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LIMBO: The Ever-Spinning Top

You’ve had a top-spinning competition with your friends.

At first, I was going to start this as “If you’ve had a top spinning competition with your friends…” before I realized: it’s barely a question. You have. Even if you didn’t get out a stopwatch and declare a top-spinning champion, even if you only had one top and took turns, even if no one officially said it was a competition, you were trying to spin the top longer than the other guy.

You all were. Heck, they made a TV Show about it.

This is a shout-out to all of you who’ve ever lost – a wakeup call to those who thought they’d never have what it takes to become the top spinning world champion. This is the top equivalent of a board wipe. A dark hole. A reset. This is the nuclear option you’ve been waiting for. The top to end all tops. The weapon to surpass a metal gear.

This is the LIMBO.

It’s not often that Kickstarter projects raise over 1,000% of their original goal. But then again, it’s not often that someone makes the perfect top, either. According to the official Kickstarter page, the LIMBO is a “smart, self-balancing electric gyro, disguised as a beautiful CNC machined spinning top that spins for ~4 hours.”

There’s not much more to say, other than that the 4 hours provided is an average, from someone with un-exceptional topping skills, and leagues away from a hard maximum. The longest someone has ever spun a top was actually defined by the first prototype of this same product, which kept spinning for 27:09:24 hours, once again according to the Kickstarter page. The top was sealed in a Steel / Plexiglas box for the entire duration, suspended off the ground to ensure that no outside forces interrupted the constant, ongoing momentum. And on the outside, a small team of dedicated researchers and scientists looked on. They knew the world of top spinning would never be the same.

“LIMBO is pure magic. Just imagine taking an innocent looking spinning top, that looks and feels like any other, give it a spin, waiting for it to fall, but instead of falling- looking at it spin for hours.”

Although the ergonomically-designed smooth-silver little guy wouldn’t look it, it’s actually battery powered. The inner charge gives it that extra little boost that’ll keep it spinning for hours on end. But don’t worry about battery replacements, however: Not only does the battery last an extremely long time, its easily rechargeable, even from the outside of the device.

In addition to being the long-lasting Smart Car of tops, it’s also the ATV of tops. The flexible design allows it to adjust to any surface, allowing it to achieve longer spin times even on uneven planes such as the top of an apple or the face of a penny. Just don’t expect to break any world records on surfaces like those.

But aside from a silly little party trick, there’s a lot of artistic value to having a watch that just keeps on going. First, its long-lasting nature can make it a party trick that both you and everyone around you could enjoy. If you’re the type to participate in physics clubs or expos, consider posting it up behind some glass and watching as passerby gather around, wondering when it will drop. Or, if you’re a photographer or interested in video production, you could use it  as a still point in time lapse shots, showing the world moving around it over the course of 4 hours while it just keeps on spinnin’.

The LIMBO kickstarter’s offerings start at $59 for the base product, an early bird special, and 40% off the retail price. Several other more expensive options follow, adding on bonus goodies like a matte black or titanium finish, and even a specially-designed balanced pad for maximum spin potential.

The top option is the Guinness World Record kit, which invites customers to try to break the creator’s record for themselves. This pack arms the top with a much more expensive mechanism that allows it to spin for longer but is much too expensive to appeal to most top-spinners, so it was locked off to this deal only.

I don’t know how the face of the world will change after the LIMBO ships out, but one thing’s for certain: A timed top tournament with a LIMBO versus any other top will give new meaning to the phrase “Bringing a knife to a gunfight”.

Featured Image via the LIMBO official Kickstarter Page.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Caroline Walker

    July 18, 2018 at 2:55 pm


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