I work part time in a local cinema which is part of a larger entertainment complex. Since it's Christmas the theatre part is full of pantomime. Ooooooh yes it is. To extract a bit of money from the parents, and to provide a valuable service to the kids, the management sell a variety of light up things. After all, who doesn't need a flashing light sabre, illuminated fairy wand or light up cutlass ?
These items are produced in huge quantities somewhere in the China where the quality control is questionable. That means there is a pile of duds to be found. Where ? Behind you ! These would head into the rubbish bin were I not to intercept them.
Back on the workbench the plastic bits are removed and what I'm left with is a string of LEDs and occasional bits of circuitry. Red, green and most excitingly blue, lights. In the sword hilts I find flashing LEDS and on others there is a little circuit to flash and entire string. Blue LEDs are a couple of quid a pop at Maplin and even the normal colours cost some money. There are even dodgy cheapo AA batteries.
At the moment I have no idea what this stuff is going to be used for. Most likely it will sit in a drawer for years but one day I'm sure a small light will be required and then I'm sorted.
So there you have it. Free stuff. Now does anyone need a plastic cutlass or sword that doesn't light up ? I've got quite a few now. Oh yes I have.