We once again buy suspicious-looking stuff on the Internet so you don’t have to.

With the start of spring, our team of writers has once again begun work on the SoraHouse, our super-cheap fixer-upper house in the countryside. However, the days of pleasant weather are soon followed by Japan’s rainy season, which then gives way to the scorching heat of summer.

This year, our reporter Go Hatori decided to take preemptive measures at curbing heatstroke during the demanding renovation work and invested in some safety gear. It just so happened that the exact gear he was looking for was advertised on Twitter as the Safety Helmet with Solar Fan.

▼ Look at it go!

The premise is rather clever. The sunlight charges a solar cell on top, which powers a simple fan embedded in the helmet. As a result, the sun itself is providing cooling relief. According to the website, it has a life of eight to 10 years, is waterproof, and works with a simple wire connection.

And this happy fella shows us that it’s “perfect for outdoor work!”

You can also “use it on rainy days.” The fan probably wouldn’t work all that well since it’s solar powered, but I guess you don’t really need cooling off in the rain anyway.

Women love it too, see?

Go was a little suspicious because the helmets looked different in each photo, but everything else about them seemed pretty good, so he bought three. After you buy one helmet the others are all half price, so while one helmet costs 5,280 yen (US$37) the total cost of three was 10,560 yen ($75).

Ten days later, his order arrived in a bulging cardboard box sent from Osaka.

Opening the box he found three helmets in yellow, red, and blue, just like he had requested.

Go: “Mmm-hmm…”

Go: “Helmet: Check!”

Go: “Fan: Check!”

Go: “Solar cell: Check!”

Go: “Simple wire connection: Check!”

Everything seemed to be in order. There was no battery nor was there an on-off switch, but neither of those things were promised in the ad anyway. A simple sun-in-fan-spin system would suffice for Go’s needs.

He decided to take one for a test spin and wore it while standing underneath the brightest light bulb in his home.

Go: “…”

Go: “…”

But it did not move.

Granted, Go’s kitchen light was a far cry from the giver of life that our planet revolves around. It’s usually enough to run a solar calculator though, so it ought to pull through here too.

Looking inside he found a sticker declaring that this helmet had been “inspected by No. 7.”

That was reassuring, and it’s quite plausible that the power needed for the mechanical movement of the fan blade can only be provided by the sun itself.

The only way to know for sure was to try these out in the field. So, the next time a renovation team was dispatched to the SoraHouse, Go brought the helmets along. He handed one to his partners for the day, Yoshio and Ikuna, and they were both visibly thrilled to receive them.

“That’s not right,” muttered Yoshio as he searched for an on-off switch in vain.

“But if we work a lot outside,” interjected Ikuna enthusiastically, “it’ll start spinning sooner or later.”

So, they went about the task at hand, each one stylishly protected by their fan helmets.

And from time to time, Go would glance over at everyone’s head and check their fans…

Go: “Nothing…”

Go: “It doesn’t spin…”

It was rather overcast on that day, but still…

Go thought back to the ad and how it boasted a life expectancy of eight to 10 years. Maybe that meant you can expect the fan to come to life in eight to 10 years.

When everyone stopped to take a break they hung up their helmets. That’s when Go noticed something else.

His yellow helmet was the only one that had been inspected…

And so, it would appear that these 5,000-yen hardhats bought from a Twitter ad were a total bust, but at least Go had his friends.

So, in conclusion… If we had to find something good to say about these hardhats, it would be that they probably won’t ruin your friendships.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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