While some people argue that iPhones are the best thing ever, others claim that Bic pens are the bee’s knees, and some even contend that Henckels knives are a must-buy (mostly chefs and serial killers). Nonetheless, all these products have proven to be very useful to man, from using Google Maps to get directions to your nearest Apple Store, to hacking and dismembering your latest victim.
And then you get the weird products. Products that no one really needs but (for some reason that’s beyond me) everybody seems to buy. Sure, you could argue that some are novelty gifts, but most of them are the complete opposite: they’re meant to be just as useful as your iPhone and (hopefully) less dangerous than your Henckels knife, and yet fail miserably – but make millions.
See Also: 5 Stupidest Products Ever Created
Described as a “revolutionary home haircutting system,” the Flowbee draws your hair into two recessed blades and evenly cuts it. It can be attached to almost any vacuum cleaner that, well, vacuums the cut hair, and you don’t have to worry about making a mess.
For just $114.90, you could be the proud owner of your own Flowbee system, complete with a Super Mini Vac. Perhaps unsurprisingly – this was the 90s (and America), after all – it managed to sell in excess of 2 million units by the end of second millennium.
While its creator Rick E. Hunts might have had the world’s best interests at heart, the Flowbee is one of strangest things to come out of Texas. What’s even stranger is the 80s photo of Hunts demonstrating the Flowbee on the website’s homepage.
“I wish I could fart in public without anyone ever knowing.”
That is how I imagine the creator came up with the idea of what would become Shreddies – flatulence filtering underwear.
To be fair, Shreddies is great for people with IBS or gastritis, but this has to be one of the most ridiculous products ever. You fart – pardonnez-moi, you pass flatus – and these bad boys basically block it from escaping into the “wilderness.” The Zorflex, an activated carbon back panel, absorbs all the unfavorable odors and keeps them safely in storage for you.
Probably not the best underwear option when you’re absolutely positive you’re going to get lucky on your fourth date with Mark. Just imagine this little scenario. You go out to dinner, and you invite him back to yours for a “nightcap”. Before you know it, you’re in the bedroom and he’s slowly starts taking off your dress and then your underwear, and – PSH! A smelly gust of wind. Way to kill the mood, Alice.
Snuggies came into being in late 2008 and quickly took the world by storm. While it has been constantly ridiculed and parodied by the press and the public alike (a commercial was once described as “a bit like a Harry Potter convention”), the sleeved blanket was reported to have made $400 million in sales.
I can honestly say I feel a bit queasy whenever I see someone wearing crocs. I’m no fashion expert, but still: it’s quite a nauseating sight.
Crocs juggernauted to success in 2006 and had made over $700 million in revenue within two years. However, that doesn’t change the fact they still look hideous. And they’re dangerous, too: Japan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry requested the company to change the design after having received some 65 complaints of Crocs getting stuck in escalators.
Meanwhile, during my research for this article, I came across this little gem. Someone took to Yahoo! Answers to ask if wearing Crocs while driving was illegal – honey, it should be illegal to even want to wear them in the first place.
5. Pet Rock
Does your child want a pet, but do you not have the time or money to look after it? Fret not, because Gary Dahl has the perfect solution for you: a Pet Rock.
Yes. A rock that is a pet.
Dahl was in a bar (because what kind of good story starts with “A man ordered a salad”?) when the idea of Pet Rock was conceived. It was 1975, and Dahl’s friends had been complaining about their pets, when he half-jokingly told them about the perfect pet: a pet rock – it wouldn’t need feeding, taken out for a walk, and it wouldn’t die (unless you were THAT bad at looking after a rock). Dahl, however, took the idea seriously, and became a millionaire by February the following year.
See Also: Dumbest Vehicle Related Inventions
Can you think of any other bizarre products that made their creators millionaires? Let us know in the comments section below!