New toy!

Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device box

I was sad a couple weeks ago when ThinkGeek sold out of portal guns six minutes before I saw their notification email. So I was very pleased to discover yesterday that Amazon is selling them for about the same price.

Amazon, sadly, had a bunch of negative reviews. Customers had received damaged units, and complained about the general build quality, and so on. So it was with some trepidation that I ordered one.

But mine arrived completely undamaged. I unpacked it this morning, while I made incoherent little gleeful squeaking sounds. This evening, I stopped by the supermarket on the way home and picked up batteries, and put them in, and now it lights up (in purple or blue, depending on switch setting) and makes appropriate portal-generating noises and everything.

Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device in action

I'm sorry that others have had bad experiences with breakage and quality. But the one I received is awesome. Nothing appears to be broken, and it has enough heft to it to feel real, and even though the neon-looking tube part is white plastic encased in clear plastic, it looks really good. I can imagine things they could've done to improve the device in various ways, but it's pretty much exactly what I was hoping for. I'm very pleased.

There is, I grant you, not a lot that one can actually do with it, other than aim it at the expanses of white wall in my living room. (I knew there was a reason to leave the walls white!) But I'm nonetheless grinning every time I look at it, and going “EEEEE!” every time I pick it up to play with it.

. . . It's not quite as awesome as the one in the live-action Terminal Velocity video, which actually creates portals. (If you haven't seen that video, I recommend it. Really excellently done; pretty much seamless. There's also a making-of video that shows how they did it.) But it is still pretty darn awesome. Sadly not small enough to carry to nonlocal conventions or on vacations, but if you come visit, you can try it out.

Okay, enough. Look at me still typing when there's science to do.

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