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See the terrifying personal flamethrower that’s apparently legal in 48 states

Cincinnati-based Ion Productions will begin selling the XM42, “the world’s first commercially available hand-held flamethrower.” (Video: Ion Productions)

Just because SkyMall is dead doesn’t mean the public’s appetite for indefensibly stupid products has run dry.

Take, for example, the XM42, “the world’s first commercially available hand-held flamethrower” from Cincinnati-based Ion Productions. The company plans to launch an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign this week to broaden the product’s production.

“Our goal,” the company says on its Web site, “is to bring fun and awesome products into the world.”

If you struggle to see the fun in a device that spews forth a flaming column of gasoline up to 25 feet — turning your immediate vicinity into a WWII battlefield — you’re probably not alone.

The XM42, the company says, offers “endless possibilities for entertainment and utility,” such as “killing insects,” “eliminating weeds between pavement cracks,” “melting snow,” and, uh, “entertaining your friends.”

What dude doesn’t enjoy kicking back a few tall boys, watching the game and then risking months of painful recovery in the burn unit for a little snow-melting with the guys, right?

The flamethrower uses 87 octane gasoline, available at almost every gas station pump in the United States and buying one doesn’t require a background check, the company says.

Before you shell out between $699 and $799 for your very own flamethrower, the company urges potential customers to check with their local laws before placing an order, according to RawStory.

In flamethrower-hating California — a state overrun with uptight mothers and worrywart politicians and largely devoid of snow (not to mention, water) — unlicensed possession of “any non-stationary and transportable device designed or intended to emit or propel a burning stream of combustible or flammable liquid a distance of at least 10 feet” is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison, according to RawStory.

So lame, right, guys?

Not that you should give up, of course. Licenses, the company notes, can be obtained from the state fire marshal.

The other state with laws regulating flamethrower use, according to the company: Maryland.

How about safety?

“It’s designed to be safe when used properly,” the company says. “We strongly encourage using the XM42 outdoors away from others and away from anything that could be accidentally set on fire.”

Translation: Unless you are swimming underwater or banished to an Antarctic tundra, surrounded by ice and far away from scientists and seals, do not under any circumstance unleash the hot fury of “the world’s first commercially available hand-held flamethrower” anywhere in the world.

Why? Because it is not safe to do so.

“We hope you find the XM42 as awesome as we envisioned it to be,” the company adds. “We’re open to suggestions, but we believe we have a solid plan for its future.”

More reading: 

Remembering SkyMall, the in-flight catalogue at the apex of commercialism

Before it vanishes forever, here are 10 amazing product videos from SkyMall’s YouTube channel