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Christmas Gift Guide
Culture

Oh, look: A Thomas the Tank Engine flamethrower

Commentary: A modified toy may excite you or frighten you, depending on your childhood memories.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The little engine that could blow your head off.

Peter Sripol/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Human imaginations can work in weird, wonderful or woefully dangerous ways.

Who, for example, would ever have imagined a gadget with six legs, a flame-throwing capability, and the face of Thomas the Tank Engine?

Peter Sripol would've. In posting his creation to YouTube, Sripol at least entitled it "Dangerous Toy Modification."

He also helpfully added the note: "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME (at least for the flamethrower bit)."

Sripol wisely disclaims responsibility for any damage caused by anybody who tries to re-create this mixture of the playful and the macabre.


You'll be wondering how Thomas the Flaming Killer moves. Well, Sripol says he married him to a robot hexapod, a sort of toy spider robot.

The fascination with flamethrowers has been around a long time. It's the sheer excitement in being able to immolate with instant power that seems to move some people.

Who could forget the bike with a flamethrower and an ejector seat? And then there are the portable flamethrowers that even appear to be legal.

There's a certain delight in seeing Thomas the Tank Engine stagger around as if he's already enjoyed a few pale ales and blast little toy soldiers.

I hope, though, that the nerds in y0ur neighborhood won't suddenly infest it with various childhood icons marauding about and spitting fire at all they see.

It would ruin property values, for a start.

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