Sleep on the Dream Cheeky iLaunch Thunder

Nothing says “I have way too much time and autonomy at work”, “I will buy anything with enough marketing buzzwords in its name,” and “I dislike you so much that I will spend $100 on a miniature rocket launcher to pelt you with tiny foam reminders of that fact” quite like the Dream Cheeky iLaunch Thunder. While one can potentially envision applications for the launcher that would have a beneficial impact on humanity, such as, uh, furthering our understanding of foam rocket physics and aerodynamics (on which I am now an expert), in practice the device is more commonly used to hit people in the back of the head and have a good laugh. In theory, at least.

On the technical front, what you get in the product is the launch platform itself, four foam rockets to bombard your victims with and a Mini USB charger for the launcher. The launcher is controlled via an app that can be downloaded for free from the iTunes store and connects to your iDevice via Bluetooth. The one somewhat huge oversight on the hardware side is that the launcher lacks any sort of camera to aim with, despite deceptive screenshots in the store that make it look like you can see straight down the barrel. What you can actually do is enable the camera feed of your iDevice to be the background for the app, which is considerably less helpful.

Combined with somewhat jerky rotation controls, this setup allows for the accuracy of a drunken Mr. Magoo firing a mortar during a hurricane, and is a disappointment to be honest. Actually hitting what you’re aiming for requires a level of skill on par with the Death Star Trench Run, or a lot of annoying predeployment calibration that will make you feel more like a medieval siege engineer than Luke Skywalker. While I love the idea of pegging the guy who messed up the latest code merge with one of these rockets, the experience loses a certain je-ne-sais-quoi when you have to sheepishly ask your target for your rockets back after they’ve harmlessly bounced off the wall four feet to his right.

In summary, a cool, if not necessarily necessary, idea for a toy, but I’ve seen this done better. Find one with a camera attached if you like the idea of actually hitting “stuff.”

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  • Jack