Our Picks for Perfect Picnics

Back in the day, when you wanted to go on a picnic, the only thing you had to worry about was ants.

Today, it isn’t as easy as “grab a wicker basket, a blanket and go”. You have to think about avoiding exposure to the sun, evading virus-carrying insects, and eliminating food-borne illnesses by keeping dishes at proper temperatures. We make the perfect picnic easy with these unique gifts that will help you enjoy your al fresco dining experience.11679_1000x1000

Stay in the shade. This portable clamp-on canopy mounts to any rectangular wooden table and provides up to 75′ sq. of shade. An adjustable bracket clamps onto the table, the three-piece frame sets up in seconds, and the canopy simply slides over the frame. The canopy tilts in either direction and locks into place at the desired position. For portability, the entire unit folds to fit in the included duffel bag.78830_1000x1000

Keep bugs away. This personal mosquito-repelling device clips to your belt like a smartphone and repels insects within a 7.5 ft. radius for up to 120 hours. Eliminating the need to apply chemical-based sprays to your skin and clothes, the device emits the subtle floral scent of geraniol, a plant-derived essential oil that naturally repels mosquitoes, ticks, and no see-ums. Laboratory tests proved geraniol to be more effective than DEET—the chemical in most bug repellents—at warding off biting insects. This is the perfect unique gift for gardeners, hikers, and fishermen, too.12617_1000x1000

Make sure food keeps its cool—in style. This is no ordinary cooler…this is the rideable, three-wheeled cooler. It has a 1,000-watt electric motor that propels the unit up to 12 mph, for transporting chilled food or beverages up to 10 miles. The unit has a chain drive, disc brake, and variable-throttle control, ensuring an adventurous ride. Thirsty? A conveniently located cup holder opens to allow access to beverages stored in the cooler while seated.

Don’t save all these picnic picks for yourself—if you’re looking for a unique gift to take to the hosts of a summer party, any of these items or another product from our Outdoor Living selection will make a great choice!

Revving Up Interest in Collectible Cars

Driving around today, you may have noticed an unusual number of restored vintage or reproduction vehicles on the road. That’s because today is National Collector Car Appreciation Day.

This annual event was launched six years ago to celebrate the classics of both the past and the future. The automobile has been a unique gift to American history, and no other country appreciates the car as thoroughly as does the U.S.

Whether you are a serious car collector or you merely dream about the day you’re able to give yourself the unique gift of an extraordinary automobile, here are some truly unusual models to inspire you.12197_1000x1000

No car will attract more attention than this 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 exterior bears the hallmarks of its namesake, from bubble-canopy windshields to chrome “rocket” tubes behind the rear windshield.12796A_1000x1000

This 1:2 scale gas-powered version of the iconic Jaguar XK120 unleashes adults to careen and cruise as if driving the real thing. Faithful to the details of the 1948 original—sweeping rounded fenders, long hood and tapered grille—this version seats its driver within a padded leather aircraft-style cockpit. The interior includes a wood-rimmed aluminum steering wheel and dashboard, while the exterior can be finished in any color, including the classic glossy British Racing Green of yesteryear.12350_1000x1000

If you have a bigger crew to haul around, this authentic London Hackney cab holds six passengers plus the driver. This version is a fully restored and overhauled Fairway taxi from the 1980s. Designed with a high degree of English sensibility, it provides the roominess and appointments of a limo in a smaller size. Of course, it’s updated with modern convenience, luxury, and U.S. safety standards. With its 2.7-liter Nissan diesel engine, it delivers dutiful performance while turning heads.

Many communities show appreciation for collectible cars throughout the warm weather months with rallies, cruise nights, and car shows. Even if you don’t have fancy wheels of your own to show off, you might enjoy attending a local car show to scope out that unique gift for yourself, for when the time is right.

Unique Gifts Bring the Farm to Your Table

You wandered the farmers’ market to find the freshest, tastiest heirloom tomatoes. You battled to grab the last bunches of brilliant green broccoli rabe. You waited in long lines at the heritage beef butcher’s kiosk to get the finest grass-fed, free-range beef brisket—the one your friend told you was “to die for” after five hours of smoking and slow roasting.

Except now it’s noon and your guests are coming at 3:00.84974_1000x1000

Solve this culinary conundrum with the One Hour Indoor Pressure Smoker. It will cook that brisket in only one hour—five times faster than traditional methods. Combining a pressure cooker and smoker in one appliance, this 6½-quart device increases internal pressure by 15 psi, cooking food faster while still allowing wood chips to release their unique gift of fragrant, flavor-enhancing smoke. The cooker can also be employed as a cold smoker, steamer, or even just a traditional low- or-high-pressure cooker.84871_1000x1000

As for those heirloom tomatoes, a salubriously delicious sauce can be made with the Genuine Italian Tomato Press. Imported from Italy, it peels, seeds, and strains fresh tomatoes to create a smooth puree. Capturing the flavor of seasonal produce without the laborious process of manually blanching, skinning, and coring the fruit, this efficient Old World tool processes up to three quarts of raw tomatoes at a time by simply turning a crank.88905_1000x1000

The fresh broccoli rabe can be cooked without butter or oil—reducing calories and fat—in a nonstick pan. This set of Scratchproof Nonstick Pans feature a ceramic-titanium coating that makes for easy cooking and cleanup. In tests by the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute, fried eggs slid off the ungreased pan as if cooked on air, and the impervious non-stick surface suffered no damage when scrubbed with an abrasive pad and scratched with a metal fork. By the way, this pan set also make an ideal unique gift for a new graduate heading off to their first apartment.

The season for farmers’ markets is in full swing…make eating locally and eating well a fresh summer afternoon delight!

Distinguished Award Salutes Aviation’s Heroes

What better time than Independence Day to think about some of our greatest national heroes, our military veterans.

Ninety years ago tomorrow, the Distinguished Flying Cross was authorized by Congress as a military decoration awarded to any officer or enlisted member of the U.S. Armed Forces who distinguished himself or herself in support of operations by heroism or extraordinary achievement while participating in an aerial flight. Thus, it is America’s oldest military aviation award and is the only medal conferred by all five military services, in all wars and campaigns from World War I to the present.

The design of the cross includes a four-blade propeller, superimposed on a 1½” bronze cross pattée. In each angle of the cross are five sun rays, typifying the glory of the deed for which this unique gift was awarded. The back side of the medal is blank so that the recipient’s name and rank can be engraved.

The government kept no detailed records of DFC recipients, so it is not known in total how many medals have been awarded through the years. Among those who have received the honor are Charles Lindbergh, Commander Richard Byrd, John Glenn, Chuck Yeager, Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, George H.W. Bush, Amelia Earhart, and Orville and Wilbur Wright. Earhart and the Wright Brothers are among the few non-military persons to ever receive the medal, as an executive order in 1927 decreed the Cross should not be conferred on civilians.

The Distinguished Flying Cross Society was founded in 1994 to bring together those who have received this honor. Currently, there are more than 6,000 members, with 21 chapters nationwide.84340_1000x1000

As you plan your July 4th festivities, please take a few moments to reflect on those who have served our country. May we suggest The Army Air Corps Leather Flight Jacket as the ideal unique gift to honor a special veteran in your life? First issued to the U.S. Army aviators in 1931 and worn by flight crews throughout World War II, the A-2 flight jacket was reissued by the U.S. Air Force in 1987. This jacket, a Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, is made by Cockpit USA, the current supplier of leather jackets to the Air Force. Presented in our signature gift box, it’s a perfect way to say “thank you”.

The Net Effect of Tennis is a Sport to Love

Yesterday, the Wimbledon Tennis Championship served up its first-round games of this year’s tournament. The oldest—and arguably the most prestigious—tennis tournament in the world, something about this championship gives us the urge to dig our long-neglected rackets out of the closet and volley some balls.86750_1000x1000

You, too, could be playing at a moment’s notice with this freestanding tennis set that instantly creates a court on a driveway, patio, or any hard, flat surface. Requiring no tools for setup, the nylon net simply slips over the snap-together metal supports to create a regulation-height, 12′ wide court. The smaller court, reduced-size rackets, and slower rebounding ball add up to a fun, active game, ideal for building or relearning long-dormant skills.87186_1000x1000

If you’ve not played in a while, you may need to work on your grip strength. This hand fitness trainer slips on like a glove and has latex-free elastic bands that strap to each fingertip, providing resistance as you open your hand to build strength. Flexing your hand lets the trainer strengthen the extensor muscles in your hands, wrists, and elbows. This strengthening trainer also makes an ideal unique gift for anyone who suffers from carpal tunnel syndrome or osteoarthritis.87671_1000x1000

It’s not uncommon for new players, or for those who have not played in years, to experience some discomfort in the knees or elbows. This pain-relieving wrap relieves your discomfort naturally using cool gel packs that stay cool up to one hour—200% longer than typical models. Developed exclusively by Hammacher Schlemmer, the wrap relieves muscle soreness and aching joints and ligaments. It also provides a soothing, consistent pressure that gently compresses to increase blood circulation and facilitate healing.

The enjoyment of tennis is a unique gift of genteel sport we owe to the French, with refinement by the British. If your love for the sport will be limited to seeing the event on TV, no worries…we’re rather inclined toward that approach ourselves.

Enjoy the Sounds of Summer

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and live music under the stars. These are the makings for one of our favorite summer pleasures, a concert in the park.

Whether you take in the symphony at one of the country’s fabulous outdoor venues like Wolf Trap, Tanglewood, or Ravinia, or go to your neighborhood park to hear a local band on the rise, when the weather’s right, we can’t think of a better way to enjoy the unique gifts of a summer evening.76519_1000x1000

Typically at such venues, you need to bring your own chair. This portable director’s chair folds to about the size of a laptop and stores in an easy-to-carry messenger bag. It weighs only 9 lbs. and straps over a shoulder and across the chest for easy hands-free portability. Rated “Best Overall” by The Wall Street Journal, with this chair, you’ll be ready to take in a concert at a moment’s notice.88337_1000x1000

Turn the evening into a movable feast with this ingenious cooler cart. This folding beverage cart has an integrated cooler/tabletop to transport your family’s feast over any terrain. The flexible cooler insert holds up to 225 lbs. of ice, drinks, and food. Its rigid cover doubles as a tabletop when closed. The cart pulls easily with a telescoping handle and heavy-duty rubber wheels.89360_1000x1000

After sunset, you’ll need some light and a way to keep mosquitos at bay. This 300-lumen outdoor lantern uses a synthetic repellent made from a naturally occurring insecticide found in chrysanthemums. Field testing proved it repels up to 98% of mosquitoes. Eight LEDs inside the lantern produce an efficient glow for up to 50 hours and may be used with or without the repellant. This lamp makes the ideal unique gift for anyone looking to keep pesky flying insects away in any outdoor setting.

Whether you favor classical, pop, rock, or jazz, with a symphony of crickets as backup, you can’t beat the sum of a picnic plus live music to really appreciate the unique gifts of a summer concert in the park.

Some Like It Hot, Some ‘re Better Cool

Just past 6:30 last evening, the sun reached its northernmost point of the year, making today the first full day of summer.

While warm weather has been with us for weeks now, the hottest is yet to come. Statistically, the third week of July presents the warmest temperatures of the season. Some folks love hot weather, but others try their best to stay cool. If you’re in the latter group, these unique gifts will help you chill out, even when it’s blazing hot.82495_1000x1000

This low-profile window fan earned The Best rating from the Hammacher Schlemmer Institute because it produced the highest air velocity and pushed the most air volume. Plus, with only 57.1 decibels of noise, this is one of the quietest fans around. The Best model’s dual fans are reversible and operate independently, allowing one fan to draw cool air in while the other pushes warm air out for optimal circulation. It has a remote control, too, so you don’t even have to break a sweat to turn it on.78165_1000x1000

Using patented fabric developed for NASA to help keep astronauts comfortable in space, this unique pillow provides a comfortably cool sleeping surface. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, inside this pillow millions of invisible microcapsules absorb excess heat and move the warmth away from your head and neck until the pillow reaches the ambient temperature. As you shift positions during sleep, the vacated area of the pillow recovers its cooling properties.87339_1000x1000

Little else provides the unique gift of feeling cool than floating gently in a pool. This floating hammock supports your head and feet while your core remains partially submerged in water. A Hammacher Schlemmer exclusive, this float’s unique design offers a blend of support and buoyancy that gives you the sensation of swinging in a favorite hammock. It requires no inflation, just get in the water and while away the afternoon.

For most people, little else beats the feeling of summer and memories of long, carefree days. Take time to enjoy the unique gifts this season brings…but if you can’t take the heat, we are here to help you keep your cool.

Have a Sand-Sational Time

Summer has finally arrived! The sun is shining longer, your skin is turning a golden tan, and the beach is calling your name. The unique gifts of sand, sun, and surf won’t be around for long, which is why we offer a wide variety of ways to make the most of a trip to the beach.

Every beachgoer knows it’s hard to relax in flimsy, awkward chairs that offer no 84738_1000x1000protection from the sun’s unrelenting rays. Recommended by physical therapists, The Removable Shade Ergonomic Beach Lounger provides optimal support and shaded comfort whether you lie on your back or stomach. Available exclusively from Hammacher Schlemmer, it has three pillows engineered to relieve spinal pressure and provide support. A massage-table style face opening allows you to lie prone and read without neck strain and the built-in canopy tilts to provide customizable shade. It’s an ideal unique gift for any avid reader who loves the outdoors.87866_1000x1000

For those who prefer their fun on their feet, you can stay active with this 360º Slamball Set that is the horizontal version of beach volleyball for adults and kids alike. Challenging up to four players with 360° ball bouncing action, the game’s six-sided trampoline sets up in seconds. Four-person contests introduce a second ball into play, allowing for a two-at-a-time slams, feints, dives, and saves as well as double the scoring opportunities.86155_1000x1000

While you always enjoy a day at the beach, there are times when you don’t want all the sand that comes with it. Ideal for a picnic on the beach or simply just laying out in the sun, this Only Six-Person Sandless Beach Mat instantly filters sand to the beach as soon as it falls on its surface. The mat acts as a one-way filter to prevent sand from reemerging through its bottom and eliminates dirt, dust, and water from its surface.

So enjoy these long summer days while we have them and maximize your trip to the beach with these unique gifts of the season.

You Have Your Reasons to Splurge – and We’re Here to Enable!

It’s time to plan a big splurge, that “someday” purchase you’ve been planning. This Saturday is National Splurge Day and Hammacher Schlemmer’s unique gifts are perfect for the occasion.

It could be something for yourself. Or, perhaps you plan to reward your finest, most industrious associates who have always been there for you: partners and craftspeople who help you beyond measure and compensation. We are here to be the enabler, searching the world to find the most amazing unique gifts that make others green with envy.12820A_1000x1000

This one-of-a-kind digital grand piano derives its sleek design from the graceful yet powerful form of the Orcinus orca. Handmade in the U.K. to suit individual preference, each instrument is crafted using components from Kluge and Renner, providers of the world’s best piano mechanics. The 88 Ivoplast and ebony keys provide the same balanced hammer action as a concert grand, while beneath its dorsal fin-like lid, a 500-tone Roland audio processor suffuses each note with realistic acoustic character and nuance. This is a splurge worthy of the world’s greatest pianists.12796D_1000x1000

Maybe your splurging daydreams lean toward a vintage sports car replica. This 1:2 scale gas-powered version of the iconic Jaguar XK120 unleashes adults to careen and cruise as if driving the real thing. Faithful to the details of the 1948 original—sweeping rounded fenders, long hood and tapered grille—this version seats its driver within a padded leather aircraft-style cockpit. The interior includes a wood-rimmed aluminum steering wheel and dashboard, while the exterior can be finished in any color, including the classic glossy British Racing Green of yesteryear.11726_1000x1000

Here’s a splurge that makes a splash – literally. This two-person submarine can descend to a depth of 1,000 feet. Providing access to underwater features such as coral reefs, shipwrecks and the ocean floor, a completely transparent, climate-controlled acrylic pressure sphere keeps explorers safe while dipping even into the mesopelagic zone, offering a chance to see exotic, bioluminescent species. With a maximum speed of three knots, it provides up to six hours of continuous undersea adventure.

Splurging is all relative and unique to each individual. If your dreams of a splurge revolve around an extra hour of sleep or a decadent dessert, that’s a good thing, too. But if you’re ready for that one big unique gift to yourself, we’re always here to help.

Spend a Day Car-Free and Care-Free

On June 16, the U.S. will celebrate the 11th annual National Dump the Pump Day. The day is designed to encourage car-lovers to use public transportation or other means to get around for the day.

Even in these days of relatively low gas prices, choosing not to drive is an economical choice and results in the unique gifts of cleaner air through reduced emissions of carbon and greenhouse gasses.86716_1000x1000

If you’re getting around on public transportation, you’ll want a good bag to carry your things. This Argentinian leather carryall stows all the essentials for a day at the office, shopping, or playing tourist in your own town. Available only from Hammacher Schlemmer, the surprisingly spacious nylon-lined interior is split into two zippered compartments. One can hold a tablet, plus it has snap- and zip-closure pockets, two mesh pockets, a pocket for a phone, loops for pens, and a key ring. The other is a divided compartment that keeps larger items handy.83485_1000x1000

While dumping the pump, you may choose to tool around on bicycle. Come evening, you’ll be a safer and more confident cyclist with this virtual safety lane. The device mounts to a bike’s seat post and projects two 5-milliwatt red lasers onto the ground. Providing motorists with a visual indicator of a rider’s width, it’s ideal for increasing the safety margin around a cyclist during pre-dawn or dusk rides. If you know someone who commutes by bike, it’s the perfect unique gift for them, too.83736_1000x1000

Walking is a great alternative for going short distances car-free. These lady’s lightweight slip-on shoes provide all-day comfort, thanks to four layers of cushioning and support in the soles. Recipient of the American Podiatric Medical Association Seal of Acceptance for foot health, the shoes have a contoured footbed and deep heel cup for arch support and plantar fasciitis relief. For gentlemen, we recommend these knee-pain relieving walking shoes. They employ flexure zones built into the outsoles to reduce knee loads by 20 percent.84344_1000x1000

Along with the environmental benefits of going car-free, these alternative modes of transportation have another benefit, too: you’ll get more exercise. And that is a unique gift for your health that just can’t be beat.