Sioux Center, Iowa – Two Dordt University students from the Sioux Center are going to be featured in a television show airing on Fox.
Dordt officials tell us that about 10 years ago, Alex and Derek Koops were watching videos of kinetic gear when they came across domino art – design projects constructed from thousands of dominoes that are eventually overthrown. They were intrigued enough to start creating their own builds in their parents’ home at Sioux Center and eventually post YouTube videos online. They slowly built up their collection of dominoes through birthday gifts and Christmas gifts. They also collected ping pong balls, Hot Wheels tracks and other contraptions to build Rube Goldberg machines, a chain reaction that performs a simple task in a complicated way.
Today, with 200,000 YouTube subscribers and over 40 million total video views, DaksDominos, Derek and Alex’s YouTube channel, is verified by YouTube, which highlights the legitimacy of their brand. They are the proud owners of a YouTube Silver Creator Award, which is given to YouTubers with 100,000 subscribers. They’ve had several videos that have gone viral, including one themed around sports comedy band Dude Perfect, which currently has 9.7 million views.
Derek Koops, who is a recent digital media graduate in Dordt, says they had been building for five or six years by then. He says “…we had maybe 1,000 subscribers on YouTube. A few months after that viral video, we went to 10,000. And we grew from there.
Recently, Derek and Alex flew to Hollywood to take part in the FOX television series Domino Masters, a show where “teams of domino enthusiasts compete in a stunning tournament to create stunning masterpieces, with possibilities endless and thousands of unique kinetic tiles and devices. The show is set up in a medium format; 16 teams participate in the show, but only four compete at a time.
He says FOX found them through their YouTube videos and thought they would be a good fit for the competition, and says, “FOX was willing to take a risk to give domino artists across the country a chance to show off their skills to a bigger audience than just YouTube.
Alex Koops says what he enjoyed most about the show was the unlimited materials to build their displays. The brothers own around 20,000 dominoes, but nothing compared to the many dominoes and gadgets they had during filming.
Domino Masters is Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Central on FOX. The episode featuring DaksDominos will air on March 23.