Saturday, December 29, 2012

Stuff they don't buy on SHARK TANK

SHARK TANK has become a guilty pleasure.  Enterprising people trying to interest billionaires into investing in their new miracle products or inventions.  Most are ridiculous.  You think -- they can't be serious.  Who would buy this crap?  But then I get on an airplane and open the SKY MALL magazine.  That's who buys it.  And the prices are goofier than the items.   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.


Mac said...

I can't eat toast unless it pops out of that special slot that only Wolfgang gets right. All other toast is dead to me.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Not to be a dissenter, but...

A friend of mine has the cat drinking fountain. It sounds dumb, but one of her cats has kidney problems, and she finds the fountain really does encourage them to drink more (which is recommended for the cat's problem). It may actually be saving her on vet bills.

In some locations, radios that don't require electricity or batteries are really valuable. I interviewed the original inventor of the hand crank radio, and while it's a gadget here, he came up with it when he heard about AIDS in Africa and the problems of getting information out to places where electricity was very expensive and unreliable, and batteries hard to come by.


Gary Mugford said...


Having denuded the SkyMall Catalog of its last vestige of charm, head on over to and see stuff you'd REALLY want to spend money on, if only money was as water.

Mike Botula said...

Your post made me yearn for the days when "The Sharper Image" showrooms made me drool. Even with "Sky Mall," life is not the same anymore as having a real store like "Toys R Us" for grownups to play in. By the way we have a Drinkwell Pet Fountain for our two cats and the poodle. They come with a built-in filter system and require very little maintenance. When the Angora starts drinking out of the toilet and the Tabby starts meowing for us to turn on the bathroom sink tap so she can get a drink, then we know its time to scour out the Drinkwell...install a new $10 dollar filter...and replace the water bottle.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Whaddya bet some of these are gonna pop up on "World's Smartest Inventions" episodes of World's Dumbest...?

tb said...

a 449 dollar comb. Really? People buy these? I'm intrigued by the "finger drum mouse pad" I must admit

Paul Duca said...

I've been entering a sweepstakes where if I win, SkyMall will give me $25,000.

Mary Stella said...

I actually have a weather emergency radio with a hand crank. That way if a hurricane hits the Florida Keys and knocks out power and cable long enough for me to run out of batteries, I can still hear reports that we're in deep sh&t.

Tim W. said...

To be fair, some of these things might be kind of neat....if they were maybe half the price.

LouOCNY said...

Wow Paul, if you win that, you can get yourself an air ionizer

RCP said...

This is funny, but you should know The Mind Spa was worth every penny I paid for it - not only that, but I look really cool in the mask - just ask Mother.

Larry Minikes said...

MindSpa is my product. I have put well over twenty years developing and refining this technology. I am not, nor is my product the fly-by-night, sucker-born-every-minute scam you infer it to be.

If my motivation was all about the almighty buck, there are a lot easier ways for me to make money than this! Believe it or not, behind some of these things, there really are dedicated people who believe in what they are doing. Maybe you are just trying to be funny at my expense. In all due respect, you are simply uninformed.

My ongoing motivation over these two decades is to help adults and children improve the quality of their life by overcoming chronic sleep, stress, attention and focus issues, including PTSD and seasonable affective disorder (winter depression). I am happy to say we have tens of thousands of satisfied customers the world over, including a lot of talented, creative people, like you, who find MindSpa beneficial.

I am also very proud to say we have recently been donating units to the Army Stress Control Division helping front line soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan cope with unbelievably stressful situations. Some of these kids never get past 2-4 hours of sleep per night, if they fall asleep at all.

We now have several documented cases where with minimal training and after only a few uses, they are falling asleep faster and sleeping 6-8 hours. In one memorable successful case, it had been years since one of these soldiers on his fifth tour of duty has had a good night’s sleep.

Our brain is the most powerful performance enhancement tool we have and it is largely underutilized. Light, when understood and applied correctly, is a powerful agent for health and hormonal balance. We have been conditioned as a society to believe that if it is not ingested, injected or prescribed and produced by some massive drug company then it must be B.S.

Hey Ken, I will make you a deal! Let me send you over a MindSpa system to try for six weeks and then if you feel the same, you are more than welcome to call it whatever you like to your heart’s delight! If you want to take me up on my offer to you, feel free to reach me via our website. Thanks!

Wayne said...

When I was on popular late night talk show, I got an MindSpa as a promotional gift.
It wasn't as nice as this one. It had an older mask without the eye holes.
The idea is by flashing tiny LED lights and playing tones in certain rhythms, it stimulates your brain waves.
It may be silly looking but I found it quite relaxing.

Johnny Walker said...

Ken, I want to see a photo of you wearing a MindSpa! :)

Mark P. said...

Wait, "seasonable affective disorder"? I'd take anything that claims to treat that with... a grain of salt.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen

Who would not want a jellyfish lamp?

Anonymous said...

I don't watch Shark Tank much. Has anyone ever pitched a show on there?