Ka-Bar is known as a traditional knife maker. When my friends made Eagle Scout they were presented with a USMC Ka-Bar, a symbol of tradition and quality passed down from generation to generation. In what is probably the most distasteful displays of capitalism I’ve ever seen Ka-Bar has released a set of heavy duty knives with neon green handles and a biohazard trefoil on the blade with the slogan “The Original Zombie Knife,” the word Zombie being trademarked apparently, and the question “Are you prepared?”

The zombie craze in firearms and related accessories is probably good for a few extra sales over the existing baseline without tweaking the lineup too much, but I don’t see these items having any longevity. There are only so many people in the world that have the disposable income and the desire to own a specialized zombie tool, and I’m guessing the saturation point on that market is pretty low. At most you could expect these to sell as gifts for a while, but serious buyers will be scarce.

The lineup includes at least one knife that appears to be more suited for filleting zombies than slaying them and one machete-esque hacking implement. Knives come with a sheath decked out with neon green paracord.

I was expecting Ka-Bar to stay classier than this. Oh well.

RF: Glock 19

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25 Responses to Unfortunate Brand Extension of the Day: Ka-Bar Zombie Knives

  1. I expected better from them as well. I’m almost certain Spyderco hasn’t stooped to these levels. Wouldn’t hurt my feelings if Nick or Dan swung by their booth.

  2. The1911 Zombie Edition manufactured by Colt themselves is gonna blow you old-timers out of the water.

    This traditional 5 inch barrelled 1911 in high viz green/black steel comes complete with a bayonet fixed to the dust cover and is specifically tuned to shoot only Hornady Z-Max ammo.

    • By which you mean that it will cycle pretty much *all* of their .45 defensive ammo, given that they all use pretty much the same bullet…

  3. Also, straight off the KA-BAR website:

    “In an ever-changing world, the need for preparedness has never been greater. Without notice the game can change and the rules no longer apply. Questioning your gear at a crucial moment is not an option. Whether setting up camp or securing your perimeter, the Original Zombie knives are designed to perform under the most rigorous, unexpected and apocalyptic situations.”

    I think Gossven said it best himself: “retarded”

  4. Okay, as a Marine I have a peculiar fondness for a ka-bar knife as a curio but I have never deluded myself that it is a quality product.

    And your sense of humor about zombies is as well developed as your eye for booth babes.

    • Finally. Somebody else recognizes that the zombie marketing craze is tongue-in-cheek not in deadly earnest! “How dare sainted brand x stoop to the low and crass and childish levels of marketing those products I personally have no use for! The indignity!” Put another way, why wouldn’t a company make a product their consumers want? Even if it is a niche market, customers are customers and it doesn’t pay to condescend to them.

      And Mr. Leghorn, “the most distasteful displays of capitalism I’ve ever seen”. Really?? Then you’ve lead a remarkably sheltered life.

      JSG

      • The thing though, is that this lacks any semblance of class; All they’ve done is throw a green handle on it, and assigned a team of marketing majors to name it.

        This lacks class just like the Taurus zombie revolver, or the LCP zombie edition — it’s just the normal product with a slightly different paintjob, and a markup. It has no style, and no soul.

        Hornady’s ZombieMAX ammo though, is completely different; Sure it’s made to cash in on the same trends, but it HAS style, and it HAS soul (or, at least as much as their other products). In short, they DIDN’T half-ass it; they put in every bit of effort into their marketing for it as they do for any other product — more, in fact. To top it off, the reason it’s such an amusing product is because they treated it like a SERIOUS issue; they took an absurd premise, treated it seriously, and took it all the way to it’s laughably absurd conclusion.

        In short, where companies like Taurus, Ruger, and now Ka-Bar have come out with a product that they will never seriously market, and that they never really put that much effort into in the first place, Hornady put their full weight behind it — Hornaday brought their A-game, and have shown that they take ALL their products seriously, ESPECIALLY when they’re a joke. Essentially, everyone else are a bunch of Yahoos, and Hornady is The Google.

        • Now, see, this is a critique I can get behind. And in-so-far as I’ve had only limited (internet) exposure to these products, I agree with you. Much of what I’ve seen appears to be chintzy, not because of the Zombie theme, but because of the lazy or crappy execution.

          And, yeah, I liked Hornady’s execution much better than anything else I’ve seen.

          JSG

  5. Can this zombie fad be over and done with? It was cool and funny with Zombie Nazis, zombie bin Laden targets and Undead Nightmare. But now it’s just annoying and tiring that everything has a “zombie” version of it.

    • Isn’t it some sort of sacrilege to say bullets have a “soul?”

      You guys don’t seem to appreciate that you are not the market niche these are targeting.

  6. you do know that “zombies” as we know it was in 1968 (and in black and white i might add. The recent trend is a buy product of well entrenched comic books, print books, movies and video games being mainstreamed into television and the accompanying popular culture influence.

  7. I’m so ready for the whole “zombie” thing to be over. It was a lame concept when it first came out; now it just plain boring.

  8. Okay, I’m going to be contrary here. IF I was looking for a good quality utility field knife (not knowing whether the Ka-Bar is actually good quality, or merely Army rejects given to Unka Sam’s Misguided Children) that I wasn’t planning to use as my SHTF/Tactical Operator knife, one of these would actually be near the top of my list.

    Why?

    Because when you set the thing down or throw it at somebody or the like, YOU CAN SEE IT TO FIND IT! (Ditto for those Bear Grylls’ things from Gerber.)

    And frankly, if you’re going to put a Neon Green handle on a big honkin’ knife, ya might as well use zombies as an excuse.

  9. My friend has one of these, and it is actually a good field/shtf/do everything knife. It is thick and heavy, can take a beating, and the blade has a nice coating. The green scales on it help when you are looking for it. Also, Ka-Bar used these particular designs as their “zombie” line because they were blade designs that had not sold well and had been discontinued. They “brought them back from the dead” all in all, a decent knife for under 60 bucks, and the sheath is decent as well.

  10. While these products are testing the limits of the zombie metaphor, they have been a tremendous cash cow for the manufacturers. Think about it…. How many millions of Z-Max ammo has been sold, grossing oodles of money for Hornandy? “If they will buy it, we will make whatever they want,” is the mantra the manufactures have chanted forever and a day.
    Why does it continue? There is still to be money made by the industry, and money talks. This will continue until the market causes a shift to a new fad, hopefully something more sensible.

  11. First, A khukuri knife is a Zombie knife and not these little fillet knives.
    I expect the fad to continue until December 21st.
    We had werevolves and vampires before this.
    I wonder what the next one will be.

  12. Wow, I can’t believe how upset some people get over the Zombie metaphor. Get over yourself. I have zombie gear mixed in with my “normal” issued tactical stuff. A lot of the newer zombie stuff you see is beginning to be really good gear. I received one of these knives from my wife for Christmas to add to me gear. Most all of the Ka-bar zombie knives are updated versions of WW2 gear. As far as not being able to make money off this, I’ll bet the war sword has sold more in the last year then the bacon maker it resembles ever will.

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