LOS ANGELES -- After Elon Musk presided over deliveries of the first batch of his tunneling company's flamethrowers, a handful of the devices have found their way to eBay where they are being offered at more than six times the original price.
Musk invited 1,000 people who ordered the $500 flamethrowers to come and pick them up Saturday at The Boring Co.'s headquarters in the Los Angeles suburb of Hawthorne, Calif. There, the new flamethrower owners took turns posing with their guns, using them to roasting marshmallows.
Several Boring Co. flamethrowers were listed on eBay from $2,800 to $3,333 on Monday night.
In contrast to military flamethrowers, the fire that comes roaring from the barrels of the Boring Co. version only appears to protrude a few feet. Eager new flamethrower owners posted pictures and video on social media trying them out.
Apparently, there are other legitimate uses, too.
"Flamethrower (obviously) best way to light your fireplace/BBQ. No more need to use a dainty 'match' to ignite! If no wood, just drop your flamethrower in fire place! It will generate way more warmth than a quaint pile of logs,' Musk said on Twitter.
In another tweet with a photo of a couple with their flamethrower and a baby carriage, Musk wrote, "Nothing makes your baby more zen than a few gentle puffs of a TBC Flamethrower.'
Musk, who is CEO of SpaceX and Tesla and has also put himself at the center of the Boring Co., appeared to have launched flamethrower sales to be outrageous and have fun. But so far, it's good business as well. The company took orders for 20,000 flamethrowers, selling out. That amounts to $10 million in revenue for The Boring Company, which recently released video showing a tunnel it dug near the headquarters to demonstrate how it hopes to speed up traffic.
As the flamethrower becomes more popular with rising market prices on eBay, others are concerned about the safety hazards of the fire emitters.
Worries are being expressed in states with high fire danger, such as California, which saw massive wildfire losses in the past year.
Miguel Santiago, a state assembly member from Los Angeles, authored a bill to better control the sale of flamethrowers in California.
To address the safety hazard posed by his flamethrower, the device will come with fire extinguisher. Plus, The Boring Company said it is going to donate $10,000 to California Wildfire Relief Fund.