9 Extreme Versions of Things You Loved as a Kid
As we've mentioned before, while most of us reach a certain age where we're willing to dump the entire contents of our childhood closet into the yard sale bin in exchange for more liquor-n-condom money, there are those who prefer to let their hobbies grow along with them. And we say "grow" in the literal sense, because some of these adult versions of the toys we loved as kids are almost devastatingly huge.
Sit back and let your inner child scream with jealousy at the sight of things like ...
A Call of Duty-Style Nerf Sentry Gun
Like most toys from our childhood, Nerf guns have evolved over the years -- for instance, did you know they now have a whole line of pink guns and bows for girls called Rebelle? Somehow, just adding pastel colors wasn't enough to satisfy Nerf addict Britt Liv, so she created a modern-day Nerf gun better suited to her (terrifying) needs:
She tried to upgrade a Super Soaker too, but it violated the Geneva Conventions.
Not only can the Nerf Vulcan Sentry automatically shoot darts of foamy death at your opponents while you sit back and laugh at their misery -- you can also set it to discern potential targets based on shirt patterns, meaning it will shoot only those you've labeled as your enemies (like, say, anyone wearing a Tapout T-shirt).
We're pretty sure that's exactly how the military version works, too.
You can read the step-by-step instructions on how to make one here, but if this one's too complicated/intense for you, Liv has also posted tutorials on how to mod several other Nerf gun models to shoot faster, harder, and generally kick more ass. She even designed an in-barrel meter that can track how fast the darts are shot out, presumably in order to calibrate the exact amount of force necessary to kill a grown man with a small foam projectile.
She's either the biggest Nerf fan ever or the world's least intimidating super villain.
We imagine it's only a matter of time before Nerf wises up and hires this woman to design their actual products. Expect a consistent increase in dart-related eye injuries when this happens.
A Full-Size LEGO X-Wing
Hey, look what someone left in the middle of Times Square:
The next Godzilla movie ends with him stepping on this and letting out a string of expletives.
If you're anything like us, you just stared at that thing for a full 10 seconds before noticing the people around it and realizing that, holy shit, that's a freaking full-size LEGO X-Wing. You can sit on it and everything. And yes, it's made out of actual LEGO blocks; it's not a plywood mock-up made to look like it:
They probably didn't fly it into Times Square, but we can't prove they didn't.
Created as a promotional stunt for a Star Wars something or other (nice try, Disney), they used regular LEGO bricks to make bigger ones -- five million tiny blocks total to build the 42-foot-long, 11-foot-tall, 46,000-pound, 1:1 scale replica of Luke Skywalker's ship. It took a team of 32 builders to put this together, but first they had to construct an elaborate metal framework, the blueprint for which is only slightly less complicated than the assembly instructions for your average LEGO set.
Mark Hamill sold separately.
The whole thing was constructed at LEGO's facility in the Czech Republic and then transported to Times Square (a trip that presumably took considerably longer than 12 parsecs), where throngs of Star Wars fans got to slaver it with nerd drool before it eventually made its way to its final home at LEGOLAND in California. This is the world's largest Star Wars toy at the moment, and we say at the moment because we assume LEGO is already working on a full-size Death Star somewhere around the orbit of Saturn.
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots You Ride In
Even though we've landed on distant planets and smashed atoms at near-light speed, we believe the best indication that we're already living in the future is the new breed of $17,000 Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots, which suggest we're headed straight to the world depicted in Real Steel.
Does this mean science is close to inventing a real Hugh Jackman, too?
While not an official revamp of the classic toy, the basic rules are the same: The red robot has to punch the blue robot until it connects a blow to the head, and vice versa. The main difference is that in this case you're actually sitting inside the goddamn robot as you spam those punch buttons.
These "Bionic Bopper Cars" have bumpers implemented to keep you at punching range and are fully mobile in all directions, with hidden wheels powered by a Honda gas engine that grants a top speed of 3 mph. You could probably buy an actual Honda for the same money, but then how would you punch that SUV with the "Keep the White House White" bumper sticker?
Also, the robots have a 300-pound limit, so even the most sedentary of our species can become ass-kicking harbingers of destruction. Or, if you'd prefer something equally futuristic-looking but with a little more speed, the same company occasionally sells street-legal, lithium powered Tron Light Cycles for only $55,000.
They'll knock it down to $50,000 if you don't show up to buy it in a Tron Guy costume.
A Water Slide With a 17-Story Drop
As kids, we all went through that rite of passage that was sitting on top of a slide, having second thoughts about sliding down, and then being pushed by some asshole kid standing behind you. Well, good news: You can now relive and amplify that terror as an adult, thanks to the Verruckt, a water slide named after the German word for "insane." We'll let you guess why.
Yup: You'd have to be verruckt in the head to ride it.
At approximately 17 stories (around 170 feet), this affront to the water park gods is taller than Niagara Falls and could comfortably hock a loogie into the Statue of Liberty's torch. It won't be measured exactly until spring (it'll take that long to unfold the measuring tape), but the makers' website claims Verruckt is taller than any ski slope. We're gonna go ahead and believe them, because this motherfucker looks like the Olympic ski-jump ramp's bigger brother that smokes cigarettes and drives a '92 Camaro.
The park is located in Kansas City, Kansas, and will open in May 2014. So if you're reading this after that date, you may have already seen the first casualties in the news. Shit, just climbing up there will be scary enough: It's 264 steps to the top of the slide. At that point, you and three others enter a raft (secured by a "tunnel of netting") and are given a few seconds to pay tribute to the Virgin Mother before you plunge at speeds that are illegal on some highways.
It doesn't need any water -- you'll release enough urine to lubricate your entire fall.
A Roadworthy Cozy Coupe
The universal sign that a man has hit his midlife crisis is the moment he buys himself that flashy car he always wanted when he was younger. John Bitmead from England, however, went further back than most men for inspiration. Way further.
They didn't have giant baby strollers at the dealership.
Yes, that is a grown-up version of the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, which was at the bleeding edge of childhood automotive technology about 20 years ago (today, they're still useful for collecting rainwater in people's front lawns). So, where did Bitmead buy this beauty, and do they take Monopoly money? Nowhere, actually: He made it himself by taking apart a Daewoo Matiz. He even removed the car's windshield in the name of accuracy, but made sure to include seatbelts and airbags to make it street legal.
Incidentally, this makes it safer than most commercial Daewoo models.
Also, he made it so the ignition looks like a big button, because of course he did. Other than that, it's a completely normal, functional car: It runs on good ol' British unleaded petrol, and its 800cc engine can propel it to 60 in a sizzling 17 seconds. Bitmead, his brother, and a friend put a grown-ass-man amount of work into this project, clocking in around 1,000 hours and dropping $60,000-plus to shape his dream car. Was the investment worth it? We'll let his expression in the following photo answer that question:
Wait, you don't propel it with your feet, Flintstones-style? This is bullshit.
Full-Size Remote-Controlled Cars
Playing with remote-controlled cars is perhaps the worst way to get kids acquainted with the concept of driving, because all you do is rev your vehicle straight through obstacles (turning is for pussies) while that fragile meatbag you call a body is located a safe distance from the action. If actual cars could be controlled the same way, society would crumble within 10 years.
Hey, guess what this one guy invented:
And you thought charging a tiny car's battery for 12 hours was painful.
That's Dr. James Brighton, an engineer from Cranfield University who likes taking full-size vehicles and transforming them into very expensive remote-controlled toys. By tinkering with the steering and other controls, he can command a real Hummer H3 to "traverse a 40 percent side slope, climb a 16-inch wall, and run in two feet of water," all at the flick of a stick, just like the one you used to control your shitty little battery-powered model back in the day.
Of course, kids today are more likely to race each other on their phones than with joysticks -- and that's why Brighton also rigged up a pair of MG F roadsters to be remotely controlled by smartphones in a real-life re-creation of the mobile game Reckless Racing 2.
"I wanted to do Mario Kart but couldn't find big enough bananas."
The creator of the game then demonstrated the "reckless" part by sending the cars two-wheeling over mounds of dirt and plunking barrels aside all willy-nilly. Sadly, though, there was not a single pedestrian representing the G.I. Joe figures that our childhood R/C obstacle courses invariably included.
The Great Paper Airplane Project
In 2012, the Pima Air & Space Museum faced a challenge: How could they get kids interested in a lame old museum, even one containing flying death-bringing machines? The solution was hosting a cute paper airplane contest for kids ... and then making a motherfucking giant version of the winning plane and flying it for real. Meet Arturo's Desert Eagle:
Poor Arturo thought he was getting a 45-foot gun.
Discounting the cameras they loaded in it to get some sweet first perspective shots, the 45-foot-long airplane was made entirely from dead trees, although they had to make the material considerably less flimsy than your discarded math notes or they wouldn't be able to hook this thing to the helicopter. What helicopter? Oh, you know, the one that hauled the paper plane up to an altitude of 2,703 feet over the Arizona desert before turning it loose.
Pictured: Flat Stanley's worst nightmare.
The craft followed the exact same flight plan as every paper airplane you ever made as a kid: a prolonged nosedive. Only, instead of its final destination being your seventh grade math teacher's cleavage, this one "landed" straight into the arid desert floor. It's a familiar scene, but where this experiment in paper-based aerodynamics absolutely humiliated your childhood ones was in scope -- the plane reached a top speed of 98 miles per hour and flew for nearly a mile before finally making impact. Still, the end result was pretty much exactly what you'd expect to happen when the ground gives a vehicle made entirely out of paper a hundred-mile-per-hour kick in the balls:
We've blurred out the obligatory dick doodles.
Colossal Claw Games With Real Prizes
For many of us, the claw game at our local arcade was our very first brush with addiction, even if that off-brand Ninja Turtle we so desired always managed to slip our mechanical fingers at the last second. Now, think about how much more addictive it'd be if, rather than cheap-ass tchotchkes, that claw machine was full of stuff like full-size skateboards, guitars, and scooters. A company called Real Art did more than think about it: They built it.
The human is the most elusive prize, since it keeps moving and crying for help.
They took "2,000 pounds of steel, 900 feet of wire, 1.5 wheelchairs, and 4 cameras," and turned them into a claw machine fit for Gulliver's travels. Then they loaded it up with amazing prizes ... along with stuff like leather chaps, Dokken albums, and "disgusting" cologne, because it just isn't a claw game without some duds. And because they also knew the children of yesterday are the office procrastinators of today, they made the whole shebang controllable over the Internet and mailed prizes directly to the winners' homes.
Losers got a certificate with the percentage of their lives they'd wasted here.
Not content to let a bunch of Internet-savvy whippersnappers hold the record for the world's largest claw game, Chevrolet later went the virtual route when they projected a five-story claw game onto the side of the Roosevelt Hotel in L.A., letting passersby play by manipulating a gargantuan gearshift (which surely provided the inconvenienced drivers with plenty of ammunition to scream out of their car windows). And the grand prize? An actual car.
OK, so it was a Chevy Sonic, but still ...
Model Cars That Cost 10 Times More Than Real Ones
The whole point of collecting model cars as kids was having them as placeholders until the day we hit it big and could afford the real thing. Robert Gulpen from Germany apparently has it all backward: His 1:8 scale models routinely break the $5,000,000 price barrier because, as their description states, "It is not a model car. It is a piece of art."
"And I do not watch cartoons. I watch anime. Now get out of my room, mom, GOD."
Oh, and also: These things are made out of gold and platinum, so we guess that drives up the prices some too. Gulpen has re-created various luxury cars, including English favorites such as Aston Martin, Rolls Royce, and the iconic Jaguar MK2, and in all cases the tiny version you can put your RoboCop action figure in costs considerably more than the big one you can drive to the hospital in an emergency.
The literal jewel in Gulpen's collection is his Lamborghini Aventador replica, which is studded with 2,000 precious gems, comes with a bulletproof display case, and went for $4.8 million. Because at some point Gulpen decided gold rims weren't enough, and just fucking dipped the entire thing in gold.
Be warned, though, that while a real Lamborghini's top speed is limited only by physics and a massive 600-plus horsepower engine, the maximum for the 15 times more expensive version is dependent on how fast you can swipe it across a surface and say "vroom."
Jason is a freelance editor for this fine website, Cracked.com. Like him on Facebook and he'll split his giant Charleston Chew with you.
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