I bought an air popper at Target today. It blows. Half the kernels just kind of fell out with the ones that popped. Some shot out like I'd packed it with gun powder. The butter melted fine.
When I was a college freshman I got a Black and Decker air popper because they didn't allow microwaves. (Too evil?) It was a well-built, self-contained appliance. Loud, sure -- but that thing could air-pop a buffalo if the need arose. (It didn't.)
Yet here we are, 17 years later -- 17 years to perfect the science of air poppage -- and I'm zipping up a flak jacket and barking orders at my wife (who, I'll admit, is neither getting caught up in the drama nor firing the flares like I asked her to).
So we turned to the Internet, as do all who survive a war with a household appliance. We went to Sears, Kohl's, Bed Bath & Beyond, Herbergers, JCPennys, Linens & Things (whatever the hell that is), Walmart, and even Black and Decker, who no longer makes them. Every model looked the same as the one I bought, basically a Pez dispenser with a backwards Darth Vader helmet.
All I'm saying is, don't buy an air popper unless you are filming a war movie that takes place in your kitchen.