This was originally a phone designed specifically for a BT advertisement in 2002. Suddenly everyone wanted one and it became a must-have present for Christmas. Various companies mobilised to have it manufactured in China and it sold for an average price of £69.99 in the UK, mainly over the internet. This particular phone was made in China for Burostat Ltd.
When the phone rings the chameleon starts to roll its eyes and dance while ‘singing’ the chorus from ‘Karma Chameleon’, Culture Club’s 1983 hit song. As the song reaches the words ‘red, gold and green’ the chameleon sits up on its rear legs and its chest lights up in time with the three colours flashing while the ladybird ‘plays’ the mouth organ. The Chameleon show is battery operated and still works – and it is still hilarious!
This phone is an interesting example of the interaction between technology, entertainment, popular culture, and marketing.
You can watch the 'Karma Chameleon' phone in action in the "Gallery" section.
A chameleon can extend its tongue out up to one-and-a-half times its body length to catch insects. This is the equivalent to a 2m person having a 3m long tongue!
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