Category Archives: Unique Gifts

Setting the Path for Jet-Setting Travel

Sixty-seven years ago tomorrow, the world’s first passenger jet airliner, the British De Havilland Comet, made its premiere test flight in the U.K. The jet engine was a game-changing unique gift for the airline industry, reducing by half the time it took to fly.12628_1000x1000

You can learn more about this and other great moments in the history of flight in this personalized book of New York Times articles focusing on aviation through the years. Procured from the archives of The Times, the book presents highlights spanning from the Wright Brothers’ first flight to Charles Lindbergh’s Transatlantic crossing and Amelia Earhart’s mysterious disappearance. The bound book displays the recipient’s name and “The New York Times History of Aviation” stamped in gold on the cover.11803_1000x1000

Ready to make your own aviation history but can’t quite get off the ground? This amazingly realistic flight simulator is installed into a cockpit that equips players with the same flight controls found in actual aircraft. Fore/aft and left/right movement of the yoke controls pitch and roll just like real airplanes; toggles and buttons provide authentic control of navigation and radio options. The software features realistic graphics and includes 80 flyable aircraft ranging from the ubiquitous Mooney Acclaim to the daunting Boeing 747-800.82741_1000x1000

Complete the experience with these aviators’ sunglasses, just like those worn by U.S. Army AH-64 Apache Helicopter pilots. Made by a supplier to the U.S. military for more than 30 years, the sunglasses feature the iconic aviator shape and a non-corroding nickel silver frame. The scratch- and impact-resistant lenses are made from the same distortion-free glass used on watch faces, with a grey tint providing the truest colors.

That prototype Comet jet was designed to carry 36 passengers at speeds up to 500 mph. Although the original design was plagued by catastrophic flaws, aviation historians agree that De Havilland’s Comet left the unique gifts of a legacy that changed the way we travel today.

Unique Gifts that Make a Splash

With summer in its prime, you may be whiling away many hours at the pool. We can’t think of many better ways to appreciate a lazy summer afternoon.88422_1000x1000

But for some, boredom may be setting in. If you’re looking for some new ideas for pooltime, here are a few unique gifts to get you in the swim of things.

In-pool socializing takes on a shady nature with this floating 7 ft. umbrella. Five built-in cupholders keep both bathers and beverages out of the sun, while encouraging shaded socialization. The umbrella is supported by a 6 lb. counterweight at its bottom so it stays in an upright position in both breezes and waves87339_1000x1000.

For some quiet “me time”, this unique floating hammock supports your head and feet, while your core remains pleasantly in the cool water. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, this hammock’s unique design offers a blend of support and buoyancy that mimics the feeling of swaying in a favorite hammock, while giving you the unique gift of floating in soothing water.12425_1000x1000

When you want to simply sit poolside, this motorized entertainment lounger has built-in misters, speakers, and a USB charging port, all powered by the sun. A control pad on the left armrest provides push-button operation of the backrest’s reclining position. The integrated Bose speakers sync wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled device to provide the music. While this lounger can’t make you another frozen margarita, it can keep you just as cool by emitting a refreshing mist.

So get ready to make a splash…much of the U.S. is predicted to hit the 90s in the coming weeks, but you’ll have your fun in the sun when you keep cool at the pool.

Stress-Free on the Greens

For those of us that play golf as a way to combat stress, we have a few unique gifts that can help make your golf outing a more leisured experience. 84961_1000x1000

Why wait until the 19th hole? The Golfer’s Clandestine Cooler enables sly swingers to enjoy chilled libations on the links from an insulated cooler disguised as a golfer’s shag bag. Providing a welcome alternative to lukewarm refreshments smuggled in via shorts pockets or an hours-long wait for a chilled clubhouse beverage, this bag maintains propriety on the course while avoiding harassment by caddies, pros, or other spoilsports.12245_1000x1000

Professional golfers are forbidden to use golf carts at PGA tournaments and must walk the course. Thankfully, those of us in the amateur ranks have no such restrictions. But why limit yourself to common carts that roll on wheels? The Golf Cart Hovercraft lets you one-up the pros while assuring your popularity with your foursome. This cart glides over hazards on a cushion of air as easily as it does over fairways and the rough.12620_1000x1000

Stow all the accessories you need to hit the links with this Leather Golf Organizer. The bag’s vented main compartment holds your shoes, allowing proper breathability after 18 holes. Two additional interior compartments and two exterior pockets hold balls, tees, gloves, and any other essential accouterments for a sunny day on the course.

So leave the stress on the greens for the professionals and enhance your golfing pleasure with any of these unique gifts.

See What Develops with Unique Gifts for Photographers

The month of May is National Photography Month, designated to recognize the importance of photos as tangible connections to our memories.

To celebrate the art of the photograph, we have suggestions for a few unique gifts that produce unique photos.87855_1000x1000

This diminutive point-and-shoot camera instantly prints wallet-sized photos. It uses high-speed, self-developing film to produce color 3.5×2″ snaps that print out of the top of the camera seconds after the picture is shot. Smaller than a smartphone, the camera stores unobtrusively in a pocket or purse. The instant prints themselves make for unique gifts for new friends made while traveling or to hand out as keepsakes at a family picnic or reunion.87840_1000x1000

This smartphone selfie stick transforms into a tripod for taking remote selfies. The tripod secures any phone with a 3.5″ to 6″ screen size using a bracket that swivels up to 60°, enabling use as a short or tall tripod. The included Bluetooth remote enables one to snap photos from up to 10′ away to allow for optimal shots of one’s self, friends and family.12231_1000x1000

Social media has revolutionized how we share photos with others…here’s an instant photo booth that can post pictures directly to Facebook, Twitter, or email, as well as provide classic prints. The booth connects via Wi-Fi, an Ethernet cable, or 4G/3G broadband. A touchscreen LCD inside the booth lets the subject choose color or black-and-white images as well as whimsical borders and backgrounds. The built-in thermal printer produces four-frame photo strips in seconds, just like photo booths found at carnivals and shopping malls.

Few ever tire of looking at pictures of their friends and loved ones. The art of photography connects us to others, triggers feelings of nostalgia, and serves as a record of our lives…so a photographic gift will never disappoint!

Unique Toys for Imaginative Play

Kids are born copy-cats. When children play at imitating adults, it’s more than just cute…it’s an important step in cognitive development, helping a child learn traditions, customs, and socialization.

That’s why unique gifts for children are so often designed around adult professions or hobbies. Hammacher Schlemmer has a selection of toys to entertain kids for hours, while exposing them to creative, imaginative play.86458_1000x1000

The littlest grease monkeys will be thrilled by this little car engine. It lets aspiring mechanics pop the hood, change the oil, and tinker with the engine. With a removable cowling, spark plugs, wing nuts and other lifelike car components, children can practice testing the brakes, changing the air filter, and using the dipstick to check the oil levels. The car has a working horn and headlights, and the set comes with a screwdriver, wrench, and other tools sized to fit little hands. 86931_1000x1000

What better unique gift for a child during BBQ season than this kid-sized replica of the classic Weber kettle grill. Young grill masters fire up creativity when they add plastic briquettes and light them with the included “lighter” that makes authentic clicking sounds. The charcoals emit a red glow of burning embers and make sounds that simulate crackling charcoal. Children can grill the included porterhouse steak, jumbo prawn, salmon steak, and vegetables, just like mom and dad.12500_1000x1000

This toy farmers’ market stand comes stocked with fruits and vegetables to teach young growers and shoppers about local sourcing and healthy eating. Appropriately sized for little customers and vendors, the shaded market stall is made from colorfully painted wood and includes nine removable plastic bins and a selection of “fresh” produce. The cheerful striped awning reverses to convert to a lemonade stand.

Of all unique gifts for a child, the best thing you can give them is the gift of your time. Be there for the children in your life, side-by-side, letting them learn from the most mundane “adult” activities you do every day.

Picture These Unique Gifts for Mother’s Day

What do mothers love almost as much as their family? Pictures of their family! That’s why 74348_1000x1000personalized photo gifts are the ideal unique gifts to celebrate your loving mom this Mother’s Day.

This custom photo jigsaw puzzle can be personalized with a reproduction of a color or black and white snapshot. The 408-piece puzzle is created from 80-point pasted chipboard…twice the thickness of typical puzzles, for an impressive quality that will last for years.87141_1000x1000

Mom won’t be able to help thinking of you at her breakfast table, thanks to The Selfie Toaster. This appliance uses a custom heating insert to indelibly brand a headshot image onto a slice of bread. The subject’s full facial details are converted into twin removable stainless steel inserts – the toaster then browns a likeness of the subject onto one side of the toast.84007_1000x1000

If your mother’s video memories are saved on hours of obsolete VHS tapes, this device will convert the contents of a video cassette to a DVD before they’re lost forever to outdated technology. The finished DVDs play on any disc player or computer so Mom can post on social media or create DVD copies to use as unique gifts for other family members.

We have dozens of gifts perfect for any mother or the other selfless, loving women in your life. If you’re still unsure what to get, check out our online Mother’s Day Gift Guide for that perfect unique Mother’s Day present.

Ready Your Home for Spring

When sun streams through your windows at angles it hasn’t since last summer, you’re likely to spot dust and grime you didn’t see during the dreary days of winter. That can only mean it’s time for a good spring cleaning.

Getting a checklist together is half the battle of getting motivated. Here are a few tips to help jump-start the project and you’ll soon be enjoying the unique gifts of a sparkling-clean home.

Clean out the fridge. Toss anything expired, as well as sauces and dressing you’ll never use again. Wash each shelf with a mixture of two tablespoons baking soda to one quart of warm water. Don’t forget to clean out the vegetable crisper…you don’t want it to become a vegetable rotter! Vacuum dust off the coil behind the fridge to keep it operating efficiently.84816_1000x1000

Rent a steam cleaner (or hire a service) to deep-clean your carpeting. Then, throughout the year, plan frequent vacuumings to minimize the amount of accumulating dirt and dust. Hate to vacuum? We recommend this Superior Suction Roomba 880 to let it do the work for you. It forgoes typical brushes and instead uses two rubber rollers rotating in opposite directions to pick up more debris while it moves methodically from room to room. It can even be programmed to automatically clean seven days a week.84538_1000x1000

Tackle “hidden” dust. Don’t forget corners, dusty baseboards and those bits of cereal that find their way under kitchen cabinets. The Best Cordless Hand Vac was rated the most effective by The Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because of its cleaning power, convenient features and ergonomic design. Its hygienic one-button system empties waste directly into the garbage.87109_1000x1000

Get windows sparkling clean to maximize the unique gift of nature’s light. This Vacuuming Squeegee efficiently cleans windows and flat surfaces without drips. The included spray bottle accepts your preferred cleaning solution for wetting the glass. A press of a button starts its powerful motor to vacuum the dirty solution into the reservoir at a quiet operating volume.

Finally, have you changed your furnace filter recently? The filter should be replaced at least every 90 days, and it’s important to maintain a clean filter if you have central air conditioning. This helps your AC cool more efficiently and will cut down on dust in your home, too.

Squeezing Every Inch of Storage from a Tiny Home

Small-space living is more than a trend perpetuated by home-and-garden TV shows. For many residents of New York City, San Francisco, and other expensive urban areas, it’s a necessary way of life.

But, there’s a fine line between cozy and crazy. Fortunately, we have a few ideas to help you enjoy the unique gifts of downtown living, gain storage space, and still indulge in some of life’s little luxuries.86398_1000x1000

This slim-profile side table boasts hidden storage that keeps clutter at bay, while keeping indispensable items close at hand. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, the table has a hinged lift-up compartment at one end and a sliding lid on the other end to conveniently provide space to hide remote controls, eyeglasses, pens, coasters, and other small items. Below, a shelf holds books, magazines, or knick-knacks. The table’s slim design easily nestles between two chairs or in a tight entryway.88290_1000x1000

In a space-challenged bathroom, this cabinet’s narrow footprint and large capacity adds welcome organization and storage. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it’s only 9” wide, so it can slide beside a toilet or tub or next to a pedestal sink. Five separate compartments hold everything from a plunger to bath tissue, medications, cosmetics, 86670_1000x1000 and toiletries.

Living space in the city is expensive, but so are coffee-shop lattes and cappuccinos. Break up with your barista with this Italian espresso machine that takes up only 6″ of precious kitchen counter space. This slim machine sheds the bulk of similar models, yet brews professional-quality drinks using a 15-bar manual pump system to extract maximum flavor from the beans. It dispenses a single or double shot in only 40 seconds, while the built-in steam wand froths milk to a rich, creamy consistency. Not only a space-saver, this machine is the ideal unique gift for a coffee lover.

Small-space living helps one live contently with fewer possessions. You won’t waste time playing custodian to your stuff and you’ll appreciate experiences over things. Just stay organized and you won’t be made claustrophobic by clutter.

A Day in History that Deserves a Toast

Eighty-three years ago tomorrow, thirsty Americans lined up around the block. At the stroke of midnight, they’d be able to have a legal drink of alcohol for the first time since 1920; thus, April 6, 1933, became known as “New Beers Eve”. It was a unique gift to parched citizens everywhere.

In the decades since, we’ve progressed from the 3.2% beer mandated by Prohibition’s repeal to full-bodied craft beers that are culinary creations in their own right. Most recently, craft distilleries have emerged on the scene, with small-batch gins and locally produced artisanal whiskeys delighting imbibers nationwide.87326_1000x1000

We’d like to raise a toast to New Beers Eve with these glasses, designed specifically for tasting whiskey. The glasses have a thick, sturdy base to complement the liquor’s depth, thin sides to allow you to appreciate the liquid’s color and a tapered mouth to accentuate aromas. Recognized as the best glasses for tasting, they are used by every whiskey company in Ireland and Scotland for sampling their product.12157_1000x1000

Craft breweries have sprung up like weeds in recent years and many came from home brewers whose hobby, shall we say, got a little out of hand. If you’re a homebrewer no longer able to satisfy the ale cravings of friends and family merely with unique gifts of a few occasional bottles of unlabeled brew, it may be time to invest in this professional-quality microbrewing system, scaled for the home brewmaster. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, its 14-gallon fermenter could have you producing a batch in time for your own Maibock Fest.12225_1000x1000

If nothing else, the repeal of Prohibition brought responsible enjoyment of alcohol from behind closed doors and reintroduced it as a social activity. And we can’t think of a more fun and social way to responsibly enjoy a drink than The Pedal Pub. This human-powered vehicle accommodates 17 people who pedal, serve, drive and imbibe as it travels. With 10 pedaling passengers, the vehicle can hit 5 mph on flat terrain, but the real fun is in the party as you pedal.

Upon signing the legislation ending Prohibition, President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated, “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” And if you’ll excuse us now, we couldn’t agree more.

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.