StrobeFX, retail $9.99 (
Manufactured by Spin Master for Matt Anderson and Tom Hughes (inventors) (
Last updated 01-24-09

The warning at the bottom of the package pretty much sums up this nifty LED toy: "WARNING: If you have experienced light-induced seizures in the past, do not use this toy."

The StrobeFX is an LED light you play with, not an LED light you work with. Mounted at the end of a flexible stalk, the StrobeFX features an RGB LED inside a soft rubbery ball that flashes and glows with all kinds of patterns - no fewer than 20 - which you can select with a button on the part you hold in your hand.

The unit is powered by 3 AAA batteries, which are included and already installed inside when you get it.

To use the StrobeFX, you'll first need to get out of the plastic hell it comes in. A really sharp knife or a stiff razor blade to slit the pack all the way down one side seems to work if you're careful and patient; once it's all the way out you can play with it or hand it off to the kids. The package has the area around the buttons open, so you can try before you buy; it also features a reflectorized insert behind the light head, so the light source may appear larger than it is in real life if you're not paying attention.

The unit has two buttons on the part you hold onto: one marked "ON" (on/off) and a larger one marked "P" (pattern) just above. Press the "ON" button to turn the StrobeFX on, and press the "P" button one or more times to get the program (light show) you want. There are at least 12 modes you can cycle through, and some of them can be modified by holding down the "P" button for several seconds or longer.

I just now found the instruction sheet inside the cardboard part of the package, and it pretty much mirrors what I've said so far. Except that I failed to mention the StrobeFX turns itself off after approximately 5 minutes of disuse, presumably so the batteries don't poop out in the toybox.

Sooner or later, the batteries will poop out in your StrobeFX and need changing. To do this, use a small phillips screwdriver and remove the single screw at the bottom of the unit & remove the battery door. Pull out the dead batteries and flush them dow - er - throw them in the garbage. Insert three new ones, following the polarity markings embossed in each battery chamber, replace the battery door, and screw in the screw. Hand the unit back to the kids, or hog it for yourself.

As time permits, I'll try to burn some batteries through it and see how long they last.

The StrobeFX is built tough, as it was meant to have kids manhandle the thing. It is a $10 toy though, so it's possible for it to become broken.

The white ball on the end looks like a ping pong ball, but it's SOFT so smacking something with it isn't very likely to break it. The rubbery material "gives" very readily, so even accidentally smacking another kid in the arm with it probably won't draw any blood. No band-aids, and no dented or broken ball to deal with.

The light source itself is made of epoxy and runs cold too, so don't worry about setting something on fire or getting broken glass everywhere. Ain't gonna happen.

Still, you should NOT try to hit walls or people with it. The StrobeFX wasn't made for that. :-)

A few pictures taken while whirling the StrobeFX around in the dark.

Unit was received in early April 2003 and (as of 04-14) is in its initial stages of testing.

UPDATE: 01-24-09
A website viewer emailed me some videos on Yourtube showing that the StrobeFX unit may have more than one variation.
To wit:

I would like to know how many colors do the Strobe FX have and I want to know is the Original Strobe FX have more colors and patterns then not the Original Strobe FX ones and I watches youtube some of the Strobe FX have more colors and patterns and some Strobe FX have less colors and patterns and I show you this one on Youtube this one have more colors and patterns and strobe and dots this one here:

and I show you the one that are less colors and patterns on Youtube

The first Youtube and the forth youtube have more colors and patterns and strobe and dots in it then all others ones and which ones is the Original Strobe FX Colors and Patterns like the one on your ledmuseum website etc.

Eye-popping toy
Ball on the end is soft
Nice variety of effects
Uses inexpensive and common batteries
Potential for decent battery life
Auto-shutoff preserves battery life

Not water resistant
Could become broken if dropped or stomped on
Tools needed for battery change
Auto-shutoff could be a pain in the toilet muscle for older users

    MANUFACTURER: Spin Master Toys
    PRODUCT TYPE: Color-changing wand type toy
    No. OF LAMPS: 1
    BEAM TYPE: 360 diffused
    SWITCH TYPE: Pushbutton on/off
    BEZEL: Rubbery white diffusing ball
    BATTERY: 3 AAA cells
    CURRENT CONSUMPTION: Not yet measured
    WATER RESISTANT: Probably not
    ACCESSORIES: Batteries included
    WARRANTY: Unknown


    Star Rating

StrobeFX *

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