The Boring Company is anything but boring, but one of its most interesting products may prove hard to find. The tunnel-digging venture, founded by Elon Musk in early 2017 as a way of reducing Los Angeles traffic, sold a limited run of flame-shooting devices officially titled “not-a-flamethrower” toward the end of its first year of operations. Finding the device may be difficult, but not impossible.
The $500 flamethrower went on sale in January 2018, with a limited run of 20,000 units. Musk, who’d recently finished up selling a run of 50,000 branded $20 hats, claim he got the idea to fund his company with merchandise from ‘80s comedy Spaceballs. The product was titled “not a flamethrower” to avoid regulatory hurdles, but it didn’t stop legislators like California assemblyman Miguel Santiago from trying to stop its sale. The finished product produces a small flame no bigger than 10 feet long, with a propane tank of 14 ounces connected at the base. Users open the valve, flick the ignition switch to light a pilot flame, then pull the trigger to send out bigger flames. Musk handed over the first 1,000 at the company’s headquarters in California in June, later demonstrating the device to Joe Rogan in an October meetup.
The flamethrower has come back in the limelight in recent days, as The Boring Company announces its future plans and celebrities name check the bizarre product. Musk invited press back on December 18 to detail how the tunnel-digging firm would enable autonomous cars to pass through tunnels of 14 feet wide at speeds of up to 150 mph, using guide wheels for support. While there was no mention of the flamethrower at the event, it hasn’t stopped it from seeping into the public consciousness: UFC fighter Conor McGregor compared himself to Musk in a Twitter dispute with Leonard Ellerbe.
The Boring Company Not-a-Flamethrower: How to Buy
Unfortunately, your bets bet is probably to check out third parties. The official sale page has no option to buy more, and offers little hope that things will change.
eBay has a wide variety of sellers claiming to have Musk’s rare piece of kit. Prices on active listings range anywhere from just $600 up to a staggering $35,000 for a model with the serial number 48. These prices are somewhat lower than the ones seen in June, where eager buyers looking to make a profit were setting their prices around the $2,000 mark. Naturally, as with most things on eBay, buyers should remain cautious, follow best practices and carry out due diligence.
Will The Boring Company sell any more flamethrowers? At this stage, it seems unlikely as the company shifts its focus onto its stated mission objectives, but as the original flamethrower came as something of a surprise in the first place, never say never.
Related video: Watch The Boring Company’s ‘Not-a-Flamethrower’ in Action