11 impractical and amusing USB Drives

Flash memory drives that are more about looks than portability.

  • While the sushi-themed USB drives do have some charm, we are a little turned off at the prospect of using greasy donuts for portable storage. Still, if fast food is your preference, Amazon has a range of appropriately themed USB drives for you to use and drool on when hungry.

  • If you are looking for something truly impractical, this USB drive has you covered. Not only will this gold-coated, diamond-encrusted drive take up more than its fair share of space when it comes to tightly grouped USB ports, but it will also cost you somewhere in the vicinity of $US3500. If that price tag sounds outrageous, you can take the USB drive without the diamonds for a much more reasonable $2800.

  • Film merchandise is a stalwart of Hollywood, and the USB flash memory market isn't immune. The latest example comes from Kingston, which has announced the repackaging of its DataTraveler 101 USB flash drive to coincide with the release of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine film. Unfortunately, there is no way to slaughter potential enemies through a retractable metal claw, so the cool factor will wear out quite quickly.

  • For die-hard fans of Apple's consumer gadgets, this "iPod Driver" allows you to proclaim your love for all things white and glossy. Available in 1GB and 2GB varieties, the iPod-themed USB drive is one of the more practical storage enclosures, featuring a soft rubber exterior that is only big enough to cover and enclose the USB jack itself. We wouldn't be surprised if it ripped after extended use, but there's always a price to pay for living in Steve Jobs' glorious shadow.

  • You would be forgiven for confusing this cute little penguin with a Transformer. An unassuming furry creature when not in use, the Bone Collection USB Penguin Drive becomes a 4GB storage device through a simple flick of the animal's head. It is highly impractical, but there's always a price to pay for cuteness.

  • Someone took the term "USB stick" a little too literally when it coming to designing these drives. This is the perfect companion for the high-tech lumberjack and a great way to store your documents on something a little more natural-looking, even if those rather sharp protrusions might be uncomfortable if it's in your pocket.

  • We won't go into how much Jack White looks like Michael Jackson in this USB transformation. We have seen many try and fail to revolutionise the music industry with new delivery methods and while the White Stripes' USB drive for the 2007 album Icky Thump didn't set the world on fire, it was an innovative and cute product at the time. The limited edition USB drives came preloaded with the Icky Thump album on a whopping 512MB of space. Unfortunately, with only 6666 of these drives available (3333 each for Jack and Meg) you had to choose carefully as to which of the dynamic duo you would rather be sticking your homework on.

  • If Star Wars isn't your thing, Mimico also offers miniature versions of Master Chief from Halo. To be fair, Mimico has done a good job of making the USB casing as small as possible, but those extra protrusions on the side are sure to get in the way when using other USB devices at the same time. Or, you know, Han Solo and Leia side by side.

  • USB flash drives have become akin to the floppy disks of old: cheap, throwaway storage solutions. Unlike the floppy of days gone by, however, the USB stick has become a blank canvas for artists of the nerdy kind, transforming humble flash memory into art — both good and bad. Here are some of our picks for eye-catching USB sticks that aren't designed with practicality as the most important consideration.

  • While the iPod may be an obvious port-of-call when it comes to worshipping consumer gadgets, Canon's much lauded 5D Mark II D-SLR camera isn't far behind. When it comes to portability, this camera-shaped USB drive is somewhat less practical — and we honestly can't see how you're going to carry around the whole device without losing something — but if you really need to show your love for the camera, this drive is your best method.

  • We are a little unclear as to why you would want to combine your precious data and raw fish. Available in a range of delicious varieties carefully carved by a master sushi chef (err, perhaps), these USB drives are highly impractical but eye-catching. Just make sure you don't accidentally confuse these drives with your next lunch.

  • Figurines are all the rage when it comes to USB drives, and the USB designers at Mimico produce licensed and community-inspired USB drives. The largest collection currently available on the Web site is a licensed Star Wars range, transforming your favourite planet-hopping heroes into portable storage solutions. If Han Solo's cute smirk or the big, bulbous eyes of Chewbacca weren't enough to convince you, Mimico also sells "protoHoodies" for your USB drive.

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