Think translucent

Does Steve Jobs know what he has unleashed? Suddenly, see-through plastic is the rage.

Published November 1, 1999 5:00PM (EST)

Whether you're a fan of the translucent colors of the new
iMacs and iBooks or not, you've got to give credit to the product designers
at Apple for inspiring a new design craze. Judging by the sheer
number of iMac-inspired products, fabricators around the world are
probably experiencing a shortage of translucent plastic.

Honda, for example, is currently promoting its latest scooter design at the Tokyo Motor Show in Japan. These prototypes -- white, with orange, pink or blue translucent plastic on the body and wheel wells -- were directly inspired by the iMac, according to one Japanese news service. They "wouldn't have been made without the iMac models," one Honda engineer told AsiaBizTech.

But you don't have to look to Japan for iMac knock-offs. L'anza, the
luxe hair-product line, recently introduced a new
for its hair gel: a round white case, with translucent
plastic accents in six different colors -- an oversized replica of that famous (and infamous) round iMac mouse.

If you shop diligently enough, you could probably outfit your entire lifestyle with fruity-colored translucent plastic accessories -- though probably only the most die-hard iMac fans will want to attempt this. There's the
designed by RedLightRunner, which for $50 tells you the
time in a choice of five fruit-flavored, and appropriately translucent,
colors. And, of course, you may already be one of the select few
to own the limited-edited Volkswagen iBeetle, which were given
away in a promotion last year.

But perhaps the best iMac rip-off of all has yet to be manufactured,
though it's already been conceived and designed: the iBrator.

By Janelle Brown

Janelle Brown is a contributing writer for Salon.

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