If you’ve ever been to your local fireworks supplier, you’ve probably noticed a huge variety of sparkler brands. They come in a plethora of shapes, sizes, colors, and lengths; but they are often priced based on the brand name. Some companies advertise as “premium” or “specialty”, but is there really a difference? Are some varieties of sparklers better for certain purposes? Here is a rundown of the different sparkler brands, as well as how they are advertised. Afterwards, I will discuss their differences and if they are worth the money.
Premium Brands of Sparklers
Most of the easily-recognized brands of sparklers are in the “premium” category. Consequently, they are the biggest sellers of them all. These include Black Cat, World Class Fireworks, and Brothers Pyrotechnics. They are typically much more expensive, sometimes over $1 package more! However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are higher quality; but I will cover that more in a bit. The key selling factor for these companies is their name recognition, and that is why they dominate the industry.
Generic Sparkler Brands
On the other end of the spectrum, you have companies billing their products as “generic” and “affordable”. Usually, these brands will have much more basic packaging. Additionally, they will often bare a name that you haven’t ever seen before. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are poor quality. Most generic brands are sold under the name of the manufacturing facility. In reality, there are only six factories that make sparklers; so generic doesn’t always mean that they are junk. In fact, they are usually the exact same product in a plain-Jane wrapper.
Specialty Sparkler Brands
You may have noticed a few product lines out there that market themselves as “specialty”. For instance, Sparkler City offers bottle sparklers for nightclubs to increase bottle service sales. However, they are actually the same ones that you would use on a birthday cake. Furthermore, there are yo-yo sparklers and ones shaped like hearts, stars, or numbers. These are all classified in the “specialty” category, and they are marketed for certain purposes.
While it’s true that there is some benefit to choosing a specialized version, you are also paying a pretty big up-charge for the benefits. In some scenarios, this additional fee is justified; such as putting them on a bottle or a cake. However, usually you can get away with using a cheaper version with very little impact on the end result. Simply put: don’t fall for marketing gimmicks; just use your own best judgment.
Though I’ll cite specific examples, the truth is that almost all sparklers are “white” label products. For instance, huge companies like Phantom Fireworks or TNT all purchase the same products you would find anywhere else. However, the factory labels them however the customer chooses when ordering a large enough quantity. So, in reality, you are getting the exact same product regardless of which company from which you purchase. However, some companies buy from low quality factories, while others from high quality factories. So, in that sense, a name brand can sometimes be an indicator of whether you’ll receive a reliable item or one that fizzles out prematurely.
What Are the Differences Between Brands?
In reality, where you choose to buy your sparklers bares very little impact on the end result. As I’ve mentioned, only six factories in the entire world produce sparklers. Of those six, five of them reside in China and one in the United States. To make things even simpler, three of the Chinese factories are owned by the same company. However, you definitely want to find a company that sells products produced in a top-tier manufacturing facility.
So how can you tell the difference? Simply put, do your homework. It’s always a good idea to scour the internet for reviews on certain brands and products. However, where you get your information on the products matters a great deal. Consider third-party review sites like Wedding Wire to help guide your purchase. Most importantly, never rely on reviews posted within the website you plan to purchase from. It is very easy to create fake reviews, but third-party sites are less susceptible to those types of shenanigans.
Which is the Highest Quality?
The quality factor varies depending on what type of sparklers you are purchasing. For general events like the 4th of July, the type you choose isn’t too important. However, if you plan to use them at a birthday or wedding, there are other factors to consider.
The best indicator for quality is how many times they are dipped. Cheap products will be dipped only once, while higher quality brands will be either double or triple-dipped for an even performance. Additionally, sometimes it’s important to get smokeless sparklers for your celebration. Those should always be metal wire and create gold-colored sparkles. Other than that, they are all pretty much the same quality.
In the end, the name on the package doesn’t matter much. If you are into paying more for a fancy looking box, than a premium brand is right up your alley. Conversely, if you want to keep things cheap, generic brands can be a fine choice. However, my personal pick is always white label options because they are a great balance of quality and price. Overall, sparkler brands are just for marketing, and what is inside the box is all the same.