.

  20. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by shartley
    Tom started AO? I thought he purchased it from someone else who started it.

    But with that said, I wish Tom all the best and hope he is happy in whatever he does. His leaving was by far not unexpected though. As some have already posted, folks should have seen this coming for a long time. But as is often the case folks see only what they want to see.

    Tom is not dead. Tom is simply moving on. Have fun Tom.

    Tom might not have been the "founder" of AO, but he developed and grew AO. He was the one that supported and in my mind, made AO what it is today.

    And if you say "no, it was the users of AO" I do not agree. AO would not be where it is today if AGD did not buy it and if Tom did not put his time and money into it.

  21. #51
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    A Brave new world...

    After taking 24hrs to think about it....

    To, me... paintball has just took a turn for the worse. AO and AGD seem to have a dark cloud over them right now... and it is a feeling that I just dont like.

    With all of the B.S. and underhanded characters that permiate our sport... I always took great comfort in knowing Tom and AGD where there.

    Not only the last of, but the FIRST good guy of paintball. It is not difficult to understand why he is calling it quits.

    The paintball market right now is flooded with cheaply made, FAD products. Out of all of the dozens of markers out right now, I can count on one hand the number of them that I would buy or use other than an AGD product. (and still have fingers left over)

    It must be tough to have to fight an uphill battle every day against:
    -the market
    -suppliers
    -creditors
    -and Lawyers

    A lesser man would have moved on long ago.

    I also wanted to let Tom know that my X-mag is the possesion I cherrish the most.

    AGD is obviously at a crossroad right now. The only good thing I try to keep in mind is that things might actually get better.

    A new direction, new products... a new spark of enthusiasm. (A quality marketing team would help too)

    So I am tipping my Yankees hat, and wishing Tom and his family the very best in the new year.

    Now I am going to go home, give my X-mag a good cleaning, get some new paint, fresh batteries for my Halo.. and get ready to kick some butt this weekend on the field.

    -Scott

  22. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muzikman
    Tom might not have been the "founder" of AO, but he developed and grew AO. He was the one that supported and in my mind, made AO what it is today.

    And if you say "no, it was the users of AO" I do not agree. AO would not be where it is today if AGD did not buy it and if Tom did not put his time and money into it.
    I agree. And I would not say what your preemptive argument point was either.

    I will however add that I truly agree that Tom had a great roll in forming what AO is today. And I will also point out that while some would consider that a good thing, there are others (and just as many if not more) that would disagree with that. It is a matter of perspective…… but I understand that this is not really a matter suited for open discussion on AO.

    Again, I wish Tom all the best. Retiring should be viewed in a positive light, not as if someone has died……. Well, unless you are being escorted by Joe Black.

  23. #53
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    Best memories in paintball will allways lie with you and ao tom, Best Wishes for your future.

    I will NEVER forget you or get rid of my mag. Good luck and good bye.
    If God was a fly would you kill it.

  24. #54
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    Well Tom i would like to thank you for all the years of automag goodness that you have brought to the paintball world. I speak for everyone here when I say you have done a great job. Good luck and Best wishes. hope to see you around AO.

    Steve
    "I use them to power my Flux Capacitor when I time travel. They are like frequent flier miles."
    -AGD-

    "I once got to stick my entire head into a barrel full of bodies at AGD!!!!"
    -slushee-

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  25. #55
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    my take on Tom's legacy and contribution can be easily summed up every single time I go to play with my 68Classic Mag (yes I mean classic as in remote line CO2 and dual expansions) and some young kid will say - "Hey, what kind of gun is that?"

    To which I reply, "It's an Automag." Most will then get a real puzzled look on their face when they notice the absence of a motorized anything and a single finger trigger frame...
    I can hear their brain saying "How do you play with something like that?"

    After a few games of dominating play, sitting around getting a swig of gatorade - these kids, always more than one will ask me "Hey, how much was your gun?"

    Nuf said

  26. #56
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    Hey, how much was ur gun?


























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  27. #57
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    There will be a long period of "The Dark Ages" for Paintball.

    This reminds me of the end of "The Return of The King" when the good guys all sail off into the undieing(sp) lands....or the end of "Excailbur" when Arthur sails off with the othe kings.


    Bummer,

    Craig

  28. #58
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    Its been great shooting your markers for the past 9 years. Like others, not so suprised to see this happen... AO did grow nicely after AGD purchased it. I was a member here for a few years prior and the site was dead, but the forum at the time was still strong. AGD made it stronger, no doubt about that.

    Just like to say good luck on your future ventures, and I wish nothing but greatness for you in the future. You have brought so much to the sport and its players. Its truly a sad day when someone like this walks away.
    Taking a long needed leave of the sport to finish school and tour the country

    b2k3w/pds, vaporized, vapor valve, aka sidewinder, chaos chip, palmer rock lpr, CP barrels, 68/45 hyperflow

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  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by MindJob
    WOW.

    The last of the good guys rides off into the sunset

    What does the future hold for AGD? New products? New direction, or will the new managment keep the ship on the same course?

    Im here looking at my X-mag sitting on my gear case, thinking that it all of a sudden looks a bit 'dated' for some reason.

    WOW

    Now what?
    I really do hope that the company is on the upswing. I don't want AGD to lose its vision for the future. I really pray and hope that the 'Mag will not disappear. It should be refined but not forgotten. What products are in the works?

  30. #60
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    Well I know what this means. I must sell my cocker, get an emag, and make a pilgramage to shatner ball.

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