A Ship-Shape Day for a Celebration

Every branch of the military has a day of celebration, and today belongs to the U.S. Navy.

Technically, today is not the Navy’s anniversary—that’s October 13. Navy Day occurs on Teddy Roosevelt’s birthday because of his avid support for the branch and his renown as an influential naval strategist.

Navy veterans—like all veterans—have good reasons to be proud of their service. If you or a loved one spent time as a sailor, a unique gift evoking memories of time at sea is a fitting way to mark Navy Day.

The SEALs are a highly trained special operations force within the Navy. This special watch has been requested by the Navy SEALs for its unique illumination technology. Borosilicate glass capsules with phosphor-lined interiors make up the watch’s hour positions and its hands. Tritium gas sealed within each capsule reacts with the phosphor lining, causing it to fluoresce for more than 25 years without the need for a recharge from a light source. And of course, it resists water down to 660 ft., making it a great unique gift for any diver or swimmer.

This brass-framed navigator’s magnifier was inspired by the domed compasses that enabled mariners to read tiny map typefaces while navigating. Made by a supplier of maritime instruments to Her Majesty’s Naval Service, the magnifier provides 2.5X magnification of charts—financial or nautical—or other small-print documents simply by sliding the dome over reading matter while on a flat surface.

This Morse code signal lamp recalls the optical signaling lights invented by the British Royal Navy in 1897 for discreet intra-fleet communication. Sailors opened and closed shutters on the lamp to project pulses of light in Morse code, enabling instant, silent transmission of maritime intelligence. Faithful to the original, this updated version requires one light bulb up to 100-watts.

On this Navy Day, we salute all those who represented the fighting spirit of the Navy, defending the unique gifts of freedom and democracy around the world. We thank you for your service.

Be Prepared When Disaster Strikes

Hurricanes. Floods. Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Wildfires.

Throughout 2017, the daily news has been filled with stories proving the crueler side of nature. Your best defense is to be prepared. The American Red Cross is a great resource for planning, everything from the supplies you need to how to practice evacuation. Along with your plan, we have several unique gifts that can help you in different types of disasters.

The Red Cross recommends every home have a NOAA weather radio. This portable weather radio doubles as a flashlight and charges smartphones in an emergency. It receives broadcasts from all NOAA weather stations and picks up emergency alerts for your area to warn you of hurricanes, tornados, or severe storms. Powered via an internal rechargeable battery, the radio also has a built-in solar panel, integrated ergonomic hand crank, and includes a mini-USB cable for recharging or providing DC power.

Combine a dry environment with a windy day and a fire can spread like, well, wildfire, leaving you little time to get out of harm’s way. This fire escape ladder deploys readily and easily from its storage box to a length of 14 ft., with large, non-slip rectangular rungs to provide sure footing. Made from strong steel, it supports 375 lbs., yet it’s still lightweight enough for children or the elderly to use. Consider this unique gift for every household within your extended family.

A natural disaster can leave your home without electricity for days. This solar-powered generator provides emergency electricity for any home appliance, without using gas or propane. This advanced model is silent and provides zero-emission back up power without noise or noxious fumes. When fully charged, the 1250-watt battery powers a full-sized refrigerator for over 24 hours, a television for 35 hours, or recharges a typical laptop 30 times.

The Red Cross also recommends each household practice its emergency plan – including grabbing an emergency kit, evacuating the home and evacuating the area—twice a year. It’s impossible to avoid every natural disaster, but being prepared will give you the unique gift of peace of mind now, and may save your life later.

Your Fantasy Sports Season Starts Now

Chips and salsa—check. Fridge full of beer—check. Hot, fresh pizza— check. Get your favorite snacks and beverages ready because the fantasy of any real sports fan has begun: the brief period when NFL football, Major League baseball, NHL hockey, and NBA basketball all are in action.

But maybe your fan cave is missing the finishing touch to distinguish you from all the armchair quarterbacks out there. Check out these unique gifts designed to help you or your favorite sports enthusiast declare loyalty to the team of choice.

For football fansThis outdoor LED projector casts the logo of your favorite NFL team on your home’s exterior. Displaying six images of a team’s officially licensed logo, the projector notifies neighbors where your loyalties lie on Sundays. A built-in light sensor automatically turns the light display on and off as the sun sets and rises.

For baseball fans—Here’s a unique gift that’s truly as unique as you are. This personalized bobblehead portrays you (or a friend) wearing a favorite sports team’s uniform. We’re featuring the baseball player here, but bobbleheads can be customized with officially licensed, authentic MLB, NBA, and NHL uniforms, or can depict the subject playing golf, football, tennis, and other sports. Artisans sculpt a poly-resin model head from photographs you submit to capture your unique character.

For basketball fansThis personalized book of New York Times articles chronicles the hardwood exploits of a fan’s favorite NBA team. Procured from the archives of The Times, each book presents memorable highlights that span from your selected team’s formative years to today. Fans can revisit their team’s celebrated games and star players from the “Gray Lady’s” unique perspective, from the Boston Celtics of Red Auerbach and Bill Russell to the Chicago Bulls of “Air Jordan” fame. Times chronicles are also available for teams playing the other major pro sports.

For hockey fansThis customized framed poster displays your name on a jersey in your favorite NHL team’s locker room, hung next to your current players’ uniforms. The locker room scene shows your own stall, complete with a personalized name plate, equipment, and a jersey bearing your name and favorite number. Your jersey hangs forever next to the uniforms of three current players, providing evidence of your working relationship with Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, or Patrick Kane. Locker room scenes are available for other pro sports, too.

Statistically, a dedicated fan spends up to 9.15 hours per week watching their favorite games on TV. If that’s you, treasure the unique gifts the competitions bring over the next few weeks…and don’t forget to make it up to your family in November.

Making the Workday More Bear-able

Tomorrow just might be the most cuddly day of the year: it’s National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day.

When you take your plush pal to the office, you can bond with coworkers over stories about your treasured bear— how long you’ve had him, who gave him to you, perhaps even a story about the time you were six and accidentally left your stuffed animal at a service plaza on the Pennsylvania turnpike.

Don’t have a teddy bear of your own? Our selection of unique gifts includes several bears that will stand out from the crowd and bring a new soft friend into your life…or into the life of a child dear to your heart.

In the mid-1980s, the hot-selling toy was Teddy Ruxpin, an animatronic bear that told stories using special cassette tapes. Now, Ruxpin is back and better than ever, thanks to current technology. This contemporary version of the iconic toy connects to a smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth and spins tales with life-like animation. His colorful eye expressions and animatronic mouth move in synch with the audio.

Here’s another animatronic ursine figure, one that’s nearly large as life. This handcrafted Siberian brown bear sings and tells stories using a sophisticated microprocessor to create synchronized movement of his mouth, head, and arms. The bear “sings”, delivers jokes, and reads audio books downloaded on an included MicroSD card. Christmas-ready, the card is pre-loaded with “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, and “Jingle Bell Rock”. The holidays will be here soon…imagine this unique gift greeting visitors right inside your front door.

This is a great time to introduce a small child to his or her first teddy bear. This personalized talking, animated plush bear plays peek-a-boo and can be monogrammed with a child’s name. When the bear’s foot is squeezed, he raises the blanket he’s holding over his eyes, and asks “Where did you go?” The bear sits upright for engaging play and his mouth opens and closes as he says phrases like “Hello, baby!”, “Peek-a-boo is the most fun with you!” or “Peek-a-boo! I see you!”

Teddy bears represent the unique gifts of comfort, companionship and unconditional love. For one day, bring your bear to work and you just might smile all day lo ng.

World Solar Challenge to Shine Next Week

Proving the potential of solar energy, this Sunday 42 teams from around the world will begin a race from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia, in vehicles powered only by the sun.

The World Solar Challenge is a biennial competition covering nearly 1,900 miles through the Australian outback over eight days. Teams from universities, corporations, and even a few high schools participate, ultimately with the objective of promoting research on solar-powered cars. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the challenge to race using only unique gifts from the sun as fuel.

Hammacher Schlemmer embraces the potential of renewable energy, with a solar-powered vehicle in our own selection of unique gifts. This velomobile sports a solar-powered motor, enabling jaunts to be powered by the sun or through your pedaling power. A solar panel built into the roof powers the motor for up to 45 miles on a single charge or 100 miles when combined with pedaling, at up to 30 mph. Because it’s legally classified as a bicycle, the solar velomobile doesn’t require a license to drive. 

Our unique gifts bring solar power to your home, too. Offered only by Hammacher Schlemmer, this solar walkway light ranked first in all tests conducted by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute. It generated 60 lumens—a measure of light intensity—and glowed for 75% longer than other models. Even after eight hours, its bright beam had not diminished. This solar-powered light automatically turns on at dusk, and the solar panel on top recharges in moderate to full sunshine.

Let solar power give you a charge when electricity is not available. This portable power station can use an optional solar panel, enabling you to charge devices anywhere. About the size of a toaster, the rechargeable power station transports easily in an RV, car, or boat or can serve as a backup power supply for a home or cabin to charges a smartphone, tablet or digital camera. It also provides power for CPAP machines and portable TV sets.

This year, the theme of the World Solar Challenge is “Dream Bigger. Go Farther.” It’s this passion among the racers and designers that will lead to improved solar technology in years to come. We eagerly await the inventions of tomorrow that bring renewable sources of energy into all our lives, every day.

No More Looking Down in the Mouth

Welcome to National Dental Hygiene Month! Throughout October, the American Dental Association works to raise the awareness of the importance of good oral health.

The 2017 effort focuses on the brushing, flossing, rinsing, and chewing routines that can maintain the unique gifts good dental hygiene brings. Beyond the basics, there’s much more you can do to keep a beautiful smile and a healthy mouth.

Many dentists recommend supplementing conventional flossing with water flossing. This portable, cordless water flosser emits 1,250 pulses of water per minute to clean deep between teeth and below the gumline. The device’s powerful water pulsations remove plaque, fight gingivitis, and clean teeth, plus it’s compact and light enough to pack for travel, so you can maintain the routine every day.

While teeth are the workhorses of the mouth, your gums are the foundation of oral health. This gum health simulator, exclusive to Hammacher Schlemmer, uses LEDs to stimulate circulation inside your mouth to help maintain healthy gums. Using technology developed by NASA, the mouthpiece employs infrared and red LEDs to produce safe, gentle heat that penetrates deep into gingiva tissue, boosting circulation to help promote oral health. This device is highly recommended as a unique gift for yourself!

This sonic toothbrush is used by dental professionals because it is 98.75% more effective at removing plaque and 92.66% more effective at improving gum health than a traditional toothbrush. The unit removes plaque from tooth enamel with quiet vibrations that whir back and forth 31,000 times per minute to help prevent tooth decay and gently massage the gums.

Studies have shown that oral hygiene is linked to your overall well-being—gum disease can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and other major problems. Take care of your mouth, see a dentist regularly, and you’ll enjoy the unique gifts a healthy mouth brings.

A Good Neighbor Is Always by Your Side

In today’s turbulent times, we need close ties with our neighbors more than ever. This Thursday marks National Good Neighbor Day, celebrating the unique gifts of good will that come from the friendships we form with those who live nearby.

Neighbors are an important part of our lives, but sometimes we don’t get to know them well enough. We have some suggestions to help you promote social get-togethers in your neighborhood. Add extra fun to your block and you’re likely to foster friendships to last a lifetime.

Fun and friendly competition do a lot to build social relationships. Have the neighbors from either side over to play on the only outdoor six-player foosball table. Designed for outdoor use, the table is made with sealed beechwood panels, enclosing a UV- and moisture-resistant soccer pitch. While it’s made for the outdoors, this unique gift is equally suitable for a family game room, too.

Perhaps your neighborhood already enjoys a close social network. If so, it should be easy to find willing volunteers to enter this backyard dunk tank. It functions just like those seen at fairs and fundraisers. You may want to consider using it for a fundraiser at your next block party, with proceeds going to a local food pantry or homeless shelter.

If your neighborhood get-togethers are better with the assistance of socially lubricating libations, you need this Pedal Pub. Up to 17 friends and neighbors can pedal, serve, drive, and imbibe as it travels. This tavern on wheels hits speeds of up to 5 mph, making it ideal for traveling house-to-house on the closed-off street of your block party.

Ultimately, the point of Good Neighbor Day is to encourage people to be nice to each other. If you need to break down the proverbial fences in your neighborhood, take some cookies to the neighbors or invite them over for a meal or a cocktail hour. It only takes someone to make the first move and you’ll be enjoying the unique gift of neighborliness right where you live.

Fall Hands on Deck!

Today is only the first official day of fall, yet trees are already beginning to show their colors. All it takes now is a brisk autumn wind, and suddenly those color-tinged leaves are all over your lawn and deck.

We have unique gifts to help you take some of the work out of fall yard work and still keep that deck looking fine. You’ll have more weekend time to watch football or enjoy late-season warmth outdoors, cold beverage in hand.

You’ve seen household robot vacuum cleaners…here’s a robotic lawnmower that landscapes autonomously in much the same way. The lawnmower cuts grass in a straight line and changes directions when it reaches an obstruction or virtual wall. Its sophisticated intelligent design enables the robot to generate random cut patterns, navigate narrow passages, and remember up to four outdoor areas. The robot returns to its docking station when it completes cutting the lawn, needs to be recharged, or detects moisture/rainfall.

This push lawn sweeper is a labor-saving unique gift that quickly collects fallen leaves on your yard and driveway without backbreaking raking and uncomfortable stooping. The sweeper’s flexible plastic combs spin rapidly as you push it, grabbing leaves, grass clippings, pine needles and other small detritus. The nylon collection basket lifts out easily for emptying.

Been planning to get a rain barrel? With this one, you don’t have to wait till next year. Unlike common rain collectors that must be drained and stored during the winter, this Canadian-made year-round rain barrel can be kept outdoors 365 days a year. Even if left completely full, the durable plastic barrel won’t crack in temperatures down to -40°F. Its brass spigot accommodates a garden hose so you can wash fall’s filth off your deck the environmentally friendly way.

Before you know it, your fall yard work will be done and you’ll be able to enjoy the unique gifts of a pleasant autumn weekend. Savor these days now because leaves are falling faster than a wildcard chaser’s chances at Octo ber baseball…and temperatures won’t be far behind.

Unique Gifts Take Pain Out of Your Day

The month of September marks Pain Awareness Month. We’re certain the estimated 100 million Americans who suffer from some sort of chronic pain likely are already all too aware of their discomfort.

For them, we have unique gift suggestions that offer relief without medication, or as a supplement to medication.

Offered exclusively by Hammacher Schlemmer, this flexible back wrap has deep-penetrating infrared and red LEDs, providing soothing warmth to relieve pain and stiffness in the back. The wrap utilizes technology developed by NASA to ease discomfort caused by arthritis, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. The 60 medical-grade LEDs generate therapeutic light that penetrates deep beneath the skin to increase blood circulation, reduce swelling, and temporarily relieve joint pain.

Using similar technology, this mitten-like device is designed to offer the unique gift of sweet relief from chronic pain in the hands. A study at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee showed the LED technology used in these devices reduced painful inflammation by up to 37%. In addition to the LEDs, an imperceptible heating element warms the mitt’s interior to 105° F for soothing therapy on your hand’s surface.

Along with LED therapy, this exclusive hip pain reliever adds heat therapy and vibration t o knock out pain with a triple hit. Eight heating discs generate therapeutic heat up to 149° F to stimulate circulation and provide relief for stiff or fatigued muscles and achy joints. The device’s four integrated massage nodes produce 4,000 rpm vibrations to help knead out tension while loosening tissue and relieving sore muscles. You can operate its three functions independently, two at a time, or all three simultaneously.

Use of any of these unique gifts can be combined with other drug-free methods of pain relief: biofeedback, meditation, gentle stretching, applying ice…or even making use of soothing music and aromatherapy. With these strategies and modern technology, you may find the pain relief you are seeking.

Put Fun Around a Fire into Your Fall

The crisp air of the past few nights has us reminiscing about autumn evenings spent around a bonfire. It’s time to bring this tradition back! We have several unique gifts to add fun around a fire back into the fall season.

Of course, it may not be practical to build a bonfire in your yard or on your deck. Here’s a unique gift that combines a beautiful stone patio table with a propane-fueled fire pit. This hearth table has a solid granite top cut from the mountains of China’s Shanxi province. A cutout section in the table’s center contains a stainless steel fire pit that can be used for cooking or just for enjoying its warmth on a cool autumn night.

A table like that deserves stylish seating around it. This set of stackable deck chairs was inspired by the designs of Danish furniture master Hans J. Wegner. Wegner’s wide seats and curving backrests are world-renowned for their stylish functionality. These are made from Brazilian eucalyptus, one of the densest, strongest woods in the world. They’d even make the perfect unique gift for anyone looking for beautiful, yet comfortable, extra dining room seating, too.

Stimulate memories of college-days bonfires with this portable stereo system that optimizes the 30-year-old concept of the boombox. Built onto a steel chassis that rolls on four pneumatic tires over any terrain, it’s pulled along and steered with an integrated wagon handle. Providing over 2,000 watts of sonorous symphony, it plays music from any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone or MP3 player, its built-in CD player, or AM/FM radio. A USB port and 3.5mm input provide additional play options.

Any evening in fall is a great time for a bonfire, or a campfire, too. We highly recommend it after a football game, as part of a late-season barbeque, or as a way to enjoy the unique gifts of friendship with the neighbors. You may enjoy it so much, you’ll want to do it s’more.