I bought this Heat change mug for my son for his birthday last year. I loved Pac-man and Mrs Pac-man as a kid and spend many a day down the seafront arcades playing on the Pac-man machines. I also bought it on the Atari, gosh that takes you back doesn't it?
I saw this mug for £5.99 for Prelude (a shop in the High Street that sells all manner of things that no-one needs, but once you have seen them, you want them!) The mug itself is black and quite thick feeling, very sturdy robust mug. The handle is a man's handle as my son would say, its a good solid rounded handle, no tiny china handle here. The mug has a picture of the Pac-man maze, the dots and ghosts. This is covered with a layer of heat changing material that when you add hot water to the cup, the heating of this layer makes it see-through, therefore you can then see the picture beneath.
My son tends to use this cup when making a hot chocolate as he is not a tea or coffee person yet. When the drink is made the picture appears, and when it starts to cool down, the picture disappears and the layer covers the picture again. My son can judge the temperature of his hot chocolate, depending on whether he can see Pac-man or not! Crafty!!! This transition happens very quickly when you add the hot water, it gradually happens during the cooling process, but after four months of constant use, it is still working as well as the first time.
It is fine to wash normally in a bowl, I am not sure about dishwashers as I don't have one, I also haven't used it in our microwave but I am guessing it is probably a good idea to avoid putting it in a microwave.
My son loves his mug and for the price I can't really blame him. I want to see if they do any others so I can have one.
The Paladone Pacboy Retro Heat Change Mug is yet another tribute to 1980s gaming I have come across lately. This was in fact a Secret Santa present for a gaming fanatic and he was extremely impressed with it. These are available online from many websites such as Amazon, Shopzilla and gadgetpoint etc. from as little as £5.99. Not a bad price for any nice and novelty mug.
The product is made by Paladone who create a range of distinctive home wares, in particular kitchen gadgets and gizmos. They have quite a fun website if you'd care to take a look at their other products http://www.paladone.com/index.html.
The mug comes in a fun box, which is roughly the same size as the product with Pacman related pictures and 'Retro Heat Change Mug' written on it. The box describes exactly what the mug does and how to achieve this, even though it is very simple. The mug itself holds 300ml, which I would say is your average cup of tea size. It is very much shaped like a regular mug, much like you would buy in Tesco or Sainsbury's, with a large, rounded handle and being circular in shape. Its diameter is about 10cm and a depth of 15cm. The mug feels pretty sturdy and strong to hold, though you must hold it by the handle or burn your fingers!
In order to see the heat changing affects you must add hot water! Warm water will give a fainter picture and as the liquid cools the picture fades away also.
Without Hot Liquid
The mug background is jet black with a maze printed on in jade/lime green, this stays on the mug whether hot or cold. The maze is quite a simple design with hollowed segments present throughout. Even without anything else on it, it still looks quite good, almost like a Matrix design.
With Hot Liquid
After pouring in freshly boiled water you will rapidly see colourful pictures appearing before your eyes! It happens very quickly and these like this always impress me, even more so the fact that it is Pacman on the side of the mug. Now Paladone have obviously based this on the Pacman Atari game though there is no arcade branding present on the mug or box. The images that appear include the famous yellow Pacman circular mouth, fruits and pill like circles. It almost seems like they are moving through the maze and are very bright and sharp for the first five minutes or so after adding your hot liquid.
I would say that would be the only improvement I could think of for this mug, but I am not sure if that is even possible! A great gift or just to indulge in your gaming nostalgia.