The Prince of Wales, on his 54th birthday, rides on an electrically-powered Segway. // Segway (Pual Lewis/Daily Mail/NPA Rota)

Larger image

The Prince of Wales, on his 54th birthday, rides on an electrically-powered Segway.

Released: 2001
Backed by: Segway Inc.

It's tough to omit the Segway from any list with the words "hype" and "failure" in its title. Indeed, while billed as the new thing in personal transportation - "[it] will be to the car what the car was to the horse and buggy," said one investor - this electric vehicle was supposed to usher in a cultural shift of the highest order. Yet, after a misguided $100-million-plus in development costs, the Segway never even approached its initial sales target of 100,000 units within 13 months on the market. In fact, only 30,000 Segways were sold between 2001 and 2007 alone, and the company still appears to be fighting a losing battle. The vehicle's peculiar looks and high retail tag (as much as $7,000 each) are likely to prevent the Segway from ever achieving widespread popularity

* Oddest corporate sponsorships
* Online poker millionaires
* Famous pre-nup screw-ups