ThinkGeek always gets the coolest stuff.
Growing up, I used to be addicted to Sharper Image catalogs. Not that I used to buy stuff from it – it was always too expensive for me as a kid to get all those things I would have loved to play with. There used to even be a Sharper Image store in a mall I went to, just so I could play with all those toys I dreamed of having. Now that I am a grown up and actually have the money, that love has been replaced. Sharper Image is no longer the coolest catalog store around – having been completely replaced by ThinkGeek – the coolest gadget store hands-down.
One of the reasons for this awesomeness is their caffeinated section, always full of exclusive goodies you can’t find anywhere else. All their stuff is exclusive to ThinkGeek, from the caffeinated hot sauces to the Stay Puft Caffeinated marshmallows. Somehow, they manage to get companies who produce their own variety of caffeine goodies to make stuff just for them.
I got my tube of Dr. Timmy’s Caffeinated Nixie tubes from a good friend who brought back this sample all the way from E3, the gaming convention (THANK YOU JEN!!). This looks a whole lot like Harcos Labs Radiation Tubes, only with different flavors and packaging. Rather than eating Uranium Cake powder (tasted like real yellow cake!), these come in more normal flavors, like Cherry, Lemon/Lime, Fruit Punch, Watermelon, and Blue Raspberry. In my case, I was able to try their cherry variety.
This comes in a nice looking test tube – a well sealed up plastic container that actually looks like a small thin test tube. The label on the front is nothing special, although I did like how the lettering on the front was written like it was from an actual nixie tube – having a cool orangey glow to the lettering.
An actual nixie tube was a vacuum packed bulb with numbers inside – and is a very cool, if not terribly long lasting, way to display non-digital numbers. Nixie tubes were used in all sorts of devices until LED lights came out in the 70s. I always loved the glow from a nixie tube display, though finding devices that use them are increasingly rare.
The other nice thing about he packaging is the listing of caffeine content – just so you don’t actually take too much of it – a very possible thing when you are eating caffeinated sugar powder.
I loved the 200mg one tube provides. Rather than down it all at once, I kept eating it all day and sustained a nice perky buzz for a solid 5 or 6 hours, rather than getting hyped up on sugar and caffeineine and then crashing 3 hours later. Other than sugar, there is nothing besides sweet caffeine to get you pumped. Not that you need anything else.
Jen found these to make her quite wonky, probably given by some enemy guild to gain their upper hand on some gaming adventure – like some nerd roofie. Either way, she was able to sneak one back for me to get head-tripped on myself. It helps that this is absorbed sub-lingualy so rather than digesting it is absorbed directly from your mouth to your bloodstream.
I found myself not eating this exactly, but more like sucking on the powder in my mouth until it was all dissolved. I loved the Sweet Tarts flavor of both sweet and sour, which did a great job of masking the caffeine’s bitterness up front. After a while though, the bitterness took front and center, and kinda killed it at the end. The best way to have these is with a Diet Mountain Dew to wash it all away at the end of the flavor.
While I have seen Harcos brand stuff do better with the same formula, Nixxie Tubes will still keep me intrigued and poring over that damned thinkgeek catalog all month.