One of the Hoverboards with added 'Artistic Effects.'

A Hoverboard retailer in Southend has confirmed that the boards are meant to ignite when they are charged up, and that reports of widespread defects with their chargers are ‘malicious and untrue.’ According to the business owner, the flames and smoke are for an artistic effect.

David Incendie of Bother Hovers in Sutton Road contacted Southend News Network to try and ‘restore the reputation’ of this year’s must-have Christmas toy. He said, ‘I am frankly disgusted at the number of people who have been in touch with media outlets and complained about their hover boards catching fire. If you read the packaging on most of these gifts, they clearly state ‘Board will catchy fire for happy blow-up super fun time experience.’

He continued, ‘We sell a lot of these boards every day, and we have already had to fight off all of the accusations that they make their rider look like an utter prick. Now we have another slander to deal with! Quite simply, the boards are designed to spontaneously combust so that the user can imagine that they are in a big blockbuster Hollywood movie like Die Hard or Terminator 2. We have already had great feedback from people who appreciate how their Hoverboard can keep them warm in these cold winter months.’

Robert Read, head of Trading Standards and Purchasing Advice in Southend, confirmed that shoppers need to be careful. He said, ‘While it may be tempting to just pick up a Hoverboard and throw it in your car without actually taking two seconds to consider the inferno that it could create, we would advise caution. There are a number of other gifts that are available this Christmas that are not designed to ignite into a ball of flames, and these can be found in any toy shop that isn’t located in the back of a Ford Transit.’