Monthly Archives: March 2016

America’s Pastime Gets in Full Swing

The boys of summer take the field Sunday as the 2016 Major League Baseball season gets underway. This weekend’s feature game will be a World Series rematch between the New York Mets and the world champion Kansas City Royals.12433_1000x1000

In these days of constant screen time and never-out-of-touch connectedness, baseball remains steeped in nostalgia, decades-old stats, and old-fashioned tradition. You may even know someone who can recite years of baseball trivia from pure memory. A fitting and unique gift for a dedicated fan like that might be this personalized archive from The New York Times. This book brings together articles chronicling the exploits of a fan’s favorite MLB team, including articles spanning from the team’s formative years to today. The bound book even displays the recipient’s name stamped in gold on the cover.12355_1000x1000

As baseball season gets underway, imagine enjoying each televised game seated in this larger-than-life baseball glove chair, upholstered entirely in the same “Heart of the Hide” leather used to make a pro player’s glove. Each chair is built to order and is assembled by master craftsmen in Rawlings’ St. Louis facility, the same place authentic baseball mitts are made.86222_1000x1000

Among the treasured traditions of baseball is bringing up the next generation of fans, giving them the unique gift of appreciation for all the game’s nuances. Perhaps for this reason, youth baseball remains one of the most popular sports for kids. You can help an aspiring slugger hone hitting skills with this Batter Controlled Pitching Machine. The batter operates the machine from the bat’s wireless transmitter to practice hitting a plastic ball. The transmitter signals the machine to throw a ball, giving the young batter control over timing of the pitches. The machine can also be set to automatic mode, pitching a ball every eight seconds.

As the 2016 season gets underway, hope springs eternal. Odds makers are putting the Chicago Cubs as this year’s team to beat—will the Cubbies end their championship drought dating back to 1908? In April, anything and everything is possible. And if not, just wait till next year.

Tell Foot Pain to Take a Hike

Walking is heralded by physicians and physiologists alike as one of the best forms of exercise anyone can do. Tomorrow is Take a Walk in the Park Day, so it’s a perfect time to get outdoors for a long stroll and enjoy the unique gifts of a spring day.

Walking is great exercise for your heart. It tones your muscles, elevates your mood, and is at the same time both relaxing and reenergizing. Unfortunately, some people find walking for pleasure to be too painful for enjoyment because of plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, arthritis, or other afflictions of the foot. These folks may find massage and other drug-free methods ease the discomfort enough to engage in a pleasurable walk. We have some suggestions that could offer sweet relief.86728_1000x1000

The Hydrotherapy Roller Masseuse is an at-home spa tub that pampers sore feet, as well as calves, with a relaxing reflexology massage. Warm water jets soothe each foot, while textured rollers apply gentle pressure to the soles and heels. Even for those unaffected by foot conditions, the soothing action of this device makes it an ideal unique gift for just about anyone.87728_1000x1000

With gentle, integrated massagers, these pampering slippers help ease aching feet and will keep them warm, too. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the slippers have a slim massaging device tucked within each contoured footbed. At the end of a long day, the massaging action helps melt pain away, while also promoting good circulation.

Here’s a breakthrough technology initially developed by NASA to treat astronauts’ injuries. The method uses LEDs to deliver infrared heat deep into tissue, reducing inflammation by up to 37%. This foot pain 84089_1000x1000reliever, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, features 172 LEDs that penetrate tissue to ease plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, and neuroma. The LEDs stimulate circulation, relieve swelling and loosen the muscles in the foot using gentle, yet penetrating heat.

A walk in the park could well be the most enjoyable part of your day. Don’t let foot pain stand in your way when there are these drug-free, feel-good methods that will reduce your discomfort and allow you to join family and friends enjoying the unique gifts of the great outdoors.

Vehicles You Auto Know About

The 2016 auto show season is coming to a close. If you were fortunate enough to attend one of these events in cities around the U.S., you likely saw some of the latest concept cars.

We all know gas prices won’t stay low forever, and many of this year’s concepts focused on fuel economy with lighter-weight and aerodynamic construction or all-electric power sources.12273_1000x1000

Though you won’t see Hammacher Schlemmer exhibiting at the auto show, we do offer some pretty fantastic vehicles ourselves. In our line-up is the Authentic Morgan Three-Wheeler, manufactured by Morgan Motor Company in England, birthplace of the 1909 original. This vehicle seats driver and passenger within an aerodynamic aluminum “bullet” hull and a padded leather aircraft-style cockpit. The Morgan is powered by a 2.0 liter, 80-hp S&S V-twin engine that does 0-60 in 4.5 seconds, to a top speed of 115 mph. Should you be feeling a little “middle-aged crazy,” this makes for the ideal unique gift to yourself. 11020_1000x1000

Interested in all-electric transportation? This highway-legal, three-wheeled, single passenger vehicle combines the functionality of an electric car with the maneuverability and scale of a motorcycle. With a range of 30 miles per charge, it operates with zero emissions and uses less than half the energy of today’s most efficient hybrids. The vehicle is powered by a 156-volt DC electric motor that generates 33 horsepower, with a top speed of 70 mph. The lightweight chassis is constructed of a three-layered, advanced fiberglass/rigid foam composite shell augmented by steel supports for a strong frame.12197_1000x1000

Here’s the ultimate unique gift for a comic book aficionado. This is the officially licensed, roadworthy replica of the Batmobile. Built on a custom Lincoln chassis, the crime-fighting cruiser comes standard with a 430-horsepower, 383 Blueprint Crate engine and a Monster TH350 automatic transmission. The vehicle’s cockpit honors the gadgetry of the TV series with a blinking Batphone, switch-operated electric actuators that open the hood and trunk, and a rotating red beacon. A rear-facing propane tank creates the same afterburner effect as the original. The vehicle’s exterior bears the hallmarks of its namesake, from bubble-canopy windshields to chrome “rocket” tubes behind the rear windshield.

According to the National Automotive Dealers Association, 2015 was a record year for light vehicle sales. While your hometown dealer looks to move volume, Hammacher Schlemmer, as always, prides itself on an offering that is unique and simply unexpected.

Zap, Trap, and Repel to Avoid Mosquito-Borne Viruses

What used to be a merely annoying mosquito bite now brings the threat of disease: West Nile virus, yellow fever…and the latest threat to hit America, Zika virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquito-borne diseases strike almost 100 million worldwide each year. How can you protect your family? Simple, says the CDC—avoid getting bitten in the first place.

At Hammacher Schlemmer, we’ve been helping our customers do just that for generations. Our mosquito abatement solutions follow a simple strategy to zap, trap, and repel pesky bugs—without smelly, greasy chemicals. And all of these items are ideal unique gift ideas for loved ones you wish to protect from mosquito-borne illness.79883_1000x1000

ZAPThis solar bug zapper eliminates insects without requiring a power outlet. Six UV bulbs, powered by solar panels on top of the unit, turn on automatically at dusk (and turn off at dawn) and lure mosquitoes and other flying insects to zap them with a 300-volt electric charge. This bug zapper can attract and kill insects within a 1/2-acre radius, providing chemical-free protection for an entire backyard.81846_1000x1000

TRAPThis chemical-free trap attracts and kills mosquitoes in yards up to one acre. The trap mimics the natural conditions of human habitation by emitting heat, odorless carbon dioxide and light to lure mosquitoes. Carbon dioxide is generated when ultraviolet rays from two fluorescent bulbs react with a titanium dioxide coating inside the trap. When mosquitoes are drawn inside the device, a built-in fan traps the insects and sends them to a removable net where they die of dehydration.78830_1000x1000

REPELThis repelling device clips unobtrusively to a belt and repels mosquitoes within a 7-1/2 ft. radius for up to 120 hours. The device emits the subtle floral scent of geraniol, a natural plant-derived essential oil that repels mosquitoes, ticks, and no see-ums without harmful chemicals. Lab tests performed by a University of Florida entomologist proved geraniol to be more effective than DEET—the chemical in most bug repellents—at warding off biting insects.

Warm weather is approaching, which means hordes of blood-thirsty mosquitoes can’t be far behind. Take action against these disease-carrying pests now and you’ll enjoy the unique gift of carefree outdoor living all summer long.

Household Inventions with The Best Intentions

As the 1800s turned to the 20th century, Charles Holland Duell, commissioner of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is purported to have stated the Patent Office could be closed because “everything that can be invented has been invented.”

Though it’s widely disputed that he actually said this, we can all agree how far from the truth that idea was, considering the amazing inventions of the last 100 years.

Aside from innovations such as the Internet, life-saving medical devices, and jet planes, other common household items we use every day came about in the 20th century and are pretty amazing in their own right. For example, 85 years ago today, Schick introduced the first electric shaver, just one of the many innovative unique gifts Hammacher Schlemmer has introduced to American consumers over the years.87406_1000x1000

Today, we proudly offer The Best Gentleman’s Foil Shaver. It earned its rating from the
Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produces the closest, most comfortable shave. The Best model’s foils gently vibrate to lift hair follicles, enabling the five blades—the 87335_1000x100086846_1000x1000most in the industry—to cut below the skin. It can cut right through three days’ stubbly growth and is easy to clean, too.

In 1934, we introduced the Waring blender—considered a novelty in its day—and now there’s a blender in nearly every home. Today, we proudly feature The Best Blender which earned its rating from The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it blended more quickly and was the only tested model with six blades. It earned the highest score for ease of use, thanks to its dishwasher-safe pitcher and blades and dual spouts that enable easy pours.

When we debuted the Rovaphone, the first cordless telephone, in 1973, it was a groundbreaking achievement to wander around the room, phone in hand, without a cord as a tether. Today, Hammacher Schlemmer offers the Caller Announcing Large View Phone System. The base phone and its portable handset both have a large caller ID display and an audible feature that announces callers’ names. This phone is the best choice as a unique gift for folks whose eyesight and hearing aren’t what they used to be. You can adjust the handset’s audio to suit your hearing, plus oversized, backlit buttons make dialing easier.

We’re certain more amazing inventions are yet to come, things not even yet in anyone’s imagination. Count on Hammacher Schlemmer to offer amazing and unique gift ideas that are The Best, The Only and The Unexpected delights for family and friends to make our daily lives easier.

Cook Up Competitive Fun in Your Own Kitchen

Cooking competitions have been around for decades…bake-offs, best-chili contests, BBQ match-ups. But in recent years, reality TV has taken kitchen competitions to a new level. 88104_1000x1000

A key element in televised contests is the element of surprise: the secret ingredient, revealed just as the timer is about to start. Now, among our unique gift items is one that lets you recreate the same level of suspense in your own kitchen for a DIY cooking competition: The Gourmand’s Gamble is a set of nine dice, each representing a different variable, such as proteins, seasonal vegetables, and cooking methods. Roll the dice to set the stage for competitive home cooking and a test of your culinary creativity.84703B_1000x1000

In any cooking contest, The Forever Sharp French Chef’s Knife will give you an edge. Made in Thiers, France, from stainless steel and titanium carbide, this knife retains its razor-sharp edge for 25 years. The lightweight ergonomic handle provides comfort and just the right leverage for prepping and chopping. Each knife is inspected up to 20 times to ensure a sharp, perfectly balanced professional instrument. 87122_1000x1000

Award-winning chefs know copper is a superior metal for conducting even heat on the stovetop. These copper diffuser plates are created from the same material used to make professional copper-clad cookware. These copper plates conduct heat 70 percent more efficiently than most high-end cookware and eliminate hot and cold spots that can ruin your soup, sauce, or demi-glace. A set of these copper plates is a unique gift idea for any home chef.

We recommend an at-home cooking competition as a unique twist for a hands-on dinner party, an alternative to a typical bridal shower, or even just a way for spouses to spend some fun, quality time in the kitchen together.

Get Time on Your Side

Don’t forget to “Spring Ahead” this weekend. Early Sunday morning, most of the U.S. will turn the clocks forward in the move to Daylight Saving Time. While some may curse the lost hour of sleep, an hour more of evening light feels like a unique gift of extra time to us. 88307_1000x1000

Granted, the first few weeks of going to bed earlier and getting up earlier can be a challenge. Fortunately, technology can help. This sleep-promoting light bulb, originally developed by NASA to help astronauts get to sleep in space, encourages production of melatonin, the hormone that promotes drowsiness. Used for 30 minutes just before bedtime, it helps your body maintain a natural circadian rhythm for restful, refreshing sleep. 84656_1000x1000

To ease the earlier wakeups, this gentle alarm clock delivers a progression of soft light and nature sounds. A half hour before wakeup, the clock’s light begins to glow softly, increasing its intensity gradually over the next 30 minutes. At the 15-minute mark, the clock begins to generate your choice of six nature sounds. The cycle concludes with a chime that gradually increases in volume to wake even the soundest sleeper. Time changes aside, this is an ideal unique gift idea for anyone who hates getting up in the morning. 84586_1000x1000

Finally, if you dislike the bother of resetting your clocks twice a year, an atomic clock does the work for you automatically using radio waves to communicate with the official clock transmitter in Colorado. The Giant Display Atomic Wall Clock combines the simplicity of unerring accuracy with numerals that are more than four inches high and easy to read, even from across the room. It also comes with an outdoor thermometer so you’ll know the temperature outside at just a glance. Perfect for this time of the year when both time and weather are changing.

Put the Smooth Moves on Weight Loss and Nutrition

A nutrient-packed smoothie is a great way to shape up for the season ahead. Blend together fruit or juice, protein powder, milk, or yogurt and some ice for a delicious mix that can help you lose weight and will boost your immune system, too. 12713_1000x1000

Start with a foundation of delicious juice. This powerful juicer retains more nutrients than other models thanks to a patented design that reduces liquid loss and oxidation. The wide feeding tube alleviates the need to prep fruit in small chunks, while the two-stage, low-speed motor crushes food without unnecessary aeration that breaks down essential enzymes. The strainer accessory also makes this juicer an ideal unique gift for those who have an aversion to pulp.

Once you’ve added all of the fruits, veggies and juices, put in six to eight ounces of reduced-fat milk or yogurt. Next, add a scoop of protein powder. Boosting the protein level of your smoothie helps your body absorb the nutrients and will ensure you don’t feel hungry an hour later. Protein powders are even available in varieties like chocolate and strawberry to kick the flavor up a notch.84960_1000x1000

Put all ingredients into a blender and top off with ice. If smoothies become part of your regular diet, you may find yourself quickly exhausting your freezer’s supply of ice cubes. Supplement the supply with this portable ice maker, rated The Best by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. It produces a batch of clear, well-formed cubes in less than 10 minutes. And because it can produce 1.8 lbs. of ice per hour, it also makes for a unique gift for anyone who entertains frequently. 87335_1000x1000

Now blend your ingredients thoroughly. This blender earned The Best rating from The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it blended more quickly and was the only tested model with six blades. It earned the highest score for ease of use, thanks to a dishwasher-safe pitcher and blades and dual spouts that enable easy pours. Its 72-oz. capacity means you can efficiently make smoothies for the whole family.

If you’re trying to slim down, replacing one meal a day with a nutritious and delicious smoothie can help you start to see results quickly. It’s an easy way to enjoy your favorite fruits and veggies, so you’ll enjoy better health, too.

24 Hours of Unplugged Bliss

Put down your phone. Take your hands off that tablet. Step away from the computer and turn off the TV.

Join us from sunset tonight through sunset tomorrow for the National Day of Unplugging. It’s designed to help us focus on those little moments in life we often miss because we’re obsessed with screen time. Relax, reflect, get outdoors, connect with neighbors, read a book to a child. Take advantage of the unique gift of face-to-face social interaction.

Don’t worry, your devices will still be there for you tomorrow night. And so will we. If you still feel the urge to shop for The Best, The Only, The Unexpected and other unique gifts, you might even enjoy reading a good old-fashioned printed catalog.

Going Green in the March Toward Spring

If the month of March was a color, no doubt it would be a shade of green.

Lawns browned by the harshness of winter begin to take on a spring-like hue. Bulb flowers start poking through the ground. And of course, we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with all things green this month.

You don’t have to hail from Ireland to feel Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Share the luck of the Irish with friends and family with these unique gift ideas that represent the true craftsmanship of the Emerald Isle. 78855_1000x1000

This authentic walking stick bears the same name as the town traditionally known as the source of its origin centuries ago—Shillelagh. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the shillelagh is made in County Wicklow from blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), selected for its superior weight-to-hardness ratio. Each stick is harvested from specimens of the stout wood in remote areas of County Wicklow, Cork, and Kerry. No two sticks are identical, so each one made is truly a unique gift. 84392_1000x1000

Perfect for staying warm while curled up with a good book, this lady’s reading shawl is made in County Kildare, Ireland. The shawl’s front panels feature traditional wide patch pockets, useful for tucking away a paperback or e-reader. Its enveloping design covers the full back, chest and upper arms, leaving hands free to turn pages. Knit from soft merino wool, the shawl is made by a firm whose roots can be traced back to Kate O’Shea, the first Irishwoman to commercially sell her hand-knit garments in 1856. 87326_1000x1000

You may want to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a genteel nip of Irish whiskey. These glasses were designed specifically for tasting whiskey and have a thick, sturdy base that complements the depth of whiskey, thin sides that allow you to clearly see the liquid’s color and a tapered mouth that accentuates aromas. Recognized as the best glasses for tasting, they are used by every whiskey company in Ireland and Scotland for sampling their product.

In the U.S., we’ve made St. Patrick’s Day our own, with parades, parties and corned beef and cabbage dinners. In Chicago, they even goose up the green by dying the river an emerald hue. Enjoy the greening up of everything during the early weeks of spring, and Erin Go Bragh!