Product Type: Uni-Com gadgets
Newest Review: ... to the side. And is out of the way when you are charging it. The shape of this torch is quite interesting. But i really do like the ide... more
Wind me up, woofy!
Unicom Squeeze Action Wind Up Dog Torch
Member Name: pmcds
Unicom Squeeze Action Wind Up Dog Torch
Advantages: Eco-friendly torch, easy to power up and use
Disadvantages: Not as educational as the transparent one, probably worth slightly less than the £5 price
I must have seen dozens of these small dynamo run torches, all of varying designs and interestingly varying efficiency. This particular torch is from Unicom and fits in with a lot of the other designs they have produced.
This one has a dog design. Much like other similar brands it's just over 10cm long, and the two feet of the dog actually serve for standing the torch up. There's a useful wrist strap attached to the base of the torch, and just above it is a retractable button that swings out and acts as the power generator for the dynamo. The way it works is relatively simple: a release switch on the opposite side to the handle flicks the handle out, a few squeezes activate the dynamo which then stores the kinetic energy generated by this and releases it through the LED lights which sit at the top of the dog's head.
The LEDs produce effective light, definitely enough to use for camping or even for finding your way at night around the house without putting the lights on. This can be quite handy and we have a number of them around the house, this dog included, and have used them for various different things. Our eldest (9) recently took this one on a camping trip with the school and we were reassured by the fact that he had a torch we knew wouldn't run out of batteries. The dynamo powers long life rechargeable batteries to emit the light.
The power can also be stored in the torch. If you pump the handle for a minute continuously, then you should be able to get around half an hour of light without needing to pump it again. This is also handy as the torch gears can make quite a grinding noise as you pump the handle, winding it up. This is usually not a problem, but there comes a point where you get a bit annoyed by the noise, especially if your kids seem to think it's more entertaining to pump the handle than it is useful as a torch. As a result we get constant handle pumping and the grinding noise that goes with it. If you don't have the switches set properly then the dynamo won't store the power, and our eldest finds it fascinating to pump slowly and count how long the light stays and then pump once fast and count again. Ultimately, I don't think he has arrived at a conclusion as yet, because he still does it and counts occasionally and never seems to be taking particular note of anything.
Is this worth getting? Well, it'll cost you around the £5 mark. It's a quirky gadget, and fun at the same time as being useful. I like it, and we have quite a collection of these torches. This one works very well and no doubt will continue to do so for quite a while yet. The dog design is immaterial really, save for quirky gadget effect and something to attract younger buyers with. I prefer the transparent ones where you can see the cogs turning inside, I think this is much more educational. This particular one does have educational benefits as it's good for kids to learn about being eco-friendly with gadgets such as this, but you can't see inside this one.
I like this - £5 is perhaps slightly too steep. I managed to get ours for £3 which somehow seems much better value. Worth getting as a torch and for your kids to have something to use when camping or getting to the toilet at night without blinding everyone on the way.
Summary: Eco-friendly dog design dynamo generated LED torch
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