Saluting the World Traveler in All of Us

Here’s to Christopher Columbus…and a day off for many folks on Monday!

Ol’ Chris was one of the first world travelers. In all, he made four voyages to the new world in his search for a new route to India and China. Thanks to his discovery of the West Indies, today we enjoy Caribbean cruises and the unique gift of lazing on the beaches of Aruba, Jamaica and Kokomo.84290_1000x1000

We’re thankful that world travel today is so much easier than it was in the 15th century. Worries about tarmac delays and excess baggage fees seem trivial compared to the difficulties new-world explorers encountered. For your next trip, or for unique gift ideas for a traveler in your life, we have some suggestions to make your journey even easier. 88084_1000x1000

Looking to avoid baggage fees? The world’s lightest four-wheeled spinning carry-on tips the scales at a mere four pounds, 66% less than most 20-inch bags. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it’s effortless to hoist into an overhead bin and won’t contribute to weight limits imposed on carry-ons by many international airlines. Rugged construction and aluminum and fiberglass reinforcements ensure long-lasting durability.83770_1000x1000

Here’s another easy-to-handle carry-on available only from Hammacher Schlemmer that brings a higher level of organization to your packing. The supple leather bag features accessible pockets, a large lined inner compartment, and tiered sleeves that keep tickets and credit cards at the ready. Padding protects your tablet and other electronics.

One obstacle Columbus never faced was the need for a different plug adapter for every country on his travels. This palm-sized device provides an adapter for 150 countries worldwide. Five different foldout plugs are compatible with most outlets across the globe. It also has two USB ports for charging smartphones and tablets. 86904_1000x1000

For cross-country drivers—or those making a day trip to the city and all its crazy traffic—this two-directional in-car video camera captures the road ahead, behind, or even to the sides. The camera suctions to your dash or windshield and makes a cyclic 90-minute audio and video recording of each trip, automatically recording over old footage that wasn’t expressly saved. Video can help relive a memorable trip, or provide an “eye-witness view” following a traffic accident…a problem Columbus never had to face.

Interestingly enough, Columbus never set foot on mainland North America. Nevertheless, we celebrate the spirit of adventure he and other explorers carried, and the unique gifts of travel dreams so many of us have today.

Decorate for a Night Out with the Ghouls

The night of ghosts and goblins is almost here! We have some great ideas for indoor decorations that get any home into the Halloween spirit and make “terror-ific” unique gifts for party hosts. 87680_1000x1000

This whimsical wall clock was inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, complete with beloved characters Jack Skellington and the ghost-dog Zero. Capturing the distinctive animated style of the 1993 film, the handcrafted clock recreates Halloweentown and its residents in lovingly creepy detail. 86136_1000x1000

Crisp fall weather means it’s time to light up the fireplace. This fireplace screen adds a touch of Halloween whimsy to your hearth. Constructed from sturdy powder-coated steel, it’s decorated with five skeletons with green acrylic eyes: a musician on each of the screen’s two side sections and three dancers in the center. 87554_1000x1000

Arachnophobes don’t stand a chance against this remote-controlled, oversized tarantula, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive. It crawls across smooth surfaces with creepy, crawly leg movements. With the remote control, you can move it left and right, backwards and forwards so that the tarantula scuttles its way over low carpets, hardwood floors, and indoor tile. For added surprise, the spider randomly ejects an 11″-long red cord.

We have many more Halloween surprises and unique gifts. Visit our online Halloween shop today and plan a frightful end to October.

TODAY Show Hiking and Biking Segment

hammacher_fb_oct2__1_Our new mosquito jacket was featured in the “Hiking and Biking” segment of The TODAY Show this morning with gadget guru Steve Greenberg, Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager.

This jacket is perfect for your outdoor adventures, not only protecting from mosquitos without the use of harmful chemicals like Deet, but also from insect-borne illnesses like West Nile and Lyme Disease. Watch the segment below and pick up a jacket here:

Watch the TODAY Show segment here:

Feed Your Driving Ambition

This Sunday is a great time to get out on the greens—it’s National Golf Lover’s Day!86176_1000x1000

There are some who would say every day is golf lover’s day…but all too often, the need to work or accomplish chores around the house can drive a wedge between a golfer and their favorite sport. We say bad weather will be here soon enough and these mild autumn days make for the perfect time to get out on the links. The chores will wait12648_1000x1000.

As if there wasn’t already enough to love about the game, we have some fun and unique gifts for yourself or another golf lover that will make 18 holes even more enjoyable. 12245_1000x1000 (1)

Why wait for the 19th hole? The Drink Dispensing Driver will discreetly give you a head start while still on the course. In your bag, the unit’s appearance is that of a typical driver. But at the touch of a button, it dispenses one ounce per second of your favorite beverage from a spout in the club head. It’s connected to an insulated cooler that keeps up to 52 oz. of refreshments cool or warm for up to five hours.

Don’t let the bulkiness of a golf bag be an excuse not to play. Here’s a full set of clubs in an easy-to-carry backpack. The set includes one shaft and 10 club heads that simply slide into the shaft and lock into place in seconds. The entire set is a third lighter in weight than a traditional bag and lets you play without a caddie or cart. It has a pocket for golf balls and tees and there’s even a pouch to hold an iPad. 87591_300x300

For those who insist on a cart, here’s something entirely different. The Golf Cart Hovercraft glides over hazards as easily as over fairways on a cushion of air. Take this cart across a pond to pick up a wayward drive and it will turn even the most discouraged weekend duffer into an instant golf lover.

And should Mother Nature not extend the unique gifts of a pleasant fall day in your area on this year’s Golf Lovers Day, may we recommend a Plan B: a friendly indoor game of miniature golf.



Plan a Boo-tiful Halloween Display

The end of September is a sure sign that the end of October is almost here!84216_1000x1000

With October 31 falling on a Saturday, this Halloween is sure to be bigger than most. If you’re going to have the most impressive—and scariest—yard on the block, start planning now. We have several items to help ensure your house gets all the attention. These also make for unique gifts for someone you know who needs to do more to get into the spirit of the spirits.  87315_1000x1000

Standing nearly two stories tall, this inflatable black cat is the largest Halloween decoration available. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, the cat’s underbelly is more than 9′ above the ground at its highest point, allowing trick-or-treaters to walk underneath. With its swaying head, illuminated red eyes and wide-fanged grin, this cat looks as if it’s about to pounce on unsuspecting prey. 87554_1000x1000

Equally spooky is this 12′-tall inflatable ghoul. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the ghoul’s beady red LED eyes are set amid a frightful photorealistic face. This ghastly undead abomination guffaws in silence with its gaping maw while it grasps at candy seekers with talon-tipped hands. Super scary!

Once indoors, party-going arachnophobes don’t stand a chance against this remote-controlled, oversized tarantula. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it crawls across smooth surfaces with creepy, crawly leg movements. With the remote control, you can move it left and right, backwards and forwards so that the tarantula scuttles its way over low carpets, hardwood floors and indoor tile. For added surprise, the spider randomly ejects an 11″-long “web”.

We have many more Halloween surprises and unique gifts. Visit our online Halloween shop today and plan a frightful end to October.

We Could Fall for this Time of Year

Today begins our first weekend of autumn. For many folks, this is the best time of the year. Really, what’s not to like? Nature gives us unique gifts in the form of warm days and pleasantly cool nights. And it doesn’t hurt that football season is hitting its stride.84791_1000x1000

It’s also the time of the year to get yards, gardens, and patios ready for the cold, snowy days to come. If you’re looking to get your backyard chores done quickly and easily—so you can enjoy fall festivities, or a Sunday afternoon with the NFL—we have some items that will help you dispatch yardwork in time for kickoff.  87401_1000x1000

This cordless, rechargeable leaf blower was deemed The Best by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it cleared garden waste the fastest and had the longest-lasting battery. It also has a unique vacuum setting for suctioning leaves into an attached bag. Its light weight makes it easy for anyone to use. 84717_1000x1000

For bagging your leaves or lawn clippings, look to this foldaway cart that holds four bags. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it rolls easily on four casters, keeps the bags upright at all times and folds away for unobtrusive storage.

Many homeowners agree that cleaning gutters is the worst of the outdoor chores. The Autonomous Robotic Gutter Cleaner is a game-changer. This is the only robot that removes leaves, small branches and dirt from gutters autonomously. With a powerful auger that rotates at 500 rpm, the robot’s advanced sensors detect and adapt to debris, cleaning a 30′ gutter section in five minutes. This amazing device makes a unique gift for a housewarming, too.

Once those backyard chores are done, don’t put the patio furniture away just yet—autumn’s best may be yet to come. Take some time to savor it.

We Auto Go Car-Free Today

Just for today, leave the car keys behind. Resolve to get around by foot, bicycle or public transportation: it’s World Car Free Day.

Initiated in 1994, this event is intended to promote the improvement of mass transit, cycling and walking. By making biking, walking, and transit easier and safer options for getting around, we’ll be less sedentary and enjoy the unique gifts of better health, and our environment will benefit as well.

For Car Free Day and all year ‘round, we have some items that will make getting around without a car easier, safer, and more fun. 84344_1000x1000

If aching knees prevent you walking as much as you would like, The Knee Pain Relieving Walking Shoes have a patented sole that helps relieve the discomfort. Developed with rheumatology experts, the shoes employ flexure zones built into the outsoles, proven in a study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago to reduce knee load by 20%, essential for slowing the progression of osteoarthritis. EVA insoles provide added comfort with every step. 83485_1000x1000

Many of us are hesitant to cycle after sunset or on busier roads. The Cyclist’s Virtual Safety Lane mounts to a bicycle’s seat post and projects two 5-milliwatt red lasers onto the ground, generating a virtual bicycle lane. Providing motorists with a visual indicator of a cyclist’s riding width, it is ideal for increasing the safety margin around a cyclist during pre-dawn or dusk rides.12685_1000x1000

Here’s a mode of transportation that is fun, completely different, and a great workout, too. This “bicycle” is propelled by elliptical exercise movements, providing a full-body, low-impact workout outside, while transporting you from place to place. The bicycle’s upright handlebars and foot platforms move back-and-forth, propelling the three-wheeled bike forward. It would make a unique gift for anyone who is bored by their regular exercise routine, too.

You may find organized World Car Free Day events in your community. Regardless, plan just one trip today getting around without your automobile. You—and the Earth—will benefit. You may even be tempted to make it a daily habit.

If It Works, Thank a Tradesman

In 1848, Hammacher Schlemmer opened for business in New York City, offering mechanic’s tools and builder’s hardware. We built a reputation among tradesmen in the growing city as a resource for high-quality items not easily found elsewhere.

Fitting, then, that today, National Tradesmen Day, we salute the men and women who work hard to build and repair our homes and schools, keep our cars running, fix our appliances, fill our potholes and in short, keep the entire infrastructure around us in working condition. 11349_1000x1000

Today, Hammacher Schlemmer is better known for hard-to-find unique gifts, specializing in The Best, The Only and The Unexpected. Nonetheless, we hearken back to our roots with a few items that don’t stray far from our original offering. 86468_1000x1000

Any craftsman will appreciate The Genuine Gerstner Oak Tool Chest, handmade by H. Gerstner & Sons. Using methods developed in 1906, the chest is made of solid quartersawn American white oak and constructed using tongue and groove joinery and lock joint corners. This is a tool chest that becomes an heirloom.

The Eight in One Portable Workshop includes a cordless table saw, circular saw, and six other tools for completing projects away from the shop. All are powered by an 18-volt battery that plugs into any of the tools. It’s all housed in a toolbox that holds the items in dedicated compartments and can serve as a working platform in the field. 86458_1000x1000

Many a tradesman began a love for the vocation as a child, taking things apart and putting them back together. Feed the talents of an aspiring mechanic with The Car Lover’s Engine Repair Set. The littlest grease monkey can pop the hood, change the oil, and tinker with the engine. The holidays are coming soon—this would be an ideal unique gift for any little one who shows a curiosity about how things work.

On National Tradesmen Day, Hammacher Schlemmer would like to say thanks to all the tradesmen and tradeswomen who keep the lights on and who put it all back together when it falls apart.

Easy Hacks for Tailgating Fun

Football season is in full swing! Try these hacks for easy fun at your next tailgate party and more enjoyment while watching the game.

Here’s a simple way to show team spirit and keep drinks cold. The night before, fill water balloons in your team’s colors and freeze them. Add them to the cooler or bucket of drink
s on game day to keep cans and bottles cold and make it known which team you support.

For holding cutlery or condiments, an empty cardboard 6-pack holder painted with team colors and logos is a simple DIY project. You can hand even hand this one off to the kids. 12452_1000x1000

Create the most relaxing tailgate spot in the lot. The Tailgaters’ Hammock sets up on any 2″ trailer hitch in just 10 minutes. Two hammock chairs have hanging footrests, allowing tailgaters to relax in a reclined position while keeping feet and legs elevated. This is an ideal unique gift for any frequent tailgater. 73077_1000x1000

Glue magnets onto foam can coolers. They’ll stick to the side of the car and your guests will have two hands free for digging into the food.

Speaking of hands, make a hand-washing station. Use an empty laundry detergent dispenser (the kind with the built-in spigot) filled with water. Using elastic cords, strap a paper towel dispenser to the top. Keeping clean made easy!

Once inside the game, make stadium seating more comfortable and keep your backside warmer. This Portable Gel Seat is compact, weighs only 2.5 lbs., folds in half and is easily portable, thanks to its integrated handle.78069_1000x1000

Watch the game from a different angle. Instead of focusing on the ball as televised games have trained us to do, pay attention to individual players. Watch a player’s performance. See who steps it up to move from second string to starter. Observe who has the unique gifts of a natural-born player. See all the detail with The 144X Zoom Binoculars. They easily adjust from 20X magnification to their maximum with just the press of a lever. These binoculars use powerful, fully coated optics and lenses that offer superior light-gathering performance.

Finally, don’t forget to decorate the windows of your car with erasable chalk ink markers. The colors are vibrant and they’re easy to use and easy to wash off when the game is over.

Get a Little Help(er) in the Kitchen

Kids love to cook. And why shouldn’t they…concocting a recipe feeds both sides of the brain: the “left brain” scientific side, as well as the “right brain” creative side.

This Sunday is National Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day, a great time to get cooking with the children in your life. Established to help involve kids in meal preparation and start them learning about nutrition, Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day can be fun and fulfilling for all generations. You may even find you have a new helper when it comes to making daily dinners. We have suggestions for items that are fun for kids to use every day and make for great unique gifts for any budding culinarian.84781_1000x1000

The Shake, Rattle and Roll Ice Cream Maker can be shaken, tossed or rolled around to churn a delicious frozen confection. Only 20 minutes of kids’ play yields up to one pint of rich, creamy ice cream. About the size of a volley ball, it harnesses the limitless energy of youngsters and teaches them about the transformation of simple ingredients into a much-loved dessert. 84981A_1000x1000

Popcorn is a healthy snack for children, and little ones will delight at helping to make a bowlful when they see The Stanley Cup Popcorn Maker. Officially licensed by the NHL, the popper and bowl create a replica of the championship trophy commissioned by Lord Stanley of Preston in 1892. Not just for kids, it also makes a unique gift for any hockey fan.82312_1000x1000

Among the first recipes a child may experience is the one for s’mores, around a campfire. Bring the tradition into your kitchen with The Indoor Flameless Marshmallow Roaster. Using a stainless steel electric heater, this is the safe and easy way for kids to create delicious s’mores year ‘round.

So plan to get in the kitchen with a child you know this Sunday. The experience will provide the unique gift of healthy learning for the child and foster a day of tremendous family spirit for both of you!