When Was Hai Karate Discontinued?

If you were a karate enthusiast in the ’60s and ’70s, you are likely to have heard of Hai Karate.

Hai Karate was a brand of aftershave, mostly known for its hilarious commercials and notoriety amongst teenage boys. The brand has created an influential mark in pop-culture history, although it is no longer in production. Due to this, there has been curiosity about when Hai Karate was discontinued.

In this blog post, we will look at the history of Hai Karate and its eventual disbandment along with strong evidence.

The History of Hai Karate

The Hai Karate scent was launched by Pfizer in 1967. It gained instant popularity among young men who wanted to look and smell tough in the height of martial arts and kung-fu movie mania.

Its tagline: „Be careful how you use it“ was a humorous nod to the assumption that Hai Karate would give the wearer instant muscle and martial arts prowess. In fact, the scent was designed to have a pungent and overpowering aroma, which was not for everyone.

Despite receiving negative reviews, Hai Karate remained a popular brand throughout the ’70s and had a massive following in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The Peak of Hai Karate’s Popularity

Hai Karate was famous for its comically violent commercials, which were a staple of ’70s television. One of the most popular commercials depicted a teenage boy wearing the aftershave scent and then unintentionally attracting the attention of several women at a party. The women then proceed to grope him, and he must use his newly attained martial arts skills to keep them at bay.

This commercial, along with others, made Hai Karate a household name, and it remained one of the most popular aftershave brands throughout the ’70s.

The Discontinuation of Hai Karate

Eventually, Hai Karate’s popularity dwindled, and Pfizer eventually sold the brand in 1985. However, the new owners were unable to maintain the popularity of the brand, and the fragrance was discontinued in the 1990s.

There isn’t a specific date available for when the brand was officially discontinued, but it is confirmed that Hai Karate hasn’t been in production since the 1990s.

The Legacy of Hai Karate

Although the scent itself is no longer available, Hai Karate continues to be influential in popular culture. Many people still recognize the brand and its comical commercials. The brand has also become a collector’s item with vintage Hai Karate aftershave bottles sometimes selling at high prices on auction sites.

When Was Hai Karate Discontinued?

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are a fan of the old-school martial arts movies or have a passion for vintage colognes, you might have heard about Hai Karate. This unique scent was popular in the 1960s and early 1970s and gained a cult following for its distinctive bottle and aggressive marketing.

However, there are many questions surrounding the history of Hai Karate, and one of the most common is: When Was Hai Karate Discontinued? In this article, we will explore this topic and answer some of the frequently asked questions related to Hai Karate.

What is Hai Karate?

Hai Karate was a men’s cologne created by Leeming Division of Pfizer in the 1960s. It was marketed as a masculine and aggressive scent, with the promise that wearing it would attract women and give men a sense of confidence and strength. The fragrance was packaged in a distinctive shaped bottle, which was meant to resemble a martial arts uniform.

When Was Hai Karate Introduced?

Hai Karate was launched in the United States in 1967, as part of a marketing campaign that positioned the scent as a way for men to gain confidence and attract women. The product quickly became popular, in part thanks to its memorable advertising campaign, which featured a series of commercials where hapless men were chased by women after using Hai Karate.

When Was Hai Karate Discontinued?

Hai Karate was discontinued in the early 1980s, around the same time as many other colognes from that era. The specific date of the discontinuation is not well-documented, but it is likely that the product ceased production due to changing consumer tastes, as well as the increasing competition from other brands.

Is Hai Karate Still Available?

While Hai Karate is no longer in production, it is still possible to find vintage bottles of the fragrance online or in specialty stores. However, buyers should be aware that the scent may have degraded over time, and that the longevity and projection of the fragrance may not be as strong as it was when it was first bottled.

What Made Hai Karate Unique?

Hai Karate was unique both in terms of its scent and its packaging. The fragrance was designed to be aggressive and masculine, with notes of citrus, lavender, and spices. The bottle was shaped like a martial arts uniform, complete with a belt-shaped cap and a label that resembled a black belt. The packaging also featured tongue-in-cheek instructions on self-defense techniques, which added to the product’s appeal among young men.

Why Did Hai Karate Lose Popularity?

There are a number of reasons why Hai Karate lost its popularity in the 1980s. One factor may have been the changing cultural landscape, as people became more interested in natural or lighter fragrances. The rise of designer fragrances and celebrity-endorsed scents may have also made Hai Karate seem outdated or old-fashioned.

When Was Hai Karate Discontinued?


Hai Karate was a popular men’s cologne during the 1960s and 1970s, but it has since disappeared from the market. If you’re a fan of vintage colognes, you may be wondering when Hai Karate was discontinued and why. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide on the history of Hai Karate and its production timeline, discuss why the cologne was discontinued, and offer some alternatives for fans of the scent.

What was Hai Karate?

Hai Karate was a men’s cologne launched by the Leeming Division of Pfizer in the early 1960s. It was positioned as an affordable male fragrance with a distinctive scent and a tagline „Be careful how you use it.“ The scent became popular due to its unique blend of spicy and floral notes, and it quickly became a well-known brand.

History of Hai Karate:

The Hai Karate name was originally used as a brand for aftershave products produced by the Michigan-based firm of Steinfeld & Associates in the 1950s. The brand was later purchased by Pfizer, and it was rebranded as a men’s cologne in the 1960s. The original packaging for Hai Karate featured a cartoon karate expert alongside a warning to „use with caution.“

Production Timeline:

Hai Karate was in production from the early 1960s until the mid-1980s. The cologne was available in many different sizes, with the most popular size being a 3.5-ounce bottle. Hai Karate was also produced in a range of different fragrances, including Oriental Lime, Dragon Mist, and Ancient Essence.

Why Was Hai Karate Discontinued?

There are several reasons why Hai Karate was discontinued. One of the primary reasons was the declining popularity of men’s colognes in the 1980s. The rise of unisex fragrances and a shift in consumer preferences towards body sprays and deodorants meant that sales of traditional colognes like Hai Karate began to decline.

Another reason for the discontinuation of Hai Karate was the changing tastes of consumers. The unique scent of Hai Karate, which was once popular, was seen as outdated by younger consumers who preferred fresher, lighter scents.

Finally, the original patent for the key fragrance component of Hai Karate, Iso E Super, expired in the 1980s. This led to other perfume companies producing similar fragrances using the same key ingredient, making it difficult for Pfizer to maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Alternatives to Hai Karate:

If you’re a fan of Hai Karate and you’re looking for an alternative, there are several fragrances on the market that are similar in scent or style. For example, Old Spice is a classic men’s fragrance that features similar spicy and floral notes to Hai Karate. Other fragrances like Aramis and Brut are also worth considering if you’re a fan of traditional men’s colognes.


In conclusion, Hai Karate was a popular men’s cologne during the 1960s and 1970s, but it was eventually discontinued due to changing consumer tastes, declining popularity, and increased competition in the market. While it may no longer be available, there are several alternatives for those who are still searching for that distinct spicy and floral scent. It is important to note that even though Hai Karate is no longer in production, vintage bottles can still be found for collectors and aficionados who seek this classic fragrance.

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