Hammacher Schlemmer 2015 Holiday Gift Guide

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A little late but just in time for Christmas, here is my 2015 Hammacher Schlemmer Holiday Gift Guide. Often, the festive season is fraught with despair over rampant consumerism, overspending, and finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Well, fear not! For if you celebrate one of the myriad of holidays with gift-giving traditions this time of year, here is the list for you!

A wonderful present for the entire family this holiday season, The Mistletoe Drone is sure to delight. While drones are often thought of as indiscriminate killing machines, The Mistletoe Drone spreads love and good cheer! Up to 20 of these drones can be flown in one setting without radio interference for ‘unrestrained Yuletide mirth’. Oh shit, here it comes and I’m sitting next to creepy uncle Rick! $69.95

For the raging narcissist on your list, may I suggest The Selfie Toaster. Using custom-designed heating elements created from an uploaded portrait of the recipient, it toasts their image into every slice of bread they consume. There is a creepy Freudian metaphor in here somewhere. $69.95

For the bacon lover on your list, I recommend The Bacon Aficianado’s Spread. Each jar of this ‘unique spread’ in the three-jar set contains a half pound of bacon. Portable, spreadable, bacon jam. Bacon jam on toast, bacon jam on crackers, bacon jam on eggs, veggies and bacon jam. Bacon jam, bacon jam, BACON JAM. $39.95. Never let your loved ones be baconless again.

The traveler on your shopping list will appreciate The Wearable Carryon. This vest features 14 pockets that can hold up to 11 lbs of clothing or accessories. Forget ever paying baggage fees again when you can simply wear your luggage on your person! The vest is designed to prevent a bulky appearance when fully stuffed, so hopefully airport security won’t detain you unnecessarily. Black, $129.95

For the spiritual on your list, I highly recommend The James Earl Jones Narrated New Testament. His famous and unforgettable voice narrates all 27 books of the King James Version. The fourteen CDs can also be transferred to an MP3 format for listening in the car or on audio devices. My favourite passage? Luke 3:27 I AM YOUR FATHER. $39.95

Have a sedentary beer lover on your shopping list? Look no further than The 12 MPH Cooler. Large enough to contain 24 cans of beer and up to eight pounds of ice, the unit features a 1,000-watt electric motor with variable-throttle control. A trip to the fridge is no problem with this cooler, just hop on and ride over. It even has a built-in cup holder so you can take the last few sips of beer with you while you refill. Neighbour invite you over to watch the game? No problem. The unit’s pneumatic tires can easily handle pavement or gravel on your way there. $999.95

A wonderful gift for the entire family is The Only Seven-Person Tricycle. This meticulously-designed tricycle has seven seats and sets of pedals that are operated simultaneously and can reach speeds of 10 mph. One rider controls the steering and dual hydraulic brake system while the others provide the people power. This unique machine ‘facilitates close-knit conferencing while joyriding’, encouraging ‘team-building while pedalling’. Work through family issues while exercising together! Only $20,000.

Remote-controlled cars are so Christmas 2014. This year, surprise the kids on your list with The RC Snapping Crocodile. Instead of aimlessly driving cars into table legs, children can use this remote-controlled toy to lurk under chairs and around corners, ‘methodically’ stalking their prey. Then, remotely snap the toy’s powerful and lifelike jaws when the target is in range. *Author is not responsible for injuries to arms, legs, or any other body part as a result of the gifting of this purchase* $39.95

For your really pale, ultra-famous, or eccentrically reclusive friends and family, consider The Paparazzi-Thwarting Visor, $49.95. The extra-long brim of this visor can be pulled down over the entire face to obscure one’s identity. The reflective surface of the visor not only conceals the wearer’s features from the nosy public, but also protects skin from 99% of the sun’s harmful rays.Highly fashionable, this headgear will complement any outfit.

For the spice lover on your gift list, I enjoy The Pepperphile’s Peppermill. This 3-foot mill holds 2 lbs of peppercorns to satisfy even the most gluttonous of pepper lovers. Corns are easily crushed to grinds of various coarseness with a stainless-steel, commercial-grade mechanism. With a total weight of over 7 lbs, this pepper mill can always double as a weapon with which to bludgeon intruders. $189.99

Finally, for the person who has everything, and if you just happen to have $95,000 kicking around, how about The Handcrafted Hippopotamine Sofa? Sure to fit in seamlessly with any d├ęcor, this unique piece of furniture takes over 400 hours to make by hand. Designed to look just like real hippo skin, this life-sized sofa makes a perfectly reasonable gift for your loved one.

Have a safe and happy holiday season!

Runners Up:

The Electric Kazoo
The Stress-Reducing Mind Spa
The Amphibious Sub-Surface Watercraft
The Life-Sized Tyrannosaurus Skeleton

*I am not paid, nor do I receive any merchandise from the distributor of these products*

Hammacher Schlemmer Holiday Gift Guide

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You guys! It’s October already, and that means that I won’t be able to feel my toes again until May. It also means that it’s time to get working on your Christmas list (unless you’re one of those weirdos who’s done their shopping by July in which case, you’re dead to me). So, to help you out, may I present my second annual Holiday Gift Guide. My selections are perfect for those hard-to-shop-for folks on your list. Or for those for whom money is no object. Or for those who are a fan of the ridiculous and absurd. Exclusively found at Hammacher Schlemmer, here are my holiday 2013 picks:

The Spinning Spaghetti Forks

For the pasta lover on your list, these motorised forks turn their prongs at precisely 22 rpm, winding up the perfect bite of spaghetti. Mess-free noodle bites, every time. These also make a great gift for that aunt with carpal tunnel syndrome, that insufferable friend who slurps their supper, or for anyone simply too lazy to cut their noodles into a manageable size. $29.95 for a set of two.

The Night Vision Camera Watch

This amazing watch not only takes pictures, but records video…in the dark. Four infrared LED lights in the watch face illuminate in total darkness to allow the hidden pinhole camera to take HD photos and video. This is the ideal gift for…well, who am I kidding? This is the perfect gift for me. I want it. It would be perfect for my neighbour watching. The other night, there was another loud fight at a house somewhere near mine. If I could just locate the source of the crazy…anyway, somebody buy me this watch, it’s only $200.

The Golf Cart Hovercraft

Why use a plain old golf cart during your round when you could use the Golf Cart Hovercraft? This bad boy glides along the fairway 9″ above the ground at a top speed of 72 km/h. But come on. You’re going to be spending most of your time on the course in the hazards. But that’s no problem with the Golf Cart Hovercraft! It floats effortlessly across ponds, streams, and bunkers. Need to manoeuvre around all those trees you sliced your ball into? This hovercraft is the only one in the world capable of backward hovering. Yes, you read that right, backward hovering. And how annoying is it to have to park your cart and walk to the green? With this vehicle, simply hover onto it! It does not damage the grass and it’s hull meets U.S. Coast Guard standards for reliable hovering over water. Convenient AND safe. It’s the Golf Cart Hovercraft. Only $58,000.

Now, let’s say you have someone on your shopping list who is a hovercraft lover, but not a golfer? Don’t fret, Hammacher Schlemmer also carries other hovercraft models, such as The Two-Person 60 mph Hovercraft (that’s just about 100 km/h in Canada) or The Flying Hovercraft.

The World’s Largest Gummy Bear

For the sweet tooth on your list, I recommend this 5 pound, cherry-flavoured concoction. At 1,000 times the size of a regular gummy bear, this mass of gelatinous high-fructose corn syrup and red dye #5 comes with a food-safe bag to seal in freshness. Just in case you can’t finish it in one sitting. $34.95 **DIABETES WARNING**

The Weight Loss Activity Recommending Scale

Now, everybody has got someone on their list who could stand to lose a few pounds. Why not provide them with the gift of their health? For $99.95, this scale will help them achieve their weight loss goals. The Weight Loss Activity Recommending Scale will use their weight, their goal weight, and their personal information to suggest the exercises they should perform, and for how long, to lose or maintain weight. So basically, the scale will tell your friends or family when they are getting fat and will tell them to get off their asses. It’s a gift they’ll be sure to enjoy for years.

The Power Nap Head Pillow

For the traveller on your list, I highly recommend this head-enveloping travel pillow. This must-have item gently swaddles the user in a light and sound-blocking cushion. The pillow fits gently over the head and neck, while users can still breathe through a large hole in the face area. Fantastic for power naps in the airport between flights. Provided you don’t mind looking like you have a bizarro alien bobblehead. $99.95

The Full Bottle Wine Glass

For the wine connoisseur or for any mom out there in the world, The Full Bottle Wine Glass is the best gift you could possibly give. At only $19.95, this mouth-blown Bordeaux-style wine glass holds an entire 750 ml bottle of wine. Now, ‘let mummy finish her glass of wine’ really means ‘let mummy finish her bottle of wine’.

Well, that’s it for my current edition of the Holiday Gift Guide. In fact, I might have to do another before the holidays, since I haven’t even gotten Hammacher Schlemmer’s children’s gift supplement in the mail yet. Not to mention the other items I just didn’t have time to review, like The Window Washing Robot, The Handheld Fireworks Light Show Projector, or The Desktop Punching Bag. Or you could just visit their website: http://www.hammacher.com. Disclaimer: I do not get paid by Hammacher Schlemmer. Nor would they probably ever want to pay me either.

Hammacher Schlemmer FTW

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So, it’s mid-January now. Enough time has passed since the holidays that it is now OK to return the shitty gifts you received at Christmas and trade them in for some awesome stuff. Some awesome stuff from Hammacher Schlemmer, of course.

Ladies, you probably got a bunch of bath stuff, I’m guessing. Maybe even a gift basket full. Time to take back those kumquat and bergamot bath bombs and get something you can really use, like the Crow’s Feet Reducing Skin Toner. This $140 wand shoots micro currents into your face that stimulates muscle contractions that magically erase wrinkles.

If crow’s feet aren’t a problem for you and you’re more concerned about the overall appearance of your skin, maybe the $170 Cryogenic Skin Treatment is a better bet. Just run the smooth, freezing cold hand-held device across the face for instant rejuvenation. Much easier than running an ice cube over your skin.

Or, how annoying is it to never quite be able to properly apply lotion to those hard to reach areas (or worse, have a creepy old lady at the gym force you to lube up her back)? I know, right? My recommendation, for a mere $35, is to purchase the Long Reach Lotion Applicator. This handy tool eliminates the torturous bending and wriggling it takes to moisturise those pesky places your arms just can’t reach.

Guys, I bet there are a few items you’d like to unload too. Get a boring, plain old watch that does nothing but tell time? You deserve a way awesomer watch, like the $1,500 Radiation Detecting Watch. You can never be too careful about unknowingly walking into an area contaminated by harmful ionizing radiation. That’s why you should never leave the house without this watch. It measures both single-dose Gamma rays as well as cumulative exposure, so you’ll never be caught unawares during a radiation storm or nuclear holocaust.

Maybe you also got some shitty, remote-controlled gadget toy. Whatever it is, return it immediately so you can go get The 9 1/2 Foot Remote-Controlled Bald Eagle. This tremendous bird of prey has a specialised motor that replicates the flight patterns of a real bald eagle. At $500, it is a steal of a deal that will provide endless entertainment and scare the bejesus out of your neighbours.

Happy returning and re-shopping everyone!

Christine’s Hammacher Schlemmer Holiday Gift Guide

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Alright, Hallowe’en is over and I’ve stopped spying on the neighbours long enough to compile my 2012 Holiday Gift Guide. This handy list will help you find practical and affordable gifts for even the most difficult people to shop for. But first, a few items to get you into the holiday spirit:

The 20′ Snowman greets guests in a pervy laid-back manner while sprawling across most of your yard. Eleven stakes and four tethers ensure that this $400 behemoth doesn’t float off in strong winds.

Bring the outdoors in this season with the Handcrafted Plush Elk. This 5′ plush replica of a North American elk is meticulously hand-crafted and airbrushed to look just like a real elk. Nothing says merry Christmas quite like a $700 fake elk standing by the tree on Christmas morning.

For the sports enthusiast on your list, might I suggest The Human Bowling Ball? This game is a must at family reunions or summer barbecues. Players get inside a rubber ‘bowling ball’ seven feet in diameter, and attempt to score points by knocking down five foot pins at the end of a vinyl lane. Instead of gutters, the lane has ‘bumpers’, so there is less risk of errant human bowling balls. Frankly, I’d just like the ball part of this game so that I could shove people down hills in it. Endless entertainment for a reasonable $4,500.

What to get that weird forty year-old cousin who still lives in your aunt’s basement? How about The Mind-Controlled Movie Director? This system rigs the wearer up to a special headset that reads brainwaves. Using electroencephalogram technology, the headset detects signals created by the brain which influences the course of video games or movies. Mind control for a mere $130! Kill the Malaysian Prime Minister!

Any Potterheads on your shopping list? How about The Magic Wand Remote Control? This wand allows the user to teach it gestures that correspond to the commands of your television’s remote. All the user then needs to do is slap a lightning bolt on their forehead and it’s magic time! Comes in a red silk-lined box for only $90.

For the coffee lover on your list, I recommend The Fingerprint Recognising Espresso Machine. It’s so annoying to have to remember how to make your espresso drink in the mornings, isn’t it? Or having to tell the barista over and over how to make it at Starbucks. This machine allows the user to scan and identify their fingerprint, which triggers the machine to make your preferred coffee beverage. First world coffee dilemmas solved, for only $3,200.

For the music lover, my pick is The Acoustic Immersion Pod. This egg-shaped…thing…envelopes the user in an acoustically optimised environment. It’s a personalised, home theatre-quality sound oasis that allows users to incite deafness while sitting in this super comfy-looking, $3,000 plastic chair.

For obsessive storm watchers, or for those who just don’t trust the Weather Network, give them their very own Meteorologist’s Weather Station for $400. Three wireless sensors collect weather data from the surroundings, including wind speed and direction, humidity, precipitation, and temperature. The base station displays other data such as barometric pressure, dew point, wind chill, and UV index. Never be surprised by an unexpected weather event again!

Any kids on your shopping list? How about The 4 Foot Heirloom Dragon? No childhood should be complete without a giant plush dragon companion. At $1,000, ‘its aggressive, wide stance suggests ancient strength, yet its soulful eyes and toothless, pink-lipped, forked-tongued mouth assigns benevolence appropriate for a bedroom or playroom companion’. A delightful toy that will be in the family for generations.

Now, don’t forget about picking something up for Fido! Show your dog you love them by giving them the gift of good health. The Canine Treadmill will help keep Rover in shape when you’re too lazy to take him for a walk. The treadmill is $900 for large breeds, although a small dog version is available for $550 and is suitable for felines as well (as long as you don’t mind your face getting scratched off).

Happy shopping everyone; I’m done!

Hammacher Schlemmer II

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Imagine my delight when I opened the office mailbox the other day and found a brand new, shiny Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue. Just waiting for me to peruse its pages. So, I am once again sharing my Hammacher Schlemmer wish list. And, despite its difficulty to spell, I enjoy the name Hammacher Schlemmer. I say it repeatedly in my head with a German accent.

The World’s Largest Scrabble Game is a gigantic, wall-mounted version of Scrabble. It has ‘a finish that will last for generations’. Interesting, that’s how long it takes to play Scrabble with my sister. A bargain at only $12,000.

The Landscape Architect’s Sandbox is basically a giant $500 rock that opens up to reveal a sandbox. Designed to look like part of the landscape, this ‘discreet’ sandbox will fool your neighbours only if they don’t notice the random and huge boulder on your lawn.

The Canine Garden Topiaries are moss sculptures of a selection of dog breeds. For $350, you can grow your own moss Schnauzer, Beagle, or Yorkshire Terrier. Or, at $100, a better deal is the moss cat topiary, because cats are better than dogs anyway, and also because the cat topiaries come with glass eyes. Oh yes. I am picturing old ladies here.

The Scratch Concealing Butcher’s Board. If you’ve suddenly realized that the scratches on your $4 Ikea cutting board are simply intolerable, this product could be for you. The $180 wooden board is made of kiln-dried Eastern Canadian Larch, and is handcrafted by artisans in a 30-step process. This is some fucking cutting board.

The Child Piloted Tumbler is exactly what is looks like: a hamster ball, but for kids. It’s actually a steal of a deal at only $80. If I had kids I’d get one, or several, for sure. I’d stick ’em in one and just let them roll around, banging into each other for hours. Just watch out for stairs. I’ve seen a hamster in a ball go down a flight of stairs and it wasn’t pretty.

The Professionally Choreographed Orchestral Fountain. Be the envy of your neighbours with this fountain that projects lighted waterspouts synchronized to music. And at $7,000, it’s a totally affordable and perfectly reasonable way to enhance your outdoor living space.

Hammacher Schlemmer

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Last week, the best thing ever came in the mail at the office. A Hammacher Schlemmer catalogue. Now, I had never heard of this company, but the photo of a personal hovercraft on the front cover intrigued me. Their tag line, ‘Offering the Best, the Only, and the Unexpected for 164 years’ does not quite do justice to some of the interesting and ridiculous items they supply. I spent a good amount of time perusing the catalogue and being extremely entertained. The target market for the company’s products appears to be old rich men, insufferable hipsters, or extreme pet lovers. Here I have listed my favorite products from the catalogue, in order of ridiculousness.

The Keep Your Distance Bug Vacuum
For only $64.95, this device is used to suck up bugs of all kinds with a 22,400 rpm motor. Bugs pass through an electric grid and are stunned so that you can safely chuck the bugs outside once you’ve sucked them up. Want it. Obviously.

The Dog Dung Vacuum
If bending over to pick up your dog’s shit is too strenuous, you can, for only $99.95, purchase this 30,000 rpm motorized poo picker-upper instead.

The Circulation Improving Leg Wraps
If you don’t mind giant contraptions on your legs so that you look and walk like a Transformer, you can get these inflatable leg wraps for a mere $179.95.

The Hand Fitness Trainer
A steal of a deal at only $29.95, this hand muscle exerciser is perfect if you can actually get it on and don’t mind looking like a cyborg.

The Canine Calming Wrap
Get your dog to shut the fuck up with this contraption that applies torso pressure to your canine companion, which mimics the feeling of a warm hug. Only $39.95.

The English Umbrella Seat
If you’re a lazy asshole, for only $89.95 you can buy this umbrella that handily doubles as a seat.

The Canine Hawaiian Shirt
For those casual days off, your dog should look stylish and relaxed as well. Only $29.95.

The Feline Tree House
Treat your feline friends to a veritable rainforest treehouse for only $799.95.

The Personal Oxygen Bar
Use this device if the oxygen you are currently breathing is simply not good enough. Only $399.95.

The Hands Free Hair Rejuvinator
Put this helmet-like contraption on your head to shoot lasers into your hair follicles. A perfect gift for my brother-in-law and ideally priced at only $699.95.

The Flying Hovercraft
For a mere $190K, you can purchase your very own personal hovercraft. Obviously, this item is in my shopping cart.