Flash drives are all the rage these days. They come in huge capacities and even in exotic flavors like titanium and biometric. But what most drives lack is any sort of fun design. Sure, you might find one with rubber grippies on the side, or one made from bright yellow plastic with a blinking LED. But how about a robot, cactus monster or ghost dripping blood from its mouth?
Robo (view large image)
These are some of the designs behind mimoco’s mimobot designer flash drive series. Mimobots are somewhat of a cross-breed of tech and Beanie Babies. They’re created by designers and many are sold in very limited quantities. My Robo sample unit is number 69 out of 500, according to the handwritten designation on the package. And there’s the uniqueness of these drives. They’re not so much USB drives, as collectable art that can also be used to store your files.
Current product assortment (view large image)
The funny thing is, once you look through some of their designs, it’s easy to assume these are imports from China, Japan or some other Pacific Rim country. While they might be made there, the company behind these crazy little bots is from Boston. Mimico works with artists all over the world to create the drive designs. Recent artist announcements include Lili Chin co-creator the WB “Mucha Lucha!” franchise and Dino Alberto from Worldwide Biggies.
Each of the drives comes with a profile, heck, they might as well each have MySpace pages. My guy for instance, Robo, has hobbies that include video gaming and virus protection. He’s very noble and wants to protect my computing data. Well, I say he, but his gender is listed as Mecha, which I take to be Earth’s version of he. Right, these drives are intergalactic and hail from another planet, but they’re generally quite friendly and happy to serve out data needs. I might have been a better fit for Monster though, the one that looks like a cactus. His hobbies are right in line with mine, eating and napping.
Robo with hoodie (view large image)
Each of the drives comes in varying sizes from 256MB to 2GB and prices range from $50 to $145. To cushion your mimobot they even offer a plush hoodie key chain combo for an additional $5 at the time of purchase. They come in six colors and I have to admit; my Robo looks quite cozy in his silver sleeve.
The drive itself works as it should. It’s USB 2.0, so you get quick data transfer speeds on a Mac or PC. The tail end has a flashing LED to indicate use. The drives come with bonus content as well, such as avatars, chat icons and more. Generally I would find this annoying, but given the market that’s buying a product like this, the inclusion is fun. If you don’t like them, the files can easily be deleted.
The only thing that I would really like to see out of this product line are some more whimsical, or “happy” designs. It might be that I just don’t get some of them, but many of the faces appear angry (or at least mischievous), thankfully my Robo is stoic, and the ghost with dripping blood is a little creepy. They have more than twenty designs though, so surely there’s one that will fit most personalities.
- Unique designs
- Fun story lines and collectable angle
- Expensive compared to standard flash drives
I give mimoco a lot of credit. They’ve taken a typically bland product and genuinely spiced it up. You’re going to pay a little more, but if standing out from the crowd is important to you, and in this world or boring tech design that’s becoming more important, then these drives are a good way to go. I’ve never seen anything quite like them before and even though the ghost creeps me out, I enjoy Robo and most of the other designs.
The drives range in size from 256MB to 2GB, come in over twenty designs and retail for $50 to $145. More information is available from the mimoco site.
Detailed Image of Robo