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November 26, 2007

Blade Runner Light Saber Umbrella


gadgetmadness.com featured it on August 25, 2004, but it's just now registering on my screen.

Seeing as "Blade Runner" came out in 1982, set in 2018, I guess 2004 and 2007 are pretty much the same thing, neither there nor then.


From the website selling the device:

LED Umbrella

Early in the 21st Century, the Tyrell Corporation advanced robot evolution into the Nexus phase — a being virtually identical to a human — known as a Replicant. They're all around you, even now. That guy next to you? He's a Replicant. How do we know? He's walking the streets in the rain with no umbrella. That, and he failed the Voight-Kampff.


In the pre-apocalyptic future, the air will be so thick, it will be dark in the middle of the day. Coupled with the almost constant rain, you'll need to find a way to stay dry, and light your way to the noodle shop down the street.

Even if you don't live in a quasi-futuristic Los Angeles, and aren't a Blade Runner, you can still have the coolest umbrella on the street. With a push of a button, the shaft lights up, illuminating you and your path. Now, even in the darkest of nights, you're a lot more visible to the cars on the street, making your long walk home through the rain a lot safer.

Uses 3 AAA batteries (included).


Black with white LEDs or Red with red LEDs.



Turns out a pretty much unrelated (directly) back story is quite interesting.

In 2001 one Gary Willoughby decided he wanted one of these, and they apparently weren't yet generally available.

He contacted Gene Winfield who, in the course of relocating, found a small cache of neon-lighted umbrellas — props from the filming of "Blade Runner" — in a small shed wrapped in a canvas tarp.

Willoughby had them restored to working order and marketed all but one, which he kept for himself.

He wrote, "The umbrella is totally portable like the original, using two large 6 volt batteries [below]."


"Here I am with the umbrella [below]."


"This is the first time since 1982, almost 20 years, that any neon umbrella has been used!"

November 26, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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