Last week it emerged that tech billionaire Elon Musk, best known for SpaceX and his Tesla electric cars, is planning to sell flamethrowers… and fire extinguishers. The, now live, pre-order page promises that the flamethrowers will be the “world’s safest” and that it’s “Guaranteed to liven up any party!”
The sale of flamethrowers comes following a tweet from Musk that his tunnel boring company, The Boring Company, would start selling flamethrowers if they sold 50,000 Boring Company hats. I have no idea why a tunnel boring company is selling hats or flamethrowers but Musk explained in a tweet that he knows “it’s a little off-brand, but kids love it.”
The company’s hat page now confirms that 50,000 have been sold, however, the news that a flamethrower might soon be available broke last week when a hidden pre-order page for the flamethrowers was discovered.
The pre-order page offers no technical specifications for the flamethrower such as ignition method, range or total burn time but it’s been reported by Teslarati.com that the flamethrower uses the shell of an existing BB gun, the CSI S.T.A.R. XR-5. Rather than project petroleum the Boring Company’s ‘flamethrower’ appears to be a glorified Bunsen burner that projects a short flame.
On the 27th January Musk’s personal instagram account shared two videos, the first showing two working flamethrowers, with the caption “Great for roasting nuts.” The video shows two people perched on what appears to be a felt roof, perhaps a knowing reference to the flamethrower being a glorified butane roofing torch?
This tease was followed by a short instagram video of the man himself playing with his new toy:
The flamethrowers are now available for pre-order at $500 plus shipping. But just how serious Musk is about actually shipping pre-ordered Flamethrowers remains to be seen. As the pre-order page includes some pretty serious safety recommendations such as “May not be used on Boring Company decorative lacquered hay bales or Boring Company dockside munitions warehouses.”
Musk himself has joked about the flamethrower on twitter, tweeting “obviously, a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one.” Musk also later joked that “the rumor that I’m secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers is completely false”
Despite Musk’s jokes the hype surrounding the flamethrower has seen the Boring Company sell over 10,000 units in a day. If flamethrowers weren’t enough, branded Boring Company fire extinguishers are also available for pre-order at $30.00, described as “an overpriced Boring Company fire extinguisher! You can definitely buy one for less elsewhere, but this one comes with a cool sticker and the button [to order] is conveniently riiight above.”
Small detail, but each one will come with a serial number from 1 to 20,000 pic.twitter.com/ZBYEYO6zqu
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 1, 2018
Legally, flamethrowers aren’t restricted by Federal law and the pre-order page has a couple of disclaimers about tax and shipping costs. Musk himself tweeted that the “ATF says any flamethrower with a flame shorter than 10 ft is A-ok. Our design is max fun for least danger. I’d be way more scared of a steak knife.” (This is apparently a California restriction, not a Federal one). On the 1st February Musk announced on twitter that all 20,000 flamethrowers had been sold, raising $30 million. Just when the flamethrowers and fire extinguishers will ship remains unclear.
‘Flamethrower’, The Boring Company, retrieved 01/28/18, from source
‘Elon Musk Is Actually Selling Flamethrowers’, Popular Mechanics, retrieved 01/29/18, from source
‘Elon Musk’s Boring Company flamethrower apparently exists in real life’, Teslarati.com, retrieved 01/28/18, from source
Various tweets from Elon Musk’s twitter feed, retrieved 01/28/19, from source