There’s a new Zippo in town—and it’s quite ugly. The “Zippo BLU” takes the original windproof design and tweaks it, switching the fuel from liquid to butane to produce a jet blast of flame. You know, just like those $5 lighters you can get down at the gas station.
It’s a strange product for the company. It may be more windproof and add less of a gassy taste to your smokes, but you’ll be paying a lot of scratch for the brand name when something generic will serve you just as well. Even worse, it appears that Zippo’s flint-based sparker is not user serviceable, meaning you’ll have to send it back in every time the flint is worn out. (Most of those gas station lighters use an electronic igniter instead of a flint.)
Zippo lighters are one of those timeless designs that shouldn’t be fussed with. If the company wants to extend the brand, adding twenty-year-old technology to their line-up probably isn’t the right move. Or does this mean that Zippo now considers crack lighters an American icon?