Costco Recalls Dirty Underwear Punching Bag

Costco is not cool with underpants-filled punching bags. From their website (emphasis ours):

We are issuing this voluntary recall notice for the TKO Sports Heavy Punching Bag with Speed Bag Combination, manufactured by TKO Sports, of Houston, TX. We have learned that the fill material in the heavy punching bag does not meet our high quality standards.

Yeah, that’s quite the understatement. If Costco’s records reflect that you’ve purchased this bag, they’re sending a box and UPS shipping label out to you right away. They’re also sending you an Everlast punching bag to replace the one that is filled with used underwear. You know, the more we write about it, the more we notice that the concept just doesn’t get any less gross. Even the grasshopper leg in the Applebee’s salad got less gross the more we thought about it. Not so, used underwear punching bag.

Who did they hire to pack the bags? Where did they get the underwear? These are the unanswerable questions. Or rather, we’d just prefer that they were not answered.—MEGHANN MARCO

IMPORTANT RECALL NOTICE TKO Punching Bag with Speed Bag Combination [Costco] (Thanks, Andrew!)
(Photo: Joe Heckel)

UPDATE: Eagle-eyed commenters notice that this recall is from June 23, 2005. Apparently, Costco has been on top of the dirty underwear punching bag epidemic for years.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Where on earth would somebody obtain that much dirty underwear?????

    Is there some secret dirty underwear factory in China that we don’t know about?

  2. The Bigger Unit says:

    On the other hand, if you’re in the market for plentiful used underwear, you know where to go other than the local Thrift Store!

    I wonder what else out there is stuffed with used drawers?

  3. werdna says:

    This is why I love Costco.
    Go Costco!

  4. DAK says:

    Costco rocks.

  5. JohnOB1 says:

    “Yeah, that’s quite the understatement.” HA HA! GET IT? Understatement? UNDERstatement???

  6. TPIRman says:

    Wow, this story is bizarre. The Wal-Mart Nazi T-Shirt may have finally met its match. I’m looking forward to many weeks of pugilistic Consumerist readers uncovering these skeevy bags on Costco shelves.

    Oh, who am I kidding? Costco seems to give a rat’s ass. Wal-Mart Nazi T-Shirt, you’ll always be number one.

  7. TPIRman says:

    +1 JohnOB1

  8. mantari says:

    Could it be sourced from those places that pay cash by the pound for used clothing? Orphanages? Third world countries?

  9. Meg Marco says:

    @JohnOB1: Are you suggesting that I may have made a joke?

  10. superlayne says:

    What did they do with the underwear?

    I would have washed it and kept it.

  11. mantari says:

    @meghannmarco: Well, I’m glad that Costco, the place that won’t be UNDERsold, was quite UNDERstanding about the situation. I was, at first, UNDERwhelmed by the response, but it appears the UNDERneith the surface, Costco was working the issue.

    Your joke was not UNDERappreciated, Meghann!

  12. faust1200 says:

    (Apologies in advance) I’m tired of these motherfuckin stinky drawwwws in my motherfuckin punching bag!

  13. Skeptic says:

    Hmm…a KPIX story on the green used clothing donation box scam here in california said that used clothes wholesale for $3 (IIRC). I wonder if un re-salable clothes like used undies sell for less? Did someone buy extra cheap used fabric on the, well, cheap?

    Whatever the case, I’m guessing that there are a few people who are actually trying to find and buy these “special” TKO heavy bags. I’m sure the High School Girl Panty (HSGP) heavy bag would be a bigggg seller in Japan…

  14. krunk4ever says:

    despite how bad the situation is, costco always makes an excellent effort to right the wrong.

  15. MentalDisconnect says:

    Yeah, where did they get used underwear? It’s not sold at thrift stores (or shouldn’t be- that’s beyond gross). Maybe it’s someone’s personal stash- as soon as they wear an undergarment they save it to pack in the bag? Is this a widespread problem? If it was only one, I’d think a prank or something, but many… wow.

  16. mrestko says:

    I think it’s pretty likely that the punching-bag company purchased bulk underwear from somewhere like the Salvation Army since it’s not something that’s really sell-able. I guess they probably should have gone through the extra effort of shredding the material to make it less recognizable. :-P

  17. Triteon says:

    I bought one of these bags, and punched the shit out of it.

  18. lore says:

    Did anyone notice how old that recall letter is?

  19. cde says:

    @faust1200: You better have apologized cause you didn’t even use the real quote. It’s “I have Had it with…” Not I’m tired of….

  20. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    This is more confusding than an episode of Lost…

  21. Jesus On A Pogo Stick says:

    haha.. ^confusing..

  22. Musician78 says:

    In Japan you can buy used schoolgirls’ panties in vending machines. *Sorry, made me think of that*.

    I wish I could recall where I heard that.

  23. tekkierich says:

    Clearly we have found out the answer to step two for the Underwear gnome riddle.

    1. Collect Underpants
    2. ???
    3. Profit!

    Step 2 = Stuff Underpants in to punching bags and sell them to Costco

  24. Joe_Bagadonuts says:

    WALTER: Who’s got a million dollars parked in the trunk of our car out here?

    DUDE: “Our” car, Walter?

    WALTER: And what do they got, Dude? My dirty undies. My effing whites! Say, Dude, where is your car?

    DONNY: Who has your undies, Walter??

  25. Triteon says:

    Shut the fuck up, Donny. :)

  26. GitEmSteveDave says:

    OK, I’ve donated clothes to charity before, but I always seem to do it at one time. I go through my drawers and closets, and pick out stuff I don’t need anymore. But it’s always clean. Do people really wear underwear, and when they take it off to shower, hold it in front of them and say, “You know what, I don’t want these anymore. I think I’ll drive down to the donation bin after my shower and throw just this pair in. Either that, or I’ll make a big pile of dirty clothes, and when it gets big enough, stuff it into a sack, and bring it down then.”

  27. zibby says:

    @Musician78: I’m 100% sure it’s on Snopes. Sorry for no link, but I’m feeling lazy going into the long weekend.

  28. GirlGoneRiled says:

    Do you think that this is where lost airline baggage goes? Like, one can buy “abandoned” bags at auction and use the contents to stuff, say, punching bags? Would this be cheaper than buying actual stuffing material? If so, it certainly would explain the variety of garments in the pic.

  29. BStu says:

    I’d think they got the undies from various clothing donation firms. You have to think those places get lots of underwear that they want nothing to do with. Some genius at Everlast may have known someone who volunteered at Goodwill or something and mentioned that and the genius at Everlast got a bright idea. And thus the panty bag was born.

  30. joyflop says:

    The recall notice was posted on June 23, 2005.


  31. Gopher bond says:

    10 years ago I opened my Everlast punching bag and noticed a bra strap (or bikini) that didn’t make it through the shredder. The bag was filled with sand bags with shredded rags packed around them. I imagine it’s a common practice (why buy new rags to stuff in a punching bag?) but I think they’re supposed to wash and shred them before they pack that stuff in.

  32. MostNutsEver says:

    I think we just discovered what step 2 is.

    //underpants gnomes

  33. girlfriend 6.0 says:

    Let’s see who plays along. :-)
    What is that under there?!?!

  34. MostNutsEver says:

    Under where?

  35. girlfriend 6.0 says:

    @MostNutsEver: I just made you say “underwear”!

    Aah, to be a kid again…

  36. @Musician78: On one of the many “Hey, we’re in Japan!” segments on G4?

    It blows my mind that this has happened more than once. It being in that one bag makes it one of those weird things but that a lot of bags ended up with stinky underwear in it is just crazy.

  37. Bye says:

    Why y’all have to take the piss outta my workout routine?!?

  38. The Reviewer says:

    How does this happen, and how is it that used underwear is cheaper than sand? The only way it is cheaper is if they got it for free, but where is it free from, who needs to offload used underwear that isn’t going in the trash? I don’t get it.

  39. TinaB says:


    And to those who have questioned it, yes they do sell underwear at thrift stores, at least in my neighborhood. Why, oh why, anyone would ever buy underwear there is still a mystery to me.

  40. spanky says:


    That joke works better on old people, because they don’t see it coming. No self-respecting eight year old is going to answer “Whatcha eating under there?” (Note: This is the correct version). A FORTY-eight year old will, though.

    The old drawer-muncher is still trying to live it down, too.

  41. Amsterdaam says:

    And all the hobo/boxers of the world rejoice!

  42. modernbeat says:

    The Houston Salvation Army on Washington Avenue auctions off large lots of unsellable or surplus goods every morning. There is usually at least three huge bales of clothing. The clothing bales are usually bought by a consortium and are sorted on the spot after the auction. Used/Vintage clothing resellers get first crack at it, then the guys that cut up clothing for rags, and the leftovers go to ??? TKO maybe?

  43. axiomatic says:

    Holy crap, you can’t make this stuff up! Hilarious!

  44. oldhat says:

    1) What makes you all think that this is a US operation?

    2) What the hell is wrong with recycling/reusing old clothes?

    Who is saying that they are dirty? Somebody see skidmarks and pee stains?

    I don’t really care what I’m punching the shit out of…as long as it holds up over the years. Now that is the real issue. How does old clothes compare to foam and sand?

  45. cdan says:
  46. meadowlarkb says:

    The answer to the question, “boxers or briefs?” is both?

  47. fearthepenguin says:
  48. frightened says:

    I wonder what’s in my pillow?

  49. econobiker says:

    Thrift stores sell the clothing as salvage and it goes everywhere- used as rags, bailed and send overseas (usually Africa). So why not would a vendor to Everlast puchase cheap cloth to help pack punching bags?

  50. tkodirtybags says:

    I’m a former TKO employee, and have the misfortune of knowing how this operation works. The laundry does, in fact come from those clothing donation bins – as several other users suggested. They would purchase trailer loads of the donated clothing for very minimal cash. While I was there we did receive several calls about this very problem – all were written off (both to the consumer and employees) as defects, where the materials weren’t “shredded correctly”. In reality, my best guess is that they just realized that they can save a lot of money if they just don’t shred them at all – as a whole, they are a company that is fantastic at cutting corners. To be honest, I don’t know how they haven’t gone out of business yet, they’re been circling the drain for years now – they did file for chapter 11 awhile back, I believe. The heavy bags are actually the only product that TKO actually manufactures themselves – everything for the bags is “created” in Houston – whereas every other product is a resold product developed by a Taiwanese manufacturer. Since I left TKO several years ago, many of the other employees have also since left, but the President’s name is Garry Kurtz – his email is: – please,feel free to let him know how you feel about underwear in your heavy bag.