Just like a trip to the supermarket, receiving a case for review is normally pretty predictable: on your way to the store, you might occasionally drive past a sporty German import or see a car stuck on the side of the road, and similarly, iLounge has seen all types of cases come through the doors since we started. Every once in a while, there is one car that you can’t help but slow down and stare at, whether it’s an old VW bus someone has customized, or a car that’s actually bouncing down the street. That feeling – mildly dumbfounding shock – is exactly what ran through our heads when we opened Boomwave’s Podstar Bearaphim ($15).
We’ve never seen a flying green bear in the wild, but the species – along with five or so other colored versions – appears to be finding its habitat in the second-generation iPod nano’s ecosystem.
Bearaphim is a sequel of sorts to Boomwave’s popular Diablo series of devil-themed cases, which made a lot of sense and looked cool. This case is weirder, an angelic bear (bear + seraphim = Bearaphim), complete with little wings and goofy-angled bear ears. Since we don’t rate cases directly on appearance any more, we’ll only say that this one strikes us as supremely nichey in looks, but otherwise well-appointed.
Made of a thick silicone rubber, which allows for the case to quickly and easily be put on or taken off, Bearaphim’s overall level of protection is impressive. When placed inside the case, the nano’s front, back and sides are completely covered and well-protected, and Bearaphim comes with detachable screen and Click Wheel protection, besides.
Left exposed are the Hold switch, Dock Connector and headphone port.
As with Diablo, Bearaphim’s ears, face and wings appear to have been designed more for looks than any practical purpose. But this time, unlike Diablo, which tilts when you lay it down, we were surprised to find that the wings actually elevate the iPod at an angle, so when laid down on a flat surface, the screen is easier to view. This might have been unintentional, but it’s worth noting.
And while Boomwave’s odd little bear might not be for everyone, it will also be available with eight different choices of artwork – some weirder than others.