June 10, 2010


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Store it on USB
Pretty much any shape you can imagine
By John “jaQ” Andrews  jandrews@hippopress.com

I love USB. I especially love USB flash drives. Plug one in, instant storage that dwarfs many hard drives from back in the mid ’90s. Unplug it and you can carry your data anywhere and use it on any computer. Mac, Windows, Linux, it doesn’t matter.

With such a useful, simple tool, some differentiation has to be made in order to set your product apart from the pack. Speed of data transfer matters, but when it’s 40 seconds instead of a minute to move a few picture files, only the most pressed-for-time secret agent really cares that much. For the rest of us, some novelty plastic shapes truly provide the deciding factor.

Who couldn’t use more fat in their data diet? While none of the many food-themed USB drives really look spot-on, this one looks like it’s genuinely trying the hardest without hitting the mark. Shouldn’t the striations be running lengthwise? Does look like an instant heart attack if you eat it, though. Don’t eat it. Best bargain: BestOfferBuy.com, $23.50 for 4GB

Soccer Jersey
Show your World Cup spirit! Like most Americans, I couldn’t tell you how accurate the details of these (almost certainly unlicensed) uniforms are, but it sure looks like they put in the effort. Plus when you take off the cap (the bottom of the shirt), you’re left with the kind of half-shirt that the female fans looking for attention might wear. Score. Best bargain: DealExtreme.com, $27.50 for 8GB

Formula 1 Race Car
I can’t vouch for the speed of this one, but it sure looks fast. Rather than ape a specific car or team, it goes for the chrome look with “all metal” construction. The whole rear of the car is the cap, rather than, say, the nosecone that’s actually removable on the real thing. Best bargain: BestGiftsAround.com, $49.65 for 16GB

Gold Bullion Bar
First the bad news: no, it’s not actually made of gold. You’re a fool for even thinking of it. Flash drives get warm, and gold is a soft metal! Plus it’s slightly more expensive than plastic. This item is sold by many promotional companies in bulk quantities, allowing you to print your company name or whatever on them, but you can also get them individually. Best bargain: DealExtreme.com, $28.29 for 8GB

Oh man, this makes perfect sense. Remember the cassette tapes that flew out of Soundwave’s chest and turned into various animals for reconnaissance? Yeah, this is some Chinese company’s knock-off of that, only instead of a cassette it transforms into a different data-recording medium, and you can actually use it. There are a few different color schemes to make it look like a cheetah, tiger or jaguar. Best bargain: BestOfferBuy.com, $27.40 for 8GB

Truly creepy, the hand comes in four “gestures” — “East Side” and “West Side” gang signs, “Change” (a fist, like it’s pumping in the air or something) and “Rocker/Love” with pinky, pointer and thumb extended. I’m sure the tiny fingers are stronger than they look. Best bargain: sirtified.com, $35 for 2GB.

6/3/2010 Finance is personal