Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Mathmos Astro and Astrobaby Bottles and Custom Astros in USA (cheap)

I am pondering an undertaking, that would save people who want these a lot of money. I am most interested in providing Astro Bottles because they can be used in American 52oz bases quite nicely, especially Century Bases.

I have thought about it a lot and it seems that everyone is complaining about the american (chinese) lava lamps, and everyone is always saying how much better Mathmos is, but that they are just too expensive to import. Someone here suggested picking a go between to buy the lamps in bulk to save money. I am willing to be that person.

I have already placed one bulk order through Electric Planet, and I have learned a few things. When I offered full lamps to people on ebay and on this site, I got very little response, and I believe that it was because that even though I was selling them cheaper than getting them yourself- the savings was either not enough or the economy sucks and no one can afford them. For this reason, I believe that buying the bottles only and just using them on existing bases would be the most economical way to enjoy the English Goodness. After all the Bottle/Globe is the most important part of a lava lamp. Sure, a base accents it, but the Lava is the real focus. This is all we really need. Who wants to deal with rewiring and all that- I have done it, and I won't leave the lamp on unattended because a part of me in the back of my mind thinks that it might just melt the plastic at the bottom of the lamp, catch on fire and burn my house down.

Maybe some of you already own an Astro Base, and can just switch out the colors as you see fit. No matter how you would use them, buying only the bottles is like half the cost of a new lamp- buying 2 bottles is like getting 2 lamps for the price of one. You simply can not deny this value.

My goal would be to make these available to you at a great savings, lets say around $50 for the first one, $45 for the second, and each additional one you buy after that would be $40. These globes retail in England for £22.99 which translates to about $33.76, and that is before shipping which is usually at least £34.99 ($51.38), so a new bottle from electric planet would cost a total of £57.98 or $85.14 shipped to the U.S. You can see how nice it would be to save this much money on these sought after Lavas.

The shipping would be your choice (at your cost). I would think that I could fit 2 bottles in their original box, within a flat rate $13.50 box, priority mail, which isn't a bad deal. I will of course recommend insurance as well. Could probably even do parcel post for like $8.00 or less who knows? I will only charge what it costs though.

I would be happy to offer all the colors, including:
Clear/White
Violet/Orange
Blue/Blue
Yellow/Red
Blue/Green
Violet/Red

And to attract those that may already have all of these colors already, or prefer even more selection of colors, I am prepared to offer custom colors. I have calculated what other colors may be possible by just switching out fluids for you. This would save you the trouble of having to buy 2 lamps to make the color you most desire yourself. Let me do the work for you. I have made a sort of color matrix that I will consult to calculate how many of each lamp might be needed to create these different custom colors. Here is a list of ones I will be able to make:

Liquid / Lava

Clear / Orange
Clear / Green
Clear / Blue
Clear / Red
Violet / Blue
Violet / White
Blue / Red
Blue / White
Yellow / Orange (doesn't sound like it would look much different from Yellow / Red though)
Yellow / Green
Yellow / Blue (I made this with 32oz american globes by switching fluid and it looks cool as hell)
Yellow / White

The Mathmos Bottles are ideal for this operation because they have twist off tops in the first place unlike the annoying caps on the American ones. I would offer these at the same general pricing of the regular ones, but it must be understood that unlike the regular ones, there will be a limit to how many of each custom color I can make based on the different Matrices I have created. Not every combination is a simple one-two switch, some require, three-way and four-way switches. To illustrate this a bit, I will give an example of my favorite Matrix. It requires the following bottles:
3 - Clear / White
3 - Blue / Blue
1 - Blue / Green
1 - Violet / Orange
1 - Violet / Red
2 - Yellow / Red

After switching these would yield:

1 - Clear / Orange
1 - Clear / Blue
1 - Clear / Red
1 - Violet / Blue
1 - Violet / White
2 - Blue / Red
2 - Blue / White
1 - Yellow / Green
1 - Yellow / Blue

This is my favorite matrix so far because it makes colors that are not available (Clear / Green is available in the Fluidium) and it skips Yellow / Orange (for the reason stated previously) and Yellow / White (which I can make in conjunction with the matrix, but I would have to color it yellow myself with yellow food coloring, something you could just do yourself anyway).

I created another matrix that does produce one of each of Yellow / Orange and Yellow / White (not using food coloring) , so if someone really wants those colors I can use that matrix instead (it produces the same number of all the other colors that the one illustrated above does). .

Of course, it could be that people are really not even that interested in custom colors, and if that be the case, I am happy to just order and distribute the standard un-touched bottles.

To really make this happen I need to order 50 of these bottles from England, this would be the magic number that would bring shipping down to what it would need to be to pass along the savings, I have stated to you.

What I ask of all of you: members of this humble forum, is: please reply to this post, if you are interested, with the colors you would be interested in buying, be they regulars or customs. I will use the information that I gather in a weeks time to determine not only how many standard bottles I need to order, but how many matrix sets I will need to create any requested customs. If I do not get enough interest in the custom colors, I will not even do the matrix thing and will just stick to standard orders. If I don't get enough solid interest at all, I will simply not do anything.

I have thought about what might happen if too many people want the same thing in the custom bottles, for example if everyone asks for the Yellow / Green. Each set of 11 bottles in the matrix sequence only yield one Yellow / Green, so in that situation I will have to either just give it to whoever asks first, or give the person who asks first the requirement of paying $5.00 more for the right to take it. This makes it more fair and addresses the supply and demand issue while not making the price retarded like ebay bidding does. Also, if there is an interest in certain customs, I might be able to work a special matrix out that produces more of those (it just depends on the response here). Also, you can just order what you need and switch the colors yourself- that works too. Make your own matrix and get exactly what you want, I am willing to help on that too.

I can sell them through ebay with buy it now, if someone doesn't trust me, but for that you will have to pay the ebay fees (all of them), because I am not calculating them into this offering, I want to make this as cheap for you as possible.

Please also, understand that this operation is going to take time, I can see it now, I place the large order and they do not have enough of all the colors I need (ei: Blue / Blue like last time I ordered). The order will have to wait until it is complete to be sent out for reasons of shipping, and I can not predict this wait as I still do not even know how many bottles I will have to order. I will not have this info until I am into the process. I will be fronting the money during this time, so you won't have to worry too much. I won't expect payment until I have what you want in my possession.

If anyone wants full lamps, I can get those too, but I do not really want to, as they are much more expensive to get- I would probably want the money up front in order to provide those- so you would be paying right away and then waiting however long it took for them to arrive from England, and also waiting longer, if they are out of stock on anything that may cause the order to be held up. They do have Astros, Astrobabys and Fluidiums in [Green and Yellow (special orders)] as well as the Telstars. I may also be able to buy some replacement bulbs for you if those were needed, but again, it would make my life more complicated, so I am not offering with much motivation on that either.

I hope to god there is some interest on this offer, I want to make it happen and am willing to put in the time and effort for you guys to enjoy these fantastic lamps.

Let Me Know....................

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Group #5

Final Group features 3 bottles, of which only 2 are customs the third (middle) is just a factory Yellow / Red used to compare against the other 2. The left one is a Yellow / Green (American #19 equivalent) it is really one of my favorite customs- it looks amazing- there is just something about it, it really stands out. Then on the right is a Yellow / Orange- this one is not that impressive, as it looks too much like Clear / Orange or maybe even what a Orange / White may look like, nice but not different enough for me to feel it was all that worth making.

***Update***

I have completed the fluid switches for everyone who ordered customs on this discussion. I completed this earlier than expected this evening. Everyone's order is ready for packaging and shipment.
I actually use a hair dryer to heat just the metal cap. 60 seconds on high a half inch away from the cap does the trick every time. I then remove all glue remnants with my fingers and a razor blade. I was very careful not to get any glue in any of the bottles. I am a master at this now, I did the switching on my personal bottles 1st as I didn't want to mess up anybody else's. It went flawlessly, thank god.
I did make a Yellow / Orange and it looks very similar to a Clear / Orange when running. When it's been running and you turn it off it looks very different than a Clear / Orange (looks awesome), so basically the light from the lamp kills the effect that you would probably desire from a Yellow / Orange combo. If I could figure out a way to heat it without passing light through the bottom it would look fantastic, though all attempts in the past to do such a thing have failed, so it is probably useless to even hope.
Fantastic documentation! Thanks for the info on yellow/orange and for all the great shots - the coloureds with white wax all look especially brilliant I reckon... This is a fantastic project that you've undertaken, hopefully I'll be able to do a similar thing myself one day.. :)
My two bottles arrived today. Thanks for doing this Drew. I did have one question though.

The Mathmos globes seem to have just a tiny bit different angle or base diameter or something that keeps them from sitting quite right on the US bases. Does anyone have any tips tricks or suggestions for getting them to sit right? Seems like a rubber band or something around them at just the right height would keep them centered and keep light from leaking around the outside of the globe, but not sure how that would hold up in use.

Thanks

Melakion
Are you using an Aristocrat base? The Century base works much better- it balances fine in the middle and looks great. The Aristocrat style 52oz bases really show the disparity. I only use the Century style 52oz based myself.
*****Left Over Bottles Available*****

I have pretty much shipped out all the orders, and now wanted to post the available leftovers. As previously stated, I over ordered so that I could make the deal happen. Here is what is left:

Yellow / White x1 (custom)
Clear / Red x1 (custom)
Violet / Orange x1
Violet / Red x1
Yellow / Red x1
Blue / Green x2
Blue / White x4 (custom)
Violet / White x4 (custom

The cost will be $50.00 each, and I prefer to ship UPS insured, which has been fairly economical so far. The more you buy, the cheaper shipping will be obviously. I am accepting payments via PayPal. If anyone is interested, please let me know right away, especially if you want one of the bottles that I only have 1 or 2 of, I will sell them on a first come, first serve basis- which I think is fair enough.

See above for photos of some of these in action.
Drew, I will take 1 violent/orange. And a clear/blue....if you find an extra one! thanks
I guess I'll take a Blue/White too.
I do have a Violet / Orange still. No Clear / Blue though. Still want it?
Got, it. Thats it right? I will get back to you with a shipping quote for that via PM.

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