Nucleus Glass is a company based out of Central New Jersey, although 100% of the products they make are manufactured in China and made with Chinese-made raw glass.
Most of the items offered by the brand are glass bongs, dab rigs, and smoking accessories. They do offer a few electronic products like enails as well as some silicone products.
In our initial review of the brand, we found that all the water pipes were pretty generic, and we spotted several copied designs that were created by American companies. Some of the styles we found to be copied from American brands included ZOB Glass, HVY Glass, Chameleon Glass, Medicali Glass, JM Flow, and Mobius.The brand even seems to copy imported products like the 7 Pipe and other imported brands like Grav Labs, as well as a few silicone companies like Strong, based in Oregon.
While reviewing the standard designs such as the straight bongs and beaker bottoms, we found that they were all of average thickness, meaning a 5mm glass that once blown out becomes anywhere from 3-4mm thick.
We were able to see their entire line while visiting the Champs Trade Show in Las Vegas. While at the show we also noticed that the Nucleus brand had many products that we counted on dozens of other tables full of imported glass. While Nucleus Glass claims that they consult with local glassblowers to create the best designs, we found absolutely no evidence of this. This is a tactic we see frequently in the industry, one intended to muddy the waters of certainty of where a pipe is actually made. Rather than out and say a piece was made in China you'll hear rhetoric such as,"We consult with a local artist", although all of the company's designs are made by other import companies or are clearly copies of American-made products.
The biggest problem with this method of manufacturing glass is that when a design is copied and made in China the customer AND the American company that created the design both lose. Creating new designs costs money-this is true for any industry. When an American glass company creates a new design and companies like Nucleus copy it with a more cheaply made version from inferior raw material made in China and offer it online, the customer has a hard time telling the difference. But the difference is huge, the internals are never as strong, rarely re-enforced and Chinese glass inarguably does not last as long. We have seen designs that were made by Chameleon Glass that we retailed for $39 being copied and sold as a Nucleus brand for $34, and while the photos make them look similar when we compared they wereclearly of very different quality. The Chameleon Cactus pipe was thicker, cleaner looking, and had more details. The Nucleus was thinner and used cheap, sloppy millies to copy the Chameleon tech.
There appears to be nothing special about this brand-we found no original designs and they seem to be intentionally misleading when selling the products at trade shows. The current market is flooded with imported brands and Nucleus seems to be just another brand that will sell any cheap imported product under the name. In most cases, we found you could get the American version of what they had copied for only about 10-30% more.