Smoking products are hot sellers at flea markets, and shoppers are attracted by the cool, customized water pipes and hookahs they can create with Transformer Tube modules. “Most pipes are just one type of construction and you cannot add onto them,” explains Mike Balogh, CEO of 1280 Designs. “We are the only company to incorporate a threaded technology that is watertight and airtight.” Transformer Tubes are primarily made of a durable plastic, with the bowl and down stem made of glass. For additional versatility, the family of interchangeable modules is now available in popular colors, including red, orange, yellow, green and blue, as well as clear. All products are assembled in the USA.
Furthermore, the products do not need grommets, which can wear out, Balogh adds. “Typically with a non glass pipe, you would expect to use a grommet to make a seal but our pipes now fit perfectly glass on plastic.”
Releasing an average of three modules per month, 1280 Designs now has more than 70 modules available. These include a huge variety of bases, percolators, ice chambers, mouthpieces and milking chambers. “We have pipes that have a little Lego sculpture in them, as well as pipes made of carbon fiber and aluminum. We have rotameters, which are modules that measure the smoke flow rate,” Balogh continues. “The 90- and 180-degree angled tubes, presently in Beta testing, are also very popular. They allow people to go three dimensional with their tubes.”
Transformer Tubes are also appealing because they are easier to clean than their glass counterparts. “Cleaning a glass pipe can be difficult,” Balogh notes. “It can be hard to get the cleaning solution down into percolators and tough to get it out. Because Transformer Tubes can be disassembled, they are extremely easy to clean and you do not have to worry about breakage like you do with glass tubes.” In addition, because of the product’s modular engineering, it transports compactly and easily when disassembled.
A unit consisting of a base, percolator, ice chamber and mouthpiece generally wholesales for $30 and retails for $60; a unit comprising a base, two percolators, a milking chamber, mouthpiece and freezer module wholesales for around $60 and retails for $120. The minimum order is $250.
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