Elon Musk’s new Not-A-Flamethrower devices have finally been distributed to the first customers. The devices were sold as promotional items for Musk’s tunnel-digging startup, The Boring Company. A select group of one thousand people who pre-ordered the $500 devices received their units at a pick-up party at the Boring Company headquarters in Los Angeles.
Musk, who is also the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, first revealed his plan to sell his flamethrower-like devices in December in social media posts. He announced in February that the company sold out the entire planned allotment of 20,000 of the machines in just four days. There has been no word on whether more of the devices may be made available in the future.
Musk’s torch gun machines are named Not-a-Flamethrower for legal reasons. Shipping and customs regulations restrict the transport of anything termed a flamethrower. There are already reports that the rest of the devices have not been distributed because the company is running into shipping problems, notably that UPS won’t deliver something containing highly flammable propane.
Some people have already been torching things at home and sharing the images on social media. YouTuber Justine Ezarik managed to light her artificial lawn on fire while trying to cook some steak and popcorn with the machine. Luckily, there have been no documented reports of people calling 911 due to a Not-A-Flamethrower-related incident…yet.
Many have criticized the sale of the devices to the general public as a dangerous gimmick. The state of California even tried to stop the flamethrowers from being sold. A bill was introduced prohibiting the sale of “flamethrowing devices,” but it’s currently being held up in committee after failing to get enough votes to pass.
The devices are already popping up for resale on the internet. Auction site eBay had several listings for the devices at prices ranging from just under $3,000 to a listing with a “Buy it Now” price of $20,000. There was also a listing for an instruction manual for the torch gun at a price of $250.