Monday, February 23, 2009

"Funky Colored Flames" a Flame-Out

We see a lot of--shall we say--"interesting" products as RVers. In the end, it's kind of reminiscent of a Clint Eastwood movie. You know the one, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.

Some time back we were asked to evaluate a new product called Funky Colored Flames. The press release had this to say, "This new innovative product creates a brilliant display of blue, green, and purple. It can be used in indoor/outdoor wood fireplaces, bonfires, campfires and backyard fire pits." When our sample arrived, we tucked it away on the shelf waiting for "just the right moment" to try this "innovative product" out.

Last night, a crowd gathered around our fire. This just had to be the time! Without saying a word, we tossed one of the unopened packets in the fire (as the instructions told us) and waited. Sure enough, we could vaguely see some green and purple flames--sort of. Another packet was tossed in with similar results. No one else around the fire said anything about the flames, until we finally had to ask, "Hey, what color are those flames?" And after squinting for a half minute or so, one of our test subjects ventured that perhaps he was seeing a little bit of blue.

Later, as our test fire flames came down in height, we tossed the third and final packet in. We got a bit more of a show here, but really it was nothing like that represented by the photos provided on the Camping World website touting this product. At over $5.00 a box of three, our feelings--and those of our ersatz focus group were you'd be better off buying a bag of marshmallows.

Still, if you have a gaggle of three-year olds, you can find Funky Colored Flames at Camping World, Target, and Walmart.

photo courtesy Camping World

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

more than 30 yrs ago, someone told my parents that soaking pine cones in salt water . then throwing them into their fireplace, after dried, would produce multi-hued flames. i dont know if they ever tried, but it would be a cheap alternative.

Mike Schwab said...

Much better to soak a pine cone or log in the proper chemicals.
http://chemistry.about.com/cs/howtos/a/aa052703a.htm?rd=1

Woodsie said...

My dad used to make up hunks of copper pipe, attach a long wire or a braize on a handle, and we kids would do the rest.

Our job was to scavage the cheap plastic blown garden hoses that folks would use at campgrounds which would blow up from the pressure or the hot sun. We would haul them back to our campsite and our dad would cut them into lengths the same as the copper pipe.

Stuff the hose in the pipe, set it into the campfire and you have a long lasting set of colored flames!

(pull the pipe out carefully by the handle, dip into a bucket of water to cool, and reload again)

Just don't cook over the colored flames to be safe.

RoadAbode Crew said...

We've used similar Products in the past, and had some cool results. I think it depends on the chemical mix the manufacture puts in the package. It's a treat for thegirls sometimes.
Word of caution - I would not make my S'mores (or cook anything else) over the fire after adding a packet.

Linda and Robert said...

Thanks for the review--had thought about purchaing this product but now will save my $5

Anonymous said...

I had the same curiosity about this type of product. Last Summer I found one of the cylindrical type on sale for half price. I experienced the same results, very disappointing. Glad I didn't waste the full price.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago you could purchase a tube of chemicals that would make colored flames while supposedly cleaning your chimney. This stuff worked with the flames altho they weren't technicolor they were fun. I'm not sure about the chimney, we had it cleaned a lot anyway. I would second the note about not cooking while using these. And will try the url for the soaked pinecones. Maybe even the copper pipe. Thanks! I'm sure the grandson's will enjoy it as their fathers used to.

Anonymous said...

Oh, just remembered that Christmas wrapping paper makes good colors when burned too.

Hedo2Guy said...

Woodsie
Burning of plastic emits LOTS of pollution. Some people don't care but we, the RV community should.

G William said...

There was a product in the mid-late 60's that did the same thing... oh those great memories in front of the fireplace watching the Beverly Hillbillies on the television!

Anonymous said...

HOME DEPOT SELLS A CANISTER OF COLOR ALL YOU DO IS SPRINKEL SOME ON FIRE. WE USE IT THE GRAND KIDS LOVE IT THEY WORK VERY GOOD.THEY ARE UNDER 10.00 AND LAST FOR A WHILE.