The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

The gee-whiz factor plays big when it come to tech-toy gift shopping. I just love electronic gizmos! The iSun Portable Solar Charger mentioned here is something I'll have to look into; I'm always complaining about how my cellphone's battery can't make it through a typical day on the town without draining down. Also, Burn Rate looks like cool fun.

However, I'd have to say that the prize for neatest toy goes to the ZipZaps. In fact, I was so intrigued by them that I stopped by my local Radio Shack on the way home and bought the last one they had (the clerk told me people really were scooping them up like crazy). I got the purple PT Cruiser model, shown above.

Putting the thing together took me a few minutes longer than it should have. It's not that the assembly was complicated--the instructions lay it out pretty simply--but the parts are so damn small, I was afraid of breaking them while trying to clumsily snap them into place. But I got it all built, charged it up and did some test drivin'. I gotta say, the experience was underwhelming. The car worked fine, and there's some low-impact fun in running the thing around, but it wears off pretty quick. So it goes with impulse purchases... I think I need to get a couple more people with them together so we can race, or something.

So why are these little buggers the must-have toy of the year, following in the footsteps of Pokemon and Tickle-Me-Elmo? Beats me. Sometimes simple just works. Or it could be that the Shaq-Diesel is endorsing them. I know that worked for me.