It feels like the Brigade's been in the public conscience for forever and a day (and let's be honest, Novemberis forever and a day ago by phone standards), but amazingly, Casio's latest rugged G'zOne for Verizon still isn't being offered -- at least, not in any official capacity. It seems some HowardForums posters have managed to order and receive their Brigades by calling the carrier's telesales directly, and a few uploaded shots of the boxed QWERTY clamshell is enough to have us believing it's the real deal. For what it's worth, this tends to happen pretty frequently with Verizon -- they'll start selling and shipping new devices over the phone a couple weeks before announcing availability or offering them via the web -- so it doesn't come as much of a surprise that we're going down the same road again here, and a few brick and mortar locations have apparently started to take delivery, too. Expect to pay $249 after $50 rebate -- in other words, enough cash so that you'd better really need a messaging-centric dumbphone with a tough shell.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.