Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I've shared this story before - but I'll recap in brief so you know where I'm coming from.  Had some cool midnight series lamps back in college - they got lost/thrown away over the years.  Few years ago, I decided I missed having one around and bought a lava lamp from amazon.  It was of course a cheap china lamp, and it didn't work.  5 returns later, I gave up - none of them flowed AT ALL.  Just cloudy pieces of you-know-what where the wax would just sit at the bottom of the lamp in a big unmoving blob.


After finding this site, and learning what was really going on - I made the switch to Mathmos lamps, and have bought 5 from electric planet.  Yes they are expensive, yes I've got to rewire them - but I've unfortunately become addicted to them and they are wonderful to have around.  And, well, I don't need to explain lava lamp addiction to this crowd...


Anyway, my 8 year old daughter has now become fascinated with my lamps, and she wanted one of her own.  She saved her pennies and wanted to buy one.  After reading a couple of responses here that the quality might have improved - I decided to risk purchasing another lava world lamp from Spencers.  Here's my review of the lamp:


First of all, we bought a new 14.5 oz spongebob yellow lava lamp.  Date on the cap says it was made Dec 24th 2010.  When I went to Spencers - they had a million older lamps that people have had issues with.  Apparently the old stock is not moving too well to make room for the newer ones.  The lamps in the store were all flowing and working (a good sign).  Anyway, the Spongebob one was new, and the guy let me open the box to check it before I purchased it.


The globe was packed well, and the base and cap weren't bent or damaged (like I had happen a couple of times before)  The globe had a couple of imperfections in the glass, but very minor (certainly no worse than Mathmos imperfections).  The yellow wax was at the bottom, and the coil was in the right place.  The clear liquid was actually clear - not cloudy at all.  There were no white specs or "floaties."  So far, so good...  Allowed my daughter to plunk down her money and we took the lamp home.


Unpacked it, plugged it in, and the lava began to flow in about 1.5 hours.  Considering my recent experiences with china lamps, this one was working out...  After about 2 hours the lamp was flowing, and after about three hours the flow peaked.  The globe was clear and looked good.  Let it run for 6 hours, cycled it off, and let it cool.  Upon firing it up again next day - it behaved (lots of china lamps seem to flow the first time you use them, but fail on round 2 for some reason).  No cloudiness, lamp flowed - success!


All good right?  Well, not exactly.  I'd give this lamp an 8 out of 10.  Clearly they have changed something about the lamps - they actually work now and don't overheat.  However, it's still the "China flow."  Anyone familiar with the american made lamps knows how the china lamps just aren't as active - this new lamp is no exception, but it's better than what they were a few years ago.  It's the same pattern over and over - one big blob separates and floats to the top.  It hangs out there until a second big blob separates and takes it's place.  1st blob reconnects with the wax in the coil.  Repeat over and over.  No little blobs, no alien tendrils upon startup, no overheating, no variation.  Just the same two blobs exchanging places.  =\


So in summary.  The good news - the lamp works and it's clear.  The bad news - the flow isn't as mesmerizing as we all remember from lava lamps of old (or from Mathmos lamps that cost a fortune in the States).  But it DOES flow, and isn't terrible by any means.  I'm older now with a good job - I can afford to splurge on a mathmos lamp.  Personally, I'll still stick to those and older american made lamps on ebay.  But, for the less picky (are there any of those here?  prob not...) or say your kids - the lava world lamps of late appear to have gotten better...


Take it for what it's worth...


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Sounds kinda like my experience. I returned all my "new" Lava Lite lamps except one. I can see maybe getting some of the new ones for your kids, but it was really hard to me to think about keeping them as collector's items. Here was my writeup on my experience with them: http://oozinggoo.ning.com/forum/topics/lava-lite-depresses-me-when-...

Mathmos is supposed to be setting up a US site soon, but I cannot get them to answer my question as to WHEN. ;) I have one Mathmos lamp - a Jet and it's beautiful. 

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