Reviews: Rotablade Pendulum
Paul Watson's rise as a leading light in the Hand Spinner world is now widely, and deservedly known. His Rotablade Stubby is all but the market leader and his customer service and ceaseless innovation is winning him a legion of loyal patrons. In line with a seeming inability to rest on his laurels comes the Rotablade Pendulum; a fresh take on the spinning fidget toy and something which represents both a true departure from other designs while maintaining many of the innate benefits these devices offer fans.
I was one of several people lucky enough to receive a pre-release prototype Pendulum to enjoy and asses, both with a view to sharing early experience with readers and also to provide Paul with honest feedback, be it positive or negative.
The moment you cast an eye over the Pendulum, it becomes instantly clear this is no straight forward spinner....not a spinner at all in fact. The construction consists of two hybrid ceramic bearings; the first with a pair of free spinning grips to its sides and a set of shafts connecting to the center of the second bearing, around which is fitted a counterbalanced weight. This, being a pre-release sample, doesn't have the level of finishing that the final units will receive and I know of at least one small change being implemented for greater usability already. That said, this is an attractively quirky object that just calls out to be played with, its tactility being obvious from the design alone.
After many hours spent with straight forward hand spinners such as the Stubby, the Pendulum may seem like an odd prospect. In truth, this is almost the antithesis of the controlled, balanced performance of the former. Where you find consistency in a spinner, you find chaos in the Pendulum. Every approach, and there are many, to manipulating the first bearing and it's resulting effect on the second leads to a sporadic twitching, bounding, swinging effect on the lower weight. It's just fascinating, relaxing and unendingly varied to watch and fidget with. Not only that, but it's unbelievably addictive. The sheer variety of responses the Pendulum gives based on its orientation and the way in which you drop, flip or spin it means that at any moment you become tired of a specific method, many others are just a finger swap or twist of the wrist away.
When I first saw the drawings of the Pendulum and then the plastic prototype I was instantly and deeply intrigued. However, I was far from sure that I would be as enchanted by it as I am a great hand spinner, or indeed a beautiful spinning top. Now that I have been fortunate enough to own and enjoy this pre-release prototype, I can confirm that for me at least, the Pendulum is every bit as beguiling and enchanting as the very best spinners and offers an extra depth of "fidgetability" that really needs to be experienced to grasp in full.
In short, if you look at the Pendulum and have a hunch you would enjoy its variable, chaotic nature then you need to try one. Give yourself half an hour for your fingers to become acquainted and you may have a new, odd and bouncy everyday metal companion that somehow manages to breed contemplative relaxation from mechanical chaos; quite the trick indeed.
Model Reviewed: Rotablade Pendulum - pre-release prototype - Stainless Steel
Posted By: Stuart Robson