They've piped the musical mouth-pipes to entertainers such as talk-show host Conan O'Brien and rock bands Weezer and Jethro Tull and to entities like McDonald's and the Pentagon and Red Hat Society -- they even have a standing order for the United States Embassy in the United Arab Emirates. "Every year, they order 50 kazoos for the Marines there," Murray says. "They have a Marine kazoo band. "I don't know what they play."Fun stuff. The plastics details: Kazoobie assembles and ships the product, but doesn't mold the parts. This story doesn't say, but this earlier feature from the St. Petersburg, Fla. Times, identifies the molder as Ven-Tel Plastics Corp. in Pinellas Park, Fla. Also, the Sarasota story mentions that Kazoobie owns the domain name www.kazoos.com, which was probably a good idea for such a specialized company.
Growth in a fun market
Bill Bregar, one of our senior reporters, has joked that whenever a newspaper or radio station has a slow news day, they do a feature on plastic pink flamingos (complete with an interview with colorful designer Don Featherstone). Well, now we can add a new alternative topic to the mix: plastic kazoos. The Sarasota, Fla., Herald-Tribune's Web site has this feature today about Kazoobie Inc., a small but growing manufacturer in Port Richey that specializes in plastic kazoos. According to the story, the company shipped 600,000 kazoos last year, and expects to hit 1 million in annual sales soon. "It's not rocket science," said Stephen Murray, the company's vice president of operations.
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