We DID Start The Fire: A Timeline of Firebox

  • 3 min read

We ‘started the Firebox’ 21 years ago and it’s still burning bright today. Below is a very small snapshot of our illustrations journey so far, complete with honourable nods to some of our weirdest and most wonderful product launches.

1998: We were born!

Hotbox is born! And swiftly renamed to Firebox after realising Hotbox was a popular porn site. Firebox is born! Thus making us older than Amazon and Google. Awks.

Our 1st product launches: a shot-glass chess set! The age-old battle of wits meets getting pissed - it was an instant classic.

2001: We survived financial chaos!

The dot com bubble bursts and we lived to tell the tale. Always ahead of the curve, we were the first to introduce digital keyring cameras to the UK. 0.1 megapixels - what a time to be alive.

Our founder Tom also almost got shot in the car park. Don’t ask.

2003: We played with you!

We launched our infamous ‘Playing with Fire’ gaming nights in London - keep your eyes peeled because they’re making a comeback in 2020!

2007: We sold you boxes of mystery!

The original Mystery Box made its debut, long before Youtubers were buying random boxes off the Dark Web for sh*ts and giggles. We like to think our Mystery Boxes are a tiny bit safer and a hell of a lot better value.

2008: We won!

We won Stuff Retailer of the Year, don’t mind if we do.

We also launched our CrapWrap service: No good at wrapping gifts? Just get us to do it for you in a comically hideous manner! We’re still butchering your present presentation to this day. P.S. Find out how to DIY it here.

2009: We ran the World's Biggest Secret Santa!

In an attempt to break an official Guinness World Record, we ran the World's Biggest Secret Santa event, sending gifts between strangers all over the globe. N’awwwh, lovely fuzzy vibes all round.

2011: We went on TV and moved offices!

Firebox made our sparkling television debut, featuring on Channel 4 as Derren Brown infiltrated our offices and the helpless mind of our MD. We also teamed up with Marvel to make a fully-functional Iron Man suit. Okay, so it was missing the weapons but it could actually fly. We still get emails about it to this day.

2012: We sold loads of mental stuff!

The ability to fly like a superhero just wasn’t lavish enough. We had to sell a real life Delorean. Not fancy enough for ya? How about the literal floating island? If you had hundreds of millions, you could have got yourself one of these. Funnily enough there were no takers…

We also invented Instant Regret: the world’s hottest chocolate, weighing in at a whopping 6.4 million Scovilles. For reference, Nando’s Extra Hot sauce is 175,000 Scovilles. Eep.

We even sold a real Delorean for £70k. Great Scott! What a year.

2013: We got in trouble!

We got in trouble for selling Crystal Menth. Don’t worry, it was only Breaking Bad themed candy, not actual drugs. Pity the Daily Mail didn’t see the funny side…

2014: We launched an anus!

We had a massive birthday bash to celebrate our 16th year. The bar was on fire. There was a Shetland minotaur. Burlesque dancers wandered the dancefloor with sparklers for nips. A fat man smothered himself in cream. You had to be there. We also got in trouble with advertising standards for selling the UNT mug. Psst, we’re still selling it.

We also started selling our Edible Anuses. Huzzah!

2015: We turned 20! We sold a solid gold bicycle!

Our Chocolate Lionel Richie Head was swiftly taken off the market after complaints from the man himself. It’s a shame really, we could’ve sold those all night long.

Of course, we can’t neglect to mention the year we made mythical creatures cry and harvested their bittersweet tears to create Unicorn Tears Gin.

Meanwhile we launched our famous Inner Selfie Stick as an April Fool’s Day prank. Don’t make that face, it was at the height of the selfie stick craze.

2018: We spread the love!

We got bored of drinking our gin and sipping our coffee, so we spreadalised them, thus changing the breakfast landscape forever. As in, we made them spreadable. We invented coffee and gin on toast. Gin sandwich, anyone?

2020: We had the best year yet!

Who knows what we’ll do next?! Not even us.

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