the interesting Fish night lights and motion lamps

The buzzing night lights from the 90s & 2000s

Many millennials and zoomers remember the rotating fish aquarium night lights which were seen everywhere in the 2000s. The night light was a statement piece, a completely unique lighting concept. It offered unlimited pet entertainment and it was aesthetically great for bedrooms and office dens. It revolved images around its base with a light source inside. Many of the early to late 2000s models sported a Frutiger Aero aesthetic. My favorite thing about these lamps was the noises they’d output, which gave it a nice satisfying white noise sound. People online are 50/50 when it comes to that noise. Some hate it, but a lot love it!

I remember we got a similar fish lamp shown on the below YouTube video from a ticket arcade. Before writing this post, I spent over 6 hours trying to find an arcade prize wall image of it on Google, but couldn’t find one. I could never save my tickets but my sister could. About 5 trips later she got the fish aquarium lamp. Depending on your local ticket arcade, they’d also reward you with other cool lighting fixtures such as: sirens, traffic lights, disco ball projector lamps, lava lamps, fiber optic lights, plasma balls, or neon signs.

Rabbit Tanaka Motion lamps

Dig deep enough into the motion lamp category rabbit hole, you’ll begin to find a ton of old/new vintage stock being listed under “Rabbit Tanaka” for the Rabbit Tanaka Corp.

Rabbit Tanaka Corporation’s website appears to be abandoned. Evident by it’s graphic design and website aspect ratio. However it gives us key info that they were an entertainment lighting business.

Rabbit Tanaka Corp. used to own the patent for the mechanism’s that drove the images of the iconic housings of these motion lamps. The corporation referred to the patent as theirs in a 2009 lawsuit.

Spencer’s gifts stores sold these “Motion Lamps” throughout the 90s and early 2000s. The cool thing about these cylinder variants are the various branded versions. Within my research I found it hilarious to see tons of kid friendly versions, but then a Family Guy Stewie version 😂

discovery kids Recalls Motion lamps from fire and burn hazards

Discovery Kids versions of this lamp made in 2012 were recalled due to 11 reports of the lamps causing house fires. This led to the company recalling as many as 300,000 units.

The placement of internal wires near the circuit board can cause electrical short-circuiting and sparking, posing a fire and a burn hazard to consumers.


Don’t know much about these. However I found a Reddit post of people discussing a user’s thrift find. I did find a Finding Nemo branded version with video of the lamp shade revolving on a SOLD Etsy listing. A Blogger article from 2012 suggests that these were sold on Amazon at one point, but the product listing is long gone.

These look a lot like the Softsoap hand soap bottles. You can check out an article I wrote on the Softsoap bottles with animals inside of them.

Should you collect or sell motion lamps?

The Spencer’s era of the cylindrical motion lamps are relatively pricey on second hand markets. If you can get yourself a semi-cosmetically perfect lamp, you have a pretty great gift for someone in high demand of the licensed versions. With how rare the lamp shade versions are, the world is your oyster on price.

You can find the rectangle versions today on Amazon and sites like Ali Express. However reviewers have shared fire hazard concerns similar to the Discovery Kid’s version. It’s important to understand the safety risks that these lamps propose, and the motion lamps should be used as an occasional novelty.

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