by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

This report covers:

  • Wandering Earth
  • Plot
  • The pistol
  • The manual
  • Done!
  • What does it shoot?
  • How powerful?
  • Summary

Happy Thanksgiving to my US readers!

Wandering Earth

Well, you can’t stay bored by this! Today we look at a catapult pistol inspired by the Chinese sci-fy film classic, Wandering Earth. It has grossed more than US $700 million, worldwide.

Plot

In the year 2161 the earth is threatened by an aging sun that will expand into a red giant and engulf the planet within 300 years. So to preserve life, enormous planetary thrusters are positioned around the globe to push the earth out of the solar system and to the Alpha Centuri star system, which, at only 4.2 light years, is closest to us.

I won’t spoil the plot for you, except to say that it takes a LONG time to make the journey and life as we know it has to undergo some drastic changes. Apparently one of those changes is to make use of the incredibly fat double action only catapult signal pistol that we are looking at today.

The pistol

I don’t remember where I saw this pistol, but when I ordered it I was intrigued by the video that showed someone shooting plastic army men with it. I could see that it is powered by a rubber band, but what I absolutely overlooked is the fact that it comes in a kit of 431 pieces! Apparently there are people on this planet who are captivated by lego puzzles and this pistol is for them.

It was only about $20 so I figured what the heck? We’ll have a little fun.

Wandering Earth gun manual
You get a manual of about 40-pages with illustrations of how to put the gun together.

Wandering Earth pieces
Bags of thingamabobs, whachamacallits, dodads and spare parts that will be left over after assembly.

The manual

The manual doesn’t have any directions in text because it is made for everyone on the wandering planet. But there are plenty of pictures that show where things go — sort of.

Wandering Earth manual page
These are the goesintas and comesoutas.

So you keep putting the pieces together as the directions show and eventually you get something that looks like a gun. It takes 2-3 hours of focused time.

Wandering Earth manual almost done
Only a few more pages to go!

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Done!

So — what do you get when you are finally done? Remember airsoft? Well this pistol is nowhere near as powerful and destructive as that! What this pistol is, is a 0.0001-joule thingy launcher. It’s labeled as a signal pistol but the video shows it shooting plastic army men. Apparently parents read the words and kids watch the videos.

I’m kidding about the power because I have no way to accurately determine the velocity of this thing. I’ll say more about that later, but I don’t want any of you running out to get one based on that.

When you are finished what you have looks something like a pistol. The parts want to fall off so you have to handle it with kid gloves. But what the heck — it’s made for kids anyway!

Wandering Earth pistol right
I left off the decals, but the pistol is complete — almost! Some parts have already fallen off.

Wandering Earth pistol left
Here is the other side.

Wandering Earth pistol top
Looking down from the top.

Wandering Earth pistol bottom
And up from the bottom.

What does it shoot?

The technical term for the Wandering Earth pistol projectiles is thingys, but you can call them signaling devices. When you hit a plastic army man with one and topple him over you can holler, “Did you get the message?”

Wandering Earth thingys
The pistol comes with a rack of thingys to shoot.

Wandering Earth thingy
Here’s a closer look at a thingy.

You can see from the shape of the thingy that it is designed to go into the pistol one certain way. A look at the muzzle confirms this.

Wandering Earth muzzle
The pistol’s muzzle is keyed to accept the thingy.

Wandering Earth loaded
The thingy is loaded.

How powerful?

This is where my report breaks down. I had hoped to chronograph the thingy for you and give you a full report. Even with accuracy! But this pistol just isn’t up to it. The thingy flies out at maybe 15-20 f.p.s. and starts dropping rapidly after 6 feet. I had hoped for at least 15 feet, but it doesn’t go that far unless the floor is smooth.

Summary

I guess this report didn’t work out the way I had hoped, but it did teach me that there are a whole group of people who enjoy putting 3D puzzles together. I will now receive lessons from several readers on just exactly what this is all about.

Strangely enough the finished gun does look like the ones in the movie!