Gift Day Six: Every Boy Wants a Rocket.
Got a kid on your checklist who likes water balloons, water pistols, hoses, firecrackers, physics, tinkering, experiments, space or just general mayhem? Then the little rascal deserves to have his mind blown by Great American Projects’ Aquapod Bottle Launcher ($24.95), which is like every adolescent boy’s dream come true and won’t put his eye out, kid.
The only requirements for the Aquapod beyond being old enough to operate it (14, and even then with adult supervision) is that somebody in the family drinks 2 liter Coke products (you need the empty bottle), and there’s a bicycle pump laying around in the garage somewhere. After this, you need to find an open space (city kids can hit the park) and have an audience. Or just wait—you’ll create one.
The Aquapod is a bright orange tripod made of heavy-duty plastic that requires no assembly. It’s got a little bike-pump valve out the back, a launch valve that you clip the stainless steel launch string from, and a valve you screw your bottle onto (filled halfway with water). Then there’s the built-in safety valve that releases enough pressure to keep the entire thingamajig from over-pressurizing, which makes this about the safest bottle rocket launcher on the market. So no one should get hurt—unless one of your kid’s friends is dangling from a target-area tree: the Aquapod launches up to 100 feet, and it goes fast.
The set-up is virtually mistake proof. I am about the clumsiest, least-skilled erector of such toys, and even I knew, from the visible sign of the water flowing out, that I’d pumped enough with my sad old bike pump to launch that sucker to Mars and back. It took a baby tug on the wire to set it off, and when it did, a victorious spray of water hit my ankles and my old Sprite bottle had never looked sleeker racing through the sky. So, so much cooler than water balloons.
www.theaquapod.com for purchase
Photo courtesy of Great American Projects
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