Top tat - the five worst World Cup gadgets
Just add that cross of St George
Tech Digest The World Cup - a great time for football, an even better time for flag sellers and for manufacturers of gadgets.
Yes, for the last couple of months, manufacturers big and small have been scouring the warehouse, looking for products they couldn't sell at Christmas, before repackaging them at a premium price, adding those magic words: "World Cup...".
We've seen some pretty poor examples of World Cup gadgetry, but have chosen to shelter you, dear reader, from the worst merchandising excesses. But with the event already underway, what better time to reflect on some of the top tat that's been sent our way and pick out our top five worst gadgets. This really could run and run.
1. St George's USB drive/speakers/iPod case/anything (various prices)
Yes, this summer's first rule of shifting an overstock - stick a flag on it. As the country goes St George's crazy, what better way to shift a low-spec electrical product than to make it patriotic. Extra marks if you can tie it in with the iPod. If you're not sure what we mean, check out this motley bunch:
St George's iPod nano case
St George's speaker set
St George's USB drive
2. England World Cup Victory Vibe (£9.99)
You guessed correctly, it's a vibrator. Decked out in the St George's flag, this single speed unit with interchangeable heads promises more pleasure than a penalty shoot out win against the Germans. And as the retailer points out: "If you get sent for an early bath, no problem - the Victory Vibe is totally waterproof!"
More on the Victory Vibe
3. Beer Guzzler hat (£5.99)
If Blue Peter made a "party animal" hat, this would be it. As you can see from our picture, an old hard hat, some plastic tubing, red sticky back plastic and a bulldog clip is all you need. Just stick a couple of cans in and sit back with a contented grin, safe in the knowledge that you don't have to tackle that scrum at the bar at half time. Even if you do look a fool.
More on the Beer Guzzler hat
4. World Cup bottle babe (£8)
Possibly the most pointless gadget of the lot, the bottle babe is a beer holder. However, unlike similar products, it doesn't actually keep your beer cold. Instead, the manufacturers have added something far more appropriate - it plays the national anthem at the touch of a button. I reckon you'll get three presses before it departs through the nearest window.
More on the bottle babe
5. England voice changer (£4.99)
We're saving the worst 'til last. With the exception of a quiet night in with Timmy Mallett, I can't think of anything worse than a loudhaler with flashing LEDs featuring 10 different voice altering effects. I imagine there is one thing - what someone will do to you if you use it in a public place.
More on the England voice changer