Late in 2011, the Fox 40 company announced the first major revision to its’ flagship Fox 40 Classic pealess whistle since it was introduced over 25 years ago. The new Fox 40 Classic Eclipse ($8.50, plus shipping) retains the sound of the original Classic, but adds several new features, some more useful than others.
The first thing you notice about the Eclipse is the sleek styling. Where the Classic has a squared-off look, the Eclipse is swept-back, with rounded edges. This really changes the aestheic of the whistle, but, unless you’re a whistle freak like me, that won’t matter to you much.
The finish of the Eclipse is now a glossy black, rather than the flat black of the original Classic. In addition, Fox 40 has included a color additive called “SpectraBurst” that allows the whistle to glow in the dark. The company materials say that the whistle will glow the same color that the whistle is. Since my whistle is black, that may explain why I’ve never seen it glow in the dark. Glow-in-the-dark is not something that matters to me at all. However, someone using the whistle for safety reasons may find this an appealing feature. In that case, I think I’d pick a color other than black.
The most significant change in the whistle is the inclusion of an integrated, co-molded Cushioned Mouth Grip. This is different than the CMG versions of the Classic, which had a cushioned mouth grip added to the finished whistle. The mouth grip on the Eclipse was designed in from the beginning, resulting in a sleeker profile. In the mouth, the Eclipse isn’t quite a cushy as the Classic CMG; I find that I prefer the feel of the Eclipse over the CMG, but that’s just a matter of personal taste.
All in all, I find that the Eclipse is a worthy addition to the Fox 40 lineup. It looks cool, feels good in the mouth, and still produces the classic, er, Classic sound. The price is higher than the original Classic, but you do get more features for your money. For me, I think I will probably stick with my Fox 40 Sonik Blast whistles. I still find the Blast the easiest to blow, and the tone is slightly different from the Classic, which is handy in crowded parks. If you prefer the Classic, you should try the Eclipse.