Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let's see what's at the Sky Mall!

When I take my seat in an airplane the first thing I do is seek out the Sky Mall magazine. I am forever amazed by the ungodly prices they charge for bizarre hokey items. Who buys this crap? Here are some of the chotzkes in my most recent Sky Mall.

Vuzix iWear – Glasses that are supposed to simulate the big screen experience. $249. More if you want the iMax experience.

Gravity Defyer Shoes. Somewhat self-explanatory. $200. Or, for $4 you could tape Slinkys to your current footwear.

HairMax LaserComb – it’s a comb, it’s a laser. It’s the miracle answer to hair loss. Only $449! Perfect for that cue ball who spends thousands on a toupee that looks like a toilet seat.

X5 Hair Laser – See LaserComb but substitute metal ice pack. $299.

A Portable Alarm Clock for your iPhone. Uh, doesn’t the iPhone already have an alarm clock? $99.95.

Computer Speakers for your iPhone. Not to be confused with any speakers that are the same size and use the same plugs. $149.99.

Retractable Banner Pens – Okay, this you could really need. A thousand for only $950.

Hand Therapy Bars -- $59.

Water trappers -- $169. And they’re fade resistant!

Exclusive Microfibres Trellis Mat to protect high-traffic areas. Here’s the good news: it’s low profile so it will never obstruct your door. $149.

Ingeniously engineered EZ Bed that features an extra-plush mattress, a highly supportive frame, and new dual comfort zones. $299. Who buys a bed from a catalog? "I dunno, it sure seemed firmer in the picture."

Wolfgang Puck-designed toaster – otherwise known as a “toaster”. $99.50.

Cinema style Popcorn Maker – Who doesn’t crave seven tubs of popcorn while watching the National Geographic Channel? $199.

Electric Vortex Solo Heater – Nothing heats a room better than Vortex power. $169.

All-in-one Recycling System – patent pending. Perfect for the person who has compacted and non-compacted items. The idea Christmas gift! $299.

Personal Breathalyzer -- $199. Because expensive gadgets know when to say when.

Feature-laden solar emergency radio – Ideal for those sunny day emergencies. $80.

A Bill Sorter – for only 199 of them.

The Custom Keeper -- 25 cubic feet of storage -- A far better name than laundry hamper. $199. Pretty much everything is $199.

The world’s largest write-on map mural – Only $149. The house with cathedral ceilings at $2,000,000 is not included. But what a mural!

Voice activated R2-D2 – “makes any home feel like it has been transported to a galaxy far far away”. The ad goes on to say it features “distinctive happy and sad sounds faithfully mimicking the real thing… right down to his occasional bad mood." If you buy this (at only $169.95) you are too nerdy to live.

The Electric Tint Changing Ski Goggles – No changing goggles while hurtling down the diamond course. $249.95.

The Upside-Down Tomato Garden – $79.95.

The Hand Crank Two Way Radio – Think of all the money you’ll save on two dollar batteries! Only $99.95.

The only Digital Camera Swim Mask – And it’s waterproof! $99.95.

The Sleep Regulating Sun Lamp – It produces no harmful UV radiation so that’s a plus. $249.95

Adjustable Sheepskin Slippers – You wake up in the morning, it’s 20 degrees in the house, you want your feet to be comfy as you putter around the kitchen. $49.95.

The Motion Sickness Relief Wrist Band – It keeps time and reduces nausea! $139.95.

The Finger Drum Mousepad -- $39.95.

The Mind Spa – This comes with a Catwoman type mask and a control unit that combines soothing sounds and calming lights. $349. From SuckerBornEveryMinute Industries.

The Carbon Fiber Heated Vest --$149.95

The Continuously Freshening Feline Drinking Fountain – What cat would be caught dead drinking out of a bowl these days? $69.95. For an extra ten dollars they should throw in a cat.

The Million Germ Eliminating Travel Toothbrush Sanitizer – It uses “proven germicidal UV technology ". And it sanitizes a toothbrush in only seven minutes! $29.95.

The Foldaway Lateral Stepper – $99.95. Or you could just step from side to side yourself for free.

And finally…

The Children’s ATM Bank – No more breaking into piggy banks, kids! Get a debit card and go to town! $39.95.


Anonymous said...

Ah yes, the puzzling nature of Skymall products. Some for air travel, some clearly are not.

Anonymous said...

You must have had a LONG flight. Send me a postcard when you land in Italy.

Tommy Lasorda on Idol? Sounds fantastic - I would watch American Idol again if tommy was a judge !!


Anonymous said...

I love this stuff. I took home the catalog when I got off my plane yesterday. It has the Captain Kirk chair on the cover. I like "The peaceful progression alarm clock", which starts to fade in half an hour before the time you program it. I also like how they precede the name of the products with "the" (like "The cinema-style popcorn maker"), as if they are one of a kind or something.

John Lennon liked to order from this kind of plane catalogs, then forget about it and be surprised months later when the products were delivered.

Anonymous said...

I love the upside down tomato garden. What I do when I find something I like in one of these is save the catalog and look for it later on eBay. Always cheaper, and by then some of my ardor for the item may have cooled and I can laugh bout the item.

Anonymous said...

You reckon that the voice activated R2-D2 is nerdy at only $169.95? Piffle, it's just a junior nerd toy. What the real nerd about town is the fully motorised, remote controlled R2-D2 video projector, a real snip at only $2995. Who needs soap anyway.

Anonymous said...

Depending on how long and boring your trip is, some of the stuff in SkyMall starts to look pretty darn good. At any rate, it's good for a laugh while you're sitting on a plane for hours.

Unknown said...

I admire your energy typing all this.

Those prices are insane. Only someone working at AIG could afford any of this...

Anonymous said...

I remember hearing that the pet water fountain is the most popular item in the Sky Mall catalog. Apparently people feel bad spending that much money on useless crap for themselves, but they are willing to spend money on useless crap for their pet, because it proves how much they love their pet.

Mary Stella said...

The really sad thing is that I always look through the Skywall magazine, too, even though I know that I receive catalogs with most of the products at home. Yet, even with the abundant marketing, I still have no pressing need to buy a big clothes steamer for home use.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think the R2D2 is the only thing worth buying in the Skymall catalogue. Mind you, I did enjoy browsing through it when on a US flight. We don't have that up here in the Great White North (Canada).

Anonymous said...

It seems like bald men are still fair game for intolerance. Nobody who hasn't been bald—not by choice—should be allowed to make fun of a bald man. There's nothing we can do about it. Toupees look like crap. Minoxidil and Propecia don't work. And while some guys look good bald (Michael Jordan), most just look uglier and older than they really are. Mr. Levine, calling a baldman a "cueball" is no funnier than calling a gay man a "faggot." Think before you insult.

Dan said...

So per Mr. Anonymous above, we can't use cueball anymore? Folliclely-challenged, I suppose, would be more appropriate in this increasing humorless world. And actually, calling a someone a cueball is much funnier than calling a gay man a faggot.

Anonymous said...

As a Bald Man, and Bald American; I must agree with the above statement by Anon.

We yearn to be superficially loved and adored, yet are denied this by the mere fact that we have no hair on our head. I stand firm against this intolerance.

If only we had had hair, we would instantly be more popular, successful, and happy.

Sign me,

Hairless in California

Jim said...

On Amtrak, the SkyMall catalog is called "Travel Mall." I would have picked "LandMall."

Anonymous said...

The item I don't get, and would dearly love to know if anyone ever buys, is the four foot tall sasquatch lawn statue.

Second place goes to the home traction thingamies that look like a high-tech hangman's noose you attach to a door.

Anonymous said...

Well if it's "vortex-powered" I gotta have it! BTW Ken-Do you own a pet? Just wondering.

Grant said...


Please don't tell me they got rid of the emergency gas-mask! That picture of the executive with the orange bag on his face makes every flight better!

Jess Kiley said...

I don't think the prices are so bad. From what I recall, you have to use up those earned dollars somehow, can't recall in exactly which form they come.

What's so bad about coming home from a string of business trips with an inflatable jumping tent for your kiddos?

My memory of those magazines from back when I was a kid and wasn't parented well enough to bring my own stack of Boxcar Children books on the long flights, and could only read the emergency-preparedness card for so long, and critiquing the flight-attendants got old (and so did they)...

I liked the magic. I never dreamed I'd ever become a frequent enough traveler to indulge, but maybe my Mom would. Maybe an uncle. Never considered the fact I'd someday have a stay-near-home husband.

Anonymous said...

That's why it's such fun reading on a plane. :D

I was wondering about something unrelated to the post, but having just seen a rerun of an episode of Frasier, I can't help but ask (I apologize in advance if this is something already discussed, or something I really shouldn't ask about.)

How did that spectacular speech Frasier's agent Bebe made on smoking a cigarette came about? It was perfection.

ScreenplayJ said...

Ahh, The useless items, that we, american people, love to purchase, and slide our credit cards, while in flight....


Anonymous said...

I like the look of the Mindspa. I've tried similar things that can do lovely things to the inside of one's head.

My barber told me that all those young tough looking guys with shiny bald heads
have to come in once a week at considerable expense to have their domes scraped and polished. Vain things.

Andy M said...

An actual song about the Skymall from the irrepressible Jonathan Coulton.

This was part of his project to write a new song every week for a year. A terrific example for all creative types. Keep making stuff and you will get better at it while the chances of doing something great go up as you make more attempts.

Anonymous said...

I always want to buy the giant crossword puzzle - you know what I'm talking about, right? Also, the brownie pan that is designed so every brownie piece will be an edge piece. I spend a tad too much time on planes...

Michelle said...

I love the Skymall! i am seduced by the popcorn maker. But the mini donut machien reminds me of the cornballer from Arrested Development.

RFHarris said...

I love your blog cuz I'm an aspiring writer. So I'll leave lots of comments.


It will be a cold day in Hell before I buy my kids a Childrens ATM machine!



Pamela Jaye said...

We don't have that up here in the Great White North (Canada).

guess what I found? (I wanted to see the R2D2)

and yeah, I always bring hem home too

Pamela Jaye said...

Second place goes to the home traction thingamies that look like a high-tech hangman's noose you attach to a door.

Hey! Is that where Ken saw it before it was in Almost Perfect? (I have most of the eps on tape but hey are intermingled with Mad About You cause I didn't used to change tapes between shows back then (especially when I wasn't home. and, mind you, I had a VCR Plus Gold VCR, which changed the channel on my cable box for me))