For most people Christmas is a recent memory, but for manufacturers and traders the build-up to the next year’s lucrative festive season is already well underway with a series of International Toy Fairs allowing the leading companies to announce and exhibit their latest wares.
At the 108th annual Toy Fair at New York’s Jacob Javits Center, Binatone, the well-known producers of cut-price versions of popular electronic gadgets have caused what has been described by commentators as a ‘retailing big bang’, with the announcement that their version of the Large Hadron Collider is on course to be in the shops this autumn.
Speaking at the launch of their ‘Mini Hadron Collider’, Chief Executive Dina Lalvani said that the retail price of £99.99 represented ‘a massive saving on the billions of dollars spent by scientists on developing the full-scale version at CERN’s base at Geneva.’
A deluxe version will be available at £129.99 which includes an off-white scientist’s coat and a mad hair wig. Each pack is bundled with the necessary 2 AAA batteries and at least one life size Higgs Bosun, possibly several. Additional ones will be available at £4.99 each, or £9.99 for a pack of three.
Mr Lalvani stressed that the MHC was a working replica of the original, but that it has been scaled down for the user’s convenience, so it does not require the full 17 miles of tunnel used by the LHC. ‘Ideally the particles can be accelerated in a simple system of tunnels that can be dug in a garden in a few hours, but we are confident that flat dwellers will be able to run the particles through the flat’s plumbing system, provided that plugs are put into sinks and toilet seats lids are kept closed.’
‘We at Binatone have created a smashing scientific toy,’ concluded Mr Lalvani. ‘and I predict that next Christmas every child will be wanting to be a boffin looking for the elusive God particle. OK, it hasn’t found the Higgs Boson in our trials yet, but neither has the full-scale version.’