Hello again, it's me, the person who does not buy video games merch yet has strong opinions on it. This week, it's the official Destiny 2 toaster, an oft-requested actual bread-cooking device. The gun Jötunn is lovingly nicknamed 'the toaster' for its blocky shape and ability to pop out slices of fiery death, see, so for years fans and jokesters have asked Bungie for a real toaster which looks like it. But this official toaster does not look like Jötunn, and doesn't even look like a good toaster. Boooo.
During a charity livestream for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital last year, Bungie said they'd look into making a toaster if they raised $777,777.77 (they do love their sevens). Well, fans donated over $800k, so here we are. Last night Bungie announced that you can now pre-order the toaster. It costs $85 (£60) and 10% of profits from sales will go to St. Jude's. You also get a toasty in-game emblem to decorate your profile:
The black and gold plastic toaster is emblazoned with the hand logo of the Rasmussen family (co-founders of the Black Armory), just like the real Jötunn. But beyond that, no, this is a crappy plastic toaster which looks nothing like Jötunn. Added in January 2019, the Exotic fusion rifle is a delightful cinderblock of a gun which heats up then spits a homing slice of burning death with a pleasing metallic noise. You even load it from the top. It quickly gained the nickname 'the toaster', and fans have semi-seriously clamoured for an actual real Jötunn toaster ever since.
Allow me to demonstrate making toast with the gun this toaster does not resemble:
"We saw a bunch of pretty cool concept from players, but the realities of production/manufacturing would have made it nearly impossible to execute," a Bungie community manager explained on Reddit.
"This happens pretty often in game dev - fans share a fun concept from Photoshop or a 3D program, but it doesn't easily transfer to a game or product. Something that's felt to be simple because it takes three clicks in an image editor can end up taking months of time and massively inflated cost when actually developing a user interface, armor set, or in this case... a toaster."
I understand a Jötunn toaster would be a huge task, maybe an unfeasible one, but $85 for a cheap-looking plastic toaster is a real disappointment. I've praised Bungie's Destiny merch before but I'm not feeling this. You'd mostly be buying it to get that toasty emblem, wouldn't you? Yeah, it's partially for charity, but 10% of the profits isn't much anyway.
I take toast seriously and $85 could get you a really nice toaster (with enough change for a donation to St. Jude's too), you know? We're not talking a plastic two-slicer, we're talking four slices, we're talking independent heat controls, we're talking stainless steel with a nice retro finish, we're talking bagel and defrost settings, we're talking room enough for even the broadest sourdough, the works. The kind of toaster you'd mark in the Argos catalogue by folding a page corner, waiting for you to flick back and gaze at it whenever you want to dream of treating yourself.
An American friend once gave me a Hello Kitty toaster which would scorch a feline face into toast. I was unaware of the voltage difference between countries and was horrified when it glowed brighter than the sun, burned out the element, and incinerated the bread. But I could just about make out Hello Kitty's face in the ashes.