I’ve been wracking my brain for the last few days trying to decide what to do for the inaugural review around here at this new venture. It had to be something cool. It had to be something that wasn’t too complicated. More importantly, it had to be here now.
Then, quite literally, the subject of this review landed on my doorstep. Problem solved.
With The Queen’s and my nine year wedding anniversary coming up at the end of the month, I’ve been on the lookout for new and interesting gifts to give her. Buying things for The Queen is challenging because, on the one hand, she is not an overtly materialistic person; however, on the other hand, the materials things she likes are expensive.
Easy things like jewelry are out of the question because she is sensitive to metals (a side effect of the mystery illness). Chocolate…she’s not a huge fan. Lingerie…we’re just not going there. No husband should ever buy lingerie for their wife. If you get the size wrong, you are screwed. And not in the way you had hoped.
So, when I spotted the Coonan Apocalyptic Kit mentioned on someone else’s blog, my prayers for an interesting gift, or at the very least a gag gift, were answered. You see, The Queen is a fan of scary movies. Especially zombie, vampire and werewolf movies. And what self respecting scary movie fan would not want a kit specifically designed to fend off the undead?
Out came the debit card, clickty, click, and, for the paltry sum of $39.95, Coonan’s website confirmed that the order was received. Standard shipping, UPS Ground in this case, is included in the price tag. I didn’t see an option for expedited shipping, but I am notorious, according to The Queen, for not paying close attention to these minor details. I completed the order on Thursday, November 29 in the afternoon. The non-descript box with “CARTRIDGES SMALL ARMS” stamped on the outside arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday, December 4. Not a bad turnaround time at all to get this item ground shipped from Florida to Texas considering the weekend thrown in for giggles.
I only have a couple of minor quibbles about the shipping. First, since the package was shipped UPS Ground, it would have been nice if Coonan had shared the tracking number via email so that I could track the progress and no when to expect its arrival. As it was, I had to hope that The Queen did not intercept the package and ask pointed questions about why there was a sharp pointy stick in a box. This brings up the second quibble. Basically, what you are getting when you buy this product is a sharp pointy stick with eight rounds of silver jacketed .357 Magnum ammunition in a plastic blister pack with only a small little dot of padding inside the blister pack to try and keep it from punching through the packaging.
As you can see in the photo, that little dot is a wee bit ineffective at fulfilling its intended purpose. Fortunately, UPS didn’t beat the box up too much leaving the sharp, pointy stick still sharp and pointy.
Let’s talk about the packaging for a moment. It’s a poster board sandwich holding the stake and ammo inside the plastic blister bubble. Coonan has gone to the trouble to design some clever artwork and a brief little back story on the back; however, the real treasure here packaging wise is the warnings. I’m pretty sure Coonan’s lawyers were under the influence of something when they wrote these.
Bonus points to Coonan for some giggle worthy snark. My favorite is: “If any of these WARNINGS are news to you, it may not be an ideal product for you to own.” Yep, that means you Cletus.
On the flip side, the packaging is not what I would consider “display worthy”. Had they done something like put the stake on a velvet cushion inside a little glass topped, pine coffin with a hammer on a chain and an “In Case of Undead, Break Glass” flag, that would have been epic. Put that on you coffee table when you have guests over, and it’s instant conversation. The conversation may start with “Are you nuts?”, but at least you’ll be talking to someone other than the voices in your head.
Now, let’s talk about the product itself. According to Coonan’s website, this product is:
8 rounds with a Pure Silver Jacket in an Ash Vampire Stake.
The Coonan Triple Threat Apocalyptic Kit is designed for the serious hunter and collector. Packaged in a wooden Vampire Stake are Eight .357 Magnum Bullets Jacketed in 99% PURE SILVER. This is the perfect addition to your Coonan Pistol or a Holiday Gift Idea. It's not just a conversation piece, it's a Zombie, Werewolf, or Vampire's worst nightmare.
So, let’s break this down.
I have not taken the stake out of the packaging since it’s my wife’s gift. It looks like ash wood. The wood does not appear to be finished with any kind of stain, varnish or clear coat. I am not enough of a student of undead lore to know whether or not such refinements interfere with the vampire killing properties of a sharp, pointy stick to the chest, but my guess is that making the stick a little prettier wouldn’t hurt its effectiveness although the sadist in me thinks that leaving the stick rough and unfinished would cause the vampire a little extra pain from splinters whilst being impaled.
My biggest problem with the stake is the laser etching. Coonan chose to have its name and logo along with the words “Vampire Stake” burned into the wood using a laser etching machine. Unfortunately, it looks like it was done with an old dot matrix printer with a bad ribbon. Have some dyes or brands made and burn the stuff in proper for crying out loud. The laser etching on this example just looks terrible.
I can tell you that the stake is very pointy since it has poked through it packaging. It will most certainly impale an undead chest or skull without too much trouble although the traditional mallet and stake approach is probably the better way to go when using this item.
Here again, I cannot comment on the effectiveness of the ammunition as it remains in its packaging. It does LOOK pretty. While .357 Magnum will take care of most of your zombie and werewolf eradication needs, it’s not my first choice for either target. Granted, the product comes from Coonan, a company known for its .357 Magnum 1911 style semi auto pistols. Having said that, for zombies, you really don’t need the silver and .357 is overkill against a shambler. A good old .22 long rifle is all you really need to dirt nap a zombie. For werewolf, I wouldn’t say no to a .357, but I would be a lot happier with a high capacity semi automatic in 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP.
I'm calling this an initial review because, in all likelihood, I will never have an opportunity to test it fully against a horde of undead. If I ever do, y'all will be the second to know. Assuming I survive.
Seriously, the intended purpose of this item is not to go hunting the undead. The reality is that you would be foolish to actually shoot the eight rounds of silver plated ammo for target practice, and you would be even more foolish to carry it in a concealed carry weapon. Try explaining to the jury why you shot the carjacker with silver bullets. Go ahead. I dare you.
No, this is intended to be a fun novelty that makes you smile and giggle a little. In that respect, I think the product succeeds in spades. Could it be more over the top? Yes. See my suggestions earlier about the pine coffin, etc. Is it good enough? I went ahead and gave it to The Queen last night after she had a rough day with the kids. I was rewarded with smiles and giggles.
That alone made it worth the $39.95 price tag.
FTC Disclosure: I paid for this product with my own money. Coonan didn’t give me squat and was not consulted before this review was posted. So, bug off.