When I was a kid, every time my grandmother would visit, she would bring me Spider-Man web shooter toys like the one pictured at the left. They were basically the spring-loaded suction cup dart guns that you could buy at the drug store for three bucks, only modified with the handle yanked off, a wristband attached, and a button instead of a trigger. You strapped the thing to your wrist, tied a string to the suction cup dart, socketed the dart in the “web shooter,” and blasted it at stuff.
The problem with the toy was that the suction cup would only reliably stick to one thing: the refrigerator. So Grandma would roll in, hand me the toy and catch up with my mom, while I spent hours shouting at an imaginary Green Goblin, licking the suction cup and shooting the fridge with a loud “thwack!” This was excellent fun for me. For my mom, who had to clean about 700 kid-spittled suction cup marks off the front of the refrigerator, it was less so.
I always seemed to lose the toy within a day after Grandma packed up and went home… by which I mean that, when I was about 25, my mom finally copped to throwing the damned things away the minute Grandma’s taillights went around the corner and my back was turned. She must have chucked about 10 of the things… and considering that the last auction for one of them that I could find showed it selling around $425, I will make sure that, when the day comes, she knows that that is the reason she was put in the cheapest nursing home available. And I will pay the rotten orderlies extra to put drooly suction cup marks on her refrigerator.
The sting of those lost toys was alleviated somewhat for me today when I came across this video made by an German gentleman named Patrick Priebe, who makes, as you might guess from his Web site, laser gadgets. But he also does other more practical (and by “practical,” I merely mean “they don’t exclusively use lasers”) gizmos, like this wrist crossbow, or this other crossbow that shoots buzzsaw blades.
Well, his latest invention is a web shooter. And not a web shooter that works like Spider-Man; Priebe seems like a clever fella, but inventing an industrial solvent that can support hundreds of pounds and then completely disappear in an hour is above almost anyone’s pay grade. No, this is closer to the long-lost toys of my childhood: it fires a dart on a string. Of course, that dart is a sharp, barbed monstrosity fired via a powerful capacitor-driven electromagnet, but it’s in the same ballpark.
It is somewhat unfortunate that I am aware this device exists, because now I may need to contact this guy and see if it’s for sale. And once that happens, it is only a matter of time before the line, “A Massachusetts man was arrested on Christmas Day for repeatedly firing a harpoon into his mother’s refrigerator while shrieking, ‘We’ll be even when I do $5,000 worth of damage!’” appears in a Florida newspaper.
Ah well. You can check this nifty little modern throwback out, in action, after the jump.