Finally, proof that perpetual disappointment is possible!
Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma has bought a lot of low-rated items from Amazon, and despite their bad reviews, which are often justified, he could normally find a reason to go for them. Whether it’s a kitschy look like Santa’s toilet lid or sexy torso pillow, or the potential for other uses like reselling tiny hats or training our patience on floating speakers, he’s always succeeded to find the good side of these strange products.
But some things don’t have a good side…
Deep in the darkest corners of Amazon Japan are products so ugly, so worthless, that even the world’s strongest optimists cannot detect a redeeming quality. Such a product is Physics Pendulum Perpetual Motion Toy Pendulum Ball Impact Ball Metal Stainless Steel Newton Stress Relief Indoor Desktop Type Physics Education Craft [Rolls down from the top and returns to the top].
You may have noticed in that word salad with a name, that this product claims to have harnessed the elusive concept of perpetual motion into a stress-relieving toy that fits on top of your desk.. It all sounded too good to be true, so Masanuki ignored the unanimous one-star customer ratings and paid ¥2,155 ($15) for one.
Some time later, an unmarked cardboard box arrived on our reporter’s doorstep.
Inside were no instructions or documents of any kind, just a pile of junk.
We don’t mean to say that in some way “oh, this smartphone is rubbish”. This was literal junk, in the sense of scraps of rusted and scratched metal.
Since there were no instructions, Masanuki had to rely on the pictures on the Amazon page to put it together.
This was made difficult by the fact that there were an inordinate number of small nuts to secure the pieces together. It would appear that they gave him some extra as an added bonus, but since Masanuki wasn’t sure, they really only served to cause confusion during the gathering.
In the end he had something that looked like the product in the photos and lots of spare small nuts. This toy works by throwing the balls into the hole in the black tray. Then zoom down along the rails, which bend up and inward like a great breaking wave. The rails are formed so that the balls immediately launch back into the black pan and start the process all over again for eternity.
It seems easy enough, but such a feat would seem to require precision design as well, and this item didn’t exactly scream “precision.” It might have had a lot to do with the rusty orbs that resembled a set of corrupted dragon balls.
However, Masanuki decided to see what this could do and pushed a ball into the hole.
It descended with promising speed and trajectory…
▼ Masanuki: “Oh.”
Only to stop dead right at the bottom.
▼ Masanuki: “…”
It didn’t even come close to performing the deft physics manipulation it promised.
However, without instructions, Masanuki could not rule out the possibility that he had done something wrong. Maybe if a second ball was dropped, the kinetic energy from the collision would send the first ball the rest of the way…
▼ Masanuki: “…”
It would appear that the layers of rust and patina absorbed a lot of the shock and also added friction to the ball path. But maybe a third ball would get things moving…
▼ Masanuki: “…”
It still didn’t work, but the first ball moved a little dad that time. Maybe a fourth ball would be enough to put it over the top…
▼ Masanuki: “Ah come on!”
For some reason, the fourth ball didn’t even stay on the rails and just flew to the floor with a loud, disappointing thud. This toy wasn’t nearly as good at relieving stress as it was at creating it, and Masanuki picked up his rotten Dragon Ball from the floor and tossed it into a nearby trash can.
In a last futile attempt to make this work, tried a few more times and it seemed like the ball would fly off the rails about 30 percent of the time. So even if he was lucky enough to get a loop out of it, perpetual motion was completely out of the question.
Then he turned to the Amazon reviews he had overlooked before. “Garbage”, “F*&%ing garbage”, “I wish I had read the reviews before I bought” and “This year’s #1 Don’t Buy” pretty much said it all. We usually like to end these articles with “If you like taking a bath at the office or wearing Halloween masks in November, then maybe check it out”, but not this time.
There is absolutely no reason for anyone to buy this. It is soulless.
Related: Amazon Japan / Physics Pendulum Perpetual Motion Toy Pendulum Ball Impact Ball Metal Stainless Steel Newton Stress Relief Indoor Desktop Type Physics Education Craft [Rolls down from the top and returns to the top]
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