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Chemist dumped by girl, builds real laser-firing Iron Man gadget

January 22, 2013|By Salvador Rodriguez

A German tinkerer has combined his love of Iron Man movies and passion for laser gadgets to build a real-life version of the super hero's robotic arms, and he has sold the laser-firing device for more than $2,660.

Patrick Priebe, 29, of Wuppertal, Germany, posted a video of his "Iron Man Laser Gauntlet" on YouTube on Saturday, showing a red and gold full-metal shell gadget for his arm equipped with two 1.2-watt blue lasers and another two 4-milliwatt red lasers.

Priebe demonstrates the device and how it works throughout the first half of the video. Then, at the 2-minute 30-second mark, he begins to use the red lasers to aim at balloons and a blue laser to destroy them.

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"I'm a huge fan," Priebe said regarding the Iron Man movies in an interview with the Los Angeles Times via instant message. "There are weeks I watch the movies twice each day while working on stuff."

Priebe said the movies inspired him to build the gadget, but for now he has no plans to build a full Iron Man suit. He estimated it would take at least four years to make.

"It would be just damn complicated," he said. "A lot of extras, flaps, hatches, slide out missiles, lasers and so on."

Priebe said it cost him $650 and 130 hours to build the gauntlet, but it paid off quickly.

After posting the video featuring the device on YouTube, one of his frequent customers asked to purchase it. Priebe wouldn't offer exactly how much he got for his gadget, but he said it was more than 2000 euros, or about $2,660.

But this isn't the first laser gadget Priebe has sold. In fact, he runs a Website called Laser Gadgets, where he shows off devices he builds and says he'll make customized items on request.

"I make custom toys and gadgets," he said. "I make and show, then people like and want."

It all began when his girlfriend left him. With time on his hand, Priebe began making and then showing off his gadgets on YouTube. Some of the video viewers wanted to buy them. He's since decided to make the hobby into a full-time endeavor after he was let go from a job last September.

Trained as a chemist, Priebe said he has learned how to make the gadgets as he goes.

"In Tony Starks' words: Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk," he said.

As for his love life, Priebe said the YouTube videos of his gadgets have helped him meet a girl online from Canada with whom he's become close.

Here's hoping you don't get Manti Te'o-ed, Priebe!

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