Ball Tattoo
Muscular, tattooed basketball player not included.

What it is: A stencil and ink set.

What it's supposed to do: Allow you to stencil your name, initials, or some other identifying label on your basketball in permenant ink.

What it actually does: The Ball Tattoo works exactly as advertised. It goes on in a couple of minutes and the resulting "tattoo" looks pretty stylish. It resists fading, too; I've been using the Ball Tattoo for about six months and there has been little or no visible change. Supposedly, you can't even file the ink off, although it's probably better not to try.

Who it's for: Anybody who's paid good money for their basketball and wants to keep track of it. Sure, you could just write your name onto the ball with a felt-tip marker, but it'll look only as good as your crappy handwriting, and then it'll wear off in a couple weeks.

What it says about you: You understand that there are unscrupulous and clueless people everywhere, and discovering that somebody walked off with your $50 basketball while you were in a game is a bitter pill to swallow.

The specifications: Each Ball Tattoo kit contains one sheet of 45 one-inch tall stencil letters, masking strips, a tube of ink, and an applicator brush. The seller claims there's "enough ink to ID up to three balls," which might be a little deceptive. There's actually about 20 letters worth of ink in the tube, so choose your ball ID carefully, Amadeaus. The ink works on rubber, leather, and synthetic balls. Currently, only one font (Lasertac) and color (black) are available.

Cost and availability: $6.95 (plus S&H) at

A note of caution: One of the product's taglines is "Looks like silk screen. Works like Kryptonite!" I'm not exactly sure what that's supposed to mean, except that if Superman plays in your pickup league you might accidentally kill him.

Update: Reader eljpeman astutely pointed out that the subtitle on the graphic reads "The permanent ID for balls." For those of you with dirty minds, I'm pretty sure they're talking about basketballs and not, uhm, well, yeah.

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Blogger Tangaroo401 said...
I do sharpie my ball, but i think that the file-proof aspect is an innovative idea, considering the university rec office filed the name off my ball when i left it in the gym and made it one of the official REC balls that you can't take back.


Blogger Basketbawful said...
The same thing happened to me back when I was in college. My ball wasn't even the same brand as the university balls and they still wouldn't give mine back.

Blogger Pete Fresh said...
Did you hear AI just released his own line of tattooed balls? They say "David Stern Can't Cover These Tats Up". That or they have a picture of him being crucified over a pile of white people's skulls.

Irony: The only place AI hasn't actually tatooed is his genitalia

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Did you hear AI just released his own line of tattooed balls? "

Did anyone else who read that line before they read the rest, get very, very scared?

Blogger eljpeman said...
I thought the subtitle "the PERMANENT id for balls" would have sounded really wrong if there weren't basketballs all around the label.

I wonder, just wonder, if in those shorts there were tatooed...... nevermind.. :\

Blogger Basketbawful said...
pete fresh -- The worst thing is, that wouldn't even surprise me at this point.

josh -- Okay, that got a healthy snort out of me.

eljpeman -- Oh, man. That...I don't know how I missed that. A short burst of hastily disguised laughter escaped my cube, just so you know.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this info. i bought the Ball Tattoo and i love it.