Until the 1970s, safety razors used a single blade. Then came the double-bladed cartridge razors, which carried us to the 90s. Then we got the 3-blade Gillette Mach 3. Then we got the 4-blade Schick Quattro.
Many people found the explosion in the number of blades to be rather silly. When the Mach 3 came out, there were lots of jokes about razors with a huge number of blades. Those jokes continued when the Quattro came out. Personally, I figured that the trend couldn't last too long, as there just isn't enough room to cram in a lot more blades without making the razor unwieldy. Surely, I thought, four blades would be the end of it.
Turns out I was wrong and the jokers were right. Gillette has announced a five-blade razor. It's called the Fusion, and they've put together a flashy little site to promote it. And there's plenty of early commentary about it as well.
It won't be available until early next year, and I'm sure there will be a big media blitz to alert us once it's available.
Odds are, I'll be trying one out when they're available, just so I can post a review of it. It's going to have to be pretty freaking amazing to get a good review, though. My cynicism meter's on high right now. I'm almost certain we'll soon see stories about new law suits, and then the announcement of a 6-blader with a laser-guidance system.