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Prop Runner

Sr Member
It rained and rained and rained today... Not quite the acid rain of BLADE RUNNER's Los Angeles in 2019, but the refreshing spring showers of the Central California Coast... ;)

So what does a BLADE RUNNER fan do when it rains? Why, he breaks out his circa-2019 ILLUMINATED UMBRELLA, of course. :love

Oh, but those things likely won't exist until 2019, you say, because not since Blade Runner's release in 1982 has anyone had the vision or technology to create one. Sure, there are umbrellas with light bulbs on the inside of the canopy, like these modern design award-winning models: http://www.bright-night.com, but nothing available in the US even remotely resembles the screen-used props shown below, right?

Well, count on the Japanese to use BLADE RUNNER as a direct inspiration for their latest cool gizmo: the first found item to be modeled off a screen-used prop (that I can think of) since cell phones were modeled after the classic Star Trek communicator:

Oh, don't be afraid - I've never retired a human by mistake. :D

How does it work? Unlike the screen-used props in BLADE RUNNER, which were powered by a flourescent tube and an external pair of dry cells and AC-DC converter, the Japanese umbrella's solid acrylic shaft is extruded with a ring of opaque white filaments embedded halfway between the center and outside of the shaft. While the solid shaft acts like a fiber optic rod, the filaments pick up and reflect the trapped light emitted from 3 super-bright white LEDs in the hilt, and it bounces off of them all the way up the shaft, finally exiting from the lathe-turned rounded tip like a flashlight (and it acts as a pretty good one too if you need to see where you're walking or to find a door lock).

The bottom of the shaft is threaded and turned down on a lathe to fit into the hilt. The only fatal design flaw I could find was that the illuminated hilt is not water-resistant. If water seeps in, it could potentially short everything out (somebody's light obviously didn't burn twice as bright when designing this thing, but it certainly burned half as long. :p) If it were me, I would have added a step right above the threaded end of the shaft and in the hilt so an O-ring could be seated between the threaded opening the LEDs and battery housing. But since there's no room for one now, I'll be taking precautions by wrapping plumber's tape around the shaft thread...

Here's where you can buy these umbrellas for $35:


(Thanks to Morpheus13 for finding a US source. :))

And in a completely unrelated issue, a Japanese newspaper's ad insert that came in the box with the umbrella had among some of its bizarre items this puzzling product:

Can *ANYONE* even begin to guess what this is meant to do? :confused :p :lol Hopefully one of the Japanese-speaking members here could explain this to us sheltered Yanks and Europeans. :lol

I'd like conclude by thanking our own gokarosama for this awesome and thoughtful gift. DOMO-ARIGATO, Phillip-San. :D :thumbsup

Thanks for looking, and I welcome all your comments. :D

- Gabe

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Well-Known Member
well that's kinda cool..

I have this dim memory of those stick things being used long time back in Japan for apprehending criminals, in much the may pictured. Of course, the originals were wood and steel, not.... whatever those things are made of.

Ah.. google is your friend. It's a "sasumata" -- and this may be text of the add in question --


Prop Runner

Sr Member
They have *GOT* to be kidding. :confused The picture led me to think it might be for parents who need to control their strung-out Hentai-overloaded kids. :lol Oh, man... This belongs right up there with the turkeys I saw on American Inventor last week. :confused

I wonder if they'd use it on a gaijin like me if I visited. :p

- Gabe

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Sr Member
Hehehe ok Gabe, did you get permission from Gary to use his pic??? LOL

Next question, how much was this umbrella? I didn't see an amount on the tag anywhere...

So I'll be the first to say YES I am definitely interested, I mean hey I live in Florida, it rains all the time here, so why not have a stylish umbrella that is also pretty unique..

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