Elon Musk's 'Not-a-Flamethrower' arrives and now I know what I want for Father's Day

I guess I’m too late since orders for these started and stopped months ago. Still, the first 1,000 ‘Not-a-Flamethrowers’ were delivered to customers on Saturday and they look like an expensive, but fun, toy:


The Guardian described the scene this weekend as being something like “Santa’s grotto” for adults with money to burn:

A mariachi band played while customers received instructions in an industrial yard. Then they took turns shooting flames four feet (1.2 metres) long, reducing impaled marshmallows to blackened cinders.

“Mind-blowing. I couldn’t believe I really had one in my arms,” said Tabula. He planned to ignite a beach bonfire.

Jeremy Cross, 31, a film set caterer, said he felt bliss when he pulled the trigger. “I was freaking out. I was like, aaaaaaargh.”

California tried to block the sale of the Flamethrowers leading Musk to change the name to “Not-a-Flamethrower.” The device isn’t really similar to military flamethrowers because it uses gas instead of liquid fuel and can’t shoot more than about 6 feet. But that was more than enough to impress first-time users as this CNET video shows:


Other owners posted videos showing them firing it up at home:

And for the most part, that seems to be the main reason to have one of these. It gives people a rush. It’s like a dangerous, adult squirt gun. From the Verge:

When I arrive at the front of the line, I’m told that the trigger has broken and I need only press the ignition switch. This is easier said than done, perhaps because I have the weak fingers of a professional internet typist. But eventually I do manage to light the thing, and a plume of fire shoots away from me.

I love it. Is it a Bunsen burner, a propane torch or a flamethrower? I extremely do not care. It is a surprisingly heavy gun-like device that shoots flames. It’s definitely less dangerous than a can of hairspray and a match, or less dangerous to the person shooting flame anyway. And it feels like a cohesive product, no matter how it was actually designed. This might explain why people are so fervent about Musk: he took a joke and made a real, fun thing…

I meet Mike and Donna, who appear to be in their early 50s. They are from San Pedro, and they are fans of both flamethrowers and Elon Musk. “It’s phenomenal what he’s done,” Donna tells me. “I love the recovery of the rockets. We get to see them bring it back. It’s all bent from re-entry. It looks like it went to space.”

I ask them what they are going to do with their flamethrower.

“I don’t know yet,” Mike says. “I don’t think anyone knows.”


All I can say is it looks like fun. Wish I could swing one for Father’s Day but the resale prices on eBay are already going for several thousand dollars. The first 1,000 were delivered this weekend. The other 19,000 will be shipped to owners. That apparently includes the one bought by our own Jazz Shaw. Maybe he’ll do an unboxing post later? In the meantime, this YouTuber did an unboxing video and wisely chose not to try out the device insider her kitchen.


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David Strom 12:40 PM | July 24, 2024