6 Childhood Toys That Got Hacked Into Grown Up Awesomeness
As you grow up, the things that seemed impossibly cool to you in your youth start looking more and more underwhelming. Your badass action figures are just sad lumps of plastic, your favorite video games are just ugly polygons, Axl Rose is just ... well, Axl Rose, etc. The only solution at this point is to put all that crap on eBay and adopt some more age-appropriate hobbies, like mowing the lawn or complaining about kids today. Such is the way of the world.
Or at least, it was the way of the world, before some people out there started making insane adult versions of the things we loved as kids, compensating for your lack of imagination with sheer, awesome, often dangerous reality. For example ...
A Nintendo Zapper Gun That Can Kill People
One of the ways Nintendo convinced toy stores to stock their first gaming console in 1985 (after some little space turd nearly killed the video game industry) was by including a bunch of fun peripherals like the NES Zapper -- the plastic gun you'd use to play Duck Hunt, and then throw at your TV after that goddamned dog laughed at your shitty aim too many times.
Obviously, the Zapper may have looked like a gun, but you couldn't murder an intruder with it. Well, two gun companies from (*gasp*) Texas recently decided to change that:
Perfect for mafia hit men who need to whack somebody discreetly at a Chuck E. Cheese's.
Yep, that's a functional gun, of the "puts holes in your body" type. In March of this year, Black Sheep Arms announced that they'd converted a .45 automatic Glock to look like a spot-on recreation of the iconic game controller, right down to the color scheme, the Nintendo logo, and the fact that it will probably spark fights with your brother. Here's a video of "Greatest Shooter of All Time" Jerry Miculek demonstrating it ... while dressed as Mario, naturally.
"Our Princess is in anoth--" "THAT'S IT, I'VE HAD IT WITH THIS SHIT."
If you wanted a clear example of how much culture has changed in 30 years, there you go. We've gone from making toys that look like guns to making guns that look like toys. And these guys weren't the only ones. A month later, Precision Syndicate showed off another Nintendo-ized Glock on their Facebook page ...
What's next? Real-life boxing gloves? Barrels?
... with the misfortune that this one went viral, prompting a deluge of comments pointing out that perhaps making an instrument of death look enticing to children isn't the best idea. Both companies clarified that the guns were one-time custom jobs for collectors -- hopefully not to duel with each other. To those of you thinking, "That would be awesome," shame on you. Nope, awesome would be if they dueled with Zappers retrofitted to shoot lasers, like the ones a Virginia company called North Street Labs created:
We've got a sudden hankering for roasted duck.
An RC Car That Could Get You Arrested For Speeding
When you're a kid and you find out about radio-controlled cars, you can barely believe something so cool could exist. You mean you get to stand there and watch as a miniature car all of your own zooms across the street, covering all your enemies in dust? Sign us the fuck up, Santa. And then, of course, you take the car out of the box and witness as it hits a bump on the living room rug, tips over, and breaks, along with all your hopes and dreams.
Well, if that was you, get a load of this:
That blur was the Traxxas XO-1, the RC car that makes your car look like a baby walker. After all, when's the last time a vehicle you own left smoke trails for a reason other than to let you know the engine was falling apart? This one probably looks way slicker than yours, too:
This photo was taken with a special camera; even standing still, it's too fast for the human eye.
In the time it will take you to read this sentence, the XO-1 can hit 60 miles per hour (at 2.3 seconds). Or, if you have the patience, it can break 100 mph in under five seconds. Other impressive capabilities include letting you tweak its performance through an app, having a removable top that was computer-designed for maximum aerodynamics, and making you $1,100 poorer. RC cars of this range won't make your enemies eat dust: They will literally send them to the hospital if you're not careful. Like this guy, who got flipped over by an OFNA DM-ONE going at 100 mph, presented here in slo-mo Zack-Snyder-vision:
He can always ask his dad to glue him back together, like when this happened to our Leonardo figure.
Then again, buying one of these things may not be the wisest investment ever, given the number of YouTube videos of expensive RC cars crashing and exploding. Either they're flimsier than the official websites claim, or they turn you into a maniac who likes watching thousands of dollars go up in flames. At least when we threw our Matchbox cars against the wall, we didn't risk setting the whole neighborhood on fire.
The World's Largest (And Possibly Deadliest) Nerf Gun
The coolest thing about Nerf guns is that they were harmless enough for you to vent out your pent-up lust for destruction as a child. The lamest thing was ... well, what we just said. If you want something that can at least demolish or cause serious injury while still looking like the height of '90s radness, then Mark Rober is your guy.
Not Photoshop or dwarfism.
Rober has a nine-year stint as a NASA engineer and a TED talk on his resume before age 36, and we say he's putting his skills to good use. Which is to say that, nope, his giant Nerf gun isn't a prop. It shoots giant Nerf darts, which hit damn hard ...
Judging by the time we got in trouble for making a crack on the car window, he'll be grounded until 2089.
... and go damn long (they can cover 130 yards).
We're 100 percent convinced this is how football will be played in the future.
The darts are made from pool noodles and plungers, so they can really stick to things, while the gun itself is made out of 3D-printed materials and a whole lotta brass, pipes, and wood. Inside, Rober and his accomplices included a 3,000 psi (pounds per square inch) air tank, allowing for six 800 psi shots -- so each dart is like getting punched by an elite-level boxer. Somehow, this still wasn't potent enough for Rober, so his friends at the YouTube channel Eclectic Engineering replaced the air tank with a black powder cannon and the foam darts with wooden dowels. The result is frankly terrifying, especially if you're a watermelon:
Or you have any spherical organs whatsoever.
We can only hope Rober goes back to NASA and gets them to arm all astronauts with these things. Fighting off Xenomorphs would look even cooler than in Aliens.
A Giant Ball Pit For Adults
If you giggled at the sight of the words "giant ball" on the title to this entry, then we have exactly the place for your emotionally stunted ass. You know those ball pits your mother would throw you into whenever she wanted 10 minutes to herself at the mall? There was something uniquely exciting about diving into one and getting stepped on by another kid. And now you can finally feel that titillation once again:
Heh, "feel that tit." OK, save us a spot.
You're looking at a pit filled with nearly a million translucent plastic balls, which sounds like something the government would put together to catch the Godzilla-sized preschooler in a Honey, I Blew Up The Kid remake. This jumbo ball pit took up over 10,000 square feet of the National Building Museum of Washington, DC between July and September of last year as part of an art exhibit. Perhaps the most impressive part was that the balls had an anti-microbial coating, preventing the pit from turning into a Chernobyl of disease like the one at your local McDonald's.
The exhibit hasn't been back, but don't fret: There's also an itinerant "adult ball pit" that might one day come to your town if you're lucky.
These photos are from New York, so we're not sure which of these people are visitors and which ones are corpses.
Created by Pearlfisher, a British design agency, the 81,000-ball pit was originally a way to let the company's employees relax during the workday (without resorting to illegal substances, like most creatives). It was so popular that they made it open to the public and took it on the road. So far, it has visited London, Manchester, and NYC, and you can sign up for the company's newsletter if you want to know which city the balls' collective consciousness will decide to grace with its presence next. Oh, and the best part? Absolutely no small children allowed. You had your turn, you little shits.
Only a matter of time before this is used for the most comfy orgy ever, then.
A Humongous Foam Trampoline Representing All Of Spacetime
There's a big chance that when you were young, your parents told you to spend more time studying about, say, Albert Einstein, and less doing pointless stuff like, say, jumping on your bed. Well, you can officially tell your parents to kiss your ass, because someone came up with the perfect way to demonstrate Einstein's work, and it looks like this:
And it sounds like this: "Wheeeeeee!"
That's Tomas Saraceno's On Space Time Foam, a world-famous exhibit representing Einstein's special relativity while providing adults with an excuse to bounce around like little maniacs. Special relativity is the idea that gravity has an impact on spacetime, like a ball on a blanket dragging other objects towards the center -- or, as in Saraceno's exhibit, human beings. The Space Time Foam trampoline, originally installed at the HangarBicocca contemporary art museum in Milan, basically turns you into Einstein's guinea pig. Visitors can crawl and tumble across various layers of plastic membrane suspended 65 feet into the air, and what people do in one layer will change not only the shape of the others, but also the air pressure and atmosphere inside. So it's kind of like living in a dorm, only with thicker walls and more privacy.
And, ironically, fewer Einstein posters.
The exhibit, according to Saraceno, is about how "each step, each breath, modifies the entire space: it is a metaphor for how our interrelations affect the Earth and other universes." That sounds cool, and a little bit influenced by marijuana. In fact, even MIT thought the project was awesome, and invited Saraceno to do a residency with them. That or they wanted an excuse to bring the exhibit over and do this all day:
"For your next idea, how about Hawking's radiation theory as represented by new Foosball tables?"
A Japanese Robot You Can Step Into
We've seen a lot of "real-life robots" in the past decade or so, but they've been either A) something utterly disappointing, B) something nobody can use on a daily basis, or C) both. A company called Suidobashi Heavy Industry has provided a solution to these problems with the Kuratas -- a 13-foot robot you can use to crush your enemies and commute to work.
If the name of the company didn't tip you off that they're Japanese, this photo should.
Yep, it's pretty much a real-life version of the mecha you used to see in anime while trying to catch a glimpse of cartoon boobs. Advertised as a toy, because in Japan that's a disturbingly broad category, Kuratas comes in at over five tons of metal carnage. Your new robo-BFF is powered by V-Sido software (which we're hoping is safer than the crap Skynet was running on), and you can control it from your iPhone and tell it where to go or who to step on. Or, if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, you can even sit inside the cockpit and pretend you're, uh ... you know, one of the characters from Voltron.
Goku? Candy Candy?
Those on-screen graphics aren't for show, by the way. You can hunt down your foes Terminator-style and shoot them with a Gatling gun that fires over 6,000 BB rounds per minute. The targeting system onboard Kuratas is ... "unique" (read: creepy). Once you've locked on a target, the pilot can tell Kuratas to shoot by simply smiling, because this robot is apparently infuriated by human happiness and will lose its shit at the sight of it. No way this can backfire.
"Be careful not to cause a shooting spree by smiling too much!" -- a joke we'd probably make it if wasn't an actual line from the ad
If you're wondering if this thing is street legal, the answer is who cares (but here's some footage of one peacefully rolling down a Japanese avenue). Nonetheless, you can buy one right now from the company's website (or on Amazon Japan) for only a million bucks. When Kuratas was first announced, they immediately had around 3,000 orders put in, so expect road rage incidents in Japan to get a lot more interesting in the near future.
For more ridiculous toys we're ready to splurge on, check out 11 Bootleg Toys That Are Completely Insane and The 10 Most Unintentionally Hilarious Toys Exported By China.
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