Review: USB Circus Cannon
The USB Circus Cannon from Brando is manufactured by Dream Cheeky of Hong Kong. Along with the USB Circus Cannon, Dream Cheeky also makes the USB Missile Launcher, Aroma Diffuser, USB Chess Game and a handful of other USB gadgets. Since the manufacturer doesn’t offer a purchasing option Brando is the distributor. GetUSB.info wrote about this a while back so we wanted to give her a shot, literally.
Shipping was quick and easy from Brando, it arrived via US mail about a week after ordering. Shipping was under $5USD. The USB Cannon was packed nicely and considering the light weight toy, good enough for world-wide shipping so regardless of location the USB Cannon should not get damaged in transit.
The USB Circus Cannon comes with three Girls used as “missiles” and Dream Cheeky did the best job possible to sex-them-up with bikini labels around the foam missiles. Caution getting the missiles out from their packaging as you could easily dislodge a base-wing, as GetUSB.info did, although it has zero effect on flight performance. The USB Cannon also comes with a software CD, 10 foot USB cable and a pink fish net so your friend can try catching the Girls.
After loading the CD and installing the software the smooth ride was about over. From that point forward nothing really worked as expected. When the USB Cannon did work it was fun, but the problem is in the software. It’s buggy at best and the buttons used to control the USB Cannon did not operate properly. The software is a flash based program and it’s clear bugs must still be worked out.
The Cannon itself goes through a compression process before firing which is a little loud, but expected. Once the proper compression level is reached the unit fires off a missile. There is no ability to control the flight path and after many attempts there is no way to predict the amount of compression the unit generates before firing. Sometimes a missile flops 4 feet down, other times the USB Cannon shoots 20 feet, as specified.
Rotation of the USB Circus Cannon can be performed via the keyboard arrows or the software buttons. Again, no consistency in the ability to move the USB Cannon. At times it would rotate 15 degrees then stop, other times it would rotate 90 degrees then stop. The unit can also shift upward or downward but with the same inconsistency as the rotation feature. The pre-recorded sound effects are funny at first, but quickly become annoying. Thankfully Dream Cheeky included a mute button in the software.
To insure no host PC hardware errors, the USB Circus Cannon was tested on two individual desktop PC XP machines with high-speed USB ports (although a low-speed device) as-well-as an XP Laptop machine. The same results where found. Each time a failure happened with the USB Cannon, you had to either re-launch the software or reconnect the USB Cannon to the USB port. The software cannot be closed via the traditional X in the top right corner, but rather “closed” via a right click on the desktop tray icon of Microsoft Windows.
Overall, the USB Circus Cannon has great potential and is fun to play with when working. However, until the software bugs are corrected and the unit can perform consistently GetUSB.info believes your money should stay with you, not with the USB Circus Cannon.
Update: Dream Cheeky did update their firmware so the software works much better then when this post was originally written.