Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Lava Lamps, Revisited

A recent search term that found its way to my blog was "How many Lava Lamps have been sold?".  My blog is the fifth hit for the search, because of this article (which doesn't even begin to answer the question).

The easy answer, of course, is "lots"; they've been around for over 40 years, and have quite the following.  There are also lots of "imitation" lava lamps of some sort or another, and I don't know if the inquirer was interested in the imitation variety or not.  For the genuine article, sold by Lava World International, well, I haven't found a direct answer (and I'm not really interested in calling them or stopping by their factory, which is just a few miles away from my house, or at least was in 2007), but a UK website reports that they peaked at seven million units a year in the late 60s, then dropped off to a few hundred a week in the late 70s and through the 80s, but rebounded to around two million a year in the 90s.  So I'd hazard to guess that they sold 20 to 30 million in the first peak and maybe 5 to 7 million in the post-80s resurgence. 

We have two or three lava lamps around here somewhere, although I haven't seen any of them since we moved.  Hopefully they haven't frozen or gotten broken or anything.