The Los Boludos Vacuum Tube Family

Los Boludos Vacuum Tube Family - RF CafeIt might be a bit of a risk telling you this, but I saw an advertisement appear on the RF Cafe homepage that struck me as so funny that I had to investigate. The risk involves the terms of use agreement with the ad serving company that prohibits bringing attention to a particular ad that might encourage clicks. So, rather than providing a screen capture of the banner ad, let me describe what I saw. An imaginative guy named Ramiro Cairo, who lives in Brooklyn, New York, created a "family" of electronic novelty characters called Los Boludos that are made from salvaged vacuum tubes, colorful rubber computer keyboard spring cones, clothing snaps, and toothed metal clasps. According to Mr. Cairo's bio, he was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1971, then emigrated to the U.S. in 2011. "The word 'Boludo' is slang from the city of Buenos Aires. It's often used as a filler word in sentences directed towards someone. The phrase most often heard is, 'Che, boludo, ..." I'm guessing it's akin to "Yo, dawg..."

Adding to the intrigue of Los Boludos is a Storybook of their adventures. Brought to life by a chance bolt of lightning, these tubes from an old, long-forgotten B&W television set came to life. Finding themselves in a strange environment, they set off to explore the house around them. This first chapter, with a promise of more to come, lands them in a perilous situation when they mistakenly assume a device on the kitchen counter is another TV set. Read on to discover their fate...

Here are a few scenes from the Storybook:

Prices start at $35 apiece, which might seem a bit high, but consider the work involved in gathering and assembling the components, plus the cost of advertising in a pay-per-click campaign can be very high. Accordingly, in order to safeguard my participation in such programs, I hereby request that you get to the Los Boludos website from a hyperlink on this page rather than clicking on the ad if it happens to appear in the page border. Think of part of the cost going toward promoting recycling of electronic components rather than having them end up in a landfill somewhere.

Posted  February 4, 2014