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The Mystery of the AB-hancer

An ad for a product called the "AB-hancer" appeared online back in March 2011 and quickly went viral. The text of the ad made it pretty obvious that this wasn't a real product — specifically where the text says, "Recommended by pseudo-athletes." There's also the fact that the product isn't available for purchase anywhere. Though inevitably a few people seemed to think the AB-hancer was real.

But the mystery is: Where did this ad come from? Who created it? No one seems to know.

Paul Lucas at theorizes that the image came from an old, out-of-print "prank box." Prank boxes are gag gift boxes that look like they contain ridiculous items such as a "Pet Petter" or a "Wake & Bake Dream Griddle." The gift recipient thinks they got a really stupid gift, until they open the box and find the real gift inside.

This is a good theory. The problem is that there's no evidence an AB-hancer prank box ever existed. If it did, you'd think a picture of it would exist somewhere. So for now the origin of the AB-hancer image remains a mystery.

But although the AB-hancer may not be a real product, there apparently are real products on the market similar to it. Singapore Seen reported the existence of this strange tummy-flattening product, for sale somewhere in Asia.

And if you've got a hairy stomach, you can always create six-pack abs by taking a cue from this guy.

AdvertisingBody Manipulation
Posted by The Curator on Sun Apr 29, 2012

I am reminded of the Homestar Runner cartoon regarding the Ab-Abber 2000... which pretty much consisted of a Sharpie (not included) to draw your abs on.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  in  Californian Wierdo  on  Sun Apr 29, 2012  at  10:02 AM
Robin, that is hilarious! So is this one least it'll put indentations there long enough for you to pull up your shirt and then let it fall back down again!
Posted by hulitoons  in  Abingdon, Maryland  on  Sun Apr 29, 2012  at  10:45 AM

the Dream Griddle isn't such a far-fetched idea - English readers can probably talk about the Teasmade _
Posted by DF Stuckey  in  Auckland New Zealand  on  Thu Jun 14, 2012  at  06:04 AM
there is such a thng as prank boxes. they are from the onion. see here's one
Posted by Goerge  in  texas  on  Fri Aug 31, 2012  at  02:38 AM
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