The Jakks Pacific EyeClops brand made waves back around the 2007 holiday season with their super magnifying camera toy, which set a successful design strategy they’ve since followed up on with their Night Vision 2.0 and Mini Projector toys: Take a professional piece of digital optics and make a functional $50 toy version.
I bought both their active night vision and video projector toys for my nephews this last Xmas. The older of the two, Michael, agreed to review them for us:
EyeClops Night Vision 2.0 Infrared Stealth Binoculars
When I saw this, my first impression was that it was probably a fake. I thought it wouldn’t actually be much better than my eyes most of the time. I was wrong. The infra-red system does work. This toy has two settings for the infra-red light. The low setting emits no visible light, and detected a person wearing blue jeans and a dark green shirt about thirty feet away. On high, it emits some dark red light and managed to pick up the same person 77 feet away, which was better than I could do with my eyes. The image is displayed on a screen inside the object, which can be set to display black-and-white or black-and-green. Unfortunately, the detail isn’t too great. Faraway things appear only as white outlines, and it requires some playing with the focus for closer stuff. It handles bright lights well, although it does tend to be washed out in bright areas. Overall, it’s a pretty good toy.
EyeClops Mini Projector
This is a pretty cool little device. It’s about the right size to fit in the palm of my hand, and yet it projects an image up to 60″. Understandably, the speakers are rather small. It comes with an AC adaptor and a battery base. The package says the batteries last for 270 hours, but I haven’t used it that long so I don’t know. I tested it in the shadow of our TV in a lighted room during the daytime, and it clearly projected an approximately 20″ image. Understandably, it needs a dark place to be able to project a 60″ image, but it’s fairly bright for such a small projector. It accepts RCA audio and video input, and features a headphone port. It’s a good little device to take with you on trips.