Review: Mophie Bevy

by James Bain Jun 08, 2007

Bussing to work the other day, I saw hanging in the window of an Asian-themed grocery store an advertisement for something I never ever thought I’d want: Sea Cucumbers. Live Sea Cucumbers, $4.99/lb.

Now, I’ve known about sea cucumbers since I was a young kid, being an avid watcher then of various nature documentaries and a reader of innumerable books on animals as well. The creatures look like nothing more than rubbery, elongated bags that, apparently, have the nasty but effective defensive mechanism of vomiting out their insides when bothered.

So, I’d heard of these things, but had never ever thought of them as something I’d want to investigate further, let alone own and maybe, just maybe, eat.

After seeing the sign, however, I’ve been wondering just what they do taste like, and why they have been imported such a long distance. They must taste good, right? Like dried jellyfish maybe, which I never have worked up the fear-factor muscle to taste, but that my 7-year-old claims is “yummy.” I’m sort of procrastinating, hoping the sea cucumber season, hopefully short, is over soon and that I can avoid this particular temptation.

On a related but much more reasonable note, I remember seeing advertisements and announcements for Mophie‘s Bevy relatively early on in its release. The Bevy seemed an interesting idea, sort of like a pound of sea cucumbers, but not necessarily anything I needed or was drawn to. I don’t have a Shuffle (it’s a Shuffle case), I already have a nice keychain (it’s a keychain), and I don’t need a bottle opener (it’s a bottle opener)—a cork screw *maybe*! So, as I looked at the list of things I had lined up to review, I decided to let it pass.

However, someone asked me directly if I’d take a look at it and as I generally respect this person’s opinions, I decided, “What the hey! Why not?” I don’t have a Shuffle, but my daughter does. I’d let her try it out. I wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea of giving my 12-year-old a bottle opener, but it’s a somewhat more elegant keychain than the moose plushie she currently uses. And the cable management wrap on the Bevy looked pretty neat in the promo photos.

My daughter really got a kick out of the case/keychain/bottle opener thing. Her iPod snapped in fairly well, very well, and her cables wrapped about it fairly well too. It’s made of clear plastic, with the front click wheel open and the back clip fully exposed. So, it’s not as protective as some other cases for other iPods are, but, really, what sort of danger is your Shuffle going to get into. it’s a convenience thing more than armour, but let me say a few more nice things about it.

Firstly, it’s not expensive. At $15, it really is placed for an impulse buy, and it’s not a bad impulse buy. I know that if I had seen this in a store, I would have bought it right away without calculating how many blocks of tofu (or pounds of sea cucumbers: 3!) it was worth.

Secondly, as I said, the cable management wrap style works really well. Not complicated and not overwhelming. Very well thought out.

Thirdly, it’s protective enough of the Shuffle that though it won’t guard you against dust, water, and/or toxic spray, it provides a nice, light degree of protection. And the clip is still usable too. Consider point four.

Point four, it’s a key chain. With the clip exposed, you can clip your keys to your pockets or belt or whatever. Convenient and unless you carry a few dozen, it looks practical.

Fifth and last point, it’s a bottle opener too. I guess that’s useful for some folks. Some of the smaller or more select micro breweries still use non-twist offs, so this would come in handy for you folks who like your honey-lemon-wormwood brew from small labels. It’s not an essential point so much as a neat one to me (and my twelve-year-old daughter).

Jared Florovich came up with the idea at MacWorld 2007 in a free-form design contest called the Illuminator process, and it was chosen as one of three products that Mophie, the sponsor, decided to produce after everyone voted on the overall results. Well done, Jared! You’ve put a lot of design in a little thing, like a well thought out Swiss Army knife. The Bevy is an impressive thing. I’d give it a clear 85% and would, as I mentioned above, probably have bought one without much thought if I’d seen it hanging up in the aisles as I waited to clear the checkout of an electronics store.

Illuminator’s other two products, the Schlep iPhone case and the Montage iPod dock-speaker combo, are forthcoming and will no doubt be worth looking at as well. The Montage, for example, looks just like something I could use: low profile, unobtrusive iPod speakers.

So, we’ll have to see what else Illuminator has in store for us. I might be able to resist the sea cucumbers, but I might not be able to resist some more well thought out electronics accessories.


  • Now if one just would not have to take out the Shuffle for using the opener… useful anyway. If I had a shuffle, I’d buy this *instantly*.

    Oh, and for the “issue” - over here in the Old World, we serve a wide variety of tasty beverages sealed with crown caps, usually the better varieties when it comes to non-alcoholica. And beer too, of course wink AND they tend not to be screw-off designs. Tell your Europe-bound friends and relatives. It hurts to see them try.

    Bad Beaver had this to say on Jun 08, 2007 Posts: 371
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