May 9, 2008 An early contender for the bang-per-buck gadget of the year is the Bug Bat - a handheld insect killer that delivers a high voltage zap similar to the wall-mounted electronic insect zappers seen in butcher shops and other environments where cleanliness is paramount. The most compelling aspect is that it comes in the form of a tennis racket and anything that touches the “strings” on the racket face is delivered a powerful electric shock – enough to really sting a finger if you’re silly enough to touch it, and more than enough to send any insect it comes in contact with it into the hereafter. The scariest feature is its compelling nature: once you’ve heard the electric crackle of death from a pinpoint backhand, otherwise rational and balanced humans get a look in their eye like the dog that tasted blood. This product bats way beyond its sub-US$20 price range in terms of enjoyment and usefulness.
First up, it's simple to use - when a fly or mosquito is annoying you, you flick the switch on the racket handle to on, and go hunting, feeling part Roger Federer and part-Iron Man. When you’re ready to strike, you depress the button on the handle to instantaneously arm the racket strings and swing the racket, much as your granddaddy might have swung a rolled-up newspaper.
If you touch the fly or mosquito with any part of the racket face during your swing, then ... POW!!!!! The most satisfying aspect of hitting your target, apart from ridding the world of an unwanted pesky insect, is the noise - the sound of a kill generated by the zap is incredibly satisfying, particularly if the little blighter has been tormenting you for hours.
It’s also quite robust for a plastic item and is more than capable of batting mum’s best vase off the dining room table without destroying itself in the process.
The packaging clearly states that it’s not a toy, but hey, it is! It might perform a legitimate function in ridding the world of an unwanted insect and keep your home or office cleaner, but it’s one of the most compelling toys we have ever used! Indeed, within a few seconds of recording your first kill, you begin thinking of where you might go to find more insects.
Now here’s the kicker, and it is a kick-arse kicker!
It comes complete with it’s own rechargeable battery in the handle, and there’s a fold-out plug integrated into the handle as well, so when you’ve been out performing your superhero duties and keeping the world safe from disease-spreading villains, you just fold out the plug and insert it into any wall socket to recharge it.
We purchased the low-cost, high-tech part-toy, part-household-must-have in Bangkok’s infamous Pantip Plaza yesterday for just 100 Thai Baht. For those unaware of world currency markets, that’s just US$3.00. So although the product is being sold for US$15-20 in the States, at which price we consider it still an absolute bargain, there's clearly plenty of margin in there for entrepreneurs in countries where there are no Bug Zappers and plenty of bugs. The product also appears to have reached generic status, given that there are numerous versions on offer in the alibaba manufacturer database.