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All the fun, half the bruises: the Ben Wallace blow-up doll

Remember when we mentioned how the Pistons don't have a lot of product endorsements? Well, fear not. Ben Wallace still may not have a shoe contract, but he does have a seven-foot tall, inflatable replica of himself for sale. Introducing the Inflatable Defender!

Why would you want a seven-foot tall inflatable Ben? I believe the question should be, why wouldn't you? Not every product lives up to its advertising, but this baby goes above and beyond. Life-size? Heck no, this baby is seven-feet tall! That's bigger than the real-thing with a couple of inches to spare!

And just think of how much your basketball game will benefit! From PlayAir's site:

Many professional basketball teams practice with over-sized basketball dummies. By shooting over and maneuvering around a 7-footer in practice, they know how to deal with tall defenders in games. So will you with the Inflatable Defender!

Sure, Inflatable Ben doesn't actually move, but just check out all of the drills the site says you can practice with him:

Inflatable Ben moves... kind of

  • Jump shots over Big Ben
  • Power lay-ups
  • Rebound and shoot
  • Dribble transitions
  • Shooting off a pick
  • Low post moves
  • Shooting over a moving defender
  • Catch and shoot

OK, so "shooting over a moving defender" entails having someone actually standing behind Inflatable Ben and lifting him in the air... but it's obviously totally better than actually playing with that other person alone! And should you feel the need, you can even dress up like Kazaam and elbow inflatable Ben in the mouth, and... get this... you won't even get your ass kicked!

Inflatable Ben shuts down Real-Life Ben

Wait a minute, are you not yet convinced that Inflatable Ben is worth $49.95? Well, that's because you haven't really seen him in action yet! Words cannot describe seeing this video of Inflatable Ben in action.

Did you just go watch the video? If so, you might be confused -- no, this is not a joke. That was not one of those fake Saturday Night Live commercials. Those kids were in fact doing dribble drills around a $50 blow-up doll. And yes, Inflatable Ben did draw a charge against that five-year-old, but no, the refs didn't blow the whistle because the refs hate Detroit.

If anyone out there actually buys an Inflatable Ben, please, please, please do us a favor by snapping a picture of you using him and submitting it to the Detroit Bad Boys picture pool.

Inflatable Defender [PlayAir]

(FYI, if you were one of those people that took advantage of Dime Magazine's super-cheap subscription offer a while back, you can see a small little article about Inflatable Ben on page 28. Thanks to Caroline and Don for the tip.)