Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I don't know what it is about the winter months that make me want to buy more lava lamps, but today I found myself ordering a 50th Anniversary model from Spencer Gifts. I wanted to see what you all think of this model and if any of you have any direct experience with it:

http://www.spencersonline.com/product/home-dorm/lava-lamps/17-50th-...

I do realize there's a good chance that this lamp will be crap. I know they usually arrive cloudy and usually don't flow after the first couple of uses. But I did feel like maybe this one would be different. If it works out, I'm going to give my kitted one to my son, and keep the new one for my desk.

It takes a lot for a lamp to earn its rightful place by my side at my desk. At this point I have gotten rid of almost all my non-working lamps that I didn't feel like kitting, and I just have the one 1997 Lava Lite model that I goo kitted last year. The thing is, I just don't like the goo from the goo kits. It's not the same look as Lava Lite lava, even if they don't use the same stuff anymore. I want to see if I can get lucky again and get a good working un-messed with Lava Lite.

So have any of you seen this lamp in action or owned this model? Anyone have any luck with these? There's only one review on Spencer's site, and it's a good on, but I don't trust that for a second. Lava Lite's stuff just really sucks these days.

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Chris, I'm up to @ 128 lamps now

Greater majority of the collection is from ebay but a decent amount from Spenders and LL directly

Some come new in box, and I still have to re-goo them or do a cleaning.

I do recognize a better quality with the 50th series, but maybe its my imagination

One lamp i recently bought arrived yesterday, it was NOS distributed in the 90's and unopened.

I still have to do a cleaning from the residue in the globe.

The globe has OBVIOUS seams and speckle inclusions. Its just not the ol school quality any longer.

One has too agree on the China quality issues, It seems to be common opinion with all collectors  and applies to more products than we care to admit.

I would imagine that is still made in the USA, the costs would be high and not as readily available in stores like Menards, Target, Walmart, etc. Bureaucrats and government regulations have driven most companies to overseas manufacturing, The government has becomes its small Businesses worst enemies.

One has to admit the older goo has a nicer flow, but finding one is decent condition is difficult

For sure--it's very hard for companies to make mass quantities of anything here in the US anymore, and it's not necessarily their fault. What IS their fault is if the product coming out of their Chinese manufacturing partners is generally sub-par. At that point, I would expect that they do something about it, but that's unfortunately not the case with these lamps. 

Based just on my own experiences with Lava Lite over the last few years as well as what I've read online and seen from my friends, I would guess that Lava Lite's return rate is somewhere in the range of 25-40% if not a little higher than that. It must be EXTREMELY cheap for them to just trash the bad ones and give you another one with that kind of return rate happening. And they must not worry too much about the reputation they have made for themselves, because they know they're the only ones selling "real" lava lamps in this country. I'm still holding out hope that someday they'll sell the brand/production to somebody else who actually cares about the product and wants to make quality ones again. I would love to get a new one that actually works correctly AND looks nice without me having to open it up and mess with it.


Claude J said:

Chris, I'm up to @ 128 lamps now

Greater majority of the collection is from ebay but a decent amount from Spenders and LL directly

Some come new in box, and I still have to re-goo them or do a cleaning.

I do recognize a better quality with the 50th series, but maybe its my imagination

One lamp i recently bought arrived yesterday, it was NOS distributed in the 90's and unopened.

I still have to do a cleaning from the residue in the globe.

The globe has OBVIOUS seams and speckle inclusions. Its just not the ol school quality any longer.

One has too agree on the China quality issues, It seems to be common opinion with all collectors  and applies to more products than we care to admit.

I would imagine that is still made in the USA, the costs would be high and not as readily available in stores like Menards, Target, Walmart, etc. Bureaucrats and government regulations have driven most companies to overseas manufacturing, The government has becomes its small Businesses worst enemies.

One has to admit the older goo has a nicer flow, but finding one is decent condition is difficult

YES the QC department is almost non existent for China items.

Killer pet food and lead based painted toys is just the tip of the iceberg

Some of our food is now processed in China even though it is raised here. Stay away from anything sold from smithfield farms, starkist tuna. This includes labels: of Morrell, Eckrich, Krakus, Cudahy, Premium Hams, Cook's, Gwaltney, and green giant frozen vegetables. There is NO FDA regulations guiding processing.

Food for thought (pun):

If 200 million North Americans refuse to buy just $20 each of Chinese goods, that's a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor... fast! The downside? Some American businesses will feel a temporary pinch from having foreign stockpiles of inventory.

Just one month of trading losses will hit the Chinese for 8% of their North American exports. Then they will at least have to ask themselves if the benefits of their arrogance  and lawlessness are worth it.

On the flip side, we wouldn't be 16.3" buying lamps on sale for $20 and LL wouldn't be tossing them out as freely for warranty claims if they were not as cheap as China produces them. I doubt it could be matched with USA labor and material costs. Considering the co must make at least 25%++ profit, the actual bulk purchase costs must be outrageously cheap

On a positive note, I have had a substantial amount of newer lamps that arrived perfect (As perfect can be with blow molded globes). the flow is typical of a China lamp. Not as entertaining as the old ones made in the 70's

Someday, I may go back to the ol school wax formula and premix a few gallons of fluid, If I can find a source for the PERC without draining a few cans of Brakecleen

I personally like the smell of Perchloroethylene, but the wife on the other hand, is especially sensitive to any petroleum product odor

Is PERC the stuff that made the old wax so stretchy and crazy looking? The new China lamps are mostly just blobs, and you don't seem to get that spike when things start really heating up.

Claude J said:

YES the QC department is almost non existent for China items.

Killer pet food and lead based painted toys is just the tip of the iceberg

Some of our food is now processed in China even though it is raised here. Stay away from anything sold from smithfield farms, starkist tuna. This includes labels: of Morrell, Eckrich, Krakus, Cudahy, Premium Hams, Cook's, Gwaltney, and green giant frozen vegetables. There is NO FDA regulations guiding processing.

Food for thought (pun):

If 200 million North Americans refuse to buy just $20 each of Chinese goods, that's a billion dollar trade imbalance resolved in our favor... fast! The downside? Some American businesses will feel a temporary pinch from having foreign stockpiles of inventory.

Just one month of trading losses will hit the Chinese for 8% of their North American exports. Then they will at least have to ask themselves if the benefits of their arrogance  and lawlessness are worth it.

On the flip side, we wouldn't be 16.3" buying lamps on sale for $20 and LL wouldn't be tossing them out as freely for warranty claims if they were not as cheap as China produces them. I doubt it could be matched with USA labor and material costs. Considering the co must make at least 25%++ profit, the actual bulk purchase costs must be outrageously cheap

On a positive note, I have had a substantial amount of newer lamps that arrived perfect (As perfect can be with blow molded globes). the flow is typical of a China lamp. Not as entertaining as the old ones made in the 70's

Someday, I may go back to the ol school wax formula and premix a few gallons of fluid, If I can find a source for the PERC without draining a few cans of Brakecleen

I personally like the smell of Perchloroethylene, but the wife on the other hand, is especially sensitive to any petroleum product odor

Yes that is the key

Agreed

if anyone is looking to acquire another one (or your first) there is a 50th Grande on eBay with a starting bid of $9.00 and $25 shipping.  Hard to tel from the pics but it might have a few occlusions in the glass (or just lava residue)   http://www.ebay.com/itm/371549925065?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&a...

Claude J said:

if anyone is looking to acquire another one (or your first) there is a 50th Grande on eBay with a starting bid of $9.00 and $25 shipping.  Hard to tel from the pics but it might have a few occlusions in the glass (or just lava residue)   http://www.ebay.com/itm/371549925065?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&a...

**Buyer Beware  - 

http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=...

 

Agreed~!


However, Tad Wholesale IS a discounted sales warehouse that sells open box items they pick up at auctions and such.

They even sell stuff by the pallet.

Usually itemsare missing parts and such

There is a good likelihood that this lamp could be one of my LL or Amazon's returns?. :)

For some reason (past purchase?) I have them in my saved sellers.

I think it was a worktable for garage?

From a past business owner perspective, I can also see how such sales volume in one month would (almost justifiably) net less than @1% (.80) in complaints. Especially if they are experiencing understaffed, mismanaged employees, bad quality control, etc.. Somebody there must be sitting on the computer 12/7 to service this large volume. (5,527 listings per month) 

I do wonder about some of the complaints,.. some of the seem absolutely credible while others appear unrealistic.

It is also obvious that they have some dickweed running the pickup counter who possesses no people skills

Whenever I have a issue with a seller, (And it happens more than I'd like it to) I involve ebay and wait for the resolution time period to expire,. Its a hassle, but I always get a decision in my favor and get refunded. This can even happen with sellers with 99% feedback approvals.

Granted, this transaction would be an absolute roll of the dice,.. But if the end sales price is cheap enough,..?

It might be worth it.

Even if it arrived cloudy, it would be a candidate for a glitter conversion?) 
A un-dented 50th base and cap would be worth at least $40+

I agree, buyer beware,..

 

Claude J said:

if anyone is looking to acquire another one (or your first) there is a 50th Grande on eBay with a starting bid of $9.00 and $25 shipping.  Hard to tel from the pics but it might have a few occlusions in the glass (or just lava residue)   http://www.ebay.com/itm/371549925065?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&a...

**Buyer Beware  - 

http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=...

At this point I think I'm just sticking with the 17"-er I ended up with. It looks and flows really nice--I've been running it every day the last couple of weeks and it has had zero problems. Liquid is nice and clear, wax behaves as it should (for a China lamp) and most importantly, the wax color looks nicer than anything I've ever achieved with a goo kit. I've never liked the speckles in the globes, but on this particular lamp it looks kind of appropriate, since the color scheme is kind of a "night sky" type of theme anyway. The wax is a dark purple and the liquid is kind of a midnight blue, so the pinpoints of light kind of look like stars or a planetarium against that background.

I STILL don't buy it that LL can't make these without the bubbles in the glass though. Again, the nicer specialty models don't seem to have that issue.

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