Vulgar analogy turns out to be surprisingly accurate.

Do you believe in miracles?

Our Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma does…or at least he wants to believe. Some might say he’s delusional, but when you spend as much time as Masanuki does walking the abyss of Amazon’s lowest reviewer-rated items, sometimes the only way you can keep the darkness from consuming you is to have faith that somewhere there’s a ray of hope waiting to be found.

For his latest test, Masanuki went looking for such a ray of hope that he was promised would be powered by literal sunbeams. It’s cold enough in Japan these days that when Masanuki wakes up in the morning and goes to his car, the windshield is regularly iced over. So when he saw an online advertisement for the Car-Use Portable Mini Heater, he was intrigued…and also a little shocked at the video which claimed to show the product in action.

That’s…that’s a very dramatic defrosting effect. What’s more, the video shows the energy ring blast being so powerful that it looks like it chars the upper part of the windshield frame, streaking that section of the white-painted body work with black burn marks.

Making the whole thing even more potentially impressive is the fact that the Car-Use Portable Mini Heater requires no electricity or complicated installation. Simply place the solar-powered device inside your car on the dashboard, and once the sun comes out the coils of the heater will begin to rotate, generating enough heat to remove frost from the car’s exterior while keeping the interior a comfortably warm temperature. It’ll even make your car smell good, the product description promised, thanks to an “aromatherapy” function.

Among the convincing arguments the product description made were:

“Automatically removes surrounding snow with microwave technology.”
“Say goodbye to removing snow by hand.”
“Generates enough heat to easily remove all frost on your car!”

Counterbalancing this, however, were previous-purchaser review comments such as:

“Total scam.”
“Absolutely terrible.”
“A piece of shit.”

That last one really gave Masanuki pause, as did the 1.2-star review average. Still, at a price of just 1,270 yen (US$8.75) for a Car-Use Portable Mini Heater bundle pack, even in the worst-case scenario, he’d have two pieces of shit, so he pulled the trigger and bought it.

When the package arrived, Masanuki was happy to see that the heaters’ boxes were in good condition. Opening them up, their shiny crimson coils glinted in the light.

Also included were a pair of aroma rings, one in a packet labeled “lemon” and the other “cologne.” Masanuki wasn’t sure what kind of cologne this was supposed to smell like, but he removed the base covers from the Car-Use Portable Mini Heater and set the rings in place.

Then it was time to test the capabilities of these “powerful devices with an innovative kinetic energy heating system,” as the manufacturer describes them.

As expected, when Masanuki got to his car, the windshield had ice on it. But remember, by purchasing the Car-Use Portable Mini Heater, it was now time to “Say goodbye to removing snow by hand,” so he got in and placed the devices on his windshield.

He felt a little trepidation as he did so. One of the major things Masanuki was curious about was just how hot the inside of his car was going to get. Sure, the product description promised a comfortable temperature, but if the Car-Use Portable Mini Heater is powerful enough to “easily remove all frost” from his car, might it turn the inside of his ride into a sweltering sauna, especially since he was using two of them at once? But if that happened, he could always just roll down a window, so he wasn’t too worried.

Hmmm…that was strange. Masanuki had been lost in thought for a few moments, and yet the energy blast shown in the video hadn’t happened yet. Curious to see what the holdup was, he looked over to the Car-Use Portable Mini Heaters…

…and they were completely still!

And his windshield?

Exactly as icy as it had been when he’d walked out to his parking spot.

OK, maybe the problem was that there wasn’t enough sunlight hitting the devices. After all, Masanuki’s parking lot can be a little shady in the morning (hence the icy windshield), so maybe the Car-Use Portable Mini Heaters would start spinning and heating once he got out on the road and into some more direct sunbeams?

Nope. The only movement of any kind was some slight jostling of the devices themselves as Masanuki’s car went over bumpy patches of asphalt.

The one and only way in which the Car-Use Portable Mini Heaters worked as advertised is that they did emit aromas, but honestly it’d be more accurate to call them odors. Rather than a refreshing and crisp citrus/musk, it had the harsh quality of toilet cleaning liquid.

▼ Car-Use Portable Mini Heater, can’t you do anything right?

Actually, there is one more way the Car-Use Portable Mini Heater lives up to its name: it really, truly is portable. Of course, that’s not due to any marvels of engineering or cutting-edge technology, but simply because it’s small and light enough that you can easily pick it up in your hand. Of course, that’s something you could say about, to once again borrow the term used in the previous purchaser review, “a piece of shit,” which come to think of it, also has no function aside from producing an unpleasant smell, making both of them equally unappealing to take with you when going somewhere.

Related: Car-Use Portable Mini Heater on Amazon Japan
Photos ©SoraNews24
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