Finally, proof that perpetual disappointment is possible!

Our reporter Masanuki Sunakoma has bought a lot of low-rated items from Amazon, and despite their often justified bad reviews, he could normally find some silver lining to them. Whether it’s kitsch appeal like the Santa toilet cover or sexy torso pillow, or potential for other uses like reselling tiny hats or training our patience on floating speakers, he always managed to find the bright side of these quirky products.

But some things have no bright side…

Deep in the darkest corners of Amazon Japan are products so vile, so worthless that even the world’s most powerful optimists can’t detect a redeeming quality. One such product is the Physics Pendulum Perpetual Motion Toy Pendulum Ball Impact Ball Metal Stainless Steel Newton Stress Relief Interior Desktop Type Physics Educational Craft [Rolls down from the top and returns to the top].

You might have spotted in that word salad of a name, that this product claims to have harnessed the elusive concept of perpetual motion in a stress-relieving toy that fits on the top of your desk. It all sounded too good to be true, so Masanuki disregarded the unanimous one-star customer ratings and paid 2,155 yen (US$15) for one.

A while later an unmarked cardboard box arrived on our reporter’s doorstep.

There were no instructions or documentation of any kind inside, just a bunch of junk.

We don’t mean that in an “oh, this smartphone is a piece of junk” kind of way. This was literal junk in the sense of scrap pieces 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 harder by the fact that there was an inordinate number of tiny nuts to fasten the pieces together. It would seem that they gave him extra ones as an added bonus, but since Masanuki wasn’t sure, they really only served to cause confusion during assembly.

In the end, he had something that resembled the product in the photos and a whole lot of tiny nuts to spare. This toy works by dropping the balls down the hole in the black tray. They then zoom down along the rails, which curl upward and inward like a big breaking wave. The rails are shaped in such a way that the balls should launch themselves right back into the black tray and begin the process all over again and for eternity.

Seems easy enough, but such a feat would seem to also require some precision design and this item didn’t exactly scream “precision.” It might have had a lot to do with the rusted spheres that resembled a set of corrupted Dragon Balls.

Nevertheless, Masanuki decided to see what this thing could do and pushed a ball into the hole.

Down it went 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 manipulation of physics that it promised.

However, without any instructions Masanuki couldn’t rule out the possibility that he was doing something wrong. Maybe if he dropped a second ball, the kinetic energy from the collision would send the first ball the rest of the way…

Masanuki: “…”

It would seem that the layers of rust and patina were absorbing a lot of the shock and also adding friction to the balls’ path. But perhaps a third ball would help get things moving…

Masanuki: “…”

It still didn’t work, but the first ball did move a little father that time. Maybe a fourth ball would be enough to put it over the top…

Masanuki: “Aw, come on!”

For some reason the fourth ball didn’t even stay on the rails and just flew off onto the floor with a loud disappointing clang. This toy wasn’t really as good at relieving stress as it was at creating it, and Masanuki picked his rotten Dragon Ball up off the floor and chucked it into a nearby waste basket.

In a futile last attempt to get this thing to work, he tried a few more times and it seemed that the ball would fly off the rails about 30 percent of the time. So even if he was lucky enough to get one loop out of it, perpetual motion was completely out of the question.

He then went back to the Amazon reviews he had overlooked before. “Garbage,” “F*&%ing garbage,” “I wish I had read the reviews before buying,” and “This year’s ‘#1 Do Not Buy’ item,” pretty much said it all. We usually like to end these articles with “If you like to bathe in the office or wear Halloween masks in November, then maybe check it out,” but not this time.

There is absolutely no reason for anyone to buy this thing. It is soulless.

Related: Amazon Japan / Physics Pendulum Perpetual Motion Toy Pendulum Ball Impact Ball Metal Stainless Steel Newton Stress Relief Interior Desktop Type Physics Educational Craft [Rolls down from the top and returns to the top]
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