Last week I dusted off my old Velocity to see if it held up five years on. Today, we’re looking at another 2015 release, the UD Goblin Mini RTA.
I have a particular attachment to this atomiser, since it’s the first RTA I purchased. In 2015, the majority of RTAs were for MTL vaping, which didn’t appeal to me at the time. The RTAs made for direct lung vaping were mostly huge, which was quite off putting for me, since I preferred small, stealthy setups.
That’s why the Goblin Mini caught my eye. Here was a super short 22mm RTA, with dual or single coil versatility and a four-post deck which, at the time, seemed like the most convenient solution for a small atty.
The construction fit and finish of this device doesn’t hold up quite as well as the velocity. The glass tank section feels flimsy by today’s standards, as does the chimney section, which has thin walls and would probably not fare well against a drop. I babied my vape gear back then, though, so this was never an issue at the time of purchase.
The build deck itself is certainly a throw back but does have some good fundamentals. For starters, there’s the adjustable bottom airflow system. The inlets are very large considering the amount of space inside for coils but it can be fine tuned quite easily at the base, or with coil positioning. The post system is fiddly but not as frustrating as I remember it being. With that said, the atomiser is certainly restricted to round wire builds, preferably 24g and higher, due to the tiny post holes. An included block allows you to close off one side of the deck for single coil builds, though I never used this feature.
I decided to use the exact build that I used at the time for my trip down memory lane. A 2mm, 26g, 6 wrap dual coil build, which comes out to 0.35Ohms after pulsing. 2.5mm coils can just about fit in the atomiser but it is a tight squeeze.
The wicking on this atomiser would be considered hugely unforgiving these days but at the time it was normal. You must get it just right in order to achieve a consistent, saturated vape. I always went with Grimm Green’s technique, which involved cutting the wicks to the top of the chimney, before carefully tucking them into the wells, combing out any excess cotton along the way.
With the Goblin Mini built and wicked, I was ready to fill it and have a nostalgic vape experience. At this point, I was reminded of the most out-dated feature of the RTA – having to remove and replace a screw in the fill port, at the bottom of the tank.
Good lord, that screw is tiny. It’s so small that if you manage to drop it, it’s gone forever. I went through a number of these when the RTA was in regular use, having purchased a bag of compatible screws. The fill hole is quite small too and requires a thin tipped bottle.
With that inconvenience out of the way, I was reminded of just how well the Goblin Mini vapes. To be clear, its airflow is quite turbulent wide open. When adjusted to suit the build, it smoothens out a lot though. In terms of flavour, this thing still rocks. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise either, since the chamber is tiny and the atomiser is so short. My 0.35Ohm dual coil build at 35W produced great flavour that competes with modern products handily.
Is this performance enough for the Goblin Mini to re-enter my rotation? I don’t think so, sadly. That bottom filling hole is just such a pain to deal with. It forces you to bring a tiny screwdriver and ideally some replacement screws wherever you go and that’s just not something I want to deal with, when top fill is now a standard feature. With that said, I would like to see a modernised version of this atomiser. A short RTA, with a small dual coil build deck, designed for micro-coils would stand out in the market today and I’m confident that it would appeal to those who prefer a low-mid wattage direct lung vape.