More than Just Bunny Hops at the Easter Keg Hunt

98 KUPD’s Annual Easter Keg Hunt Trophy

With the holiday around the corner, we can’t help but bring up the Easter keg trophy that we custom make for 98 KUPD.

For the annual Big Red Easter Keg Hunt, the radio station staff hides 98 full-size kegs on Good Friday and the week before. The kegs will be hidden throughout the valley for radio listeners to find. Clues will be given out over the course of two days, Thursday and Friday, to help Keg Hunters. Each winner gets to take home goodies such as an Octane Raceway gift card, but most importantly, a Mini Keg Trophy! Oh, and of course, one random winner will receive the grand prize of $5,000.

98 KUPD Easter Keg Hunt Winners

2016 Easter Keg Hunt Winner, Jaime Ramirez (center) (Source)

John Holmberg host of 98 KUPD's Morning Sickness autographing a mini Easter Keg Trophy

John Holmberg, 98 KUPD Morning Show Host (Source)

Kegs from Across the World

How do we make a Easter Keg Trophy, you ask? Well, we start with a fantastic mini keg bought overseas. These sleek mini kegs are from none other than Germany—the Germans do love their beer, don’t they? These sturdy kegs are perfect as the base for our Easter Keg Trophy. Each of the 98 mini kegs are customized with an aluminum plate riveted on to its face. Each plate proudly displays which of the kegs the Easter Keg Hunter has found. This amazing German engineered Keg Trophy is a great addition to any mantle. We highly recommend it to all serious Keg Hunters.

Best of luck to this year’s Keg Hunters!

Can’t Get This Trophy Just Anywhere

2017 Easter Keg Hunt Mini Keg Trophy in bunny ears

2017 Easter Keg Hunt Mini Keg Trophy

The Tempe Trophy team loves doing custom awards. They’re fun and allow us to dig into our creativity to design awards exactly as our customers envision them. Arizona’s Real Rock Station 98KUPD has entrusted us with making these mini keg trophies for them year after year. This is how much commitment we give our clients. We make sure that they are satisfied with every project we’re assigned. When our clients love what we create for them, that’s a success in our books.

#TheresATrophy4That #WeCanEngraveThat #Engraved #EasterKegHunt #98KUPD

Collaboration & Custom Awards

Tempe Trophy and Kornegay Design

Tempe Trophy recently had the honor of collaborating on the creation of a very unique award designed by Larry Kornegay for the Landscape Architecture Foundation Founders Award (2016).  The award is given to organizations who show diligence in sustainable landscaping.

This year’s design resembles a seed still encased in its pod. Larry Kornegay says “The seed and pod approach to this award expresses the need for constant vigilance and nurturing of the environment around us.”

Solid Bronze Seed

Kornegay Design brought to us a solid piece of bronze that had been custom-cast and patinated, and asked us to use our Sand Carving technique to deeply etch the stone as they had envisioned. The solid piece of bronze we were served was quite heavy – we’re talking roughly ten pounds. And, once our part of the process was complete, the carved stone encasement (pod) was added.

LAF Founders' Award 2016

LAF Founders’ Award 2016

Hopefully the American Society of Landscape Architects, the winner of this year’s prestigious award, sent a strong individual up to the stage to accept the award! Mass aside, the end result was stately, elegant, and presented with pride at the LAF banquet this past spring.

Custom Projects

Whether we’re just another hand-in-the-pot to help put the final touches on an epic creation like this one, or we get the pleasure of seeing an idea through from vision board to full production, our number one goal is to make it perfect. Every time. We’ve built a business based on customer service for a reason – we want to make sure that the product our customer envisions is the product we help create.


#TempeTrophy #Custom #Awards #Bronze

Fantasy Football & The Imitation Game

Imitation n. highest form of flattery Crop

Here at Tempe Trophy we like to think of ourselves as the ultimate trend setters when it comes to custom trophies and personalized gifts. Little did we know that we actually are. Turns out that little ole’ Tempe Trophy is being closely watched, and copied, by some big-time companies! And, this is not the first time we’ve dealt with imitation. Who would’ve thunk it?! Who would have imagined that our mom-n-pop shop (literally owned and operated by a mom and pop) could garnish so much attention?

Us vs. Them - It's all about the attention to detail...

THEIR Armchair Quarterback.

Us vs. Them - It's all about the attention to detail...

OUR Golden Armchair Quarterback – Check out our hand-patina detail…

What A Rip-off

We were blown away when we recently ran an internet search on one of our Fantasy Football Trophies, and discovered that our original Golden Armchair Quarterback Trophy was no longer so original. That’s right; after a few years of Tempe Trophy crafting and selling this popular FFL trophy, some big online trophy depot decided to take the SAME trophy, use LESS DETAIL in the finish and the placard design, use an eerily similar description as ours, and OF COURSE minimally undercut us on the price.

We know that we offer a better-quality product that is designed exactly as our customers specify, and most times finished with personalized touches by hand (as opposed to being finished on some factory conveyor belt in Timbuktu). Being the small, homegrown business that we are, people should inherently feel more encouraged to purchase our products, which are always made with love and attention-to-detail. But, now that these major internet corporations are pulling out their big guns by selling lower-caliber merchandise at nearly the same price, we feel so inclined as to climb up our little mom-n-pop soapbox, and set the record straight!  In this case, our Fantasy Football League customers may think that they are getting the same Golden Armchair Quarterback Trophy at a discounted price from these big guys, but they so are not!

An Industry Leader; formerly known as the Awards and Recognition Association

The APA, an industry leader, honors businesses who offer quality products and great customer service

Positive Recognition

Here’s the thing – we know we’re good because our clients tell us we’re good! They continuously give us positive feedback on our work. Plus, we have several nominations and awards to prove just how great we are. The international trade group that governs our industry, the Awards and Personalization Association (formerly the Awards and Recognition Association), not only nominated us in 2011 as their International Small Business Retailer of the Year, but their affiliate also recognized us in a magazine publication for our outstanding customer service. In addition, they follow us on Twitter and other social media outlets.

We are excited to maintain a rapidly growing social media platform. With Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook followers including industry leaders and corporate vendors, we have really been launched into the limelight. No wonder we have imitators popping up all over the web!

The Bottom Line

Just as we study the bottom line of our financial statement to determine a profit or loss, we must examine what is happening here. Well… we’ve mulled it over and have decided that this is a gain. We have once again been imitated, and for now we feel no threat. We feel flattered. After all, we make and sell creations developed from the heart of a small business, with personal detail added to industry leading products. We continue to drive forward with an unwavering will to compete, and we succeed. We’ll just continue to smile and say, “Often imitated… but NEVER duplicated!”

#TempeTrophy #Engravablez #FantasyFootball #Trophy #Imitation

Tempe Trophy's Golden Armchair Quarterback Fantasy Football Trophy

Tempe Trophy’s Golden Armchair Quarterback Fantasy Football Trophy


#TempeTrophy #Football #FFL #FantasyFootball

The Mack Daddy of All Projects

The team here at Tempe Trophy is well-known for developing unique products on a daily basis. Every project that we complete is one-of-a-kind. That’s the business of custom awards and gifts; a creative platform which we have fully-embraced. Unique products are what we know, and we were recently given the Mack Daddy of all projects.

Mack Truck Book Ends

Mack Truck Book Ends

One of the coolest tasks we’ve been handed lately was for bookends. However, the assignment didn’t start with bookends in mind. Actually, it all started with the opportunity to transform hood ornaments from one of the biggest and baddest truck companies around, into a commanding office display. Our client knew of our unique forte, and allowed our creative juices to flow. The end product resulted in some pretty sweet bookends.

Our customer came to us in need of an impressive gift for his employer; the boss of a shipping company, who only buys Mack products – Mack Trucks®, that is.

Mack Titan - Image courtesy of

Mack Titan – Image courtesy of

You know Mack Trucks. They’re one of the largest producers of heavy-duty Class 8 trucks, engines and transmissions in North America. In fact, you probably pass one of their haulers every time you’re on the highway. And, all of the parents out there should recognize the Mack brand immediately – the Disney-Pixar series “Cars” features a loveable character named Mack. He is Lightening McQueen’s long-haul driver and a Mack Truck. And, as the “Official Hauler of NASCAR”, the brand not only translates well into an admirable animated series about cars, but has become largely recognizable by its own accord.

Mack from Pixar's "Cars" on tour - Image courtesy of

Mack from Pixar’s “Cars” on tour – Image courtesy of

So, when we were asked to create a striking gift with the bulldog baubles, we knew we needed to create something stately. The obvious choice was to attach the hardware to some elegant marble and forge some refined bookends. We mounted the stout gold and silver bulldogs to our pure onyx marble, added a couple of ornate marble books, and completed one of our most distinct products to-date. Projects like this one really drive us. Get it? Mack Trucks… drive us… ha ha ha!

100% Mack-made trucks display a golden bulldog hood ornament

100% Mack-made trucks display a golden bulldog hood ornament

A little-known fact about Mack Bulldog hood ornaments: A gold-colored figurine affixed to the hood of a truck shows that that truck is comprised entirely of Mack products. That particular truck is a 100% Mack-made machine. Now, you have another fun game to play on your next road trip! It’s called “Spot the REAL Mack Daddy.” You’re welcome.

And of course if you have a custom project in mind tell us about it so we can make it a reality!



#TempeTrophy #EngravableZ #CustomAwards #MackTrucks

Custom Awards For QT

Custom Bottle Opener Collage

Custom Bottle Opener Collage

At Tempe Trophy we take our work pretty serious. But, we’ve got to admit that the business of creating custom awards and gifts is pretty fun. So recently, when our awesome friends at QuikTrip approached us about a few new projects, we made it our business to have some serious fun.

When QT wanted a vintage bottle opener, we partnered with the company that created the original Coca-Cola bottle opener, and we got down to some serious (fun) business. Using the Starr “X” Stationary Bottle Opener, we created a steel prototype with ‘QuikTrip’ embossed across the face, and enveloped the entire piece in an antiqued finish. We also constructed a custom store award for them, which continuously circulates between the top performing locations. But, one of our favorite projects to-date was presented and completed in less than 48 hours; The QT Cup Award.

Custom QT Store Award

Custom QuikTrip Store Award

Our buddies from QuikTrip stopped by our shop on Baseline Road a couple of days before the local stores’ 1st Annual Year End Party. They handed us one of their iconic cups and asked us to create an epic award out of it. You all know this cup – it’s the one you fill with your choice of crushed or cubed ice, flavored syrups, and any combination of their chilled-to-a-perfect-34-degrees beverage options. Next time you’re sipping on your favorite QT concoction, think about this fun fact; QuikTrip was the first retailer to offer self-serve fountain drinks. No wonder they’ve perfected the art of ice cold beverage creations! Well, when we were handed the quintessential cup and given some creative freedom, we had the opportunity to perfect the art of custom corporate award development.

That day, we used one of our team member’s favorite QT creations as inspiration. It goes like this:

The iconic QuikTrip refillable cup, with Tempe Trophy's our cherry Dr. Pepper creation

Custom QT Cup Award: The iconic QuikTrip refillable cup, filled with Tempe Trophy’s cherry Dr. Pepper creation

  1. Fill cup with ice cubes.
  2.  Dispense 8 seconds’ worth of cherry syrup
  3. Flood cup almost to the top with Dr. Pepper
  4. Hit it one more time with cherry syrup, for good measure
  5. Grab QT straw and stir, don’t shake (sorry, James Bond)
  6. Drink up!

We did. Our cherry syrup Dr. Pepper was half empty by the time we mounted it to the elegant black base and affixed the customized plaque. But before all that happened, we had to build our beverage.

Acrylic ice cube creation

Tempe Trophy’s acrylic ice cube creation

Our self-serve fountain drink began by filling the cup with hand-crafted ice cubes. We created these by blasting chunks of clear acrylic with a blow torch in order to achieve a melted cube effect. Our cubes were then placed in the cup in front of a silver cylinder used to refract light and create a glistening effect like the ice in your favorite QT beverage.

For the cherry flavored Dr. Pepper liquid, we used our own resin and oil paint combo in order to fabricate a material that would flow, yet dry to a solid. And, we were able to develop the perfect color. We then manipulated the material to surround our acrylic ice cubes and fill the red straw. The exterior of the cup was marked with a couple of droplets – the kind that happen when you’re moving a little too fast and not all of your favorite fountain drink makes it into your mouth. Thank goodness for refills!

Spilled Dr. Pepper gag gift, made using the same resin developed for the QT Cup Award

Spilled Dr. Pepper gag gift, made using the same resin developed for the QT Cup Award

"Dr Pepper" drip on QT Cup Award

“Dr Pepper” drip on QT Cup Award

We remember the early days of refills fondly. When our neighborhood QT had its Grand Opening, we would make several trips a day to refill our favorite reusable cup. QuikTrip just keeps creating great memories for the gang here at Tempe Trophy.

Having the opportunity to show off our creativity, and making it happen in such a short window of time was a pretty amazing experience. Thanks for all of the nostalgic moments, QT!


#TempeTrophy #EngravableZ #CustomAwards

Bringing Home the Oscar

So you want to know the how to bring home an Oscar. Well, I don’t know. But I do know the people that make them. The Oscar was a topic of conversation at my most recent visit with RS Owens, one of the manufactures that we work with. They also happen to make the Oscar. Of course, while there I couldn’t resist having a little fun. I pulled out my Lego astronaut and snapped this fun photo.

An Oscar with a Lego astronaut

My Lego Astronaut next to a real Oscar (Image of Matt Damon, photographer Aidan Monaghan)


Like many people that loved the movie The Martian with Matt Damon, I was still at least happy for Leonard Dicaprio and the other winners. But enough about that, let’s talk about the Trophies!

We have worked with RS Owens for more than two decades now, and I was surprised at how big and heavy that the Oscar is. Weighing in at 8.5 pounds, it feels good in your hand. It’s tall, at 13.5 inches it towers over my little lego guy. The Oscar is hand cast and finished with 24-carat gold. Leaving the luck winner with some awesome shelf candy.

Form the same meeting I got to take a look at some of the beautiful art glass pieces that the produce. Now they don’t let us order the Oscar, but I am a big fan of their glass. We always try to keep at least a few pieces in our showroom. If you want to see their full offering check out RS Owens. If you fall in love with a piece, let us know what you need us to engrave on it and we will make it happen.

Below is a picture of an Art Grass Award that I real like. The glass portion comes from artist Orfeo Quagliata. He is a skilled artist, designer and founder of Phuze Glassworks in Mexico City, Mexico.

Art Glass Award

Liquid Sapphire Pyramid Art Glass Award

I love the blues and the way that light filters through it. Orfeo, the artist describes it as “boiled glass”. His work explores color, light, and geometry bringing all of these elements together in a dramatic fusion of color. It’s a great piece.

Of course, the other fun thing about this Oscar experience was casting the part of our Lego astronaut. Bellow you can see the different iterations of The Martian that we put together.

Lego auditions for The Martiann

All of the Lego figures that we cannibalized to create our Lego Martian (Right, photographer Aidan Monaghan. Center, photographer Me. Left , photographer Kurt Isarienko)

#TempeTrophy #Lego #TheMartian #Oscar #EngravableZ #ArtGlass

Engraving with a Diamond

What is harder than metal? Well diamonds of course. Diamond Drag Engraving is a traditional and great way to engrave in metal. This is a quick video of one of our CNC machines engraving a piece of blue aluminum.

One of the things that I love about Diamond Drag engraving is the “sparkle”. The cut metal catches light in a way that you don’t get with other engraving techniques. If you would like a quick overview of some of the other engraving techniques check out our services page where we cover Sand Carving, Laser Engraving, Full Color Engraving, Etching, and some other options to add personalization to awards and gifts.

#DiamondDrag #EngravableZ #Engraving

Hot Shot Bronze Memorial Plaque

When 19 Arizona Firefighters were killed battling a wildfire near Payson, it really struck all of Arizona. It made Phoenix feel like a small town. We all felt the loss. I think of my brother ‘n law, a firefighter from Queen Creek who with an entire engine company drove the nearly 100 miles to attend the memorial services for the fallen fire fighters. To permanently memorialize these fire fighters the Arizona Diamondbacks and APS commissioned this massive bronze casting.

Bronze Memorial Plaque for the Arizona Diamondbacks

Bronze Memorial Plaque

The beautiful bronze memorial plaque was nearly 70 pounds. It was the kind of project that made us appreciate the sense of community and caring that really does exist here in the valley.

#Foundry #Engravablez #TempeTrophy #Memorial