First it was ‘Boring’ baseball caps—now the Tesla founder is selling flamethrowers ‘to liven up a party’

This article titled “Elon Musk sells $3.5m worth of flamethrowers in a day” was written by Rupert Neate, for theguardian.com on Monday 29th January 2018 17.15 UTC

Elon Musk, the multi-billionaire founder of electric car company Tesla and tunnelling company Boring, has sold $3.5m (£2.5m) worth of “boring” flamethrowers in less than 24 hours.

The maverick businessman, who last week secured a pay deal that could see him collect $55bn, had pledged that if The Boring Company sold 50,000 baseball caps at $20 each he would start selling flamethrowers.

The caps sold out, and Musk started selling $500 flamethrowers on Sunday, tweeting: “Guaranteed to liven up any party!”

In a video post on Instagram, Musk said “don’t do this” and then proceeded to run towards the camera with the flamethrower alight. “Also, I want to be clear that a flamethrower is a super terrible idea. Definitely don’t buy one. Unless you like fun.”

Within hours, customers had placed orders for 7,000 flamethrowers, which at $500 each works out at $3.5m. The company had 20,000 in stock.

Musk joked on Twitter that rumours that he was “secretly creating a zombie apocalypse to generate demand for flamethrowers [were] completely false”.

Musk did not respond to questions from the Guardian about the safety implications of selling flamethrowers to anyone over the web.

On Twitter, he said the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) decrees that “any flamethrower with a flame shorter than 10ft is A-ok. Our design is max fun for least danger. I’d be way more scared of a steak knife”.

The Boring Company said fire extinguishers were “sold separately (for exorbitant amounts of money)”.

“Buy 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 is conveniently riiight above,” the website said.

Musk set up the Boring Company a year ago after getting stuck in a traffic jam and tweeting: “Traffic is driving me nuts. Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging …”

The company’s website states it plans to connect cities with underground tunnels and superfast electric “skates” that can carry cars and people. The company is planning to construct a tunnel parallel to Los Angeles’s congested I-405 – conveniently also speeding Elon Musk’s personal commute from his home in Bel Air to Hawthorne, California.

The Boring Company’s flamethrower video.

The Boring Company’s flamethrower video. Photograph: Boring Company

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Lead Image: The Boring Company Flamethrower. Photograph: Supplied

This article titled “Elon Musk sells $3.5m worth of flamethrowers in a day” was written by Rupert Neate, for theguardian.com on Monday 29th January 2018 17.15 UTC

Elon Musk, the multi-billionaire founder of electric car company Tesla and tunnelling company Boring, has sold $3.5m (£2.5m) worth of “boring” flamethrowers in less than 24 hours.

The maverick businessman, who last week secured a pay deal that could see him collect $55bn, had pledged that if The Boring Company sold 50,000 baseball caps at $20 each he would start selling flamethrowers.