Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

A picked up an interesting 'motion toy' so to speak. This one has a strange backstory that has provided very little information other than being a huge flop embarrassment to its creator on record. Believe it or not this bottle, called a Zenie Bottle, is a product of a failed social media network from the early 00's. To briefly summarize what I have uncovered about the motion bottle: It was created by Paul Berberian. You probably have seen his success as creator of Sphero, the little drone/ball robots that are app controlled and pretty cool. This was one of his first big moves in an attempt to virally create a new social media platform that should have swooped in during the decline of MySpace and before Facebook became the overlord. His plan was to package and sell these unique glass blown vases filled with a pearlescent fluid that swirled when shaken. I know there were various glass shapes as well as colors planned (apparently there was a warehouse of stocked product when it crashed). You would buy the bottle with an included code card (seen behind the vase) to create your online 'bottle twin' to begin uploading videos, images, text entries, etc. Buying a bottle would make you part of the community while anyone without a bottle could browse others collections and hopefully be swayed to buy in themselves. It has a rather hushed past as I can't seem to find any real trace of this thing ever existing or ramping up to launch. Google images returns very few results, YouTube holds 2 viral-like videos of the creators promotion, or hype-up campaign, and 1 Vimeo video during a pre-launch party for the product from the Boulder Colorado ad HQ. I will link the Vimeo, YouTube and a Google Doc from the creator below. Very odd business approach from the early days of web 2.0. The end life of this venture appears to me as something that he wanted erased from time and almost never to be heard of.

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Comment by VOXul on May 4, 2023 at 2:28pm

Howdy, Roeark, neighbor!

I am also in Denver ad that is where I found my Zenie at the time of the original photo post! Pretty cool little desktop toy. I ended up finding another one a couple weeks after I posted this. That is funny a warehouse must have been uncovered if you recently found a bunch of them around here too!

Comment by Roeark on May 4, 2023 at 1:12pm
A large stock of these popped up at a local good will here in the Denver Colorado area a few months back and then again just yesterday I found an opened one with no box so I decided to pick it up because it was the sapphire version. The prior ones were all boxed but they were red.
Comment by VOXul on July 10, 2017 at 9:20am

Total goohead/adult fidget spinner! Now to figure out some way to have it put on the show without having to shake it by hand. Some kind of ultrasonic base would be cool, go full blown lazy fidget!

Comment by Keith on July 9, 2017 at 11:13pm

Cool bottle!  A fidget-spinner for gooheads!!

Comment by VOXul on July 9, 2017 at 10:06pm

Here is a brief animation of its motion. I believe it is filled with a very similar liquid to the Flo-Lamp you can see within my pictures.

The videos I have found within YouTube are herehere and here, first one is a strange attempt at giving the bottle a family bloodline backstory, second is just strange and the guy in the last one can play a mean harp!. The odd launch party video can be seen here. A Google Doc from the creator can be read here (scroll up a page as more detailed backstory can be read). This product had backing, investors were paid off, expensive data center was powered on, website was ready to start accepting bottle codes, bottle production went to completion and then the plug was pulled before it ever saw retail. If you ever read this Paul Berberian, I LOVE MY ZENIE BOTTLE!


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