These Unique Gifts Give You a Remote Chance

Remote-controlled model cars have been popular for over 50 years, since they were developed by an Italian company in the mid-1960s.

Today, RC toys are still wildly popular and ever more sophisticated. Going beyond automobiles, these unique gifts include boats, planes, farm machinery, robots, and animals – both real and fanciful.

Whether you want to relive the fun of your childhood, or introduce a young person to the enjoyment that comes from steering a tiny

vehicle around obstacles and corners, we have some suggestions for truly unusual RC toys.

Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this remote controlled tank replicates the authentic details of the U.S. military’s M1A2 Abrams with realistic movement, sounds, and lights. The tank is detailed with desert weathering, and moves with working individual suspension on rubber treads. Housed in a rotating turret, its main gun fires plastic pellets in rapid succession with realistic recoil, shooting seven 6mm-diameter plastic pellets in rapid succession.


You can take this remote controlled boat on a fishing trip. Pre-rigged tackle—a hook, snap swivel, bobber, and nylon 2-lb. test line—secures to the boat’s faux engine at the water line. With the remote control, you can troll back and forth or position the boat behind obstacles a conventional cast cannot reach. This is a unique gift suitable for the angler who thought he or she had everything.

This is not your father’s remote controlled aircraft…this jet-powered, fire-breathing dragon soars through the air at up to 70 mph and belches propane-powered flame when on the ground. The dragon’s LED eyes can be commanded to glow red while it emits a fiery blast of flame from a cleverly concealed (and flight-disabled) propane tank and igniter built into its toothy maw. With a head that swivels in the direction of turns, the dragon climbs and dives via wing ailerons and elevators built into its V-tail rudder.

Besides providing hours of fun, RC toys can help hone hand-eye coordination and help kids learn about functions and directions. Young or old, these are great unique gifts that will please anyone.

Unplug and Kick Back…It’s National Camping Month!

Go beyond your backyard and spend a night under the stars, enjoying the unique gifts of fresh air and fellowship around a campfire. If you haven’t tried camping in a while – or perhaps never – June is National Camping Month and now is a great time to give it a try.

To make the outing a success, you’ll need essential supplies, such as a good multipurpose pocket knife, a first aid kit, and sunscreen with at least 30 SPF. Rain gear is recommended even during dry spells (because meteorologists have been known to be wrong), as well as warm clothing for chilly nights. For starting a fire, keep matches in a waterproof container and bring a butane lighter as backup.

Seasoned campers may enjoy sleeping outdoors without shelter, but for the novice, a tent is a necessity. Put peace and love into your campsite with this four-person waterproof tent that reproduces the classic VW Camper Van, the vehicle of choice for 1960s Flower Children.

Don’t depend on your smartphone’s flashlight app – this tactical flashlight has a beam that can be seen from 5 nautical miles away. Its high-output, 100,000 hour-rated LED produces light 40 times brighter than ordinary flashlights. The flashlight switches easily between three brightness settings and it can zoom from a wide to a narrow beam to pinpoint light precisely where you need it. Even for non-campers, this flashlight’s compact size and lightweight body make it an affordable unique gift.

This time of year, weather conditions can change rapidly. This portable NOAA weather radio, available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, receives broadcasts from all NOAA weather stations and picks up emergency weather 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 and integrated hand crank. A one-minute spin of the crank provides 15 minutes of use. The unit can even charge a smartphone through its USB port.

As you prepare for your adventure, make a list of supplies to pack that will keep you comfortable, warm, hydrated, and safe. You want to be able to enjoy the unique gifts of nature, but you also need to be ready for the unexpected. As the first rule of the Boy Scouts says, always be prepared.

Mosquito Protection Better Than a Swat Team

In the majority of the U.S., spring was both warmer and wetter than average. That means most of us can expect a bumper crop of mosquitoes this summer.

Pesky mozzies are more than mere annoyance: mosquitoes are capable of transmitting several diseases, including West Nile virus, Zika virus, malaria, dengue fever, Chikungunya, and dog heartworm.

We have some unique gift suggestions to help you protect your family and guests against itchy, unhealthy mosquito bites. Best of all, these unique gifts act without the use of chemical sprays that could potentially harm beneficial insects such as honey bees and lady bugs.

Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this 100% cotton beach towel repels mosquitos from your personal space. It uses a nanoparticle matrix to bind a non-toxic repellent approved by the World Health Organization to the towel’s fibers to provide odorless spray-free protection. While standard insect repellents must be reapplied after swimming or sunbathing, it provides continuous and environmentally friendly protection against insects without DEET.

Mosquitoes can get inside your house when a door is open, by riding in on your clothing or through undetected holes in window screens. This portable indoor mosquito trap uses the principles of carbon dioxide and light to lure the insects that find their way into the house. The device’s whisper-quiet fan traps the mosquitoes in a compartment where they die of dehydration. The trap weighs less than 3 lbs. and is about the size of a thermos for easy portability and unobtrusive set up.

When you’re out and about, this personal mosquito repeller clips unobtrusively to a belt and keeps away mosquitoes within a 7-1/2 ft. radius for up to 120 hours. The device automatically emits the subtle floral scent of geraniol, a plant-derived essential oil that naturally repels mosquitoes, as well as ticks and no see-ums. Laboratory tests performed by a University of Florida entomologist proved geraniol to be more effective than DEET at warding off biting insects. Know a young person heading off to camp? This is a great unique gift for a going-away present.

To control the mosquito population around your home as much as possible, eliminate sources of standing water – and not just the obvious bird baths and empty flower pots. Clear clogged gutters, don’t leave pet bowls outdoors, bring in kids’ toys and drain the wading pool. Even the amount of water that fits in a bottle cap creates a potential mosquito breeding spot.

Get Outside and Play!

You don’t have to be a child to be drawn to outdoor play in summer. The unique gifts of warm breezes combined with extended daylight make nearly anyone long for time to cut loose under the sun or the stars.

If that’s not enough motivation, we have a few other good reasons to schedule some outdoor time, along with the unique gifts to help make it happen.

Be part of a nationwide trend. The sport of pickleball is showing explosive growth. The number of available courts is expected to increase to 3 million by 2018, but this instant pickleball kit sets up in minutes at your own home. Simply set it up on any hard surface, such as a driveway, tennis court, or badminton court. The two included balls travel at one-third the speed of a tennis ball, making the game easy to learn and fun to play for all experience levels.

Get to know your neighbors. This LED-illuminated capture the flag set lets you create nocturnal neighborhood adventure. Ideal for block parties, backyard barbecues, or evenings in the park, the set includes 16 colored LED bracelets for two teams of up to eight players. Traditional flags are supplemented by two illuminated orbs that tempt nocturnal athletes with the glowing aura of victory. Included game cards present different variations of this timeless outdoor pastime.

Enjoy the fun of a “throwback” day. This inflatable outdoor game is based on a popular game that originated in the 1960s. Up to 10 players touch different colored dots on the playing surface using only their hands and feet. A wheel spun at the beginning of each turn indicates which hand or foot players are to use and what color dot to touch; no other part of the body may touch the playing surface and the last player to remain “standing” wins. This unique gift can put a real “twist” into your next party.

Only 13 short weeks remain between now and Labor Day Weekend. That’s plenty of time for ample outdoor play…but far too little time to let another summer day slip away. Vow to make this the year you get outside and play.

Unique Gifts “Fore” Dad

About 29 million Americans think of themselves as golfers. Considering nearly 78 percent of those are men, it’s probably no coincidence Father’s Day coincides with the heart of golf season.

We have some suggestions for unique gifts for golfing dads, including one that makes a great summertime gift for the non-golfer, too.

This golfer’s backpack actually holds a set of clubs so Dad can sneak away for a round at almost any time. The set includes one shaft and 10 clubheads that simply slide into the shaft and lock into place in seconds. The entire set is one-third lighter than a traditional set and all components have dedicated storage, allowing him to tote it around the course without a caddie or cart.

These swing-aligning glasses have patented lenses to help improve a golfer’s short game by visually aligning the club, the ball, and its trajectory. The glasses provide a tinted line on the lenses that illustrate a straight path for long putts, chipping, and pitching, helping golfers maintain correct posture and a steady head position.

Here’s something any dad, golfer or not, will appreciate on a hot summer day. Created exclusively for Hammacher Schlemmer, this golf cap uses evaporation to keep the head up to 20 degrees cooler than outside air temperature. It’s the only cap available that provides cooling in both the crown and brim. The hat is charged by submerging it in cold water for at least two minutes, then wringing out the excess. It will help Dad keep his cool for up to five hours.

If none of these suggestions fill the bill, our easy-to-use, online Father’s Day Gift Guide is available to help you choose just the right unique gifts for him.

Fuel Up – It’s Time for the Big Race

The Indianapolis 500, perhaps the most iconic race in motorsports, revs up for the 101st time this Sunday.

With 200 counterclockwise laps of its 2.5 mile oval circuit, the race has often been described as “go like hell and turn left.” The 33 starting racers will exhibit their unique gifts of driving skills, quick reactions, and competitiveness.

Race fans will watch with mixed feelings, hoping all drivers finish safely, while being drawn to the adrenaline excitement of spin-outs and crashes.

For the true Indy car racing fan, this is the ultimate unique gift: an iPhone speaker dock made from the exhaust manifold of a genuine retired Formula One race car. Crafted in Modena, Italy, the cradle of Italian racecar innovation, the dock is constructed from the manifold of a retired eight-cylinder F1 engine. The speakers and tweeters deliver clear highs and mids, while the subwoofer pumps out deep, booming bass.

Now you can hold Formula GT races right in your own home. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, this slot-car set is made by Carrera, the world’s most prestigious slot-car maker since 1963. The set’s 28-foot track challenges racers’ skills with high-banked curves, a chicane, and a four-way crossing. Two richly detailed 1:43 Ferrari GT2 cars use a specially designed double-contact brush, which provides a secure connection to the track for consistent control during a race. This is a great unique gift for kids of all ages.

Always wanted to drive an expensive race car? This remote-controlled replica of the exclusive Lamborghini Veneno Roadster is one way to get close. Another Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, it features a unique steering wheel remote control that simulates the experience of driving the car. This 1:12 scale model faithfully reproduces the original from its aerodynamic hood to its bucket seats and gear shift in a “cockpit” interior.

Most of us will never drive a real, full-sized race car, but we can finish our Indy 500 experience the same way as the winner: with a cold bottle of milk. The tradition started in 1937 when a local dairy company seized a marketing opportunity. A little-known bit of trivia: today, Indy champions are presented with their choice of whole, two percent, or skim. We’d go for the chocolate.

Father’s Day Shopping Complete, Clickety-Split!

Father’s Day is only a few weeks away, and yet it isn’t always easy to find the right present for the “old man”. But our collection of The Best, The Only and The Unexpected unique gifts can help you choose the perfect item to suit his personality. Which of these suggestions sounds like your father?

Dear ol’ Dad tries, and generally succeeds, to be the best father he can be. For Father’s Day, he deserves a unique gift that’s also The Best. The Bose Soundlink portable Bluetooth speaker earned The Best rating by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the clearest sound and was the easiest to use. During evaluations, a panel of listeners raved about this speaker’s “perfect” amount of bass, “crisp” transmission of speech, and full tones in all musical genres.

Your dad is one of a kind. There’s not another like him anywhere. For him, these indoor/outdoor slippers are like no others, and they’re available only from Hammacher Schlemmer. They have over 1,000 air bubbles injected into the outsoles and insoles, allowing Dad’s feet to rest on a cushion of air. Following the recommendations of leading German podiatrists, the slippers have lightweight polyurethane soles and anatomically molded footbeds that cradle the feet, ensuring optimal support while lessening foot fatigue. The non-skid soles ensure stable footing inside or outside.

Your father is unpredictable and full of surprises. The size of his personality is surpassed only by the size of his heart.  The unexpected and unique gift this dad is certainly not anticipating is a bobblehead in his own likeness. Capturing the undeniable facial features of the subject, artisans sculpt a poly-resin model head from photographs you submit, recreating the subtle facial contours, eye, hair, skin, smile, and hair nuances that reflect his character. Choose one of hundreds of body types that show Dad the way you know him best.

If none of these items suit your father, check out our easy online Gift Guides. There, you can tailor the unique gift choices to match his interests, hobbies and personality. A few quick clicks and your shopping is done!

Don’t Skimp on Grilling…the Steaks Are Too High

Memorial Day is less than two weeks away and anticipation is building for grilling season.

You have only the few short, sweet months of summer to hone your reputation as the one with the most skill on the grill. So tune up your tongs, sharpen the steak knives, and consider these suggestions for the best cookouts ever.

Cooking for a crowd? This outdoor flat top gas grill brings the temperature consistency, flexibility, and cooking capacity of restaurant flat tops to your backyard. Four gas burners can be set to distribute heat evenly across the cooking surface or set to different temperatures for cooking those prime steaks exactly as requested. The flat top is preseasoned to create a naturally non-stick cooking surface that’s large enough to cook up to 15 hamburgers, buns, and toppings at once.

Here’s a unique gift to help any grill chef do it up right: this clever grilling tool incorporates five functions into one. Operating like blades in a pocketknife, a stainless-steel spatula, fork, silicone basting brush, cork screw, and bottle opener flip out from the sanded hardwood handle and lock in place for dutiful grilling service. The handle separates easily for cleaning—ideal for post-barbeque bash tidying up.

Are you ready for the ultimate backyard barbeque, 365 days a year? Made from Finnish pine, this authentic grill house replicates the all-season cooking huts found throughout Scandinavia. This traditional six-sided “grillikota” contains a central charcoal grill surrounded by dining space for up to ten adults, ensuring cookouts are not restricted to summertime. The grilling area is surrounded by folding tables for convenient serving and eating, while a hood and double flue expel smoke safely through the chimney.

Finally, we have one side tip to ensure cookout success: make sure you have plenty of ice. This little gadget turns out 1.8 lbs. of clear, well-formed cubes an hour. That should keep drinks cold and guests happy.

Discover Your Inner Artist…It’s Never Too Late

Some of this world’s most famous artists took up the craft later in life. Grandma Moses didn’t start painting till her late 70s, after retiring from a life of farming. Claude Monet dabbled in painting in his 30s, but it was only after his wife passed away more than a decade later that he got serious about it. Today, George W. Bush is spending his post-presidential life creating portraits honoring military veterans, exhibiting a talent hidden during his White House years.

Perhaps you are at a point in life where you’re ready to discover your own unique gifts of artistry. We have some suggestions to get you started, in a variety of media.

This 104-piece easel box contains everything a budding artist needs to explore a wide variety of painting and drawing techniques. The set’s premium-quality media include oil paints, acrylic paints, watercolor paints and pencils, charcoal pastels, and oil pastels. A selection of nylon brushes includes popular tips. All pieces fit into a beech storage box that organizes media and accessories in slide-out trays and doubles as a convenient easel. This set is a great unique gift for artists of any age and skill level.

Want to focus on an electronic medium? This digital canvas lets the artist in you achieve the same results as when working with paint and brush. The tablet provides a generous, precise expanse for drawing or doodling suitable for beginner or master alike. Providing far more precision than ordinary tablets, the wireless stylus simulates the broad strokes of an acrylic brush or the precise lines of a mechanical pencil. Included photo editing software makes it easy to touch up or add dazzling effects to your digital masterpieces.

Adult coloring books are on-trend, thanks to coloring’s ability to soothe and provide therapeutic relaxation. This coloring book contains 100 pages of intricate, hand-drawn black-and-white designs, ranging from a twisted trunk tree to a full-spread rhino. What really sets this book apart is personalization: the recipient’s name is integrated into the patterns on each pair of facing pages, making the book a truly unique gift.

Life brings changes…as we become empty-nesters, face retirement, or find ourselves less able to pursue athletic hobbies, tapping the inner artist is a fulfilling means of expression. Why not give it a try and meet the artist hiding inside of you.

Whittle Your Middle

As the years go by, most of us are getting a little softer around the mid-section.

Research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that over the decade that ended in 2012, the average American waistline increased by more than an inch. Unfortunately, fat around the abdomen is a greater danger to good health than fat in other areas, and it’s worth trying to lose.

Fact is, you can’t reduce your waistline without some targeted efforts. These unique gifts will work your core, helping your middle measurements while also strengthening your back, improving posture and balance, increasing your energy level, and enhancing your appearance.

This core-toning twister board provides a low-impact workout on any surface. Its unique design lets you stand on each end to tone abs, along with quads and calves, by simply twisting. Unlike monotonous balance boards or other stationary equipment, this unit encourages active, dance-like movement without putting strain on the knees.

Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, this compact trainer simulates cantering on a horse to strengthen and tone core muscles. Simply sit on the padded saddle, rest your feet on its rubberized bar, grasp the padded adjustable handlebar, and shift your weight backward to put the device’s drivewheel in motion. A 10-minute session can burn as many calories as 200 sit-ups or a one-hour walk.

As you whittle your middle, you’ll want to start sculpting your entire body to gain the unique gifts of being toned and fit overall. This foldable home resistance gym provides a 50-exercise workout, yet can be stored under a bed or in a closet. The gym uses six elastic cords that provide three levels of bi-directional resistance by simply adjusting integrated carabiner clips.

Once you’ve trimmed and strengthened your core, you will likely find everyday tasks—housecleaning, yard work, even just walking to and from a parking lot—become easier and more pleasurable. You may lose weight but what you’ll gain are the unique gifts that come from improving your health and feeling better overall.