Vancouver, BC- With matching outfits, a smartphone and some hockey prowess, the Manchurek triplets have become TikTok famous. Joey Machurek, a hockey player with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, was atop the OUA’s western conference in January, but as the season winded down, he and his brothers began to take TikTok by storm.
Their fame is not the velvet robes and luxurious clothing of Hollywood, rather a simple smartphone camera, matching outfits and a whole bunch of creativity. Joey was a critical part of the Varsity Blues who finished atop the OUA West before falling out in the first round of the playoffs. However, as the season came to a close, he and his brothers discovered TikTok, a creative video platform catered towards teenagers and young adults with video posts a maximum of 60 seconds. The app features everything from dances to challenges and other short skits, all of which the Manchurek’s have participated in and to a great reception.
Joey, Robbie and Mark Manchurek launched their TikTok account, @ManchurekTriplets, in mid-February and are already up to nearly 670,000 followers. It’s a feat seldom achieved, but the trio has done so while finishing off an academic year, all whilst dealing with a world shuttered by COVID-19.
While Joey formerly played with the Ontario Hockey League’s Oshawa Generals and is currently a student-athlete, his brothers also played at a high level. Mark hit the ice with his hometown Windsor Spitfires in the OHL while Rob played high school hockey with Ridley College. With all of them pursuing hockey, it’s taken up most of their 23 years and left little time for triplet activities.
“We’ve been trying to think of something to do together for a while, but with hockey and all that, we haven’t really been together all that much,” said Joey. However, TikTok so far has been something they’ve been able to enjoy, and they’re good at it too. The three brothers are all back at their childhood home in Windsor, leaving them with lots of time to be creative.
TikTok has over 800 million users worldwide and only a small fraction become popular, so the Manchureks have done something right. Joey spoke about how there is an inherent interest in triplets, just by the fact that they are so rare. The odds of naturally having triplets are roughly 1/9000 and those stretch to 1/60,000 when you’re looking for identical. From the moment they were born, they were already an interest, but how did the trio turn that into TikTok fame?
There are a lot of factors that have contributed to their following explosion Joey explained. “We have a lot of ideas ourselves, but there are a lot of twin channels out there and we also learn from them and bring it to triplets.” One of these ideas is their consistently matching outfits. These outfits exaggerate the likeness of the three and make it seem almost as if they are clones. The strategy hooks viewers in as they look for things to differentiate the brothers and by the time they are looking, they are intrigued by whatever it is the trio is performing.
The success has been surprising to the Manchurek’s but it has opened the doors for more creative possibilities both away from and back at the rink. They have introduced the help of Fourth Wall Management, a talent management group targeted at online creators like themselves and that helped them expand to different platforms such as YouTube. Although they’ve not reached the same heights on YouTube, they have a lot planned.
When asked about their Youtube plans, Joey said, “When things open up, we are going to start doing some sports challenges and maybe some more planned pranks.” Youtube allows them to expand upon their stories and ideas for longer than one minute, allowing them to explore some aspects of content creating that they’ve yet to touch on.
With TikTok fame secured and a burgeoning Youtube following, there is a slew of ways that the trio can grow in the future. The Varsity Blues women’s hockey team has a number of TikTok users and Joey says he’s open to doing some video collaborations with either them or his own Varsity Blues teammates. For now though, TikTok and YouTube give the Manchurek triplets something to do aside from their offseason workouts and they’re determined to keep growing once hockey restarts. Their fame may not be the bright lights of the silver screen, but it’s fame nonetheless as they strive towards a million followers.
You can find the Manchurek triplets channels on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram @ManchurekTriplets.