Of All the Echo Dot Holders I’ve Had, You’re the First, Bender

Among the many pop culture robots to ever be created, Bender Bending Rodríguez lands a place plainly in the top 10 of all time. Futurama’s snarky, belligerent, and occasionally sympathetic robot companion has a fond place in many a geek’s heart. Now, you can display Bender proudly on your bookshelf and talk to him every day.

Etsy seller 3DJME makes this 3D-printed Bender head to hold your Amazon Echo Dot (Gen. 2) personal assistant, which sits right behind Bender’s big old choppers. Each one is made from sturdy PLA and made to order. But don’t try to order Bender around. He doesn’t take orders from anyone. It’s pretty sweet, though this homebrew Bender smart speaker is on another level.

I love the design of this, though it makes me really wish that you could reprogram Alexa to sound like Bender when talking back. “Bender, what time is it?” “It’s time to bite my shiny metal ass.” or “Bender, how are you feeling?” “Anything less than immortality is a complete waste of time.” Seriously, it’s time for Matt Groening and Amazon to cut a business deal.

[via Gadgetify]

You Could Empty This Cardboard Vending Machine with a Box Cutter

When it comes to unusual vending machines, Japan is the place that always comes to mind first. After all, this is the country that gave us machines that vend bananas and fried chicken. But this particular vending machine isn’t notable for what it vends, but what it’s made out of.

What you’re looking at is a full-size, working vending machine that’s made primarily out of cardboard. Like other vending machines, this one dispenses canned drinks, though it offers neither refrigeration, nor does it have a coin mechanism. Instead, it has a simple push button and rubber band system that causes drinks to drop into its tray. At least it doesn’t have those stupid spiral things that snack machines like to steal your purchases with. Though I do love it when you occasionally stumble onto someone else’s misfortune and get a two-for-one deal from those coils.

The machine is set up at the offices of cardboard box company Hacomo in Kagawa City, and you can check it out in action in the Twitter post below:

It’s a cool design for sure, but I don’t think it would last very long if a soda can exploded and sprayed all over the insides of this thing, or if someone went near it with an open flame. On the other hand, it’s probably much easier to move around than a regular vending machine, and wouldn’t kill you if it fell onto you while shaking it.

If you like the idea of a cardboard vending machine, Hacomo makes a miniature desktop version that’s available for about $9 on Amazon Japan.

[via SoraNews24]

Burger King Social Distancing Crowns: Hold the Pickle, Hold the Coronavirus

When it comes to things we can do to mitigate the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing is definitely at the top of the list, right up there with wearing masks, washing your hands, and not touching your face. The further you stay away from other people, the lower the odds you can get their germs on you.

People and businesses all over the world are coming up with creative ways to keep people apart, with things like stickers on the floors at grocery stores, limiting foot traffic, and placing outdoor tables far apart. But I think this idea from Burger King Germany is my favorite so far.

The fast food chain is showing off a ridiculously oversized version of their iconic paper Burger King crown, which ensures people keep their distance. The hat appears to be made using eight of their regular paper crowns, along with two semi-circles of foamcore for a base. The design doesn’t look very difficult to replicate, assuming you could shake down your local Burger King for a bunch of paper crowns.

From the picture, it looks like these folks are less than 6 feet apart, so you might want to make yours even bigger. I wonder how large you could make one before it became completely unwearable while chowing down on your Whopper.

[via Business Insider]

3.5″ Floppy Disk Coasters Protect Tables with Pixels

You know what makes a good drink coaster? A good old 3.5″ floppy disk. But real floppies have moving parts and irregularities that can make them less than ideal surfaces for balancing some glasses. Never mind that they just don’t look as cool as these colorful pixel art floppy coasters.

Artist Tsvetelina Mihaylova aka PXLprincess makes these 3.5″ floppy coasters entirely from fused perler beads, and they look great. They come in way more colors than I remember in my old library of floppies. I seem to remember a sea of black and blue plastic neatly loaded into these tubs that held maybe 50 disks each, with lots of chicken scratch scrawled onto the labels. And remember having to install software that came on like 20 disks? I don’t miss that.

You can grab some pixel art floppy coasters over on Etsy for about $4 a piece. Just don’t try and stick these floppies into your old disk drive. I can’t imagine that would work out well. And remember, Don’t Copy That Floppy!

The Best Part of Waking Up… Is Kraken in Your Cup

Since it’s a fictitious creation, nobody really knows what a Kraken looks like. But the one thing we can all agree on is that the thing is a gigantic sea monster, and almost certainly has tentacles that it uses to snatch ships and drag them to the bottom of the ocean.

I think this Kraken tentacle mug does a great job capturing the spirit of this legendary sea beast, and has no need to show its body to get its point across.

The Kraken mug has a food-grade stainless steel cup insert, wrapped in a hand-sculpted food-grade resin. I love all of the details like the ship’s rivets, along with all of the suckers on the Kraken’s tentacles. Best of all, one of the tentacles serves as the mug’s handle. This mug is just one of the many creepy, morbid, and downright odd items featured in artist Michael Locascio’s Dellamorte & Co. Etsy shop.

It measures about 5.5″ tall, and holds 16 oz of your favorite beverage. I like the idea of some kind of rum since that’s all that pirates drink at sea, right? Yarrrrr! So if you want to be able to say “my mug has a Kraken it!” you can grab one of these cool drinking vessels over on Etsy for $45.

These Pepperoni Pizza Pillows Won’t Leave Cheese on Your Couch

If there’s one food that I could eat on a whim just about any day or time, it’s pizza. My personal favorite has to be Lou Malnati’s here in Chicago, but I also love a jumbo New York style slice, an ultra-thin Italian brick oven pizza, or one of those crispy 8-corner Detroit slices from Jet’s. My topping of choice? Good old pepperoni. Now, I can have some pepperoni pizza on my couch 7-days a week, without gaining an ounce or clogging my arteries.

These fun pepperoni pizza pillows would look great sitting on any junk food lover’s couch, and are guaranteed not to leave grease stains no matter how long you leave them sitting there. Firebolt Creations makes these photorealistic pizza throw pillows, which already have my mouth watering for a slice just looking at the photographs.

Each slice measures about 14″ from tip to tail, making it quite a bit larger than most pizza slices I’ve eaten… but I’m willing to rise – like so much pizza dough – to the challenge. Though I’m guessing the polyester fabric and filling won’t be nearly as tasty as one of Lou’s deep-dish buttercrusts, chock full of mozzarella cheese.

The pizza slice pillows sell individually for $24.95 each, so you’re looking at nearly $150 bucks if you want a whole pizza  – and that price doesn’t include the box or one of those little picnic table things in the middle that keep the toppings from sticking to the cardboard. Good news is that two slices this huge should be more than enough to fill you up.

Dock Your Nintendo Switch in the World of Animal Crossing

The game Animal Crossing: New Horizons is all the rage with Nintendo Switch players these days. If you’re a fan of the series, then here’s a cool way to store and display your game system.

Etsy artist Violet Senpai makes these awesome 3D-printed Animal Crossing island docks, which have been lovingly painted to look like they came right out of the popular world-building game, and look great alongside your Amiibo characters too. It offer a cozy, padded spot for your switch behind its puffy trees, and includes a connector cable to link from the back of the island to the standard Switch dock.

They come in color schemes for winter, spring, summer, and fall, as well as one with all Sakura trees. Violet says she can customize the paint colors and do things like turn the apples into peaches, she’s happy to do that too. The dock is available on the Senpai3D Etsy shop for $115.

Toss a Giant Crochet Spider on Your Couch

Most spiders are actually good for the environment, wiping out a wide variety of pests, including many that carry diseases. Still they’re pretty creepy looking, and the bigger they are, the scarier these eight-legged insects can be. But if you absolutely love spiders, then maybe you should get a gigantic one that you can toss around the couch amongst your throw pillows.

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your spare time, get out the yarn and knitting needles, and knit yourself a giant spider! MyTwinsCrochetNL sells a crochet pattern that makes a massive 20″ diameter spider that’s sure to get a rise out of anyone you toss it onto.

Since this is a DIY spider, you can make it in any color you want. So if you like the idea of a fiery orange spider or a lime green spider, that’s cool.

Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to crochet, you’re out of luck, because they’re only selling the pattern files. But if you have the skills to pull it off, you can get started for just about $7 for the pattern, then about 500 grams of acrylic yarn. They offer patterns in US English, UK English, German, and Dutch, because the giant bugs know no borders.

[via Oddity Mall]

Custom-painted GameCubes Feature Classic Nintendo Characters

Over the years, Nintendo has made some great consoles. From the original NES to the Super Nintendo, to the Switch, there are lots of classic systems out there. The GameCube is among my favorites. There was just something so great about the games, the design of the console, and its controller, and it really stepped up Nintendo’s graphical game.

If you’re a GameCube fan like me, check out these sweet custom systems I spotted over on Etsy.

Each of these unique game systems was hand-painted by Mago Serenil of Custom GameCubes. There are designs based on Donkey Kong, Thwomp, Kirby, and Dark Samus, with matching color schemes on both the console and its controller. I can’t decide which one I like best, but I do have a soft spot in my heart for the bubble gum pink Kirby.

Thwomp works great as a cube, but he could use some more spikes. I also wouldn’t recommend dropping him on the floor to crush your Mario or Luigi action figures.

The custom GameCubes are currently listed for sale for $200 each, and would make a great display piece for any Nintendo fan’s collection.

This TIE Fighter Fire Pit Has an Imperial Flame Job

When you see a TIE fighter on fire, it usually means it’s been hit by a Rebel ship and it’s about to explode into a massive fireball. But here’s one case where a flaming TIE fighter will last for a good long time. In fact, I’d love to have one of these TIE fighter fire pits to keep me warm on chilly nights.

The flaming TIE fighter was built by artist and tinkerer Simon Gould, who creates all kinds of unusual things in his UK workshop. Among them is a table made from the engine block from a Land Rover. While I think that’s swell, the TIE fighter with flames shooting out of its top is more my cup of tea. I like to picture this thing spiraling through a trench on the Death Star before coming in for a landing in my backyard.

If you’d like Simon to build you a flaming TIE fighter, or perhaps a flaming Land Rover engine block, you can hit him up with a private message on Facebook.

(Thanks for the tip, Christian!)