If zombies attack, Morrisville company is ready

aramos@newsobserver.comOctober 21, 2013 

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    For more information on Montie Gear, visit www.montiegear.com or call 800-722-7987.

— The downside of using a rifle or a shotgun to take down a flesh-chewing, brain-eating zombie: The sound will likely attract the horde. Kill one zombie, and you have to deal with hundreds more.

At least that’s what happens on the hit show “The Walking Dead” and in the movie “Zombieland.”

While a sword might seem like the next best option, let’s face it, it may not be practical. Who wants to risk getting bitten by venturing so close?

But fear not.

Morrisville-based online retailer Montie Gear has figured out a more efficient way to fight off the undead walkers – with a Y-slingshot.

The company introduced its $135 zombie green slingshot in April, and it’s proven to be a hit, said owner Montie Roland, who lives in Apex.

Taking the anti-flesh-eating theme a bit further, the company later decided to start selling a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Kit for about $150 to $170, complete with the slingshots, 200 rounds of steel ball ammunition, 50 zombie targets and two extra slingshot bands.

“Two extra bands because running out of bands could be very bad when it all hits the fan,” reads the kit’s online description.

Zombies are just the latest doomsday craze, according to Roland.

“Ten years ago it was the asteroid movie, then it was space invaders, now it’s zombies,” he said. “Culturally, it feels like the world is a less safe place. So you have this coping mechanism that develops.”

Roland said slingshot buyers fall into three categories: slingshot enthusiasts, target shooters and survivalists.

Montie Gear, which started in 2009 and creates heirloom products for camping and outdoor sports, got into the slingshot business about two years ago. The company held a student design contest asking for entries to come up with an outdoor sports item.

The company made about 20 to 30 slingshots in the first batch. It sold about 600 last year and is on track to sell about 1,000 this year around the world, Roland said.

The “zombie” green slingshot idea was a result of wanting to introduce a new color. The company already sells the slingshots in pink, black and gray. The handles are covered with 550 paracord, a multipurpose rope, which can be taken off and used during an emergency.

Montie Gear is one of several companies around the country cashing in on the zombie apocalypse phenomenon. It was one of eight businesses featured in a CNN/Money piece called the “Dawn of the Zombie Economy.”

Others included Zombie Sak in Somerville, Mass., which makes a survival kit with a water bottle, tools and medical supplies; and United Cutlery in Moultrie, Ga., which sells a 12-knife set with zombie targets.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has gotten in on the action. The federal agency released a blog post of its emergency preparedness guidelines in May 2011 in the guise of instructions for surviving a zombie apocalypse.

Ramos: 919-460-2609; Twitter: @AlianaCaryNews

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