Weta's new cheaper, delightful, detailed plastic rayguns

Two years ago, my wife surprised me with one of the coolest presents I've ever received: an original Goliathon raygun from effects-house Weta (best known for doing the effects for the Lord of the Rings movies). It's a cast-iron monster, with delicate blown-glass fillips, and it comes in its own molded carrying case lined with red velvet. I've made it a point not to look up what it cost (it's a gift, after all), but I do know that people who collect these things tend to suck air over their teeth appreciatively when they see it, so I'm assuming it's rather a lot. It's among my top ten favorite inanimate objects in the universe, and it gives me pleasure every time I come through the door of my office.

So I was excited when Weta offered to send me two of their latest rayguns for review. The new line, "Dr. Grordbort's Rayguns," are not made from cast-iron, but rather from "Real Imitation Metal" (e.g., molded plastic), and comes in toylike packaging that wouldn't look out of place in a Toys R Us aisle. But as with the more expensive originals, the detail on the unit is exquisite, the best I've ever seen on a mass-produced item (this even carries over to the teeny-weeny desk-toy-sized "Minisculized" versions, which have details that even look good under a magnifying lens). They're still not cheap -- the "Righteous Bison" they sent me costs about US$85 -- but they're a lot more affordable than the hand-made iron monsters.

I have a small collection of rayguns here, some from professional houses, others hand-crafted by Etsy makers, but the Righteous Bison is the first plastic/mass-made version I'd consider adding to my wall. It's a beautiful piece, truly. And the little teensy Victorious Mongoose desk-toy gun (with its own stand) now lives beside my monitor, where I can enjoy it every time I look up.

Dr. Grordbort's Rayguns from Weta



  1. You seem to miss out a few important details in the review. Firstly, how does it feel to the original real metal ones? Does it have any core to give it the same heft?
    Obviously, the other question is, how many shots do I get before the reactor goes into the red zone, and does it have a stun setting?

  2. I have been seeing (and passing along) such delightful reviews about these things, a friend of mine finally bought one. (I have not yet caved in…) Wonderful!

  3. How’s the heft — does it feel like a cheap piece of plastic, or does it feel like it’s actually got some guts inside the shell?

    1. Weta’s site gives these particulars on the plastic model:

      10.4″ x 15.7″ x 3.1″ (H x W x D)
      26.5 cm x 40 cm x 8 cm
      2.6lbs (1.2 Kg)

    2. Er, the site also gives some narrative on it’s relative “heft” ;)

      “The gun is about the same weight as a small brown trout (or two pints of Pale Ale) and can be fired continuously without exhausting the sportsman.”

  4. W00t! Ray guns! I’m all about the ray guns! This is a great find. As much as I love the other ones, I couldn’t afford the price. This looks more doable. Want!

  5. Definitely three cheers for rayguns. There’s a fantastic dumpster on the university campus where the EE and ME departments dump metal “trash”. I’ve been harvesting some things out of it now for several years with the goal of making a set of rayguns.

  6. Are there autographed Flash Gordon or Buck Rogers versions available? Commando Cody borrowed mine, and then lost it on the Moon while hunting Radar Men, or in the stratosphere while fighting Zombies, or so he says.

  7. My grandson of 8 yrs of age has only plastic guns which he as yet doesn’t connect with bloo and gore .I would love ro send this article to his mother, my daughter who is a dancer , ballerina. how can I email this article?

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