Do not know about car boot horrors but I have dinked chisels with a side tap of my claw hammer for years and still to get a chisel to split but I would give you I only used Marples Blue Chip Bevel and Firmers and some ash handled mortices/firmer I used a beech mallet on. I would not think this type of mallet would not be any different as it looks very cumfy for the hand and if you hood the head it becomes very deft at tapping even lighter. Seems reasonable and look ergonomic to my eye, I would buy one.
You're right Pete, that doesn't look like a beech handle.
I would be perfectly happy though to use it with my carving chisels and would certainly buy one if I didn't have 3 mallets already. (I might still be tempted ).
It's not meant to be used with brute force and if you watch a carver at work, most of the time the head will be cradled and the handle just lies across the heel of the hand. it's a very comfortable and efficient way of delivering light blows as the mallet is heavy enough to do the work without force.
Anyway, it's nice to look at even with a rubbish handle.