Friday, 4 May 2012

adult toys

And hopefully with that misleading title I’ll get more blog hits. I've often thought "childhood" is very much a social construct. If you think about it, children used to be working in the factories and sweeping chimneys in the early 19th century, or maybe even later, I couldn't be bothered to look that up. Nowadays, people generally agree that you stop being a kid around 16-18, but do we? More people in their 20s and 30s are living at home and just look at the success of amusement park "Go Ape" which is basically a big ol' climbing frame for adults. So in this spirit of not growing up, I decided to investigate some fun activities which are definitely intended for children and see how much amusement they provide me, a 24 year old with a love of whimsy but arguably a lot more intelligent than your average 8 year old, for the benefit of other unemployed deadbeats with too much time on their hands.

First we have the Pinhole Photography kit RRP: £19.99

The kit contains everything to build a pinhole camera and develop the pictures, including the most adorably written instruction booklet which is very informative about the history of photography. Since I'm such a big fan of obsolete cameras, this seems like a big hit. The bottom left picture shows the finished pinhole camera next to my polaroid camera so you can sort of get an idea of the size. Now most children don’t have dark rooms and neither do I, so I comically got inside my wardrobe for this next part since it was the only way to get somewhere dark enough. Uncomfortably crouching down with a bike light clipped onto my shirt, I got down to developing.


As you can see the pictures are rather crappy, even by my standards. However, we'll chalk that up to my lack of experience in pinhole photography and cupboard developing. If you google image search "pinhole photography" you'll see the sort of amazing results you can get from a mere box with a hole in it. I'm sure if I could be bothered to crouch down in my wardrobe again, practice would make perfect but I don't see it happening in the near future. This is definitely a neat idea, but as for how much amusement it provided for an unemployed adult? I'll give it 5/10.

Secondly we have the Giant Jelly Baby Mould RRP: £4.99

This one is very straight forward. Its a jelly mould in the shape of a jelly baby. Who doesn't like jelly? The instructions seem simple enough even for me (everyone knows us graduates have no common sense). As you can see in the fourth picture, there's a slight design flaw in that jelly baby has to be balanced precariously on his eyes and bellybutton.


Ah, he looks great, in my opinion. Tastes great too. Fun enough, but it didn't keep me occupied for very long. 5/10

And finally we have the Triops RRP: £9.99

Who remembers seamonkeys? Yes of course we all do. Well triops are similar in that they start as little eggs in "cryptobiosis" but they are even bigger and better, or so the box would have me believe. The first thing that the instruction booklet says is “Congratulations! You are about to embark on a biological adventure that will take you back to the Age of the Dinosaurs and give you weeks of enjoyment as you grow your very own “Living Dinosaurs”. Oh I can’t wait!! The same booklet goes onto inform me exactly what they are, etymology etc, but I’m sure if you’re that bothered you can have a look on Wikipedia.

So they need to live in water, but not tap water and also not mineral water, so it was on to the mechanics to obtain some distilled water or as they call it, "car battery water". Obviously I had my brother go in ask for it, couldn't go in myself- what would I say? That I needed it for a children's activity I was doing?! One week after adding the eggs to the tank, none had hatched and they are supposed to within 30 hours so I was sad. The reason probably being that the "tank" is supposed to be kept at 22-29 degrees and it has been an exceptionally cold April and May, and not even a lamp kept by the tank (as suggested) is sufficient to keep it warm. But wait! Just as I was about to give up I can see a tiny white speck swimming in the water. Just the one, which is a shame, as one observer on some forum writes that "Triops are cool. Bought a set a few years ago and hatched some. The biggest ate everyone else and you are left with one humungous monster." so this little guy is sure to be disappointed at mealtimes. However since it is still an exceptionally cold May, I reckon he could die at any minute. Unfortunately he is too much of a speck to be photographed by my iPhone camera so have a picture of the tank.

I'm going to postpone my rating on this one until my one living triop either gets bigger or dies. Then we'll see how crappy/amazing this thing really is.

There's a prevalent theme of disappointment in this post which sort of makes me think, perhaps being an adult is better. We can see movies with nudity and violence, drink alcohol and we can run faster. Yeah, fuck you children, you suck. Having said that, I'm sure I'll still piss away the hours watching children's cartoons whilst eating children's cereal...join me next time for more adventures in unemployment!

POSTSCRIPT: Very sad news about Adam Yauch today. RIP

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