My experience with a MFLB knock-off
Since the success of the Magic-Flight Launch Box really took off about a year and a half ago, a handful of look-alikes have popped up. We got in contact with the folks over at an Italian (one-man?) company that has come up with a very similar looking (and functioning) portable vaporizer. They were kind enough to offer us a unit to review, so here goes.
The Vapars (this is the name of the vaporizer) comes in an aluminum tin that is very similar to the one the MFLB comes in, and has a large sticker slapped onto it with a logo that, again, very much resembles the logo of the original. Inside the box we find a AA battery charger, 2 (stripped) AA batteries, 2 plastic battery protectors, a carrying pouch, 2 acryllic mouthpieces and the little wooden box itself.
The box itself is shaped somewhat different, it is more square than the original. And unlike the real deal, the Vapars is made out of 2 pieces of wood which are held together 5 screws. The build quality is definititely not as refined as the original and leaves quite a bit desired compared to the MFLB. (I can't help but compare this thing to the MFLB all the time).
After charging the batteries, I'm ready to try it out and insert a fresh battery into the battery hole on the side of the box. The battery fits very tight, and in fact I was unable to remove it after inserting it! To add to this, the battery came in contact with the copper wire (since there is no pushback ring), causing it to emit its heat. Within minutes, the battery became so hot that I was unable to hold it! I tried to attach the battery cap to help pull it out, to no avail. The battery was stuck and it wouldn't come out. This did however show that the unit was working, as it became very hot. In fact, I nearly burned myself from touching the end of the (extremely hot) copper wire that sticks out at the side. Not good.
After the battery had died, I was able to take out the battery by carefully twisting it, albeit with help from the battery cap. Not a very good start if you ask me. Even with the battery halfways in and not discharging it took quite a bit of forceful twisting and turning to remove it.
I decided to give it another hurl and loaded the box with a few grains of herb and a freshly charged battery. It seems to heat up almost as fast as with the MFLB, and because the two inlet holes are positioned on the front (next to the hole where the mouthpiece goes) the vapour is cooled down slightly better. However, with the right technique this has never been a problem for me with the MFLB.
The taste of the vapour is just fine, about similar to that of the MFLB.
Given the small difference in price compared to the original (the Vapars complete kit costs €89, the MFLB's retail price is €99) and the poor build quality I don't really see any reason to purchase this vaporizer, especially when taking into account the lack of a lifetime warranty.
Vapars Vaporizer pro's and cons:
+ bigger trench, holds more herb
+ space below mesh screen can be cleaned/emptied more easily
- no lifetime warranty
- shoddy build quality and sharp, hazardous edges
- no diode indicator
- no battery pushback ring
- battery sits too tight