Scottish Raygun fan Daniel Leyden literally danced with excitement when he received the email from Weta Customer Services telling him he had won Weta’s ‘Complete Your Raygun Set’ competition. “I was at work when I found out”, he says excitedly. “I just jumped up and down shouting ‘I’ve won! I’ve won!’”
Daniel is a games programmer for a mobile phone company, and it was here that he got his initial Raygun delivered, the F.M.O.M Industries Wave Disrupter Raygun, much to the fascination of his colleagues, who share his open planned office. “A few of my colleagues like, ‘you’re buying WHAT!@? They were certainly questioning why I was buying a Raygun! But for me, it was more of a ‘I just want this cool thing.”
“It took about half an hour to unpack the packaging”, says Daniel. “I had to go to another desk to unwrap it all, and then I went into my office and pretended to shoot everyone with my new Raygun! When I was opening the box up, a friend of mine was saying ‘don’t open the box – you’ve got to keep the original packaging!’ I had to laugh – I mean, what else do you do with Rayguns but pretend to shoot up people?!”
Daniel first discovered the Dr Grordbort’s range through steam punk website, Brass Goggles. “At first I wasn’t sure what [the property] was – a film? A game? And then, once I watched the infomercial online I thought, ‘that is really cool!’ I’m a fan of steam punk in general”, he explains, “and when I first saw the guns and I thought eek they’re quite expensive – but so darned cool! That’s pretty much when I decided that a Raygun was something I really wanted.”
Asked why he initially chose the F.M.O.M Industries Raygun, he says it was purely aesthetics that won him over. “I picked the one that I thought looked most like a traditional Raygun”, he explains. “I really liked the F.M.O.M – it looked so ‘Flash Gordon’, and reminded me of the series I thought, if you saw it, you would know straight away it was a Raygun. It was love at first sight, basically.”
Daniel is such a steam punk fan that he has been working on his own novel themed in the era. “I’ve always liked steam punk books”, he explains. “It was such a cool age for inventions; people were making amazing machines, huge ships and it was such a great era in time. It’s hard to imagine what would have actually if they had discovered nuclear power and computers during that time! My book asks these kinds of questions: what would have happened if the Victorian era had modern technology at its disposal, and so on. I’ve written about six chapters over the last year in my spare time and after work. I’m not really much of a writer – its something I’ve never done before, but it’s much easier to write a book than make a computer game, believe me!”
“I think being a programmer, and having an interest in modern engineering, computers, and contrasting that with the Victorian era has really inspired my novel. If I was back in that era, for example, I imagine that I would be an engineer. There were such ground breaking technology advances at the time. Back then, they built the biggest buildings, bridges, they weren’t afraid to try anything – there were no half measures.”
Daniel says this is the first time he has collected anything and was somewhat unprepared to add two more Rayguns to his ‘one piece’ collection. At the moment, Daniel’s F.M.O.M Raygun is “dominating the kitchen table”, and he says now that the other two Rayguns have arrived, he will be moving the entire set into his spare room and will be getting them their own display cabinet.
“I feel like a wee kid”, he says. “The Rayguns are like toys for grown ups. It feels just like Christmas!”
If you would like to secure your Raygun before Christmas, make sure you get ordering now.