Heelys' Wheels Come Off

OK, so some of us investing types have always suspected Heelys (Nasdaq: HLYS  ) was one heck of a one-trick pony. The stock's recent high-speed roll downhill might make us feel a little smug in that assessment, too. However, Heelys has added another trick to go along with its hybrid skate shoes; it gives new meaning to the phrase, "And that's when the wheels came off."

Dubbed the Gamer, these sportin' shoes are designed to emulate a Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) Xbox controller. If you venture to the site unveiling the Gamer, you might wonder if it comes with a robot. (It doesn't.) Please note the buttons on the sole (which do nothing) as well as the power button on the side of the shoe. (That's just for looks, too.)

The footwear (fadwear?) market is really something else these days. I mean, for goodness' sake, I still can't buy the idea that Crocs (Nasdaq: CROX  ) can sustain sales of its ugly plastic clogs, no matter what the bulls say. And of course, Skechers (NYSE: SKX  ) recently launched a new shoe that might remind you of Crocs (go figure!). But apparently ugly doesn't stop anybody these days; the Heelys Gamer isn't exactly a beaut, either.  

Yesterday afternoon, we had a mighty big laugh about the Gamer. My cube neighbors here at Fool HQ chimed in: Katrina Chan came up with some excellent theories on her Motley Fool CAPS blog as to what Heelys management might have bounced around as ideas for the bizarre footwear department, and Kristin Graham suggested the stock should have gone down, not up, on this product unveiling.

A two-trick pony is little help when you're dealing with finite fads, and while I believe video game popularity is a lasting trend, the Heelys Gamer doesn't even look like it'll reach the status of Pet Rocks. Unlike original Heelys, which allow kids to roll around on the wheels in the heels, the Heelys Gamer doesn't actually do anything. Since when is a shoe in any way related to a video game controller? Suffice it to say, I suspect the Gamer won't do much for Heelys' business, either.

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